10 Saltwater Kayak Fishing Tips You Haven't Heard Before
10 Saltwater Kayak Fishing Tips You Haven't Heard Before
The open water, a trusty kayak, and the promise of a great catch? You need to get on these saltwater kayak fishing tips. Here's to your next adventure.
Saltwater kayak fishing isn't for everyone.
Just ask pro golfers, Jordan Spieth and Smylie Kaufman. If you haven't seen the videos, (don't worry, we won't spoil it for you) you're in for
Now, you're probably thinking, "That looks fun. Bet I could do better than these guys." And if you're not exactly a fishing noob, we're sure you'll get the hang of kayak fishing in no time.
Still, no matter how experienced you are as an angler, if you haven't tried fishing in a yak before, doing a bit of research can go a long way in keeping you safe and improving your catch rate.
And even if you're an old hand at this, hopefully, you'll still learn a thing or two from the following tips.
Choose a good paddle.
If your saltwater kayak fishing gameplan is to invest on a good kayak and skimp on everything else, we're here to tell you that you should buy a good paddle instead.
Veteran kayak anglers know that you can always upgrade your yak should you decide to take this seriously. But a good paddle will help you from day one.
Remember, you're going to be doing a lot of paddling when you're out to sea. If you use a generic paddle, your arms can tire easily and you could get blisters on your hand, too.
The best paddles are usually lightweight with asymmetric blades, built for maximum speed and efficiency. You should buy a paddle leash as well so that even if you fall off, you're not literally up the creek without a paddle.
Bring a buddy.
One of the best things about kayak fishing is that you can go at it alone, which is perfect if you find people annoying. You're a one-man wolf pack. We get it.
But if you're a kayak fishing newbie, consider going with a friend or someone who has some experience. The sea could be an unforgiving mistress. Have your best bud around for safety reasons.
You've been paddling for what seems like hours. You're tired. You haven't caught any fish.
It's okay. These things happen to the best kayak anglers.
The worst thing that could happen, though, is to be out there and be thirsty as hell.
So bring plenty of liquids, especially on a windy day. Bring some for your buddy, too, in case their water supply runs out.
Right smack in the middle of a storm is something every saltwater kayak fishing enthusiast tries to avoid.
And even if it's just a little rain, you should still carry a weather radio and your rain gear, of course.
Or you know if the weather forecast doesn't bode well for fishing of any kind, just sit it out at home and try another day. It's hard enough outrunning a nasty storm in a powerboat, how much more in a kayak.
Get your gear on.
We're not just talking about fish handling gear such as pliers, line cutters, fish grips, and so on.
Your safety gear is what's most important, regardless of the type of fishing you want to do.
This includes a Personal Flotation Device, preferably with pockets for your lures, radio, whistle, etc. You should also bring flares, gloves, headlamp, and a basic first aid kit.
Hey, just because you're a dude doesn't mean you shouldn't take care of your skin.
As you know, the sun is your skin's worst enemy. Plus, it can also damage your yak so really, the sun's kind of a jerk and you have to take precautions against it.
For your kayak, there's little you can do except store it under cover. But for your skin, there's plenty you can do to protect it such as a generous application of sunscreen and wearing a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeve fishing shirts, and polarized sunglasses.
Keep your selfie game strong.
Okay, selfies are optional but surely your saltwater kayak fishing catch deserves an Instagram post (or several if we're honest here).
Your cell phone can do the job but a waterproof camera's better. Cell phones, you see, have a tendency to drop in the water at the most inconvenient times.
So don't be the angler who boasts about his or her trophy fish without any proof to back it up. Keep your selfie game strong and your kayak fishing skills stronger.
Always have a float plan.
A float plan lets your loved ones know where you are going and when you expect to return. You can leave a copy of your float plan with a friend, your saltwater kayak fishing club, or your marina.
It should also include a description of your kayak, who is on board (you + a buddy, for example), and what safety equipment you are carrying.
The person holding your float plan can then alert the Coast Guard if you do not return within the time stated in the plan. You can buy pre-printed float plans at some boating supply stores or download one from the net.
From anchors to push pins to power poles and pulley systems, there are many options that will help you hold your ground while you're kayak fishing.
You'll need these in case a large fish decides to wrestle with you and pull you off your yak or when the wind wants to make your day harder (because you're not paddling hard enough, apparently).
Love your yak.
Unfortunately, your kayak's not impervious to saltwater. So you need to rinse it in fresh water after every use. You can also spray it with a water repellent lubricant.
Other ways to handle your kayak with care is to use a trolley when moving it around the shore, and using ratchet straps to secure your yak to your vehicle's roof rack.
If trolleys aren't your thing and you plan to lift your kayak everywhere, make sure you buy some molded in straps, toggles, and carry points to spread the load evenly and avoid distorting the yak.
Need more saltwater kayak fishing advice? Check out Cory's Routh's Kayak Fishing The Complete Guide, available here.