Kayak Fishing: A Guide for New Anglers in 2024

kayak fishing

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There’s no comparison to attempting to catch a fish on your line. It provides a primitive surge of excitement as you struggle for survival with a wild animal that is trying to kill you.

Fishing off the beach is great, but when you’re in a kayak being towed by a ten-pound fish, that sense of adventure is multiplied a hundred times.

It’s difficult to convey the excitement and buzz you get from kayak fishing, but I encourage everyone to give it a shot.

I’ve compiled this guide to get you out on the water as quickly as possible if you’ve never fished from a kayak before. Get fishing!

Skills Required and How to Learn

Skills Required and How to Learn

Kayaking combines two distinct talents: fishing and basic boating. Each skill is considerably different from the other, with its own nuances. There’s a lot to learn at first, especially if you’ve never done either activity before.

My suggestion is to try each activity separately before attempting to mix them.

Speak with friends that participate in either one and see if you can tag along for the experience.

Even the most unskilled paddler can learn to balance a kayak and operate it within 30 minutes of guided paddling training.

In my view, fishing is the more difficult of the two talents to master, and you’ll need at least an entire day with your rod in hand. You might get the hang of casting quickly enough, but hitting and reeling in fish is uncommon.

After you’ve mastered the basics of each sport, it’s time to put them together on the water. Take it easy and stick to what you’ve been taught again. This frequently entails remaining seated and casting little casts to the side.

Keep your arms at a safe distance from the water and don’t splash about too much. New kayaking enthusiasts frequently end up going for a swim, reaching around to grab something from behind.

5 Awesome Advantages of Kayak Fishing

The craze for kayak fishing is growing, but why is it such a big deal?

Kayak fishing, on the other hand, offers several advantages over traditional bank or boat fishing, and enthusiasts are quickly enthralled. Let’s look at some of the benefits of kayak fishing in further depth:

  1. Inexpensive hobby – While the initial investment in purchasing kayak fishing equipment may be expensive, it will last a lifetime and have low to no ongoing expenses.
  2. Access difficult fishing locations – The nimble and compact kayak can explore areas that larger fishing boats or walking cannot reach.
  3. Reduced noise – By way of example, you won’t spook fish by the loud and strange sound generated by big engines.
  4. No pollution – Kayak fishing is an environmentally friendly sport if you don’t use a motor.
  5. Health and fitness – The most significant advantage of paddling is how it makes you feel while on the water. You come alive with exercise and have a deep-rooted sense of contentment playing in nature.

Must Haves for New Kayak Anglers

Must Haves for New Kayak Anglers

There is a lot of equipment necessary for kayak fishing, so I’ll be upfront with you. It’s not like going for a run where you might buy a pair of inexpensive shoes and go.

Even if you start with lower-end equipment that is geared toward novices, I estimate the overall cost of getting started to be around $1,000 (spent out below). However, this number can be higher if you buy new or lower if you purchase secondhand.

Let’s take a look at the bare minimum supplies you’ll require to get started.

  • Kayak – Kayaks come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the seas they’ll be used in and the paddling activity.

In a nutshell, fishing kayaks are available in sit-on-top and sit-in variants for flat, sluggish moving rivers and lakes and enclosed sit-in versions for seaside and tidal areas where waves may be encountered.

The kayak that is best for you will be determined by the waterways you frequent most. If you tell your local paddle shop where you intend on paddling, they will be able to suggest a suitable kayak for you.

For those new to kayaking, the easiest and most stable kayaks for flat water are sit-on-top boats with a broad and flat bottom. These are the most stable in flat water situations that novices will face. If you want to stand up and look for fish, extra wide kayaks will also allow you to do so.

Cost estimate: $500

  • Paddle – You can’t go far without your paddle, but there’s no need to spend a lot of money on one at first.

A simple paddle should suffice if your kayak has one. If not, a plastic-bladed adjustable aluminum shaft paddle is all you need.

Cost estimate: $40

Fishing Rod

  • Fishing Rod – The costs of fishing rods can vary considerably, depending on the type and quality of kayaks you’re looking at. If you speak with someone at your local tackle shop, they’ll be able to outfit you with a rod, reel, and line that are appropriate for the species you’ll be catching.

You’ll also want a modest amount of lures, although if you’re on a budget, you may skip the net.

Cost estimate: $200

  • PFD (life vest) – A Personal Flotation Device (PFD) is similar to a seat belt. You should wear it at all times when you’re on the water. Your life jacket is your most important kayak safety equipment, and it’s a necessity whether or not you’re an excellent swimmer.

Cost estimate: $80

  • Fishing License – If you’re caught fishing without a permit, you can be fined thousands of dollars and face the possibility of getting a fishing ban. It’s not worth risking it at $200 for a complete season license.

Cost estimate: $200

  • Optional Extras – Boat owners will get a lot more use out of their boat when they add fishing accessories like rod holders, fish finders, filleting stations, and refrigerators to it.

Cost estimate: $50-$5,000+

You may add as many accessories to your yurt as you want. However, don’t go crazy until you’re more experienced and know exactly what you want. And, as you’ll see below, there are several alternatives for modifying your kayak.

How to Customize Any Kayak for Fishing

Getting Tricky: How to Customize Any Kayak for Fishing

Not everyone has the funds to spend $1,000 on kayak fishing equipment. Fortunately, almost any old, beaten-up kayak or canoe can be converted for fishing. Here’s how to do it:

  • Upgrade Your Seat – When you’re driving for hours on end, one of the first upgrades I recommend is getting a well-padded seat. The back of deluxe seats frequently contain zipped compartments for more storage.
  • Additional Rod Holders – There are usually several flush-mounted rod holders built into the body of most fishing kayaks. If you don’t have a purpose-built fishing kayak, there’s nothing to worry about. Rod holders may be added simply with a little DIY knowledge.

A pair of flush-mount rod holders on each end of the top deck, or a single adjustable pole holder in the middle should enough.

  • Cool Boxes – Live bait can be kept fresh and cool inside insulated boxes. Boxes with built-in ice makers are also available. Live bait can be stored in these boxes for extended periods of time, allowing you to catch fish or other animals at their peak condition. You may even build a live well right into your box if you choose!
  • Get a Milk Crate – Milk crates are a simple storage solution. They’re particularly useful for adding extra storage and mountable vertical rod holders because there’s nothing special about them.

Installing any of the above modifications does not require a lot of money. The cost of modifying your yak is completely up to you. Here’s a great video on how to turn a standard kayak into a fishing kayak for less.

conclusion kayak fishing


Hopefully, I’ve been able to persuade another fisherman to go fishing. You now know the basic skills and equipment you’ll need, so all you have to do now is practice your trade.

If you’re not sure you’ll be able to give kayak fishing a try on your own, consider tagging along with pals, asking the guys at the tackle shop to take you out for your first time, or hiring a kayak fishing trip.

The most essential thing is to go paddling on your kayak and have a firsthand experience of how wonderful this pastime is.

Author Bio

Jamie, who recently moved from Canada to New Zealand, discovered his love for kayaking and is now on a quest to paddle all of New Zealand by kayak. Jamie has been an avid angler since he was a youngster, but it wasn’t until recently that he combined two of his greatest interests. On his blog PaddlePursuits.com, Jamie is a kayaking fishing and paddling enthusiast who promotes sharing knowledge and experiences with others.

Shane Baker

Shane Baker

My name is Shane Baker and when I am not with my family or working here I am out fishing! I caught my first fish when I was 6 – it was a trout at a stocked pond here in TX. Ever since fishing has been a passion of mine!

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