If you are new to kayak fishing you will quickly realize how many options are available to you. Whether your initial background is in fishing or paddling, kayak fishing provides a great blend of both of these popular pastimes into a great hobby, activity, or obsession. Like with any new activity there is always a starting point and a learning curve. Here are a few ways to speed up your learning curve and put more fish in your kayak!
Typically, when I take new kayak anglers out for the first time I like to start with a smaller body of water, such as a small lake, pond, or creek. Kayak fishing is combining two skills and making them into one. So when you start small it allows more confidence in whichever skill you have your background in, while providing a calm environment to work on the other. This allows you to get more comfortable with either your paddling or casting. It also prevents fatigue because you do not have a lot of water to cover and increases your chance of catching fish because it is a more concentrated area.
A common mistake I see both seasoned and new kayak anglers make is taking too much gear. I would recommend when you are first learning to kayak fish or if you are struggling to put fish in your kayak to just take one to two rods. It is very easy to make things complicated and to overthink what you actually already know. When I am with new kayak anglers I always tell them to rig up their favorite soft plastic bait in a Texas rig set up and bring their favorite crankbait or spinnerbait. You will fish better and with more confidence if you are throwing a bait that you trust and know will catch fish. I also do this If I am struggling to figure out what the fish are biting, I will go back to the basics and throw what I know.
Go fish! By combining the first two steps of starting small and keeping it simple you will maximize your time on the water while increasing your skills and knowledge. What will give you confidence are successful trips and experiences. You can watch every YouTube video you can find, but your skills and confidence will only grow as you spend time on the water. Yvon Chouinard once said, “The more you know, the less you need.” So start with what you know and throw your favorite bait on your favorite body of water!