You’ve just completed your kayaking lessons, bought your first kayak, and packed your favorite rod and reel. Or maybe the idea of a little crustacean fishing excites you, and you’re loading up your crab pots for some deep water adventure.
So what other kayak fishing gear should you bring along?
You’ve just checked out the websites and visited your local sporting goods store, and the options are overwhelming. They offer everything from simple rod holders to GPS systems and sonar fish finders. How much, you begin to wonder, is really necessary?
Obviously, one of your first considerations will be the paddle. There are two basic designs; the bent shaft and the straight shaft. The bent shaft is best for those who have weak wrists or difficulties with flexing them.
However, if you have issues with other parts of your body, such as the forearms and shoulders, prolonged use with a bent shaft can increase pain.
A straight shaft will have more flex than a bent shaft, allowing more energy to pass through the rotation of the paddle, with less overall physical strain. If you have good wrist action, it’s generally best to stick with a straight shaft.
The clothing you choose is highly dependent on the climate and weather conditions, but one thing is certain. It doesn’t matter if you are fishing in a cold climate or in the sunny regions of Florida, any exposed skin is bound to get sunburned.
Head cover and sunglasses are always advisable. When out in the heat, a billed cap is generally the favored head gear of the average fisherman, although some prefer a floppy hat that affords more overall head shade.
Because rainstorms can be sudden and unpredictable, especially in coastal areas, a cardinal rule for any wise fisherman or fisher-woman is to carry along a rain slicker, just in case.
Aerosol spray sun block is more desired than cream lotions, as the smell from cream products while handling your hooks could potentially drive away the fish you’re trying to catch.
The biggest problem when it comes to kayak fishing is the legs and feet. The sun is merciless with them. Conversely, your feet and legs get cold in cooler environments.
Veteran kayakers recommend wearing lightweight waders or paddle pants (otherwise known as kayak pants). If you begin to feel a little hot, just splash water on them and you’ll cool right down.
For the feet it is recommended to use kayak shoes or water shoes. Regular sneakers or shoes are going to be a problem in terms of drying, and comfort.
Kayak Safety Gear:
Safety comes with a few essential requirements. Always bring:
- First aid kit
- Life jacket
- Compass or GPS system
- Food and water
- A gaff or net
- Cell phone
Put all these items in a in a dry bag.
Never overlook safety leashes, especially for your rod and paddle.
Essential gear includes:
- Tackle box or bait tank
- A good, secured cooler to keep your fish.
Everything you carry with you should be battened down. If you lose your rod or paddle, your fishing adventure is over.
Kayak Fishing Gear Convenience Items:
Beyond these basics, there are a few convenience items. If you want to get a few extra miles in on an expansive lake, a river or for some deep-water fishing, there are trolling motors especially designed for kayaks.
A word of caution: Most states will require that you register your kayak if you have a motor for it.
Another popular item is a fish finder. It literally takes the guesswork out of finding fish. Nearly all fish finders work by using an electronic impulse that creates a sound wave. When this sound wave hits an object, it transmits back to the original source, and then shows its results on a screen.
The device calculates the distance to the object by using the amount of time between the sound wave leaving the unit and returning.
Depending on how good the fish finder is, it will show you the size of the fish and even the surrounding vegetation.
There are basically two different types of fish finders; single frequency and dual frequency finders:
- Single frequency devices are much better suited for lake fishing, or fishing in shallow coastal areas.
- Dual frequency fish finders also referred to as dual beam are more suitable for deep-sea fishing. The transducers on these models limit the size of the beam of sound lowering the frequency.
If you are in bear country, should you bring along bear spray? This is a debatable issue that hasn’t really been resolved. There is no guarantee that spraying a stinging liquid into the face of a bear will make him anything but angry.
One thing bears don’t like is a lot of noise. For this reason, carrying along a whistle with a high, piercing sound is probably the best way to discourage encroaching bears.
In bear country, don’t leave your fish dangling from a stringer. Fish is a bear’s favorite food.
Put your catch immediately into your cooler, and close the lid down tight, keeping the tempting scent down to a minimum. This includes all your food supplies. When you’re not eating, keep all your foods tightly sealed.
If you are deep-water fishing, you might wish to consider an anchor for a little stationary fishing.
The anchor rope should be twice the length of the expected depth.
Although anglers caution against allowing an anchor to drag on the bottom for ocean fishing, they are often used in fresh water.
A mushroom anchor has the least chance of getting snagged or wedged in rocks, but there is always the possibility. If this happens, use your knife to cut the anchor loose, or fasten your anchor rope to the kayak with a carabiner.
Last but not least, what is the best way to carry your kayak?
Along with carts, there are also simple strap assembled kayak carriers. Just strap it to your shoulder and you’re off to a wonderful day of fishing and adventure.