Fishing from a kayak

-- Last Updated: Jul-03-04 7:04 PM EST --

I caught my first fish from a kayak today -- a nice 2 lb largemouth bass from the mighty Charles River in Newton, MA, using ultralight tackle!

I usually bring a book to pass the time during the occasional breaks from paddling, but decided to carry fishing gear instead. Much more exciting way to pass the time!

From now on the fishing gear is in the boat whenever I go out for a paddle.

Nothing Like Fishing…
…from a yak! Enjoyable from a canoe, but downright “Special” getting pulled arround by a nice bass in a yak! WW

It’s entertaining to see the one-handed strokes you come up with when the rod in the other hand is being bent double by a big fish heading for a snag…

A trick I use.
Get an old ping pong paddle and use it for one handed adjustments while you have a rod in the other hand. It works well.

Another bit of advice: Don’t bring large, angry fish(Pike and Muskies) into the cockpit. Just hold them at the side of the boat.

Enjoy yourself. Kayak fishermen catch more fish. Jim

Fishing from a kayak!
I am thinking of starting to fish from my kayak. Is there any special gear you need or just a regular rod and reel???

I hear you, dougiej!
I caught my first fish from a yak last fall, and have not been out paddling without a line trolling behind me since. Just having a line in the water adds a level of excitement to even a short paddle around the pond. One suggestion - get a lip gripper (Boga, Rapala, Berkeley) and tether it to the kayak. You can hold a toothy fish one-handed to remove the hook and stow the fish in your cooler. Makes getting treble hooks out of a thrashing, chomping bluefish possible without hooking yourself, or getting your fingers bitten off. Bluefish - the piranha of the Atlantic. Gotta love ‘em!

Good yakkin’ to ya.

A rod and reel…
…is a good start. Also, a lip gripper is very useful.(you don’t want to mess with a net) Just start fishing and you will soon determine what works for you and what else you need. Try to keep it simple. Jim

Welcome to kayak fishing
I started kayak fishing about 3 years ago and am totally hooked. No pun intended. Since then i sold my motorboat and have purchased 3 different kayaks. I started with an Old Town Otter 9’6" which gets used quite a lot because it is so easy and quick to load. I can be packed and ready to go in 10 minutes. Then i bought an Old Town Castine to cover more distance but still be comfortable fishing. This spring i bought a QCC 400XL to just paddle for pleasure. It is a blast fishing from a kayak especially if you happen to hook a large fish and have it tow you around the lake or river. I also learned the hard way that you never unhook a fish over the cockpit. Always keep the fish off to either side. The first time you have a fish drop off inside the cockpit flopping around you will know what i mean. Hope you enjoy it as much as i do. Paddle on!

bluefish vicious
while surfing (on a board) a bluefish grabbed my big toe and clamped on tight. only the toenail stopped a complete gnawthrough. flipped it on the board and it released me.slid off into the water before I could grab over, no surfing for 3 weeks until it healed up.

at the same time!

2 pound bass ain’t bad -now think about a 22 pound tarpon -or a HUNDRED and twenty-two pound thresher shark!

You find out all about it on a board called -GEEEEEEE… Fishing from Kayaks and Canoes!

Right here on!

“Want to talk about fishing from your kayak or canoe? This is the place. Looking for advice on what type of boat is best, or how to outfit your boat to go after the big one? Look no further. Discuss equipment, technique, fish stories and more.”

Actually, look up ‘kayak fishing’ on Google and you’ll be amazed at the diversity and depth of many sites devoted to yakfishing and nothing more.

And you’ll learn a LOT about how cool and rewarding and fun it can be to go yak angling as you

Paddle On!

-Frank in Miami

See my post…
…under the “If I spend the big bucks” post.

He had to literally tear the Blue fish’s jaw apart to get it to let go.



That’s my nightmare
A blue turned loose in the cockpit, chomping at everything within reach. Your son is lucky, in a way, that he only got bit on the calf - could’ve been much worse, if you catch my drift.

Think I’ll get myself a good fish billy to go along with the Bogas. Thanks for the cautionary tale, Jack.

Sit on Top
These are by far the way to go for fishing. With the SOT you can get in and out without doing any self rescue stuff. Check out This is a group of hardcore yak fishermen. You should see how they outfit their yaks.


Kayak fishing
I have done alot of fishing off Fort Lauderdale in the ocean and these would be my helpful tips.

  1. I prefer a spinning outfit to match your intended prey over a baitcasting type just because it feels more comfortable to me, Im sure the California guys will swear by a baitcaster but thats fine, its more a personal preference.
  2. I like a rod long enough to reach a little beyond the bow and the stern so you can fight a fish around and underneath the boat and possibly a greater reason so you can unsnag yourself as the line, hooks or lures get hung up.
  3. Its a safe bet to keep everything tied down or leashed especially in rougher waters and beach launches and landings.
  4. If using cut bait such as squid or cut mullet, etc. I cut my bait at home or at the launch to elimate the need for fiddling around with a knife at sea. Just makes fishing from a kayak so much easier.
  5. If using leaders and sinkers, do this preperation shoreside also, save you valuable fishing time and prevent you from getting blown miles away from your fishing hole or reef.
  6. I mounted a recessed rod holder in front of me for trolling and holdiing the rod when releasing fish and baitin gup.
  7. Depending on your prey and size, I use a nylon divers catch bag as a net and keep bag for smaller bottom fish such as grouper and snapper, a gaff and club isn’t a bad idea for the bigger keepers. Gloves and pliers are real handy also for handling the prickly slimy critters.
  8. Yes keep the toothy barracudas, mutton snappers and king fish from your lap for the obvious reasons.
  9. go to a search engine for kayak fishing and you should get many hepful tips from the guys in Cal, Texas and Florida.
  10. Never tried it but the pin pong paddle idea sounds perfect or just let the fish steer you around.


OUCH !!!
I have heard of bluefish attacking swimmers in the surf before. A buddy at work said he saw a girl at Myrtle Beach SC who was attacked by a large bluefish and had several chunks of meat taken out of her legs.

Just don’t eat too many fish caught in that mighty river

Trouble with the link…
I had no luck with…is that the correct address?

Ha ! Ha!
Back when I was a kid growing up on the “other side of the tracks” in beantown, the only place worse than the Charles was The Fort Point Channel where the garbage was so thick, you could just about walk across on top of it.

Memories !!!



Fishing on the Charles River
JackL and 365paddle, I caught it on the stretch that runs from Weston, through Newton and into Waltham. While I still wouldn’t eat fish from the river, the water quality has improved significantly in the past 20 years. The stretch I mentioned is actually quite nice – just don’t eat the fish or drink the water! =:-0

Tomorrow I’m going to fish on the Concord River, but won’t be eating anything from there either!



correct email
The kayak fishing site is at

It’s a pretty good site but mostly for ocean fishing. Most of it will still apply though.