Freshwater Kayak Fishing Tips

Freshwater Kayak Fishing Tips

Freshwater Kayak Fishing Tips – Kayak fishing can be challenging and fun. But most importantly, it is effective. Kayak fishing is becoming a more popular option to powered boats for anglers. These boats can target even the largest game fish and are capable of being advanced enough. They are best at fishing for popular species such as panfish and bass. This guide is for kayak anglers who are just starting kayak fishing.

Kayak fishing is a great sport!

Kayaks offer more than a simple alternative to powered boats. Kayaks have the greatest advantage of mobility. The most difficult spots to fish are often the best. Kayaks allow you to reach fishing spots that are difficult to reach from either the shore or by boat. Kayak fishing is a great way to fish remote rivers, small ponds and shallow lakes where large fish thrive.

Different types of kayaks for fishing

It is not possible to pick up any kayak and launch it into the nearest body of water. There are two types of kayaks: kayaks for fishing and kayaks for other purposes. Fishing kayaks have the features that anglers expect and need to be successful on the water. For instance, most fishing kayaks have gear compartments and rod holders that are essential for successful days on the water.

Kayak Fishing Tip #1

There is no set rule about what kayak you should use to fish. No matter what trend, choose a kayak that’s comfortable and suits your needs. You can outfit each type with kayak fishing accessories to help you catch fish.

There are two types: sit-in and stand-on kayaks.

Sit-in Kayaks

Sit-in kayaks, as the name suggests, are kayaks where your legs are below the kayak’s interior. These kayaks are great for fishing and move quickly in the water.


  • Paddling gives you more control, making it ideal for paddling in streams and rivers or rough water on larger lakes.
  • Paddling more efficiently means you will be less tired on longer fishing trips.
  • You can store your kayak fishing gear in enclosed compartments. This is ideal for overnight and day trips, as well as for fishing for multiple species.


  • Water can be taken on in difficult conditions, and must be drained.
  • It can be dangerous to capsize, so you should know how to safely make a wet exit.

Sit-on Kayaks

Sit-on kayaks work best for calm following rivers and fishing lakes. It’s the name that says it all. Sit-in kayaks have your body on the top, so you are completely exposed. Sit-on kayaks, which are most popular for fishing, have their advantages and disadvantages.



Kayak Fishing Tip #2

It’s exciting to catch fish from a kayak, but consider what it will do for your positioning. You can be thrown off your feet by a large bass, or worse, you could end up in the river.

Fish moving in water will seek out one of these environments. They either have plenty of food or cover for predators. These areas include boulder outcrops and other large structures that can be found in rivers or streams. These areas offer protection from the current as well as foraging opportunities. Fish the structure by paddling through flat water.

Water that is moving at different speeds can also change its direction or elevation. These differences are magnified in smaller moving water bodies, but are still present in larger rivers. These areas are ideal for kayak fishing. Smallmouth bass, trout, and large river walleyes, will benefit from current changes such as eddies, which allow them to eat the baitfish they have collected.

Kayak Fishing Tip #3

Learn how to make the most of the current. The main stream of rivers and streams can carry you from one spot to the next with very little paddling. You can also use eddies for kayak stability while fishing in the nearby areas.

Once you’ve paddled to the fishing spots in rivers and streams, you will need to decide what bait you should use. For most fishing situations, live bait is the best option. Fishing with live bait is versatile and effective with many species found in these types of water. You can rig minnows with a simple jig, or a drop-shot rig. Both methods work equally well in eddies and around structures. For larger smallmouths or walleyes, try fishing a live crayfish in an eddie. It is difficult to carry and use live bait when kayak fishing. Bait Up’s innovative live bait container, however, solves the problem. You can easily choose a minnow and it fits in most kayak cup holders. It also comes in two sizes so you can match the size of minnows you’re fishing with.

Kayak Lake Fishing Tips

Fishing from a kayak on a lake is a different experience than fishing in streams or rivers. Fishing lakes can be done without worrying about current. If you don’t know how to kayak fish, it can be more difficult to catch fish.

Kayak Fishing Tip #4

Learn how to cast with one hand and paddle with the other. Winds on a lake are able to push you around, unlike streams and rivers that move you in one direction. You can fish from a kayak using only one hand. One hand is needed to cast, and the other to paddle. This allows you to move your kayak around and fish in a specific spot.

