5 Tips To Improve Your Kayak Fishing In Saltwater

Written By Ally | A Wilderness Explorer Backpacked Throughout South America
May 10, 2022
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5 Tips To Improve Your Kayak Fishing In Saltwater

Kayak fishing is an exciting sport regardless of where you fish from. But, the open shores give you an adventure like no other.

Whether you prefer off-shore or in-shore kayak fishing, there are endless opportunities to explore. There are big fish that awaits you and endless waters to cover, which calls for preparedness.

The endless opportunities in saltwater kayak fishing come with their distinct challenges. So, before you set off to your fishing destinations, below are 5 tips for saltwater kayak fishing critical for your comfort, safety, and success on the waters.

5 Tips for saltwater kayak fishingTips for saltwater kayak fishing   Pick out the right kayak

There are many kayak options in the market, and new models and designs are rolled out each year. And, when it comes to saltwater kayak fishing, you should pick one designed to handle the challenges out in the sea. It will be worth spending some extra dollars on a quality kayak for comfort, safety, and success in the waters.

Here are the things to guide you when picking a kayak for saltwater fishing:

  • Buy a kayak built for fishing. Though other kayaks might do the work, it will require modifications that might cost you more. Fishing kayaks are shorter and wider for improved stability when angling. The design also reduces the chance of capsizing in choppy waters of the sea.
  • Get a kayak designed for saltwater fishing. The options are made to withstand the corrosive nature of ocean waters.
  • Choose a kayak color option that stands out against the white and blue waters of the ocean. You will be sharing waters with large yachts, coastguards, and fellow kayak anglers, and your kayak should be visible to all. Color options to choose from are orange, yellow, and red.
  • Go for sit-on-top fishing kayaks over sit-ins. Sit-on-top kayak options are comfortable when fishing. It offers more seating options to prevent backaches, has more storage options for your catch, equipment, and gears, and is easy to get in and out in case of accidents.
  • Always test your preferred kayak before you buy it. Check for ease of transport, storage, and maintenance and that it serves the fishing purpose comfortably. Do this by renting a similar model from kayak rental shops near you.

Buy a quality paddle

Fatigue is the number one enemy when you are out kayak fishing. And, it has to do much with the paddle you are using. You might think since fishing is a sit-and-wait kind of game, any paddle will do the work. No!

A good paddle makes it easy for you to steer your boat in and out of the sea while covering as much water without straining your hands.

Here are a few considerations when buying a paddle for kayak saltwater fishing:

  • Choose a quality lightweight fishing kayak paddle for efficiency, speed, and less strain on your arms. The best options are ones made of fiberglass with nylons reinforcement instead of polypropylene or resin.
  • Do not go for cheap options. Choose a quality paddle you can afford. Ensure it is designed well with quality materials to serve you longer and efficiently.
  • Choose a right-sized paddle based on your height, weight, and kayak length. If you are short, go for a shorter paddle with a narrow blade to avoid straining and if tall and heavy, go for the opposite.
  • Buy a leash for your paddle if it doesn’t come with one. When fishing, you might not hold your paddle all the time, and having a leash ensures it is secured even in accidents.

Have the right set of angling gear and equipmentTips for saltwater kayak fishing   

Saltwater presents big catches that call for the right fish handling gear and equipment. If you are not prepared, you might hook up a good catch but fail to take it home. As such, you need a set of angling gear and equipment that might be slightly different from those of freshwater fishing.

For instance, in saltwater fishing, you need a long and heavier fishing rod which is not the case in freshwater angling. Again, the fishing lines for saltwater have higher density and lower diameter.

Here is what you need with regards to kayak fishing accessories:

  • The right set of fishing rods, lines, hooks, and natural or live bait designed for saltwater fishing
  • Knife or scissors for cutting up small baits and sniping lines
  • Anchor to hold your vessel once you find a good fishing spot. Buy anchors that can hold your kayak well but are light enough to transport.
  • Pair of plier for unhooking your catch
  • Heavy-duty nets for netting the catch
  • Emergency repair kit for repairing the kayak in case of unexpected damages while kayak fishing
  • Equip your kayak with rod and paddle holders

N/B: All the equipment and gear should be non-corrosive to stand the corrosive effect of ocean water. You should only carry what you need to keep it simple. This saves you space and makes it easy to trace the items you need while fishing.

Always carry a navigation system

Whether or not you are familiar with the waters you are fishing from, you need a navigation system. The excitement of getting big catches in the open waters might take you far away from shore until you aren’t able to get your way back.

So, always carry a navigation device and set it up before heading off-shore. In case you lose direction, the device will help you navigate safely to the shore. Ideally, you should be looking for a kayak fish finder with built-in GPS.

Here are features to look out for when buying a GPS navigating system:

  • Waterproof with a good rating of IPX7 or IPX8
  • The display should be clear and readable in any condition and at any time
  • Have long battery life to avoid the need to change the battery change frequently. But, always carry extra batteries if the old ones run out of power.
  • Mounting options to easily attach to the kayak
  • Easy to use to make it less stressful to navigate when lost

Take protective measures to stay safe

Safety should be a priority when fishing in the open waters. Below are the protective measures to take to stay safe while enjoying the experience that comes with saltwater kayak fishing:

  • Always tag along someone to help in case of emergency
  • Be aware of weather changes to act accordingly when the need arises.
  • Carry a well-fitting kayak fishing PFD and wear it to keep you safe if your kayak capsizes or you fall off the boat.
  • Use sunscreen, and wear sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself against harmful UV rays. And, bring lots of water to stay hydrated all day long.
  • Bring along communication devices such as VHF radio and mobile phones to call for emergency help. Opt for waterproof devices or keep them in a waterproof bag.
  • Pack insect repellents if you intend to fish near lagoons or mangroves
  • Have appropriate clothing such as rain gear to protect you in all weather conditions.
  • Always have a plan and communicate it to your family and friends, i.e., where you intend to fish, your route, and your return time. They will call for help in case you don’t turn up.

Key Insights & Takeaway

Saltwater kayak fishing is fun, but the unexpected can happen if you do not follow the necessary tips. Always use the right kayak, have a quality paddle, carry along the correct fishing gear and equipment, and navigation device and observe protective measures for a safe and enjoyable angling trip in open waters.


About the author: Ally Mash

Bio: Ally is a wilderness explorer who has backpacked throughout South America, Iceland, and Europe. He loves sharing his adventures with others at Adventures Pursuit because he believes that everyone should be in the mindset of protecting our planet’s beauty as much as they can!

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