3 Skills Beginner kayak fishermen should master
Kayak fishing is a sport that has grown in popularity in recent years due to a kayak’s quiet ability to weave in and out of difficult areas. If you’ve never fished in a kayak before, there are a few skills you should work on before you focus on the fish.
1. Balance in the kayak
Those new to kayaking should be comfortable in a kayak before adding fishing to the mix. Practice getting into a kayak by leveling it parallel to the shore and dodging, gripping the sides of the kayak for stability. In the kayak, keep your head centered in the boat for stability.
If you plan to stand in your kayak while fishing, try some balancing exercises to get comfortable in the kayak before venturing too far offshore. Balance on one foot and then the other to increase your confidence.
If you want the comfort and stability of sitting down while kayaking, but want the position of standing, you should try kneeling on a boat cushion during your kayak fishing. This is the perfect compromise for those who want to look into the surrounding water but are not comfortable enough to stand in their kayak.
2. Paddling in a kayak
To master kayak fishing, you must first master how to efficiently maneuver yourself in a kayak. A basic forward stroke is to dip the blade of the paddle in the water, pause briefly to allow the blade to catch the water, make the strike, and then remove the blade. While it feels natural to only rely on arm strength, your entire core should be involved in every stroke.
Explore and practice various forms of paddling, including the sweeping stroke to turn, the pull stroke to pull ashore, and the reverse stroke to stop. Learning to execute these strokes correctly can help you move efficiently and prevent frightening fish with a poorly shaped stroke. Knowing these strokes will keep you safe even in a variety of conditions.
3. Multitasking in a kayak
Once you know the basics of kayaking, it’s time to add the elements of fishing. Be sure to buy a paddle line and practice paddling with one hand. When kayaking, you need to maintain control of the direction and movement of your boat while fishing. Pay attention to how your movements affect your kayak. For example, your boat will turn in the direction you are throwing. Use this knowledge to efficiently navigate in water.
Paddling your kayak into an area of thick vegetation can keep your boat moving to a minimum. Equip your kayak with rod holders and other accessories that can save you space in the boat. As with any other water sport, don’t forget to wear your life jacket.
Have fun out there!
This post is part of a series of sponsored content with Sierra Trading Post.
Lauren Seidl blogs for budget retailer Sierra Trading Post, a partner of TakeMeFishing.org. She hikes, camps, climbs rocks and explores the Rocky Mountains as often as she can. When Lauren can’t find adventure in her home state of Colorado, she can sip on a great Colorado microbrewery.