Hey, I am new to kayak fishing. I recently made my first trips out, and now I have some questions.
First of all, I have a traditional sit-in kayak (11.5 ft). What are your best value recommendations for rod-holders and paddle clips? Where at on a kayak would be the best place to put a rod holder? Also, what are some good methods for keeping your fish? Attach a stringer to kayak, or what? Thanks for the help. Happy Fish Stories
Hey, I am new to kayak fishing. I recently made my first trips out, and now I have some questions.
Where do you fish?
I can make recommendations for some of this, but it depends on where you fish. I fish rivers, so my advice may or may not make sense beyond that application.
Also, I practice catch & release, so I can’t help you with how to keep fish because I just don’t know. If you’re fishing rivers, I’d have to recommend against using a stringer over the side because that’s like brown-bagging your own strainer and not a wise choice.
As far as your rod holder, I put two Scotty style rod holder mounts behind my cockpit and in front of my hatch. I use one or both as necessary. Usually both to have a back up rod. Then I carry another travel rod broken down inside the cockpit.
Some folks put a rod holder in front of the cockpit and another behind. Don’t put two in front, and don’t use the one in front for storing a rod while fishing with another rod our you’ll really tick yourself off when you need to move your retrieve from one side of the boat to the other and can’t because there’s a rod in the way.
Also, spend a trip or two in mild water without mounting anything, once you’re familiar with paddling of course. Just stick the butt of your rod under your butt and lean the rod against the combing straight in front of you. Figure where your elbows and hands and forearms are when you’re paddling and maneuvering the boat. Don’t stick the rod where your arms, hands, and elbows need to go.
Otherwise, get creative.
If you were looking for specific “best” places. Sorry, there aren’t any. There’s only best for you, and you have to decide what they are.
Good luck. Have fun. You’re in for a real treat.
- Big D
I have a Loon 120. I have it set up as a fishing machine. My preferences may not agree with other posts by they work for me.
I have 2 scotty flush mounted rod holders in front of me. The rod holders are adjustable so that I can angle them forward and they do not interfere with the paddle. I troll with them in this position.
I am using long handle casting rods 61/2 and 7’ long.
Because the rod holders are adjustable I can easily move them to any position I want. When I get in or out of the Kayak I put them in the 12:00 position.
When trolling I watch the rod tips and react to any strike with no problem. I have caught Muskie, Bass, and pan fish and have no problem what so ever. I have a tackle bag mounted in front of the combing that contains the lures etc.
You really have to organize your equipment in a Kayak. I limit what I take and I am perfectly confortable with the above layout.
I have a paddle strap that provides full paddle flexibility but precludes loosing the paddle when fighting a fish.
A lot depends on where you are fishing and what type of fishing. Salt water, launch through surf, lakes, rivers swift or slow, etc. I fish with a 13.5' Velocity sit in and love it in my colder northern waters. I've caught chinook salmon in salt water and many salmon in the Fraser River, though in the river I rarely fish from the boat but get out on mid river gravel bars to fish. When fishing from the yak, I my spay skirt is always in place.
I built a small low walled "box" from 1x3 western red cedar with 2.5 inch extensions fore and aft on each corner. It is trapezoidal to exactly fit my deck, which is flat. I use release type sliding lock cinches through holes drilled in the extensions to tie the box on top of my foredeck bungee rigging. The tie points match the recessed attachment holes on my yak so that it is very tight and stable.
Rod holder, paddle clips and everything else clip to the box or to deck bungees inside it. My rod holder is mounted center in front of me, with a removeable and adjustable angle holder. Can't remember the brand (Roddy, Scotty?) but the base mount is screwed to the box wall, and the holder slips into it. With a lift and turn I can change the rod angle from side to side. No holes etc. in my yak, and the whole box comes off within a minute for non-fishing paddling.
I have notches cut into the crossways walls of the box that will keep the paddle from rolling if I just lay it there for a moment. My paddle clips are on the near side of that box wall, so that the paddle is crossways right in front of me for quick use. Once in awhile for fishing it would be out of the way more if it was lengthwise to the yak but I like the instant handiness of having it across the boat right at my hands. Sometimmes you want a paddle stroke NOW!
For a paddle clip or holder, I bought a couple of plastic U shaped pipe or conduit fasteners at a hardware store. They are made to hold a pipe tight against a stud, with a screw hole in an ear on each side of the U. I bought a pair that fit my paddle shaft, cut one ear off of each and mounted them U up on the box wall nearest me, one near each corner. The ear sits on top of the cedar 1x3 and is screwed into the top edge. Hope that makes sense. They are a little bit fragile looking but are non-corrosive in any water, have worked for two years, and cost pennies to replace.
I have an anchor but have never mounted or used it. Kind of leery of that in currents.
I have a jumper cable type clamp, (a plastic version of that from a hardware store), that I have on a lanyard of about six feet long. I clip the clamp to kelp when fishing salt water, or to a piling, etc. On the other end of the lanyard I have a small caribiner that clips to deck rigging. I've also used full size caribiners in place of the clamp and just wrap and clip. I want a quick release on everything attached to my yak, in moving water, one pull slip knots or caribiner clips.
I've rarely fishing in still or slow moving enough water that I can drift, except when I have a pick-up person miles downriver. It has been swift tidal currents, or wind, or river currents, so that a half hour of drift fishing would put you either far from where you want to fish and/or a long hard paddle to get back, hence the anchor/tie off info.
