Fresh Water Kayak Fishing


Even though kayak fishing has gotten popular for quiet some years, it is actually around for decades. Kayaks have been used for sports, adventures, fishing and for the purpose of transport through water. 

Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

From being a fun and challenging activity, kayak fishing is also considered an effective way to catch fish. It is also deliberated as a low cost alternative to motor boat fishing which can affect the speed with which one fish can be caught. 

The reason why kayak fishing is considered one of the best fishing sport, is because these are advanced boats with high-functioning maneuverability which allow anglers to catch big game fish. Kayak fishing is also a great technique to catch pan fish and bass in rivers and lakes.

Important Guidelines for Freshwater Kayak Fishing:

There are two types of kayak fishing; freshwater kayak fishing and saltwater kayak fishing. Here are some important guidelines for freshwater kayak fishing. If you are a beginner just starting to try the adventures of kayak fishing, or an angler looking for some kayak fishing tips, stick around. We have some amazing kayak fishing tips and techniques to add to your arsenal of fishing knowledge.

Learn Angling First:

Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

If you are an experienced angler, well and good! But if you are a fishing beginner, who want to experience with kayaks, the first thing to do is learn angling separately. You can know how to fish from a kayak, and you can only have good kayak fishing in fast waters when you have basic knowledge of angling and how to attract fish.

You can only learn basic angling techniques on quiet and smooth water surfaces and then learn how to fish in a kayak. 

And even if you are an expert angler, and don’t know kayaking, we recommend you experience kayak riding before diving in to the kayak fishing. When you learn how to control these vessels and how to balance yourself in water on these vessels, only then will you be able to learn how to attract and catch fish while riding kayaks. 

If you are a beginner with fishing and have not mastered the art of kayak riding as well, we recommend you to learn both skills separately and then try them together. It will help you maneuver your balance and catch different species of fish with expertise.

Have Suitable Necessary Equipment:

Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

In order to have a good fishing experience, you must first be prepared with all the necessary equipment. The first thing to consider while going for fishing in a kayak is what kind of water you are going kayak fishing on. As I have stated it before, kayak fishing is done on salt water and fresh water. 

There are then two types of fresh water kayaking; still water fishing and moving water fishing. There are lakes and river kayaks and there are kayaks for ponds etc.

Moving waters consist of rivers and still waters make up of ponds and other large water bodies. You need to consider beforehand where you are going kayak fishing on, as the rest of the preparations will depend on this.

When you already have an idea which type of waters you will be kayak fishing in, you will easily be able to select a suitable kayak for the fishing. There are many types of kayaks, and even though they function the same, some of them are designed for specialized purposes.

If you are going kayak fishing in moving waters, such as river kayak fishing, you will need a big and wide kayak. These kayaks are designed to allow you space to move inside the kayak with the rush of water without falling out accidently as a result of a fast wave. Wide kayaks also provide maneuverability and stability against fast currents. These kayaks have big corners so you can hold them as anchor during fast currents. 

For still water fishing, any kayak will be suitable, as these waters don’t pose very complicated conditions even in bad weathers.

These fishing kayaks also provide stability against the pull of big fish. As, when big fish put up a fight in water, you will need a stable anchor to hold on to, to avoid falling off your kayak.

Catching Fish In Moving Water:

Catching fish in moving water is an adventure for many anglers, yet when you fish bigger fish such as a large bass you will be at a risk to fall over. Bigger fish can move your kayas and even trip it over with the force they exert when they put up fight against your hook. You need to reel in carefully in fast moving waters to avoid falling and tackle the fish with expertise. 

One tip while going for moving water kayak fishing is to take a fishing net with you. A fishing net will help you land your target easily. So if you want to catch big fish in moving water, spread out a net with your kayak, it will catch any fish that passes by as your kayak moves forward. It will also save you from the effort of using a fishing rod and it will also save you from falling and your kayak from tripping over.

There are other fishing equipment which you must have on hand, in order to have a best fishing experience. Here are some of the important kayak fishing gear tips which you must know before leaving for kayak fishing:

  • Rod and reel
Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

To cast bait or lure, you will need a fishing rod and reel. This is the most important fishing equipment.

  • Baits / lures:
Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

To attract the fish. You will need to consider whether you want to use a live bait or lure for fishing. They cost different, and have different benefits. You will also need to use different types of lures or baits for fishing in different waters.

