Kayaking has always been a great way to relax and enjoy the water, but now more and more people are discovering that it’s also a great way to fish. Kayaks are quiet and can get into places where the fish are hiding—some places so narrow or shallow that motor boats can’t get into. There are lots of options, from sit-on-top and sit-inside to pedal-powered and motorized to hybrid, so explore and then choose the right one for you and the fishing you do.
Types of Fishing Kayaks
Convert Your Kayak Into a Fishing Machine
Regardless of the type of kayak you own, a few well-placed accessories can make the difference between catching fish—or returning home skunked at the end of the day.
Outfit Your Kayak for Fishing
What gear do you need before you embark? Paddles and life jackets to be sure, but how about getting your kayak from the garage to the water? Dollies and car racks designed specifically for kayaks are the answer. And, when you’re out on the water, how about a third hand? As that is not actually possible, perhaps an anchor, a rod holder and landing gear would help. We’ve got all the accessories you need for epic kayak fishing expeditions.
Selecting a Rod and Reel Combo
A combo is a matched rod and a reel set, configured for a specific type of fishing. We offer a wide selection, from really basic to top-quality packages featuring excellent reels by Penn, Shimano and others. All you have to do to start fishing is wind line onto the spool and add your choice of terminal tackle.
A fishfinder allows you to see a graphic representation of what’s beneath your fishing kayak, so you can identify fish. To choose a fishfinder, consider the type of unit—whether it includes GPS or not, the size of the fishfinder’s footprint, the resolution of the display, how much transmitting power you need and what frequencies will work best in the inland or coastal environments where you fish.
Installing a Lowrance Fishfinder on a West Marine Kayak
Mike Montgomery shows us a clean and simple way to install a Lowrance Elite-5 TI fishfinder/chartplotter combo on a West Marine Pompano kayak. The installation took about four hours, and we had a working Elite-5 TI at the end of the afternoon.
Outfit Yourself for Kayak Fishing
Wearing a fishing life jacket for your safety is a given. What else should you wear if you’re planning an all-day fishing trip? Sun protective clothing. In addition to long or short sleeve shirts, we offer hats, neck gaiters, shorts and pants that provide UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings of 30 to 50+. That means they absorb or block UVA and UVB radiation from the sun that not only causes skin damage and premature aging, but increases your risk of skin cancer. This is equally important on cloudy days when most of the sun’s rays still pass through the clouds. You’ll also want to apply (and re-apply as directed) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more to any skin not covered by your clothing. A good pair of sunglasses will also protect your eyes from damaging UV radiation and improve visibility and comfort by filtering out glare.