How to get started

-- Last Updated: Oct-01-13 1:29 PM EST --

I want to just give fishing a try, not sure I want to get in deep just try it out.
Where can I find info to get started?
I just want to start cheap and do a few times a year.
What kind of pole should I look for?
Should it be shorter than the standard poles?
I just want to try normal finishing not looking to fly fish yet.

Edit: I will be fishing in fresh water from a 12 ft sit in kayak from wilderness systems.
(pungo 120)

many places you can stand on shore …

– Last Updated: Oct-01-13 12:58 PM EST –

...... and cast out either a bobber float w/hook and bait , or a bottom rig (hook & sinker) and bait .

Doesn't cost much for an inexpensive rod & reel combo on sale somewhere to get started .

So , where can you go fishing in your area ?? What type of water , fresh or salt ??

Maybe we can offer up some help on "how" to catch the fish , what to fish for ... using just a baited hook , it works very well if hooking a/any fish is the goal !!

1st things 1st ... hook some fish , any fish , then decide if you want to target more illusive species that often require more ellaborate gear to get to .

Fishing from shore , from canoe or kayak ??

Here's my best advice for just starting to catch fish ... the more you have your line in the water , the more fish you will catch .

Response required ...

I want to fish from my kayak in fresh water.

Is there an ideal pole length for fishing from a low seat in kayaks?

Will I have trouble with a standard length pole?

sorry , can’t say about kayaks …
… I don’t use them , but I’m still doubting it makes one bit of difference this way or that when it comes to rod and reels selection .

My suggestion for someone having just one rod and reel to start with … a spin casting outfit , graphite rod (IM6 min.) 6’-6" Medium , Fast action … reel , a Shimano 2500 Stradic (or comparable) … line , 8 lb. test monofiliment (Berkley Trilene XL) , if you have 2 spools (most come with extra spool) put 6 lb. test on the extra spool for when targeting smaller fish (Crappie , BlueGil , Perch , etc.) .

In general and comparing same type lines , the lighter the lb. test weight equals the farther the casting ability/distance . In general again , the longer the rod , equals the farther the casting ability .

Casting distance is your friend . Casting smoothness is your friend , the Berkley Trilene XL (not XT) is a smooth casting line with very low memory (doesn’t look like a coil when laid out) . Monofiliment lines need to get wet before they are at their best (1st 10 mins. or so of fishing) .

Flourocarbon lines have different characteristics than monofiliment lines . Flourocarbon lines also cost more . Changing your line to new fresh line regularly (a couple times per season) is a luxury and always appreciated .

You want to try for Largemouth Bass ?? … pan fish like BlueGill , Crappie , Yellow Perch ?? … Catfish ?? … any Northern Pike or Muskie or Walleye in the waters you’re going to fish ??

As for how to deal with a fishing rod , gear , and a long dbl. blade paddle in a kayak … well people do it , and even choose to , but others will have to chime in on that one .

What size body of water (acres) are you considering ??

Most of the help you need
is right here.

Go to the articles, click on Jerry White and read everything he’s written. He fishes saltwater mostly, but the general principles he espouses will work anywhere.

A 7-ft spinning rod with six to eight-pound-test monofilament line, some jigs with plastic tails, and a small assortment of hooks, sinkers, and bobbers will catch fish almost anywhere on the planet.

I second that advice
In addition, I recommend Kayakfishing:The Revolution by Ken Daubert.

There is one consideration.
When you have a larger fish on, it will swim around and you will have a difficult time controlling it from a kayak the same as you would from a much heavier bass boat. You want the rod to be long enough that you can put the tip past either tip of the kayak so that the line won’t bump against the kayak while under pressure from a fish. If you’re fishing from a 12’ kayak, and if the cockpit is more or less in the center of the kayak, a 6’6" or 7’ rod should do this, especially if you factor in the length of your arms.

Keep it simple
If memory serves me correctly you can buy a complete set-up at Walmart for cheap. It would be most of the way ready to go. (Don’t forget to buy a license!) If you are just wanting to try fishing afloat this is a good place to start. You can spend more when you decide whether you like it.

Here’s a link to how simple fishing can be, although they are selling some very expensive equipment to do this. You don’t have to invest a lot for some “Tom Sawyer” fishing.

Replace the line
If you buy one of those Wal-Mart ready to go outfits, the line is garbage. Recycle it and replace with a decent quality monofilament line, or you will get so frustrated with knots and line memory that you will never go fishing again.

  • Big D

Good call
My old spinning rig has Spiderwire. I forgot how big a pain cheap monofilament can be. I’ve had so much fun and good luck with the fly rod that I haven’t touched the spinning stuff in years.

Kayak Fishing for beginners
I have two kayaks that I fish from. I have a pelican 100 (10’) sit in kayak and a dagger 15-6. I fish calm lakes primarily, but once in a while head out on Winnebago or Lake Michigan. On big water, I fish with just one pole. When fishing with multiple poles - if you get a strike, you may need to drop a pole quickly and pick up another- I don’t like to put holes in my deck, but the deck is curved - a pole would just role off and fall in the water if you had nothing to hold it. I use a 2x4 that I attach to my X bungies with a wire-tie. I use two wall hooks (shape of a square ? where the dot is the screw). The hooks are set in such a way as to keep the whole works on top and centered (T shape). I am thinking about adding a second set of wall hooks, but worry that they may impede my paddle stroke. They’ll have to be set farther forward. On my short yak, I put the 2x4 through the rope handle as well. you can drop a pole, and use the bungie to hold the handle down to the deck, or avoid the bungies by putting 4 hooks in an H shape. I also use old phone handset cords with wire-ties at the base of my poles and clips at the other end - you only need about 10-12" per pole- any more than that you constantly have to untangle. I use carbiners at the points and have a rope loop on both starboard and port to hook things on too- like a stringer, basket or even my anchor- which gives you infinite anchor points on either side. Finally, I use 2’ dowels wire-tied to a milk crate - the dowels are just long enough to hook to both of my behind the cockpit X bungie. I have often drifted left with a pole out the bow, one in a holder tied to the milk crate and casting from right to left (in the direction I am drifting). Works particularly well when fishing for pan fish. I like 1 piece poles. I have an ultra-light 6’ pole, and a set of 7’ or 7’-6" medium action with spinning reels. I use berkley fireline crystal fused braid (several test weights) or powerline braid for bass. I usually have all of my tackle in my fly-vest, and small plano containers or in my PFD on big water. Hope these ideas on budget yak-fishing spark your interest. There is nothing more beautiful than fishing in absolute quiet on a calm lake that the motor-users can’t get to. Enjoy!