  • GPS:
Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

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Keeping a GPS handy is very important while going out for fishing. A GPS not only helps you find your destination, it also helps you find your way back.

  • Tackle box:
Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

If you are using lures, keeping a tackle box will allow you to have your fishing lures handy. As I have stated before, different water bodies require different fishing lures. Different weather conditions and different times of day will also require using different fishing lures. It is for this reason advised to have a variety of lures in the tackle box.

  • Multi-tool:
Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

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A multi-tool is a universal tool which can be used for different purposes. To have a multi=tool with you while fishing is like having a helping hand with you. These tools will help you in many functions. This is why, it is necessary to have this universal tool handy with you.

  • Very high frequency radio:
Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

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To communicate, or to use during emergency situations.

  • Snacks:
Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

Having necessary refreshment with you is very important when going fishing. This will ensure that you retain your energy when you get tired. If you get hungry during fishing, you can have these snacks. Having water bottle with you will ensure that you stay hydrated if the weather is hot.

  • Dry bags:
Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

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To keep all your equipment and other stuff dry, keeping dry bags with you is very important. You can put your clothes, your food, and other tools inside these bags.

If you want to catch small fish such as small mouth bass or trout in moving waters, you need to consider fishing at the erosion points. The erosion points are the ones where rivers changes its directions and eventually part down into smaller and slower waters. These slower waters house small fish under or around rocks.

The changing speed of water at these erosion points is prominent in small water bodies. You can even find large river walleyes in these fishing hotspots. 

Fishing In Still Water:

Fishing in still water comes with its own benefits and presents its own drawbacks. While you can have great control and stability over your kayaks and rods in still waters. You might find it difficult to find and catch fish in here, as the fish will mostly be down near the bottom or be very hard to be seen due to the stillness of the waters. Yet, this can be easily fixed with a fish finder and a fishing net. 

While kayak lake fishing, wind can move your boat and kayak in circular motions, which can be a problem. You can easily tackle this issue by paddling with one hand and cast the fishing rod with the other. This will ensure that your boat is stable and move around in a perfect pace. This will also allow you to keep your kayak at the place you want to fish.

  • Using Baits
Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

Once you reach the spot where you want to fish, you need to consider which type of fishing bait you want to use. You need to keep in mind that different water conditions, weather conditions and day timings can affect the performance of bait you are going to use. This is why you need to use a bait which works perfectly given a specific weather, water condition and day timing.

You can either use live baits, as they are easier and cheaper to get. There is also an abundance of live bait in the surroundings when you go fishing in fresh water. You can catch and use smaller bait such as minnows to rig while kayak fishing.

You can hold and keep the live baits inside containers filled with water. The kayaks have cup holders where you can place and hold these cups with stability. Using live bait produce excellent fishing results as these baits are powerful and reliable.

If you are going to use lures, you will need to have a tackle box to keep all these lures in. lures are a bit more expensive than baits yet they are easier to get on hand. 

Using live baits is beneficial as they have natural movement in the water and they work with any water conditions and day timings.

  • Using Fish Finders
Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

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When you are fishing in lakes and other still water bodies, it can be hard to find fish. Fish in these waters take the cover of still waters and keep deep inside which can make it a challenge for anglers to locate them.

Using fish finders can be really helpful in these conditions as you can have the exact location where fish are hiding. Most fish that is hiding near the surface are easier to find, yet, with these fish finders, you can even locate the fish hiding near the bottom.

  • Be Prepared For Emergency Situations
Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

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Just like going out for any road trips, vacations and camping, going out for fishing also needs you to be prepared for any emergency situations. There can be lot of situations when you will need some necessary things to come in handy during kayak fishing.

When you go out far from a shore, into the water, for kayak fishing, it is better to be prepared with all necessary equipment for any situation you might encounter out there. Fishing presents its own challenges and that is why you need to have proper clothing, boots, and other gargets.

You must dress according to the water body you are going into, rather than dressing according to the weather. This is because there can be murky waters and grassy areas where you will need extra protection from bug bites and harmful weed.

Here is a list of necessary things that you need to have in your bag pack while kayak fishing. Having these things will ensure that you have a wholesome fishing experience and are prepared for any emergency situations.

