A kayak is a shallow, narrow type of a canoe that is waterproof and got a small space to use. Kayaks have been in use over the years, in fact, archaeologists claim that kayaks existed for over 4000 years. They originated from the Arctic region and were in use by the ancient people who inhabited the area. Initially, the Arctic people used kayaks to hunt across rivers, lakes and the oceanic waters of the North Pacific Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, Beling sea and arctic ocean. The first ever kayak came from the stitched animal skin as the area around the Arctic Ocean did not have trees. However, most of the people around the Arctic region did not use the kayak for fishing but sporting and hunting.
Most people tend to confuse between a kayak and a canoe. The two boats, however, got a difference based on their types of equipment and the sitting positions on the two vessels. In a kayak, the angler facing forward and places his legs forward too. The paddler also uses two paddles. On the other hand, in a canoe, the paddler sits ahead but stays in a kneeling position. A canoe paddler also uses a single paddler. Modern kayaks designs are with the help of computer-aided design making them far much better than the original kayaks.
The following article aims at educating the reader more about kayak fishing and most importantly on what size the user needs for successful fishing.
Why is kayak fishing popular?
Kayak fishing has risen over the years in both salt and fresh water bodies and especially in warmer regions because of ease of entry. The following are advantages of using kayak over other fishing techniques.
The purchasing cost and the maintenance cost is relatively low compared to motor boats. The only essentials that one require are a paddle and PFD, and from there one can get started with the fishing process. Be sure to check out our guide: How much does kayaking cost?
A kayak enables one to access different water bodies be it lakes, oceans or rivers.one is also able to access local ponds and small creeks.
The only maintenance techniques one need to ensure are spraying off dirt and mud and cleaning up one’s mess. One doesn’t have to worry about mechanical problems associated with motor boats and there are usually no electronics on a kayak to worry about. Fish finders can be common on kayaks so you’ll need to know the maintenance requirements for those. However, the use of products that prevent the craft from direct sunlight has been a recommendation.
A kayak has a lightweight. This makes it easy to move the kayak across the land. However heavier kayaks require a cart. A cart is nothing compared to the difficult task of transporting boats. One does not have to waste much time waiting on the boat ramp. Furthermore, specially designed kayak ramps will launch the kayak from the shore.
Kayak fishing is health friendly. This is because one gets to incorporate the body into health fitting exercise during the process of paddling or while fishing.
Whether the kayak is small or big, it will have some adequate storage space in it making it more efficient. The storage space is used to store rods, fishing finders and other fishing types of equipment.
Types of kayak used in fishing
There exist a variety of kayak for fishing. Here is a list of the many kinds of kayaks:
Sit on top kayaks
These types of kayaks offer much stability to the paddler. Furthermore, the sit on top kayaks can be used by first-time paddlers or experienced paddlers as they are simple to use. They are mostly in use on rivers, lakes or even oceans.
These types of kayaks accompany features that render the paddler comfortable. They are more stable, simple to get into, have comfortable sitting bases and accommodates all class of paddlers be it experienced or first-time paddlers.
Sea kayaks are more prolonged than touring kayas a feature that enables them to be relatively faster. These type of kayas are accompanied by multiple-features such as deck layouts to increase the storage space and multiple hatches.
These kayaks consist of a wide range of paddling types such as river running, extreme creeking and surfing. There is a variety of whitewater kayaks for experienced and inexperienced paddlers.
These kayaks are stable and are of importance when one is emphasising on a kayak with ample storage space and compact transport. They are very easy to paddle. Check out our guide on the Best inflatable kayaks here at MyFishingKayak.com
Features of a kayak
Manufacturers include special features in kayaks to make the fishing process easy. These features include inbuilt coolers and rod holders, uniquely designed hatches equipment mounts and GPS receivers. Anchor trolleys, live walls and running lights are also other special features found in a kayak. Uniquely modelled fishing kayaks are similar to recreational sit on and sit on top kayaks.
They consist of a far-reaching beam that increases stability. This allows the angler to fish while standing. The hulls of these specially designed kayaks are also considerably spacious and thus enable the fisherman to store rods, extra paddles, wheels to tow the kayak from the vehicle to the water body and batteries for fish. Kayaks also have cutouts moulded on top of them well suited to store milk and other additional supplies. Some kayaks are also equipped with outriggers to increase stability further.
Which type of kayak do fishers prefer?
Users look at many factors to determine the best kayak for fishing ranging from durability, stability and their ability to provide comfort. The most widely used kayaks come from polythene around them because of their ability to last long and low purchasing and maintenance cost. Hardshell kayaks are more popular than inflatable kayaks as they are not vulnerable to inflation.
The most recent type of kayak known as twinhull (cataraman) kayak provides stability as it allows one to peddle the kayak and fish while standing. This technique solves some health problems associated with sitting for long hours. There is also another favourite kayak which is propelled by flippers and a foot technique. The kayak is user-friendly in that it allows one to fish freely and other benefits associated with hand free fishing method.