The best spots to fish in lakes depend on their size, composition and the species of fish you are after. Panfish can be caught by paddling around looking for schools of fish using a fishfinder. Crappies and perch species can be easily spotted with even the simplest fishfinders. Panfish can also be caught off the coast using simple jig-tipped minnows or worms. Catching crappies from a kayak can also be successful with drop shot rigs and minnows fished in lake channels during the summer.

Fishing in areas that other boats cannot reach is another tip for Kayak lake fishing. You can paddle deep into unfished areas in lakes with dense Lilly pads and grass flats. Flip a swim jig with a live minnow trailer by looking for cracks in the grass.

Kayak Fishing Tip #5

An anchor is not a kayak fishing accessory, but it can be helpful when kayak fishing lakes. A small kayak anchor, between 2 and 4 lb, can help you keep the fish in line if you are fishing for panfish schools or windy days. To avoid being pulled under, always use a quick release kayak anchor.

Additionally, you can also catch fish in the lakes from shorelines. Kayak fishing on shorelines will target bass. For cover and baitfish, bass will use the shoreline vegetation. A simple, weightless minnow tied through the back can be effective. The minnow can be seen swimming freely in shallow water. This is a great representation of a real injured baitfish to an undiscovered bass.

Kayak fishing opens up new fishing possibilities. Kayaking offers a unique perspective and challenge that fishing from a boat can offer. This guide will help you improve your kayak fishing skills and provide useful tips for kayak fishing.

How do you choose the best fishing kayak?

There are many questions you should ask before purchasing a kayak, whether you’re just starting kayak fishing or upgrading.

The most important question to ask is where you will be fishing with your kayak. Many kayaks can be used in different types of water. Some kayaks work better in rivers than others. A shorter, more durable sit-in kayak or sit-on kayak is best for moving water (streams and rivers). For calmer waters, such as lakes and ponds, a longer sit-on kayak is more effective. This is where you can trade maneuverability in favor of stability and comfort while fishing from a kayak.

Other considerations to keep in mind when selecting the best fishing kayak include:

  1. Comfort and style – An enclosed sit-in kayak or an open-air sit-on kayak. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on how you fish. It all comes down to which fishing style you prefer.
  2. Composition – The material used for making the kayak (plastics or composites). Its cost and weight will be affected by this. Based on what type of kayak fishing you want to do, choose one that is affordable and durable.
  3. Length – The kayak will be more stable the longer it is. Kayaks that are longer have more storage space, and are also more comfortable. A medium-length kayak is best for freshwater kayak fishing. The length of the kayak should be considered both from a storage and travel perspective. Is it possible to fit it in my garage?

Kayak Fishing Accessories That You Must Have

You should add certain accessories to your kayak to fish. These five accessories for kayak fishing will increase your comfort and help catch more fish.

  1. Placement Any angler who fishes for more than a few hours is likely to have a stiff back. Upgrade your seat to make it more comfortable. A seat with adjustable back support, high-quality foam and gel seats are essential. A good seat will provide more comfort when paddling or fishing, even though it is not inexpensive.
  2. Fishfinder It is essential to locate schools of crappies and suspended bass. Make sure the model you choose will fit easily in your kayak. You can use a combo unit that includes a GPS and fishfinder to locate fishing spots and navigate larger rivers.
  3. PFD: Personal flotation devices (PFD) can save your life if you capsize. A fishing PFD is best for kayak fishing. It allows you to move freely while fishing and paddling. When fishing from a kayak, it is important to check the local laws for which PFDs are required.
  4. Paddle: Paddles that are too cheap can be like seats on a plane. They can cause havoc during a fishing trip. A good paddle is essential for kayak fishing. Choose a carbon-fiber model that is lightweight and has comfortable grips.
  5. Rod holders: Most fishing kayaks come with some sort of rod holder. There are three types of rod holders: flush mounted, adjustable and vertical. The most versatile rod holders are adjustable. These holders can be adjusted to hold rods while you paddle and then changed for fishing. You can add rod holders to make it easier for fishing, and keep them out of the way while paddling.

Kayak fishing in streams and rivers

You might be fishing for smallmouth bass or trout in smaller streams. Kayaks can cover vast distances, no matter what fish species you’re after. However, simply launching your kayak into the river will not put fish in the kayak. You need to understand where to find fish in streams and rivers.


Anglers who lack the necessary skills or don’t have the proper equipment to fish from a kayak are wasting many opportunities.

These tips will help you be a step ahead in your fishing skills. To catch more fish, practice hard and get more tips from other anglers.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.