Disclaimer: I am pretty new to kayak fishing. I don’t have all the tips and answers, but I wanted to share my journey so far and what I’ve learned when it comes to kayak fishing.
I got into kayak fishing about 3 years ago. Our son was just a newborn and we don’t have family close to watch him. I wasn’t comfortable backing and loading a boat, but I desperately still wanted to fish. My supportive husband gifted me a kayak.
Choosing a Kayak for Fishing
There are a number of different variations of fishing kayaks you can choose from. From sit-on to sit-in, peddle (peddle with your feet) to paddle (with a paddle, sometimes sold with, sometimes you must purchase separately), different chair variations (some sit higher than others, different levels of support), different options for storage (front, back, live wells), accessories (rod holders, fishfinder mounts), etc. Paddle kayaks are typically at a lower price point. Peddle kayaks can get as expensive as small boats.
Find a kayak that is right for you. If you can go into a store and try one out, do it. If you have a friend who has one, ask to borrow it. This is an investment and you want to ensure you purchase something that you are comfortable loading, unloading, and fishing with. Here are some checkpoints for you to think about when choosing a fishing kayak.
Here's what to consider when choosing a kayak
- Durability – look at reviews, do research!
- Ease of loading and unloading
- Does it have the storage I need?
- Length – will it fit on the mode of transportation I will use to take it to the lake?
- Will paddling hinder my fishing?
- What accessories are needed and what will they do to my price range? Anchor, paddle, lifejacket, fish finder, etc.
- Am I comfortable in it?
- Can I return it if it comes damaged or I find I can’t use it?
Here's my own setup
My first kayak was a sit-on, paddle, Pelican Sentinel. I enjoy the sit-on kayaks instead of the sit-in because they allow me to feel closer to the water and allow for, I believe, more range of movement. I had to purchase a paddle and then re-purchase a paddle because I forgot mine at a landing.
I have a phone holder and removable anchor and that is all that I have added to my kayak. I have no complaints about my Pelican Sentinel. I’ve been able to easily load and unload it myself. It fits in the bed of my truck just fine. It has allowed me to catch a lot of fish and experience fishing in an amazing way. This Spring I invested in a peddle kayak, a HooDoo Tempest and I am excited to get it and review it, hopefully in a later post.