Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Friday, 07 August 2015 00:00

Tips For Your First Kayak Fishing Trip

Written by Kevin Costello
Rate this item
(5 votes)

Congratulations on the purchase of your first fishing kayak! Yes I mean “first” because you will undoubtedly get hooked on this awesome sport and purchase another kayak - or two, or three. Now let’s go over the obvious, and not-so-obvious, items you will need to ensure a good time for your maiden kayak fishing voyage.

Three obvious items you’ll need for kayak fishing

Kayak: it would be impossible to go kayak fishing without a kayak. Again – congratulations on your purchase!

Paddle and paddle leash: unless you went all in and purchased a pedal-drive kayak, the paddle is the means of propulsion and you are the motor. A paddle leash is attached to the kayak, and has bungee cords that attach to the paddle. If you drop your paddle overboard, it will not float away from the kayak.

Fishing rod: I recommend bringing only one rod out on your first trip. The fewer rods you have, the less you have to worry about getting tangled in low-hanging tree branches. As you gain experience with your kayak and being on the water, you can bring more rods.

Now for the not so obvious items needed for a safe and fun outing.

Safety related items

  • Personal floatation device (PFD): I placed this here because I see kayak anglers, both rookies and veterans, going out on the water without wearing their PFDs. A good PFD is one that is comfortable and fits properly.
  • Safety whistle (affixed to PFD) and a light (a small flashlight): Most states require one or both of these items on board. In the event of an emergency, three shorts blasts from the whistle is the universal signal for distress.  
  • Experienced kayak fishing partner: Someone who knows a good spot that is protected from the wind and current for your first trip, who can help you enter and launch your kayak, assist in landing fish, photograph your first catch, and lend a hand in the event of an emergency.
  • Paddle/float plan: make sure someone back home knows where you are going, who you are with and when to expect you back.
  • Dry case/bag: for keeping your cell phone (if you don’t have a waterproof case for it), wallet, and car keys safe and dry. Attach the bag to the kayak to ensure it does not wander off during the trip. (Photo of dry bag)

Fishing/miscellaneous items 

  • Fishing tackle and lures: as with the fishing rod, keep it simple to start. Try to limit it to a small tackle bag or box.
  • Pliers/hook removal tool: needle nose pliers are great for removing hooks
  • Polarized sunglasses: polarized lenses cut down on the reflected glare on the water, enabling you to see what’s below the surface.
  • Sunscreen
  • Waterproof camera: to photograph your first (and subsequent) kayak fish
  • Landing net: this will help you get the fish out of the water and into the kayak.
  • Food and drinks: a small cooler with water and snacks
  • Water sport clothing: wear shoes and clothing that you won’t mind getting wet and dirty. [Editor’s note: Don’t wear cotton, even in warmer climates or weather. It dries slowly, and extended wear of wet clothing after a rain shower or unplanned water entry can cause hypothermia. –IR]
  • Dry clothes/towel: bring a change of clothes/shoes and a towel. If you go for a swim (planned or unplanned) you will be glad you did. Place them in a double lined trash bag, and stash it out of your way in the kayak.

Enjoy your first trip in your new kayak, and tight lines!

Read 14261 times Last modified on Friday, 07 August 2015 10:02


+1 # Stevemcnerney 2015-08-18 09:17
Great article . One thing that I always tell new kayak fishermen and women is to take a cheep rod and reel on your first couple of trips. As most of us know your first few fishing trips you are likely to introduce them to a saltwater bath.
# fishman49525 2016-09-20 19:25
Great basics. One of the things I struggle with as a new (and older) kayak angler is flexibility. I have trouble accessing gear that is stored behind me, so I've tried to work out arrangements for storing gear I need while fishing in front of me.

Please login to post a comment.

Get the YakAngler Newsletter!

Keep tabs on all the latest from YakAngler.

Latest From The Forum

    • daiwanut's Avatar
    • This Is Why You Always Wear A PFD!!!
    • I have an agreement with my wife...I will never be in my yak without my PFD on. As soon as i get out of the vehicle, i put it on and it does not come...
    • 4 days 9 hours ago
    • daiwanut's Avatar
    • old but feel new
    • Long time Native Propel 13 angler, currently a Jackson Big Rig HDFD angler.
    • 4 days 10 hours ago
    • daiwanut's Avatar
    • Page went down
    • It used to be much MUCH more busy. Maybe one day it will improve again!
    • 4 days 10 hours ago

More Topics »