What are the advantages of using a kayak for fishing?
Why not just buy a boat? How about a canoe? If you talk to most ‘yak anglers, you will find them most fervent about their method of fishing. What is it that creates this kind of devotion?
Kayak fishing has an esthetic appeal.
The feeling you get when paddling to a spot and finding fish is most satisfying. Fly fishermen feel the same way about the way they fish. There is an elegance involved in the process. It might also be the connection to the past. By using a kayak, we are somehow getting in touch with other people of other times. A little romantic perhaps, but true.
The quiet nature of the kayak enhances an angler’s fish catching ability.
Many South Florida fishermen recount the tales of paddling up to snook and redfish without spooking them. They will tell you how they paddled over a fish only to turn around and cast to the fish for a hook up. Stealth is an important component of fishing. Kayaks are as quiet as they come.
Another advantage of kayak fishing is low cost.
A completely rigged fishing kayak can be purchased for around one thousand dollars. It would be very difficult to find a boat, motor, and trailer for a price anywhere close to that. If you are on a budget (and who isn’t?), kayaks should be given prime consideration.
Low to No Maintenace
Anyone who has owned a powerboat knows the hours of maintenance required to keep the craft in top condition. Kayaks are very low-maintenance. A good hosing down after a fishing trip is all that is needed to keep your boat in excellent condition. From time to time, you need to check the fittings for corrosion and inspect your straps and cords for fraying. In addition, plastic kayaks can benefit from an application of UV protectant about every 6 months.
Kayaks can be launched from just about anywhere.
A boat ramp is not needed. This is especially nice on the weekends when most boat ramps are tied up with traffic. In fact, most “yakkers” look for remote access points to put in. If you can find a break in a tree-lined lake or a small stretch of beach, you have a place to launch your boat.
The paddling will you give you a nice workout. It is an especially pleasant way to supplement any other exercise program you might be using. Keep in mind, as with any exercise new routine to consult with your physician.
The nature of the kayaking and kayak fishing allows you to take your time and appreciate your surroundings.
There are many times you’ll just put down your rod and reel just to paddle and enjoy the scenery and wildlife.
The low-impact nature of using a kayak will appeal to many people. We are all aware of the damage that humans can inflict on the environment. Kayaks do not use fossil fuels. Their quiet nature does not intrude on the wildlife. In coastal Florida, many grass flats are being damaged powered boats. Kayaks do not inflict this damage. In general, kayaks allow you to fish and “leave no trace.”
There are disadvantages to kayaks also. The words “dry” and “kayak” do not go together will. Depending upon the kayak you choose and your paddling skills, you may get more or less wet. It could be said that kayakers are like babies: Eyes wide open, a smile on their faces, and wet bottoms.
Unless you have a tandem kayak, you are not going to take anyone fishing with you. Fishing with a companion means that each person is in his or her own craft. You may or may not find this a disadvantage. Many anglers prefer the solitude that is gained by fishing alone.
There are other disadvantages. It does require muscle power. Kayaks are not for the lazy person. If you are not paying attention to the weather, you can quickly be exposed to some harsh conditions. You do not have room for the tackle and gear you can take in a boat. While a good kayak is not uncomfortable, a day’s fishing can be a little confining.
Be sure to consider the advantages and disadvantages of kayak fishing. As with any activity, it is not for everyone. Looking at the pros and cons before getting started will help you decide if it is right for you.
A quick word about canoes vs. kayaks. Much of advantages for using a kayak would also apply to a canoe. There are some basic differences, however. Canoes can handle more gear. Canoes are also considerably drier than kayaks. If you plan to fish with a partner more often than not, you might consider a canoe. If you plan to fish alone, the kayak is more appropriate. Kayaks are lighter, faster, and more maneuverable.