I learned the hard way while fighting a chinook salmon in salt water to attach my anchor behind the center of the yak. I had clipped to kelp with the lanyard attached to deck rigging on one side right in front of the cockpit for easy reach. Trouble was, when the big fish ran, he pulled the yak into line against the fixed tie point. That pointed my bow at the anchor point and my stern to the fish, which meant that I was fighting him backwards, trying to twist in the cockpit. Fortunately my son came over and laughingly paddled against my yak with his to straighten me out while I fought the fish. Now I clip the anchor lanyard to deck rigging at the back corner of the cockpit, just past halfway of the boat length is all that's needed, so that a fish will pull the bow toward himself and I fight him facing forward.
I have never found an ideal fish keeper while on the water. Big salmon caught from a gravel bar go into a garbage bag and into the front or rear hatch, but fish caught on the water are a problem. I've mainly used a stringer over the side, but in salt water, dogfish sharks attack them, eating lots of meat fast, so I pulled them up onto the deck but they don't stay well. Plus they are a big drag in the water if you paddle with a big bunch of good sized fish, kind of like dragging a half bunch of bananas on one side of the yak. I've mainly fished salmon or rock cod and kelp fish, which would be comparable to largemouth bass 1-5 lbs.
Anyway, it is a fun way to fish, an advantage in some situations, less so in others if fishing is the primary goal. I had intended to fly fish for trout in small lakes but never have gotten to it. Too many salmon during trout time of year.
Thanks for the replies, they are very helpful, and encouraging, too! Can’t wait to get out on the water again!
you do,be sure nothing is in the way of your paddle stroke before you start drilling.RAM and Scotty have great rod holders.For a paddle holder i like the WS rig on the Tarpons.It’s a combination side carry handles-holder combined.OT also makes a good bungee holder.Good luck!
They are right, everyone is different, but I do agree that Scotty makes a great rod holder, which will also serve as an anchor holder (see Cabelas pontoon style anchor system). I use two front and two rear. I recommend that you use face plates on the inside of your boat.
If all else fails look at both WS and OT angler models and use their placements. I now practise catch and release the reason being that if you drive 300 miles and catch your limit your day is over, but if you let them go, you just might have a 50 fish day, which tastes better than any fish I have eaten. If your going to kill a fish, do it right away and keep a soft sided ice chest with ice in your boat. Don’t forget to use a paddle leash in the heat of battle, paddles have been known to swim away.
Would you have a photo
of this box and rod holder combo. I really don’t want to drill holes in my new kayak and have been looking for alternatives.
I simply bungeed a middling size plastic
basket to the front of my kayak. Most sit-on kayak fisherment use milk crates, but my kayak is sit in and small…9’6". I used cable ties to attach a smaller basket to the large one. In the smaller basket, I’ve mounted my fish finder, modified to be used as a portable. It runs off 8 AA cell batteries. I’ve a rod holder, a tite-lok, but don’t really care for it. It came free with the kayak.
rigging for SIK?
Has anybody rigged up a sit inside (SIK) yak with stabilizers and/or trolling motor? Something like a Loon 111 or Pungo 120 or similar? I’m trying to envision how this might work. There are numerous schemes for SOTs, I think all the engineering has been focused on equipping SOTs for power. Just would like to see at least one setup for a SIK…
The rounded top would be a minor problem
to overcome when mounting a trolling motor, but it can be shimmed with a bit of creative lumber sawing. May have to build your own motor mount, but that wouldn’t be difficult. My Necky has a flat hull top on the stern and have given thought to mounting my 30lb thrust trolling motor to it. A 9.6 kayak ought to move pretty fast that way.
As for stabilizers, one simple and cheap solution I’ve seen was to mount boat fenders on each side. ropes connected them underneath the hull with bungees holding the fenders tight. I asked about drag, but the guy said that it wasn’t a real problem.
Why go thru
all the trouble? I can understand wanting outriggers to stand and pole/cast, but if you want to adapt a motor, just buy a motorboat.
Question for Okanagan
You seem to have a great deal of experience with kayak fishing. I've been fishing for about 30 years but never from a kayak. I'm still a bit afraid to do it. What if your drifting in the current, jigging for walleye on the bottom, and suddenly your jig gets caught between two rocks, will this make your kayak flip over? Same thing if you catch a big one?
Just a thought. Besides, the lake I’ve
been fishing lately is about 75% covered in hydrilla weed and that stuff eats props up fast. Good fishing though, caught six cats on six lb test using meal worms on #8 hooks.
Keowee 2 mods
Just got back from a weeks vacation and decided it time to complete the mods on my kayak so I can get out and enjoy them. Took some time and and put it all together for some shots before I take it out.
Finally finished my Anchor mounting and all I need now is to install the rope gripper and Rope real and its all done. Found a 5lb anchor on closeout at Kmart for $4.
Probably going to find a cheap fish Finder for it next month. This months budget went on vacation.
On the fish finder, forget Hummingbird
Smartcast systems. The tranducer doesn’t always work. Mine went on the blink the second time I used it. From reading reviews, its not an uncommon problem. I talked to both Bass Pro Shops and Academy Sporting Goods, a big box sporting goods store in my area. Reps at both stores tell me that Humminbirds are returned more than all the other fishfinders combined. Returned mine and got an Eagle Cuda 168 by Lowrance. It was $88 and so far, works very well. Also supposed to be water proof, a very good thing with kayaks.
Stabilizing a SIK cheaply that works!
Question came up on stabilizing a sit inside kayak. I put two 5’lengths of 2"diam. sch40 PVC on each side of my 13’ with four 3liter plastic soda bottles duct taped to the PVC. I used 3/8" nylon rope under the hull and heavy rubber trucker tie down straps across the top of the hull. By sitting the plastic jugs in my deep freezer for 10-15 mins and capping them before removing, they expand to a firm state to facilitate taping to the PVC without crushing them. Easy storage inside the vehicle and easy install & removal helps also…capped bottle ends point to the bow for very little drag…and put end caps on each end of the PVC and seal them. More buoyancy there also. Chess- Oregon