Keep your Tackle Basic for Kayak Fishing

By John Williams

[dropcap]B[/dropcap]ecause kayaks have the advantage of stealth, multiple trunks of tackle are simply not necessary to bring along on your kayak fishing adventures. For summer saltwater fishing, I recommend bringing three rods.

The first rod is rigged with a one-quarter ounce jig-head and either a purple with chartreuse tail cocahoe or a glow with chartreuse cocahoe. In a pocket keep a simple two-inch slotted popping cork. This gives you the ability to fish a tight line (no cork) and then clip on a cork if you feel you need the extra noise to attract fish. Along with the two plastics mentioned above, bring a pack of three-inch Gulp Pogy (usually in white) and a pack of three-inch Gulp Shrimp (I like Nuclear Chicken).

The second rod is rigged with a spinnerbait. The spinnerbait gives you something to test out whether the fish are looking for something with more flash and action than the subtle plastic presentation. Use a larger blade with a lighter jig-head if you are fishing in shallow water to allow the bait to stay closer to the surface. If this is a Speckled trout fishing trip, rig your second rod with a suspending lure instead of the spinnerbait. This would be a lure like a Corky, a Maniac Mullet, a Crazy Croaker or even a Rat-L-Trap.

The third rod is rigged with a topwater lure. Favorites include the Super Spook Junior and any type of topwater popper. I lean towards the popper if I am in shallower waters where the fish are spookier—or if the main forage in the water at that time of the year is shrimp over minnows.

This three-rod approach gives you the ability to fish all levels of the water column, so try to establish a x-article-4-kayak fishing vest.jpg-2pattern of what the fish want to bite on. It’s important to stick with each approach for enough time to see which is going to work best. Over time you will gain experience in predicting which approach is most likely to work. Keep these basic ideas in mind:

The dirtier the water is, the more you may need to depend on sound, scent and flash to let the fish know the bait is there. The skinnier the water is, the more you need to move to a more stealthy and quiet presentation to avoid spooking everything. The cleaner the water is, the more you need to move towards a natural look on your bait.

Good luck everyone!