Fishing from a kayak


I’ve been fishing for over 30 years but I never tried it from a kayak.

Is there something special I should know ? I’ve always loved jigging for walleyes by drifting with the current in a river. Could this be tricky with a kayak ? What if my jig gets caught on the bottom ? By trying to get it loose, will I risk capsizing ? Do I have to position the kayak in a certain way when I drift in the current ?

Thank you

Check out Of the 2500+ river fishermen that post on the site, several hundred are kayakers. Several articles have been written by members about yak fishing. Once you get familiar with the site you can research them. Also, you won’t find a more helpful group of folks anywhere.

After river fishing from rafts and canoes for years, I started fishing from a rec yak about 4 years ago. Unless you are using unusually heavy line, the 6#-10# line normally used for eyes and smallies will not be a problem. What may become a problem is the addiction you might develop and the garage full of yaks you might end up with.

When I get a snag, I paddle upwind/upstream from where thelure is before making any more attempts to retrive it. Retriving from the opposite direction usually works well.

If you’re drifting slowly, just face whichever way you want to cast.

It’s easy to add rod holders to a kayak for trolling, or you can buy kayaks with rod hplders already installed.

depends on the kayak
something like an ot loon 138 or ws pamlico 14 would suitibly provide a very stable platform for jigging for walleyes. i have found my loon 138 more stable than most canoes due to the lower center of gravity. and ed is correct about riversmallies, which is the only other website besides i spend any time on (i go by ozarkpaddler there). we also have a fishing section here on where you can get lots of good imfo. what you need to do is take a few models for a test paddle WITH your rod and reel. hope that helps. ww

Kayak fishing is a blast
WW is right on with the Loon 138. I use it to fish for largemouth bass and stripers. Plenty of stability. Jigging is one of my favorite winter methods for catching big ones. The previous posters advice about heading upcurrent or upwind of the hang up is dead on. Using this method I can almost always free my lure. Don’t worry about capsizing when trying to free a lure, the line will snap long before you flip it. Now unsnagging an anchor might be a different story. I’ve almost flipped when a small folding anchor got hung in the rocks and I jerked it to pull it free. These days it’s strictly a drift anchor that I use. No hang ups ever!

My boat
I have a 17’ (23.5" wide) BorealDesign Inukshuk polyethylene kayak. Very stable and reliable, yet it performs great.

Kayak Fishing
Kayak fishing is a great way to fish, low expense, low hassle, exercise, stealthy, you can go places larger boats can’t and you can still go to the places the big boats go. I commonly fish side by side with the 50-60 foot sportfish boats in the ocean.

Kayak Fishing is alot of common sense. Obviously don’t tip the boat, you want to tie off, strap down or put a leash on your gear. I do all the preperation I can ashore prior launching. I cut my bait ashore, minimize the tackle you bring aboard, prepare leaders ashore, you want a paddle leash and or paddle clip so you can be hands free to fish. has a fishing discussion board and there are many others,,


Drift sock
Haven’t tried one on my kayak, but it’s been great on the canoe when the breeze picks up.

Try it, you’ll like it!
I been fishing for approx. 45 years. I’ve had so many different boats over the years it is’nt funny. Motorboats, canoes, sailboats. I bought my first kayak 3 years ago to try paddling and kayak fishing. I absolutely love it. I now have 3 different kayaks bought for different uses. Give kayak fishing a try I think you’ll like it. It’s really exciting when you hook a large fish and it tows you around.

Only one thing
The problem I have with my kayak is that I always have lower back pain after 15 minutes. Is there some way to prevent back pain in a kayak ?

OK, that’s the short answer -but the ‘trick’ is to keep your posture good -with your back as straight as you can, with good lower lumbar support about hip-plus level for SINKs. For SOTs, good lumbar support in the form of a well-cinched-up seat so that you don’t ‘lounge back’ there, too, to keep good posture going, will help.

And as for fishing?

Take it over to the FISHING board, friend, that’s why it was putthere! Yeah -we’ve got one of those, with all sorts of answers for your questions, from yakanglers.

And when all’s said & done, you’ll have a better source of probably better information, AND not have quite so sore a back, as you

Paddle On!

-Frank in Miami