There are a lot of reasons why kayak fishing has become so popular in recent years: it’s relatively inexpensive, it’s effective and in some cases even more effective than fishing from other types of boats, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun.
As a result of its popularity, some specialized fishing yaks have been developed. I checked a new one out recently, the Hobie Mirage Pro angler 12, which is an updated, smaller version of Hobie’s original fishing yak. But whether you’re fishing from a standard sit-on-top or one of these specialized casting platforms, all kayak anglers should keep a few things in mind – here are five tips that will help you paddlers bring home the bacon.
1. One of your main advantages on a kayak is stealth; to maintain it, when you enter shallow waters, feather the paddle instead of dipping it in and out of the water. And never push off the bottom with your paddle, because this can make loud noises underwater – especially if there’s gravel or shell around.
2. Attach a leash to your paddle, even if you have a paddle holder on the yak. You can bet that between casting, reeling, and landing fish, sooner or later, you’re bound to drop it.
3. Casting from a kayak can be enough to roll it over, if you’re not careful and you shift your weight too much, too quickly. To prevent this, always keep your shoulders pointed forward and aim the kayak – not your body – in the direction you’re about to cast.
4. When landing fish, bring them right up next to the boat. Use a short-handled net and don’t try to reach out for the fish, or you could easily lose your balance end up in the drink.
5. Carry a light anchor, and use it often. Mushrooms are usually best, because if you get a Danforth or a grapnel snagged, you’ll never be able to free it with a kayak. Don’t ever hesitate to drop it because you’ll find that unless winds and currents are extremely light, you’ll spend a lot of time shifting between your paddle and your rod as you constantly attempt to re-position yourself. Fishing at anchor, on the other hand, is a lot easier than trying to maintain your position.