Advice on kayak fishing from sit-in-side

My son in law is an avid fisherman and wants to take my kayaks fishing on the Georgia coast. I’ve never tried fishing from a sit in side (Necky & Carolina). Any tricks from the pros? We’ll probably fish inside the bay at Tybee Island. Thank you!

Keep It Simple
I fish from a CD Whistler more than my sit on top. I have a yackclip that holds the paddle when fishing and the pole when paddling. I have a knapsack with my knife, multi tool and plastic tackle boxes in it. I have that in the cockpit between my legs. Works very well. Just don’t try to take too much. And if there are two of you then you can help each other out. Get in and out of the hatches ect… Each carry half the lures/bait.

Thank you!
Thank you! Assuming we catch anything, do we leave them outside the yak or inside?

Don’t make the mistake my son made
he was fishing off the Carolina coast and hooked a Blue Fish. This was quite a few years ago, and he had never caught one before.

He brought it into his yak, and it latched onto his calf muscle.

He had to break its jaw apart to get it off, and when he finally got back to shore he had lost a lot of blood.

Needless to say, since then he makes sure what he has on the line before just yanking it into his kayak.

Jack L

I keep everything accessible and simple on my deck as well as a couple tools in my pfd. I fish from my sea kayaks when on extended trips and I’ll admit, with a beam of 21 inches, it’s damn challenging. The larger the fish, the more difficult. My wife will paddle next to me while trolling and once I have one on, she rafts up so I can fight/land the fish.

Since we eat what we catch on trips (on Lake Superior, large salmon and lake trout), I’ll use a good pair of lip grabbers, down my rod and bleed the fish out quickly so I’m not dealing with the thrashing or worrying about hooking it to a stringer to keep it fresh.


fishing from sit in
I fish from my sit in all the time. I keep a small cooler of ice bungeed right in front of me and a tackle box between my knees. When I land a fish, I bring it in and pop it in the cooler on ice. Works great for me, my yak is a 9.5 footer. I use a leash for my paddle. I have fished salt and fresh and hooked several large mouths which was way fun on the Green River lake, Pine run damn, and Nolin Lake. I do get cramped for space sometimes and I am thinking I am going to a sit on top for fishing this year. All I take is a small cooler, tackle box, and rod. I have had no problem at all, but I am 5’1".

Great advice- thank you!

Barbless Hooks
I use barbless hooks for two reasons. One is that the nylon rigging on the boat is very hostile to same. Once a barbed hook is in this stuff, it is really difficult to get it out. The other reason is that it is kinder to the fish (and is required in some parts of Ca. anyway).

You may not have these issues, but after dropping a lure onto same, I squeezed all the barbs on my hooks to keep that from happening again :).

Some fish, though for the life of me I can’t imagine why, seem to have a bad attitude when hooked. Some, as others point out, can be pretty aggressive. These categories of fish may not be worth bringing on board. Barracuda, some sharks and rays, and some fish that are just beyond a certain size, or which are difficult to handle due to their defenses. For example, sturgeon have some very large and pointy spines along 3 sides of their body and you don’t want to grab one by hand without adequate protection.

Once hooked, some fish are better off left in the water and either released or cut loose. Some can be transferred to a leader without lifting more than their mouths out of the water (a luxury that those in other boats do not have), though there may well be a size limit on what kind of live animal you want dangling in the water by your boat should it suddenly have a change of heart.


By the way, this term is really confusing (not only due to the incorrect hyphenation of inside). The terminology used to be “closed” or “open” cockpit and somewhere along the, someone came up with sit-on-top, which is both harder to write and understand.

While I doubt that I’ll get the world to revert to the previous (and IMO, more accurate terminology), can I please request that people don’t add hyphens to words where they don’t belong?

Rick (and yes, this is a little bit tongue in cheek)

Go online and look up…
…“Adam Bolonsky”. He’s a friend who’s the most experienced kayak fisherman I know. He uses sit-in boats and has a lot of related wisdom to pass along. He’s also a very gifted writer, so I think you’ll really enjoy his posts and articles.

Good advice and correction on my hyphenation!

I use the bungees for my rods, put a small cooler in front of me on the deck. I also use another bungee in front of me to tighten down my small tackle box.

Use a Pelican waterproof camera case with a clip on it to hold camera, knife, etc… cold beer stays inside between my knees.

Here’s a pic…

A good source of info…
This is a link to the North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association. It’s a really good source of info for all things kayak fishing. Questions are frequently answered by pro and sponsored kayak fisherman.

Great advice
This week is the trip. We’re hitting the bay area between Tybee and Little Tybee. I always notice a lot of fishermen in the area as well as dolphins and small sharks. We’re going down to Darien to fish in some of the rivers in the salt marsh. My primary concern is not having a forced wet entry with the gear (as well bait and possible catches) ending up in the water.

DItto on squishing down the barbs!
I really prefer barbless in a kayak. I don’t think I’ve lost any fish because of it.

As far as nomenclature, I refer to then as SinKs for sit in kayak. It is easy to use and emphasizes that they are much more likely to sink. Get float bags!

For fish keeping, if you drag them on a stringer, then sharks may take them. If you put them in with you then you’ve want a sturdy fish bag they cannot bite through. If you have a friend along they can help you put them in your hatch.