Reduced angle of site for fish in kayak?

-- Last Updated: Jun-27-08 10:27 AM EST --

Newbie to kayak fishing. I use a sit-in kayak and been fishing with it for the first time this summer.

A couple of boat-fisherman asked me what advantages tactically a kayak can offer. I stated the usually, manueverability and therefore access, easy of launch and stealth. "Stealth?" they replied. "Yah!" I quipped. "I'm quite on my approach and my angle of the fish's vision is reduced from my lower profile and less likely to bolt" I opinioned. "Bullshit!" (on the angle thing) bluntly cackled one fisherman.

I told them I was watching ESPN outdoors last summer, and a featured pro-angler discussed how that some mature fish will eye-you and stay away if you stand up near the edge of the boat when fishing in close quarters. Anyway what are some opinions out there about the angle of sight theory and reduced profile of kayak?

The angle from a kayak is not as good

– Last Updated: Jun-26-08 8:39 PM EST –

for sight fishing. Standing for tailing redfish when bay fishing or when water clarity is gin clear and you can see the fish from some distance is an aid. But, standing when close to fish can spook them should they see your shadow or sense movement.

Some find casting easier from a standing position. That may be especially true of those who prize distance casting. But, the relative stealth of a kayak or canoe compared to a large motor craft is an advantage in favor of the kayak. Then, of course, there are those who can stand in a tea cup on the water, as well as kayaks stable for standing, meeting the requirements of those who want to stand. And some overrate distance casting, mistaking it as superior to the person who may not cast as far but does so accurately.

In the end, the adantage of paddle craft over motor boats has as much to do with the fact they cost so much less, both to operate and to haul around. Also, it doesn't take the same kind of room to store paddle craft. Unless, of course, you are like some of us with multiple boats. Even then, a rack in the back yard takes much less real estate than a bay in the garage and is less costly than renting a storage stall.

Being able to access smaller waters is certainly an advantage. And, best of all, the slower pace allows one to see more wildlife and enjoy it.

Fish don’t see you as well.
Nor do you see them as well. It’s a mixed bag.

  • Big D

When I feel I am …
… close in on a target , I tend to think I should keep as low a profile as possible . Don’t know it makes much difference , but it makes me feel the odds are better in my favor .

I prefer to keep as much distance as possible from the target at first , closing in with succesive cast in a 180* narrowing cone pattern until with in reach of the prime target (starting from the outside then inward) .

Stealth as you mentioned is important as far as I’m concerned . I think the idea is to do your best to not allow the fish to associate your offering , with you . In many or most cases , I find that once you have notified the fish of your presence , your odds of getting a strike go way down .

Next time you see the bass boat guys just tell them you like to be quiet and fish with as much simplicity as possible sometimes .

Don’t forget the lack of noise, no oil
or gas smell (can’t be good for attracting fish) and every little wave slap on a flat, aluminum hull has got to be sending shivers down the spine of any fish within 100 feet.

I’ll take any one of my yaks over a jonboat any day . . . .


Either that
Or run a shoals they can’t run without getting stuck and take three fish from it.

  • Big D

Typical boat angler mentality…
Flyfishermen will tell you that you often have to stoop or crawl to get close enough to fish in rivers and streams to make effective casts to trout and smallmouth bass… This is precisely because of the fish’s angle of sight.

Saltwater Flats fishermen, especially for Bonefish. prefer to wear sky blue, for much the same reason. To blend in with the backfround.

Unfortunately, your line of site is worst because you are in a kayak, that a fisherman standing in a boat, or one on a poling tower on a flats boat. Which is the main reason flats boats have poling towers, so the guide can spot fish and creep up to within casting range of the fish.

The stream fishing example above, most river/stream fishermen will look from a high point beside the river, and far enough away not to spook the fish, and spot fish in their lies. They will then determine a path to get as close to the lie as possible, and take as low a sillouette in the water as possible, often casting from a crouch.

You were right, and the fishermen you were talkig to were typical ignorant stink pot fishermen.


You will usually kick their butt.
When fishing from a kayak. Might take you longer to get there and back. After that you got the advantage.

So you loose some angle. Just cast over there and catch a fish and don’t worry about no stinking angles.

Who knows what a fish sees and what might scare them? I can atest that I float directly over the warriest fish at times leaving them undisturbed. Try that in a stink boat. Let the ignorant remain ignorant.

Thanks for all the feedback!

Hate the smell of gasoline
And, no, it does nothing for you to get gas on your hands/clothes and then touch the bait. Regular human smells are bad enough when fishing for some species. As for the noise, that’s why the carpet those aluminum bass boats.

Now go catch some serious fish
and rub their noses in it. You will see them in yaks the next time you’re out for sure . . . .