How to Land a Fish From a Kayak

How to Land a Fish From a Kayak
With gas becoming ever more expensive, many fishermen are turning to the past and kayak fishing. Fishing from a kayak adds another level of challenge to the sport due to the physical demands. One of those challenges is landing the fish from a prone position, but with enough practice this can be done by anyone.


Difficulty: Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Kayak
  • Net or gaff
  • Fish bat
Step 1
Fight the fish to the boat after you have hooked it. This may take some time, depending on the size of the fish. Some fish may even be large enough to pull the kayak around with you in it. The worst thing you could do in a situation such as this is panic. Just let the fish wear itself out.
Step 2
Bring the fish directly to the side of the boat, parallel with the craft. Getting the fish right next to the vessel makes netting or gaffing it much easier.
Step 3
Grip the rod with your non-dominant hand and raise the rod tip up. This will help deter the fish from shaking the hook. Alternatively you could place the rod in the rod holder, but this provides far less control than holding the rod in your hand.
Step 4
Grip the net or gaff with your dominant hand and either scoop underneath the fish with the net, or use the gaff to penetrate the fish itself and hook into the flesh. This will prevent the fish from getting away.
Step 5
Use the fish bat if necessary to dispatch the fish. This is key in kayak fishing, as the last thing you want is an angry fish on board with you.
Step 6
Let the fish rest in the net or on the gaff until he stops flailing about, and bring him into the vessel. Depending on the size of the fish, you may be able to store it in a cooler, although with larger fish such as king mackerel and large redfish, this may prove impossible. You can get around this problem by keeping a cooler filled with ice on the shore and bringing larger fish in for storage.

Tips & Warnings

Some fish will require the use of the bat; some will not.
Some fish have very sharp teeth and/or fins, so exercise caution when bringing them into the vessel.
Larger fish can literally pull you out of the boat if you are not careful.

Article Written By Justin Otto

Justin K. Otto is a freelance writer & editor from Pensacola, Florida. He has been writing for 9 years and professionally for just over 2 for several publications such as The Pensacola News Journal, a Gannett Publication, the PJC Corsair and Kayak Angler Magazine. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in journalism.

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