7 Kayak Fishing Tips for Beginners (2023): Stay Safe and Catch the Big One

7 Kayak Fishing Tips for Beginners (2023): Stay Safe and Catch the Big One

7 Kayak Fishing Tips for Beginners (2023): Stay Safe and Catch the Big One

Few things are as satisfying as catching big fish while paddling on beautiful waters.

That said, many beginner anglers go unprepared and suffer the consequences.

If you want to make your kayak fishing trips enjoyable, just keep reading.

(P.S. Joining a fishing club would also be a great idea! But you’ve probably thought about that already)

1. Choosing the Best Fishing Kayak

It might sound obvious…

But many beginner anglers don’t take enough time to consider their options - and end up regretting it.

How to choose the best fishing kayak?

Well, first of all, we recommend picking the most stable fishing kayak you can afford. The truth is that for kayak fishing, speed isn’t nearly as important as stability.

Not only will you be able to stand and cast… but for big guys, stability is paramount if you don’t want to tip or fall overboard.

2. Practice One-Hand Kayaking (and Fishing!)

True - sometimes you’ll be able to fish while staying stationary.

But if you speak to kayak anglers, you’ll notice that more often than not, you have to chase the fish.

Unless you have a pedal kayak, this means learning how to paddle with one hand (and reel in with the other hand).

Good to know: this can also help you avoid obstacles as you know fish tend to draw you under bridges, around seaweeds, etc.

3. Casting Sideways Or in Front?

While it might be tempting to throw your line on the side, this is actually a terrible idea…

Not only can you fall overboard, but you’ll also struggle to reel in the fish.

What to do then?

Well, as you might have guessed… You should throw your line in front of you. This way, you’ll go in the same direction as the fish trying to escape. This will give you more power and stability.

A simple trick, but one that many beginners overlook.

4. Do You Need Special Fishing Gear?

By “special” fishing gear, we mean electronics like a fish finder, a GPS, rod holders…

And the truth is - you don’t need any of these to catch big fish.

But they do help a lot.

In our opinion, if you don’t have a big budget, invest in rod holders first and foremost. They make life so much easier.

Then, a fish finder is a good option - especially if you fish in murky waters.

The GPS comes last unless you’re paddling in a big lake where you could get lost easily.

5. Clothing and Safety Equipment

I know, I know… nobody wants to be patronized.

That’s why I won’t tell you that you must wear a life jacket.

But truth be told, you should strongly consider it. (Especially considering 80%+ of drownings are due to a lack of PFD or life jacket).

When it comes to fishing specifically, you’ll need to wear either waterproof boots or sandals (depending on how hot it gets).

Since you’ll probably be using a sit-on-top kayak, you’ll be exposed to the elements.

And yes - it does get pretty wet.

(Don’t forget waterproof pants if your kayak seat is low - I guarantee you’d have a wet bum otherwise).

And of course, be prepared if you plan to go kayak camping.

6. Don’t Underestimate the Wind

This is a very important tip - so please pay attention.

If the wind is above 10 knots, we recommend staying very close to your starting point. More than that, try to start with a headwind so you’ll have a tailwind on your way back.

Two things happen with the wind while kayaking:

  1. A headwind obviously slows you down - and that will be especially hard on the way back as you won’t have much strength left.
  2. It’s hard to go straight. If you don’t have a rudder, or if your rudder isn’t very good (which happens on most cheap fishing kayaks), you’ll have a tough time going straight. Most beginners end up going in circles, which is a real nightmare. (Not to mention the risk of getting a serious injury)

That’s why you should always check the weather before you go out - and err on the safer side.


7. Take It Slow

I know, you’re excited and you just want to catch the big fish right away.

But if I were you, I’d take it slow at first. Go to lakes or ponds that you already know, and plan simple itineraries.

If you’re a beginner, you might even want to get a trolling motor to cover long distances without too much effort.

In any case, just remember that you’re in this for the long run - and going slowly will help you build strength and confidence.

Kayak Fishing Tips for Beginners - Wrapping Up

Kayak fishing is a lot of fun once you know what you’re doing.

If you’re a beginner, remember to pick the right kayak for you, practice one-hand kayaking, and get the proper clothing and safety gear.

Then, you can dazzle all your friends on Instagram with your big catch.

How does that sound?