Setting Up a Fishing Kayak

Setting Up a Fishing Kayak
Setting up a fishing kayak should be an ongoing activity, not a weekend project. It can be tempting to install every possible modification all at once, but this approach can backfire. Extra mounts and unneeded equipment can crowd and weigh down your kayak, detracting from the simplicity of kayak fishing. Start with the gear you know you will use and take your boat. Pay attention to what equipment you feel is missing and add it before subsequent trips, one or two pieces at a time. By the time you are done, you will have created a fishing machine perfectly tailored to your own preferences.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Kayak
  • Paddle
  • Life jacket
  • Fishing equipment
  • Assorted tools
Step 1
Install bungee lashings to the bow if your kayak does not already have them. Bungee lashings will allow you to quickly stow your paddle and grab your fishing rod when you get a tug.
Step 2
Install one or more rod-holders behind or in front of the cockpit. Installing the holders in front of the cockpit will make it easier to detect a bite, but installing them behind may make trolling easier.
Step 3
Install a bait tank in the boat. An external wire cage will hold your bait in the water without requiring significant modification to the boat, but will also slow you down. An internal bait well will allow you to keep live bait without compromising the sleek water line of the kayak.
Step 4
Pack a well-organized tackle box, a bag to hold your catches, prepared cut bait (if you are using it) and a first-aid kit in dry bags. Strap the tackle box and bait to bungee cords for easy usage and pack the rest in storage compartments.
Step 5
Install a bright white running light to make your boat more visible if you plan on night fishing. Bring along a headlamp and spare flashlight to allow you to see.
Step 6
Pack a drift net and a 10-foot or longer tether. If the wind or current gets strong, the drift net will keep your kayak facing the same way, making it easier to fish.
Step 7
Bring a waterproof VHF radio and fishfinder. Either use models which suction cup on-- or, for more security, install them onto the hull of the kayak with epoxy.
Step 8
Tie every fishing rod to the kayak near the rod holder with a 10-foot piece of sturdy rope. This will prevent you from losing your rod should it be pulled out by a strong bite or fall overboard.

Article Written By Isaiah David

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

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