  • Marine whistle
  • Flashlights
  • First aid kit
  • Flaring signal
  • Throw rope

You must also consider the weather conditions in order to get an idea what it will be like on the water. Bad weather can cause you to face some serious push from the water waves, which can trip your kayak. 

You must keep an eye on the weather forecast of the area where you are going fishing and have a suitable kayak for fishing there.

Types Of Kayak For Fishing:

When we talk about kayak fishing, there is a special form of vessel that comes into mind. You might have heard of, or have experience with kayaks for river rafting. Yet, when we talk about fishing kayaks, they are almost a different kind of boat we are referring to.

For fishing purposes, kayaks are designed and built differently than traditional kayaks for river rafting. Even fishing kayaks have different designs which serve different purposes. So we have to be informed about these designs in order to have good kayak fishing experience.

There are two types of kayaks for fishing. Both type of kayaks serve different purposes:

Sit-In Kayaks:

Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

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These type of kayaks are deeper and have large space inside them. You can sit on these kayaks with your legs inside the kayak just like you would sit inside a boat. 

These type of kayaks provide control and stability during paddling. Sit-in kayaks are perfect for Kayak River fishing, or fishing in streams, or large lakes, where waters are rough and winds are wild.

These lake fishing kayak also have compartments in them where you can put your equipment or store your bait. These types of kayaks are easier to handle as they paddle on easily. So you will not get tired after fishing on these kayaks. 

One disadvantage of sit-in kayaks is that water can fill inside the bottom which can make the kayak heavier. You might need to drain this water from time to time.

Sit-On Kayaks:

Fresh Water Kayak Fishing

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These kayaks don’t have deep inside like sit-in kayaks. Sit-on kayaks are flat and you whole body is at an even level on the kayak while you are fishing. The sit-on kayaks are easier to release in water and you can easily get-in and out of the fishing spots with these kayaks. 

Sit-on kayaks are best for fishing in calm waters like lakes and ponds and open waters. you can easily get on these kayaks as they are not hard to sit-in. sit-on kayaks are also very comfortable and it is very easy to fish in these kayaks. These kayaks are also self-draining so you will not have to worry about accumulating water. 

A disadvantage of sit-on kayaks is that your whole body gets exposed while sitting on them. There is no protection for your legs and feet. These kayaks are heavier and have not space to keep fishing gear inside.

How To Select The Best Fishing Kayaks:

There are certain things which you need to consider before selecting a fishing kayak. The first thing that you need to keep in mind while selecting a fishing kayak is the water body where you will be fishing and the type of fish you are targeting.

Other Things To Consider In a Fishing Kayak Are:

  • Comfort:

No matter which kayak you are using, you need to make sure that it will be comfortable with the type of water body you are going to fish in. you cannot want to have a sit-on kayak in fast moving rivers, as it will just throw you off of your kayak with strong push. You also need to use a kayak which will be comfortable to sit inside.

  • Length:

The length of fishing kayaks impact the smooth navigating on water. If you are going fishing on fresh water, a medium sized fishing kayak will be perfect, yet, longer kayaks are best to sail on open waters. These kayaks also provide big space for storing your fishing gear. Yet the longer the kayaks, the harder it will be to store them. So you need to consider these facts before making the final decision. 

  • Materials:

The construction and build of a fishing kayak is a very important thing to consider when buying one. Fishing kayaks can have plastic or fiberglass construction. The materials used in the construction of a kayak effects the quality and durability of the vessel. The price of the kayak will also depend on the build and quality.


Fishing kayaks serve a purpose which is more than just transport or mobility. These fishing vessels are more productive than boats when it comes to fishing. While you go out for fishing in rivers or waters where there is grass or small corners, where your boat can have a hard time to go through, these fishing kayaks will easily provide you with a smooth passage from that narrow route. Fishing kayaks also provide stability and comfort during fishing. Not to mention, the adventure and adrenaline rush you get when fishing in moving waters such as rivers, streams and large lakes.

When you select a kayak for fishing, you get many benefits over traditional fishing styles. You can get into the heart of water where there are amazing fish species hidden, so that you have a bigger chance to catch these fish. 

There are some things that need to be considered before going out for fishing on a kayak. If you keep these things in mind, and make necessary preparations beforehand, you will have an amazing fishing experience.

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