Meet your kayak fishing goals with these tips
One of the coolest things about fishing from a kayak is the few boundaries in this sport. Want to catch blue marlin from a kayak? People have done it. Want to fish in a deep woods swamp that few people have ever laid eyes on? Seen it done on YouTube.
Go to Boat Demos
Demo days on the water and local kayak festivals give you the opportunity to get on the water in different kayaks. This helps you learn about features and types of kayaks from professional kayakers, and helps you start planning your next boat.
This might be a no-brainer, but you can get some good ideas and information from the thousands of content creators out there who live to shoot fishing videos from their kayaks. From scouting out locations to fish to gear, tackle, and bait selection, someone has probably shot a YouTube video about it. (You might even see a couple of mine out there). You can also get a lot of ideas of what not to do.
Enter a Tournament
Even if you are a novice angler, you can learn a lot about kayak fishing in general and specific information about the species of fish you’re competing for by fishing against others in a tournament. Go in with the intent to learn and pay attention to what’s going on around you. Most tight-lipped competitors usually loosen up quite a bit after the fact.
Join a Club
Joining a club is about engaging in discussions, experiences, and having other like-minded people show you the ropes so you can learn from their mistakes without making them yourself.
Go to Trade Shows
The months of December through March are generally what’s considered to be trade show season, with the notable exception of ICAST which typically is held during the summer. Nearly every professional kayak angler spends lots of time in tradeshow halls talking to consumers. These folks are standing there, not only to tell you what’s good about the products that sponsor them, but to talk kayak fishing in general. If you happen to come across the name of someone you admire, check their personal website, blog, or social media site for when they might be somewhere close to you and go talk to them in person.
Listen to Podcasts
Like the YouTube set, tons of anglers are out there talking about every aspect of kayak fishing.
Do you really need it?
Novice kayak angler or seasoned veteran, no one is immune to the “what if” bug. It lights on your shoulder during pre-trip planning and infects you with fears of what might happen, causing you to overburden yourself with unnecessary gear to ward off the threat of the unknown. The cure is to get real about your gear and ditch what you don’t need or can feasibly do without.
Nets – Some kayak anglers believe that nets are just another thing to tangle in or lose. Those anglers enjoy the challenges of landing any and all fish into the kayak without the comfort of the net. Most of the time the fish gets landed, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s all part of the challenge.
Hard-sided plastic coolers – Despite the coolness hype of some big-name coolers, these items tend to take up too much space and create a big flat surface that catches wind and makes it hard to position the boat.
Lures – Most anglers only use half of what they take out with them. Try to pare them down, but lures are like a gun. It’s better to have it and not need it…than need it and not have it.
Too many rods – Apparently, nobody wants to re-tie and use the same rod twice. Taking more rods can be just more to mess with when you can get by with less.
Scales or other measuring device (unless fishing in a tournament). From a conservation perspective, consider forgetting about weighing and measuring every fish. It puts too much stress on them. Get that quick picture and release those fish for a future battle.