Kayak Fishing For Beginners: 10 Tips You Must Not Miss

Kayak fishing is a growing sport with kayak manufacturers now offering boats specifically for kayak fishing. Although kayaking and kayak fishing are two separate sports, they share many commonalities. With its relatively short history, modern-day kayak fishing has developed into a very productive method of catching fish. So no wonder so many people want to start doing it!

Kayaks also provide the opportunity to fish in areas that traditional boats cannot reach or access easily. It is possible to fish in shallow waters where other types of vessels cannot go. Another benefit of kayaks is their ability to quietly approach your prey without spooking them before you get there. There are also certain techniques that can be used when kayaking, such as “stand up paddle fishing” which allows kayakers to stand up and fish from the comfort of their boat. In this article we will discuss kayak fishing for beginners, so you can get started.

If you are interested in kayak fishing, here are my kayak fishing tips for beginners that will help!

1. Choosing a Kayak: Kayak Fishing for Beginners

This is the first and probably hardest part of kayak fishing for beginners.

There are many options when it comes to kayaks. These boats can be made of plastic, composite materials, or fiberglass – depending on the materials used what sort of kayak is best for you. The kayaks can also come with different types of seats and storage compartments which all affect how long out on the water you’ll go before needing a break. Kayaks should be able to fit your height, weight, and activity level. So if kayaking is something that you will do more often, it’s worth buying the right kayak rather than getting something too cheap or a kayak that doesn’t fit your particular needs.

The type of kayak you get depends on your activity level. If you are kayaking mostly around a lake, a recreational kayak is typically fine. This type of boat usually has a flat bottom and a wider midsection which might make it harder to maneuver especially in rough water but they are stable for new paddlers. There are also the touring kayaks that have more defined scuppers or drain plugs that allow water to flow out of the hull easier if you’re going through white-capped waters. Kayakers who want speed will often use a sit-on-top kayak because these types of boats don’t contain installed seats, instead of having an open-molded hull for easy access and reduced weight.

Kayak Fishing For Beginners Man Example
Kayak Fishing for beginners doesn’t have to be hard!

Kayaks come in a variety of materials including plastic, fiberglass, and kevlar or carbon-fiber/organic kayaks such as those created from roto-molding. Carbon-fiber kayaks are the lightest and the most expensive kayaking option. They also typically last longer than other kayak choices which is another factor to consider if you kayak frequently and on choppy waters that can quickly damage your kayak with their constant impact. Kayakers will often kayak more often during the spring and summer months so it’s important to plan for the hours you’ll be spending on the water by choosing a type of kayaking material that can withstand heavy use without wearing out easily.

The length of kayaking trips you’ll be taking is another factor to consider. If kayakers are kayak fishing and choose carbon-fiber kayaks, they will want to avoid kayaking long distances or on choppy water often as it tends to cause more damage than kayaks made from plastic, fiberglass, or wood. Kayakers who plan on kayak camping might prefer a heavier material such as plastic if their kayak camping destination is far from any sort of civilization as kayaking back to shore with a damaged kayak can take even longer which increases the risk of being stranded in the wilderness overnight or longer without food or shelter.

Kayakers should consider how much weight they’ll be carrying when buying a kayak. Most kayaks have a specific weight limit

2. Gear

The second part of kayak fishing for beginners is getting some gear!

There is a variety of gear you should consider bringing on a kayak voyage. One kayaker’s list for kayaking gear might be vastly different than another kayaker’s list, but this is a basic kayaking checklist to get you started kayak fishing.

Personal floatation device (PFD)

It may seem silly to have specific kayaking equipment that isn’t related to kayaking or fishing, but your life is worth it. This item alone could save your life and should never be forgotten. If kayak fishing long distances from the shore make sure you bring more than one PFD with you as jams or capsizes can happen quickly and now only do you risk yourself, but those around you.

Girl Walking
Stay Safe


Sun and heat exposure will quickly dehydrate your body, so be very sure to bring a full water bottle to keep yourself refreshed.


Again, kayak fishing can be quite the workout. Be sure to bring some snacks like protein bars or fruit to keep yourself energized while kayak fishing.

Suntan Lotion

Sunshine is often forgotten when kayaking, but it’s very important that you protect your skin from damage with sunscreen or kayaking clothes that have built-in UV protection.


Protection from the sun is a given, but this also helps to keep you cool on hot days by giving shade and venting moisture which allows for better kayak fishing experiences overall. A hat will not only help kayak fishing more enjoyable but will also protect you from harmful rays. There are many choices of hats out there including a bucket hat, baseball cap, etc.


On top of protecting your body and head, it’s vital to also shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

Fishing Rod

Make sure to purchase a quality rod that won’t break easily. A rod-like this might be on the more expensive side, but it’ll be very much worth it in the end.


