Tips for Your Kayak and Paddleboard Fishing

By CAM STAFF:

Here are some Kayak and SUP fishing tips to help you be successful on your next paddlesport fishing trip. Which of the two do you prefer?

-Kayak Fishing Tips-

Fishing from a kayak provides a unique freedom as you can move at your own pace and go to the areas you seek out quickly and quietly. It is also an earth friendly, inexpensive and healthy option to get out on the water and get close to your fishy friends. With everything at hands’ reach, you can sit back and enjoy catching some beauties. Here are some tips to help you catch your biggest one yet!

  1. PLAN OUT WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO FISH:
    Kayaks are great for getting into those hard to reach areas and shallow edges. Because kayaks are very adaptable and provide easy access to most areas you otherwise would not be able to reach by boat, be sure to first research an area using Google Maps if you plan to explore. Also, try talking to people in the area or check with a local bait and tackle shop. Chances are someone has good advice on where to catch fish via kayak.
  2. CHOOSE THE RIGHT KAYAK FOR YOU:
    Most areas have the option to rent kayaks, otherwise, if you plan on kayak fishing regularly, purchasing a kayak might be the right choice for you. Here are some important things to consider when renting or purchasing a kayak for fishing:
    • Comfort
    • Stability
    • Storage
    • Transportation of the Kayak
    • Where you plan to fish: Freshwater or Saltwater? Lakes, Rivers or Big Surf?
    • What kinds of fish are you looking to catch?
    Check out kayak reviews and try testing some kayaks at your local outdoors shop.
  3. KAYAK FISHING SKILLS & TECHNIQUES:
    • When kayaking, you have two things to hold onto, your paddle and fishing pole. Holding both can take some time to get the hang of, but keep practicing. Also, look into kayak rod holders or paddle straps. Have your paddle ready at all times, by laying it in your lap. Fishing in a kayak means you will constantly be on the move. Your boat position is important. Since you will be casting regularly, you will need to adjust positions and change directions.
    • One of the most difficult fishing situations is when it is very windy. Fishing upwind can be challenging. Paddling over to a raised vegetation area can be helpful when trying to keep your kayak in one place while casting. Also, an anchor or stick-it pin can be helpful to keep you in the direction you hope to be facing.
  4. YAY, YOU CAUGHT A FISH!
    Keep in mind, even a small fish can take you for a ride on your kayak. If your drag is too tight, the fish may break the line if you are not in a open water environment. If your tackle is too light, you may need to increase line capacity to allow for longer runs.

-Paddleboard Fishing Tips-

SUP Fishing is great because you are on a raised platform, which gives you a new perspective on underwater visibility. You have a great vantage point, especially when spotting fish and fighting fish. SUP’s are great for cast netting fish and catching bait. SUPs tend to be more fragile than kayaks, however they tend to be lighter and easier to transport. Here are a few tips for a successful SUP fishing adventure:

    1. BRING MINIMAL GEAR:
      A small fish can easily drag your paddleboard around. So, make sure to secure the gear you have with you by using straps and rod locking systems when you go out fishing. With less gear, you are able to better keep your balance.
    2. PLAN YOUR ENTRY AND EXIT ROUTES INTO AND OUT OF THE WATER:
      Keep in mind, launching a SUP is similar to launching a kayak in the ocean, coming back in can be a bit difficult. Always have a plan for where you want to come in with all your fishing gear and board. It’s usually best to dismount the board somewhere in the water about waist deep. Look into boards and gear that allow you to consolidate your gear easily while having hold of your SUP board.
    3. DON’T FORGET THE CAST NET AND BAIT:
      The first rule of fishing, bring bait or some way to catch it. If you are a skilled fly fisherman or if you prefer fishing with artificial bait, go for it! Otherwise, you may need to catch your own bait or buy some at your local tackle and bait shop. Buckets strapped to your SUP work great for keeping your bait fresh and can also act as a braking system when you get a good fish on. Cast nets can be found at bait and tackle shops or Walmart. Usually, an eight-foot cast net is advisable for boat use and a five-foot cast net is best for SUP use. Luckily, throwing a cast net from a SUP is an easy task to learn. Start on your knees and work your way to standing when first throwing a cast net from a SUP. Remember, to tie your cast net rope to your board when it is not in use. Watch how to throw below.
    4. BOARD PROTECTION:
      Most of the time, SUP transportation is overlooked. Look into SUP rack systems or pads. Towels in the bed of a truck will work too. It’s also advisable to get a SUP board bag and secure it to a rack system or in the bed of a truck. Be creative with board protection, the options are limitless.

 

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