Which fishing techniques are in operation during kayak fishing?
Many fishing methods used in kayak fishing are almost similar to those used in other fishing boats. What brings out the difference, however, is the difference in the setup, the positioning of each equipment in the kayak and the how each activity comes in play as the kayak is relatively smaller than other fishing boats.
Anglers who use kayaks aims at fishing more prized gamefish such as sea trout, red drum, snook, red drum, cod, halibut and many others. Such anglers apply the aftermarket fishing technique with accessories such as rod holders and anchor trolleys. Bottom fishing is another technique used in a kayak. These methods have increased the popularity of kayaks especially after the discovery that fish could be fished at much lesser speed.
Soft baiting is another fishing method that has arisen over the years. This fishing method is predominant, especially in the southern hemisphere. The technique is popular because it uses rubber or soft plastic lures and weighted jig heads in place of messy live baits.
What size of kayak do I need?
Although many people assume that size is the general body of the kayak, there is more to looks In respect to the scale than just the body. Below are factors to consider when determining the right size of a kayak to use:
Length is one of the most significant factors to consider when choosing your preferred size of a kayak.
Shorter kayaks are designed in a way that they are able to go around and turn with ease as displayed by most recreational styles. Thus shorter kayaks are recommended for recreational purposes.
Longer kayaks on the other hand issue much better tracking. This makes longer paddles more convenient and enjoyable as the angler consumes less energy to keep the kayak going fast and straight.
Wide kayaks commonly preferred because of their ability to offer stability. Wide kayaks enable a paddler to maintain a standing position while paddling or carrying out the fishing process. However exaggerated width is not recommended since it may make the angler to perform poorly in terms of tracking and speed. Solutions to a wider kayak are provided especially if it makes you have a hard time while angling.
A narrow kayak on the hand is efficient as it able enables faster paddling. This is because it withstands all conditions in water be it calm or choppy conditions.
Another factor to consider when determining what size of a kayak to use is the weight capacity of the kayak. Apparently, most kayak anglers are gear junkies. An additional 150 lbs are recommended in order to determine the correct weight surface to look for in a fishing kayak. However, if the angler intends to use the kayak for recreational purposes an additional 100bs is recommended to choose the right weight capacity of your kayak.
In choosing about the leg room, height will determine the amount of leg space required in the deck of the kayak. Adjustable leg pegs are recommended to suit the length your legs require to e comfortable.one should also consider taking the centre console into account. If the kayak one intends to use has a centre console should choose wisely between creating spacious legroom and selecting the adequate storage space. If one prefers having sufficient space, then freedom of leg movement will not be put into much account.
Tips to become a good kayak fisher
After a first timer kayak angler or an experienced angler purchasing appropriate size of the kayak, here are some of the tips that will enable him/her to carry out kayak fishing efficiently; You will need to be aware of the dangers of kayak fishing as well.
- Learn to cast using one hand. Although this may pose quite a challenge to anglers who are used to fishing from offshores and the comfortable decks of a boat, one should learn to cast single-handedly. One hand should be fishing while the other hand should be busy spinning the tackle. Therefore, anyone planning to fish using kayaks should opt for lighter fishing equipment.
- Learn how to handle the paddle one handed
Operating the paddle single may is more straightforward as the rhythm comes automatically even to paddlers who have less experience. However, a perfect angler requires to have the skill of one-handed paddling. This is due to unexpected overhanging branches that you have to avoid. One may also expect to wrestle a fish and at the same time steer backwards.
- Cast to steer
Some baits such as spinner baits, crankbaits and chatter baits offer resistance. The paddler may, however, take this as an opportunity to guide the kayak. The opposition provided forces with the kayak to the direction of casting.
- Use your feet
This appears strange but most experienced paddlers use their feet maximumly while paddling. In a narrow kayak boat, your legs will enable you to steer drift on rivers. The legs also act as an anchor most especially on shallow areas. Legs are great in helping one to avoid logs or other obstacles while the hands are busy fishing.
- Use eddies for kayak fishing.
You should learn to take advantage of current while fishing. The state of most kayaks being light and short enables them to sit entirely on an eddy preventing the kayak from going downstream. As the kayak sits altogether on a whirlpool, the paddler gets enough time to fish comfortably on the corresponding seam.
- Hug the shoreline
When waves occur, it is advisable to catch fish in the shallow region of the water to fish efficiently. This is because, at the coastline, the strength of the waves is reduced by the vegetation found on the shoreline and other structures. This is necessary to avoid using too much energy.
- Do not be afraid to anchor
One may avoid anchoring because it is tiresome. However, anchoring is important as it enables one to stay in one position while fishing. One should be cautious in anchoring though as the kayak may sink in case of strong waves. It’s best to use a kayak anchor trolley when you need to anchor.