How to Drift Fish in a Kayak

How to Drift Fish in a Kayak
A drift sock is a device to help stabilize and slow your kayak in a wind or current. If your kayak is being blown by a strong breeze, the drift sock will trail behind it like a parachute in the water. This will slow the kayak down and keep it pointing in the same direction. Drift socks can be used in nearly any stationary kayak fishing situation provided there are no obstacles that might snag the sock such as submerged tree limbs and aquatic plants.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Drift sock
  • Fishing pole
  • Fishing tackle
  • Bait
Step 1
Paddle your kayak out to a fishing spot. Kayaks provide accessibility near bridges or docks or in shallow waters or other fishing areas where other boats can't easily go.
Step 2
Sight a landmark and watch which way you are moving relative to it. This will allow you to determine which way you are drifting.
Step 3
Position your kayak so that there are no obstacles nearby in the direction you are going to be drifting. Ideally, you shouldn't have to worry about repositioning your kayak or avoiding obstacles while drift fishing.
Step 4
Attach the drift sock to a 5 to 10 foot long tether. Unfold the chute and attach it to the point of the kayak which you would like to be downstream. For example, if you are drifting south and want the bow to face north, Attach the drift sock to the stern of your kayak. Turn the kayak so you are facing in the direction you want to be in.
Step 5
Place the sock in the water on the opposite side of the direction you are drifting. For example, if you are drifting south, place the drift sock in the water north of the kayak.

Let the drift sock drift away from the kayak until the tether is taught. Pull the drift chute back in slowly to remove trapped air bubbles.
Step 6
Cast your fishing rod, using the right tackle and bait for whatever you are fishing. If you are drift fishing for halibut, for example, use a trap rig with fresh dead squid and a sliding barrel swivel attached to a torpedo sinker, or some other appropriate rig.
Step 7
Pull in your drift sock, paddle and redeploy the sock to adjust your position to keep your boat drifting in the right area for your target fish. To drift halibut in kelp, for example, keep the boat positioned just outside of the kelp bed and cast towards the bed. To drift a submerged structure for bass, keep your kayak close enough to cast to the structure. To drift fish a reef for rockfish, look down periodically to make sure you are still over the reef.

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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