How To Get Started Kayak Fishing

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Let’s play the dream game of kayak fishing.

Close your eyes…that’s a little too tight…there you go.

You are standing on the beach, on the bay, sand between your toes, gentle breeze in your face, rod in your hand, and fish jumping all around whispering to you, “feed me.”

You make that first cast. Short.

You make that second cast. Short again.

The fish are screaming at you now, “FEED ME, FEED ME!”

You muster all your strength and let that lure fly high into the air.

A perfect angle!

The line peels off the reel as the lure soars, and at last…still short.

Oh the horror!

As you peel your face out of your hands, you see an angler with a bent rod standing on 80 thousand reasons why you didn’t catch that fish.  One reason for each dollar invested in the boat allowing access to those fish just out of your reach.

Now stop snoring! This wasn’t a good dream.

Someday, that may be your boat.  Someday, that may be you standing on that front deck doubled over fighting that 9 lb. redfish, but today, we need to figure out how to get off the shore, across the channel, and into the magic waters where dreams are made.

Cue the knight in shining armor…err…I mean…bring in the kayak!

Have you considered this? Even thought about it?  Looked at prices?

Kayak fishing is one of the fastest growing sports right now.  Saltwater, freshwater, brackish water, bathwater…well maybe not bathwater…are all being filled with anglers floating their way to new fishing grounds.

The Texas bays are made for kayakers.  There are plenty of cuts to get out of the wind, launch locations close to great fishing, and plenty of shallow water you can’t access in a boat. You may just be tired of a bumpy boat ride.  A kayak can be launched from any public location where you can legally get a vehicle, so look at a map, and I bet you can find a launch location close to your secret honey hole.

Determine which kayak is best for you.  For fishing, a sit-on-top kayak is preferred by most kayak anglers.  However, you don’t have to start this way.  A sit-inside kayak is perfectly acceptable for fishing.  Check for rod holders; they could be useful.

Kayaks don’t have to be expensive either.  You can find a used kayak for around $100 and up.  We aren’t doing fancy yet, remember.  Feel free to spend upwards of $4K, but right now we are focused on floating away from the bank while leaving the money in there.

One of the beauties of fishing the Texas bays is you don’t have to bring every rod in the garage. Want to do it on a shoe-string budget? Bring two rod and reel combos that you know how to cast well.

Rod #1:  1/8 – 1/4 oz.  Jighead with a Berkley Gulp or really any paddletail soft plastic, and bounce it around the flats.

Rod #2:  Top water.  Walk-the-dog style or a whopper plopper.  If you have no clue what I’m talking about, then tie on a gold spoon and start casting.

This will get you started on what could potentially turn into a fishing addiction.  It’s up to you to learn and adjust.  It’ll come.  Just be patient and enjoy the freedom of the open water.

A few things to consider when planning your kayak trip:

  • Wind speed and direction. Find an area with as much wind protection as possible.  If the weatherman says 10 mph, plan for 20 mph.
  • Float plan.Plan your trip.  Tell someone where you are fishing.  Always start out paddling into the wind, so you can use the wind to push you back later in the day when you are tired.
  • Life jacket.Please, please, please wear your life jacket.  You never know, a manatee could flip you over.  Stranger things have happened.
  • Don’t try to paddle across the Atlantic on your first trip out.  Learn the abilities of your vessel.  Learn your abilities.  Take breaks. Pack plenty of food and water because you will be burning calories and sweating.

Next time you dream of the fish taunting you with, “feed me, feed me,” you will be right there to answer the call.  Give kayaking a try, and let your adventures take you to new places.


Keep your hooks sharp.

Cody Prather

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