How To Outfit a Kayak for Fishing

Kayaking

Written by David Myers

October 31, 2019
kayaking with doggo

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Kayaks provide great mobility for fishing and outfitting your kayak for this purpose need not be complicated. There are a few aspects of your set-up to consider for your safety and enjoyment of kayak fishing:-

Fishing rod holders

Secure rods are crucial to your ability to paddle around. Fixed rod holders can free up some space when it comes to storage options. However, some rod holders such as those located behind the seat can make rods hard to reach. Specific docks can be strategically located on deck or mounted along a track which allows for easy re-positioning.

Fishing equipment and storage

Fishing tools and other gear must be kept out of the way but within easy reach. De-hooking pliers etc. can be kept in a track-mounted gear pouch while other tackle can be kept in a compact tackle bag secured by deck rigging.

This may include a fish-finder with GPS if you are exploring somewhere new; a compass as a back-up to your GPS device; a knife; a headlamp; a fishgripper; a hook kit and your lure boxes. Don’t forget the fish stringer.

Should an emergency situation arise, you could also consider taking: a first aid kit; a small lantern or flashlight; an air horn or whistle to make a distress signal and a handheld radio that you can signal from. Keep it all together in one place for ease of accessibility.

If you wish to catch and keep your fish, you will need a measuring board and live bait cooler (some of which have built-in aerators) secured with deck rigging. You can also install an action camera such as GoPro in a waterproof case on an adjustable mount to record your adventures. There may be plenty more fish in the river, but you will also need a net!

Paddle holders and leashes

Some kayaks include paddle clips and leashes, ensuring that your paddle doesn’t get in the way of your casting. Having a paddle holder along the side of the kayak (or even better with a bungeed design) also keeps the paddle within easy reach.

To ensure that you don’t get stuck up a creek, you will also need a paddle leash to attach the paddle to the boat so it doesn’t fall into the water.

Anchor system

You can also use an anchor which can be deployed along with an anchor trolley system to help keep your kayak at just the right angle to the current and wind leaving you ‘hands free’. By having an anchor you can stay in a particular area without needing to manoeuvre your kayak.

On a final note, safety should be your top priority. Kayaks are small vessels that can easily tip over. Remember to organise your supplies and consider the weight distribution on board- keep your supplies crate opposite your catch storage for example. And always wear your life vest or personal flotation device (PFD).

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