by Kristine Fischer
Have you ever stood on the deck of your boat watching fish feed behind the last row of stick-ups, helplessly knowing the action’s just out of reach? Have you ever been bank fishing, thinking if you could just set up a bit differently to make a specific cast you could get the bite? Have you ever been driving down the road and noticed a particularly fishy-looking piece of water with no easy or apparent access? Sure, all of us have. These common scenarios – and many similar ones – are all solved by the growing and addictive opportunity known as kayak fishing.
Availability is one of the key aspects driving kayak fishing. There are options for any anglers’ budget or unique situation. There are inflatable fishing kayaks for the folks needing space, easy transport or a featherweight approach. There are large, molded kayaks with elaborate seats, large standing platforms and ample storage space for the gear junky. There are basic models starting in the low hundreds and top-of-the-line opportunities near $5,000. There are roof carriers and racks, bed extenders for pickup trucks, wheeled carts and do-it-yourself trailers to help solve any transportation need. And there are plenty of kayak shops out there to help you get set up properly, no matter your level of experience or expertise.
Accessibility is the primary advantage that the kayak platform holds over all other types of fishing. Kayak anglers are not just able to get on the water, they’re able to access water others can’t. Consider the old saying “when the water moves up, so do the bass.” When this happens, kayaks are able to maneuver around in inches of water without making much noise, providing access to shallow flats and cover that many other fishing boats can’t get to.
The same holds true during the dog days of summer, when bass are known to push way to the backs of small feeder creeks to find cooler water and shade. Kayakers are notorious for navigating these tight corridors, limboing under laydowns and weaving through shallow shoals to find these fish that aren’t heavily pressured.
Put simply, kayak anglers have opportunities on the water not afforded to others. Additionally, kayaks don’t require specific ramps or ample parking access. Many bodies of water present pull-offs, slide-ins, beaches and even kayak-specific launches unavailable to other craft.
Kayak-fishing pays unique social dividends as well. While all anglers share kinship and are part of a tight-knit community, the camaraderie and generosity experienced amongst kayak anglers is unparalleled. Whether you belong to a local club that hosts casual get togethers or you travel to compete on the national level, you’re likely to generate rewarding, life-long relationships along the way. This can be attributed to the like-mindedness of the sport’s participants and their special willingness to help others. Ultimately, this sport is comprised of individuals from all walks of life who come together because they all have one thing in common: a genuine love for fishing.
In summary, kayaks solve many common fishing problems. They’re affordable, easy to own and transport, provide new levels of access, and unlock a whole new world of angling kinship.
So, what are you waiting for?