Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

Beginners’ guide to kayak fishing

Written by Fiona

April 26 2019

Kayak fishing is a great activity and fun for a range of age groups. Here are some of the things you might like to know about the water-based outdoors pursuit

First, there’s the kayak. It’s believed that kayaks were first built and used by the Inuits in North America as a way to hunt. They used the water-borne crafts to hunt on inland lands.

The earliest kayaks are thought to be about 4,000 years old and were originally made from stitched seal or other animal skins over a frame made from whale bones. The buoyancy came from seal bladders filled with air, placed at the front and rear of the kayak.

Today, kayaks are usually made of fibreglass, wood, plastic or Kevlar. They are designed for leisure pursuits and sport.

Kayaks can be paddled on a range of different water ways, including rivers, canals, lakes and the sea.

Kayaks also offer a great way to fish. Kayaks can be paddled almost silently, so they create minimum disturbance to the fish in the water below. IN a kayak, it’s also possible to access some quiet and remote locations and get away from where other people might choose to fish.

Here’s what you need to know if you plan on taking your fishing skills into the realm of the kayak.

Learn to kayak.

Learn to paddle a kayak

This might seem obvious, but before you try kayak fishing, you’ll need to know how to paddle and navigate in a kayak. There are kayaking courses all over the world. For example, we have the chance to learn to kayak in Glasgow.

Hire the equipment and get to grips with paddling techniques, safety skills and understanding where you can take a kayak for the best fishing. For example, you might like ideas on where to kayak fish in Scotland.

Kayak fishing, Credit: Tim Donovan:FWC

Learn to cast one handed

The major windup and two-handed cast aren’t particularly feasible while in a kayak unless you have a wider and more stable boat. This is because of the limited amount of room and balance in the narrow craft. The best approach is a gentle one-handed cast for kayak fishing.

Steer by casting to the right place

Interestingly enough, if your bait is heavy enough to create some resistance while you’re reeling it in, you’ll end up gently directing your boat in that direction.

So, if you’re in a lightweight kayak and casting out a heavy crankbait or spinnerbait, you’ll notice your kayak slowly tending towards the direction of your casts. If you cast tactically, you’ll always be in the perfect window to catch some lurking giants.

Use a one-handed paddle

Much like how you’ll have to learn how to cast with one hand, you’ll might also want to learn how to paddle with one hand. This involves a bit of practice with the double ended paddle. Some people might choose to use a single paddle for kayak fishing.

Once the rod is set up and ready to go, there won’t be much space for you to put it, especially if you have a fish on the line. Some of the kayakerguide articles here show off different paddles, and when they’re best used.

Stay near the shoreline

It’s important to consider your paddling ability and endurance when choosing where to go kayak fishing. Beware of heavy currents or fishing on a particularly windy day, otherwise you’ll expend much more energy than you would otherwise and you won’t make any significant progress.

To mitigate these issues it might be better to stay close to shore where it is more sheltered and easier to paddle.

Kayak fishing is a great activity and saves on the fuel required for motorised boats. It is also peaceful, mindful and helps to keep you fit. It’s important to learn how to kayak safely and how to navigate different waterways. But after that all you need to do is grab your rod and tackle, hop in the kayak, and get out there.

Try this out and never lose your sunglasses again in the ocean or lake.

More Like This

Adventure

3 GB Ultras wins in a row for Scott Brown

Adventure

Isle of arran Corbetts: Cir Mhòr and Beinn Tarsuinn

Adventure

Explore hidden treasures with South Ayrshire snorkel trail

Adventure

Review: Vango Alpha 300 tent 

Adventure

Romantic getaways in Florida: Perfect spots for couples

Adventure

Sunny Corbetts and a claggy Graham on the Isle of Arran