Adding bait to the hook of your rod will make it easier to attract and catch fish. If you are interested in finding out how to choose bait check out this great resource.

3. Safety

Safety is super important for beginners!

Above all, safety should always be the primary focus for kayak fishing. One of the most important kayak fishing safety tips is to check the weather before planning a kayaking trip. If there’s a chance of bad weather, reschedule or kayak at another time.

4. Where to Go Kayaking

Fourth on the list is something necessary forkayak fishing for beginners: location!

Kayaking is beautiful no matter where you go. However, some places are better than others depending on what kind of fish you’re trying to catch. For shrimp, rivers tend to be a favorable location. Saltwater kayak fishing is best in coastal areas. Lakes may provide a good environment for catching bass or other freshwater fish, but kayaking into the ocean is right for catching larger ocean-native fish such as marlin and tuna.

So do your research and find the best spots and fish for you!

Kayak fishing two people

5. How to Purchase Gear

Related to number 2, how to go about buying your gear is important!

A variety of means are available for you to purchase a kayak and gear. For kayaks, you can either choose to buy new equipment or used kayaks. Buying kayaks used can be a great way to save money. You should also take into account what kind of kayak you want to have. Single-person kayaks are easier to maneuver and good for beginners, while tandem kayaks provide more stability and room for storage.

6. How Much Kayaking Costs

Kayak fishing does not have to be costly if done correctly. To start off, you will need a kayak, paddle, life jacket, etc., but other than that it’s only necessary to pay for gas when transporting your kayak via your car or truck. Fishermen who fish in rivers will need an electric motor because paddle kayaks are not meant for kayak fishing in moving water. If kayak fishing properly, it is very inexpensive and saves money on gas too! Some kayak fishermen will kayak fish exclusively because they get gasoline rewards from their grocery store, which may make kayaking entirely free with some careful planning.

7. How to Paddle

If you choose not to use a motor, learning to paddle is an extremely necessary skill for navigating through bodies of water. Learning kayak paddling techniques can be confusing for beginners, but kayaking is one of the most popular means of fishing around the world.

Kayak fishing for beginners paddle advice
Hopefully you’re enjoying my article on kayak fishing for beginners

Paddling Techniques

First, kayakers should keep their kayaks parallel with the water’s surface. When kayak fishing, kayakers do not want to create waves that will make noise and scare fish away. Kayakers should hold their paddle on one side of their kayak using a longer part of the blade in order to avoid splashing. Keep your kayaking arm relaxed when paddling. Press on the edge of your kayak’s shaft if you are having trouble commencing or stopping your kayak from moving forward while paddling.

Paddle Leash Safety

Kayaker safety requires kayaks to have a paddle leash for emergencies and kayaks must not exceed capacity when transporting personal items such as phones and wallets. Kayakers should also remember to take water and sunscreen when kayaking.

Choosing the Right Paddle

You should choose the right paddle size, and shape for kayak fishing. If you aren’t really familiar with kayak fishing paddles or proper length and sizing, check out our paddle article.

8. Casting

Before kayak fishing, kayakers should place a kayak reel or rod holder in their kayaks.

Kayak fishing requires kayakers to cast using an accurate yet gentle motion. The kayak fisherman should use the side of his body facing the lure when casting to avoid splashing water onto the kayak’s deck.

Kayakers need to re-cast frequently in order to maintain line tension and prevent line sag near obstacles such as branches.

Kayak Fishing is gonna take some gear!

9. Rigging

Learning to rig your kayak is crucial to kayak fishing.

Kayakers should first secure the kayak onto their kayaks, then slide the kayak reel into its holder.

Kayakers must attach a lure to a kayak hook by sliding it in from below and using pliers to firmly grip the line after insertion. Kayakers should use care not to cut or fray a fishing line while preparing a lure.

10. Landing A Fish: Kayak Fishing for Beginners

A kayaker should never attempt to land a large fish without assistance from another person. A kayaker can maneuver his kayak, allowing for improved stability when landing larger fish.

Once the fish is in reach of both sides of the kayak, kayakers can lift the line over the kayak’s kayak hook to prevent the kayak reel from spinning.

Using the kayak paddle, kayakers should attempt to steer fish towards shallow water before attempting to land it. Kayakers can then use netting to complete this process.

Once kayakers have landed a sizable catch, they should revive the fish by splashing water onto its gills until it can swim on its own.

Kayakers should release smaller fish out of the kayaks to prevent them from becoming stressed or injured before taking an adequate picture and safely releasing them back into their natural habitat.

Conclusion Kayak Fishing For Beginners

Many people assume they need years of experience before trying out kayaking; however, it is actually very easy to get started kayaking. Beginner kayakers only require one or two lessons in order to be proficient enough for a kayak fishing voyage. Thus, if you are truly interested in kayak fishing, look no further than starting today.

I hope you thoroughly enjoyed my article on kayak fishing for beginners.

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