Every year, more and more people on fishing trips are discovering the joys of kayak fishing. The sport has been gaining in popularity as fishermen increasingly realize the many benefits of forgoing the more traditional approach of gas-powered boats to instead use man-powered kayaks. This has prompted a number of innovations in kayak manufacturing to facilitate fishing from these small single-user crafts.
Benefits of Kayak Fishing Trips
Kayak fishing is particularly appealing to those whose fishing trips involve freshwater fishing on lakes and other inland bodies of water. Paddling, as opposed to motorized boating, offers a more active venture out onto the water, providing low-impact exercise. Alternatively, kayaks operated by foot pedals are an example of the changing models built specifically for fishing; such hands-free operation still provides physical activity, but also permits use of the hands for tending to the pole.
While on one hand kayak fishing trips provide a bit more exercise, they also make for a more serene experience on the water. Kayaks are much quieter than motorized boats, which means a more peaceful outing and less disturbance of the fish awaiting beneath the surface. This stiller, slower, more silent, and more in-tune approach offers better communion with the natural setting.
Powerboats can’t get to all the same places kayaks can, either. Fishing trips in kayaks mean increased access to shallower waters, those accessible through narrower waterways, those with motor and wake restriction, and other harder-to-reach areas. For the intrepid fisherman, kayaking allows for a more adventurous exploration. It also opens up quieter, less crowded waters with fewer lines competing for bites.
Fishing Kayak Considerations
As with most boating and sporting equipment, there are wide ranges of quality and price in kayaks. A decent fishing kayak can be had for around $1,000, though there are plenty of suitable cheaper options and many pricier, more accommodating options as well.
A sturdy craft is important for fisherman preferring to remain dry during a struggle with a big catch. Look for models that allow for maneuvering and moving around, and possibly with bars for holding onto or leaning against. For fishermen who like to cool off by diving in at some point on the excursion, choose a model that allows for easy re-entry from the water.
Pedal-operated kayaks are certainly convenient for keeping the hands free to focus on working the pole on fishing trips. When opting for paddles, choose those made from a durable but lightweight material. Paddles that are too heavy or cumbersome take a toll on the arms, shoulders, and back after hours of use.
Perhaps nothing is more important, though, than a comfortable seat. With fishing trips generally lasting at least a few hours, considerable lower-region soreness can result from a kayak seat that’s too hard, too lumpy, or otherwise not compatible with the fisherman’s rear. However, be wary of seats that are too soft, squishy, or unsupportive, as these can lead to lower back pain and other discomfort.
For fishermen willing to spend extra on their crafts, many accessories are available to enhance the kayak fishing trip experience. For example, built-in pole rests and holders are offered on some models, while fancier gadgets like livewells, depth finders, and even electric anchors are also available from some suppliers. Consider the type of fishing and budget to determine which extras are smart buys.