Regardless of where you fish from, kayak fishing is a thrilling sport. However, the open seas provide an adventure unlike any other. There are endless opportunities to explore whether you prefer off-shore or in-shore kayak fishing. There are big fish waiting for you and endless waters to explore, so be prepared.
The endless possibilities of saltwater kayak fishing come with its own set of difficulties. So, before you head out to your fishing spots, here are five saltwater kayak fishing tips that will ensure your comfort, safety, and success.
5 Saltwater Kayak Fishing Tips
1. Choose an appropriate kayak
There are numerous kayak options on the market, and new models and designs are introduced every year. When it comes to saltwater kayak fishing, you should choose one that is built to withstand the rigors of the sea. It will be worthwhile to spend a little more money on a high-quality kayak for comfort, safety, and success on the water.
Here are some considerations to make when selecting a kayak for saltwater fishing:
- Purchase a fishing kayak. Other kayaks may be able to do the job, but it will necessitate modifications that may cost you more. Fishing kayaks are shorter and wider for better angling stability. The design also reduces the possibility of capsizing in choppy seawater.
- Purchase a saltwater fishing kayak. The options are designed to withstand the corrosive nature of seawater.
- Choose a kayak color that stands out against the ocean’s white and blue waters. You’ll be sharing the water with large yachts, coastguards, and other kayak anglers, so make sure your kayak is visible to everyone. There are three color options to choose from: orange, yellow, and red.
- Sit-on-top fishing kayaks are preferable to sit-ins. When fishing, sit-on-top kayaks are a good option. It has more seating options to prevent backaches, more storage options for your catch, equipment, and gears, and is simple to get in and out of in the event of an accident.
- Always try out your chosen kayak before purchasing it. Check for ease of transport, storage, and maintenance, as well as whether it is suitable for fishing. This can be accomplished by renting a kayak of a similar model from a local kayak rental shop.
2. Purchase a high-quality paddle
When you’re out kayak fishing, fatigue is your worst enemy. And it has a lot to do with the paddle you’re using. You might think that because fishing is a sit-and-wait sport, any paddle will suffice. No! A good paddle allows you to easily steer your boat into and out of the sea while covering as much water as possible without straining your hands.
Here are a few things to think about when purchasing a kayak saltwater fishing paddle:
- For efficiency, speed, and less strain on your arms, choose a high-quality lightweight kayak fishing paddle. Fiberglass with nylon reinforcement, rather than polypropylene or resin, is the best option.
- Avoid low-cost alternatives. Choose a paddle of good quality that you can afford. Make sure it’s well-designed and made of high-quality materials to last a long time.
- Based on your height, weight, and kayak length, select the appropriate kayak paddle size. To avoid straining, choose a shorter paddle with a narrow blade if you are short, and the opposite if you are tall and heavy.
- If your paddle doesn’t come with a paddle leash, purchase one. When fishing, you may not always be holding your paddle, so having a leash keeps it secure.
3. Have the proper fishing equipment and gear
Big catches in saltwater necessitate the use of the proper fish handling gear and equipment. If you are not prepared, you may catch a good fish but fail to bring it home. As a result, you’ll need a different set of angling gear and equipment than you would for freshwater fishing.
For example, saltwater fishing necessitates a longer and heavier fishing rod, whereas freshwater fishing does not. Again, saltwater fishing lines have a higher density and a smaller diameter.
Here’s what you’ll need when it comes to fishing kayak accessories::
- The proper set of saltwater fishing rods, lines, hooks, and natural or live bait.
- Knife or scissors for snipping lines and cutting up small baits
- Once you’ve found a good fishing spot, use an anchor to keep your vessel in place. Purchase anchors that are strong enough to hold your kayak but are light enough to transport.
- pliers for unhooking your catch
- Nets made of heavy-duty materials for netting the catch
- Emergency repair kit for repairing the kayak if it sustains damage while kayak fishing.
- Install rod and paddle holders in your kayak.
N/B: To withstand the corrosive effects of ocean water, all equipment and gear should be non-corrosive. To keep things simple, only bring what you need. This saves space and makes tracing the items you need while fishing much easier.
4. Always have a navigation system with you
You’ll need a navigation system whether or not you’re familiar with the waters you’re fishing in. The thrill of catching big fish in open waters may cause you to drift too far from shore and become unable to return. As a result, always carry and set up a navigation device before heading off-shore. If you lose your bearings, the kayak fish finder will guide you safely to the shore.
When purchasing a GPS navigating system, keep the following features in mind:
- Waterproof with an IPX7 or IPX8 rating.
- The display should be clear and readable in all lighting conditions and at all times.
- Have a long battery life to avoid having to change the battery frequently. However, extra batteries should always be carried in case the old ones run out of power.
- Mounting options for easily attaching to the kayak
- It’s simple to use, making it less stressful to find your way around when you’re lost.
5. Keep yourself safe by taking precautions
When fishing in open waters, safety should always come first. The following are some precautions to take in order to stay safe while enjoying the thrill of saltwater kayak fishing:
- Always bring someone with you in case of an emergency.
- Be aware of weather changes so that you can act appropriately when the occasion arises.
- Carry and wear a well-fitting kayak fishing life jacket to keep yourself safe if your kayak capsizes or you fall off the boat.
- Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Also, bring plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Bring communication devices such as a VHF radio and a mobile phone with you to call for help in an emergency. Consider using waterproof devices or storing them in a waterproof bag.
- If you intend to fish near lagoons or mangroves, bring insect repellent.
- Wear appropriate clothing, such as rain gear, to protect yourself from the elements in all weather conditions.
- Always have a plan and share it with your family and friends, including where you intend to fish, your route, and your expected return time. If you do not show up, they will call for assistance.
Saltwater kayak fishing is enjoyable, but if you do not follow the necessary precautions, the unexpected can occur. For a safe and enjoyable angling trip in open waters, always use the proper kayak, have a quality paddle, bring along the proper fishing gear and equipment, as well as a navigation device, and follow all safety precautions.
About the author: Ally Mash. Ally is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time backpacking through South America, Iceland, Vietnam, and Europe. He loves sharing his experience through Adventures Pursuit. His mission is to get more people in the mindset of protecting our planet by sharing its beauty.
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