Making the move from bass boat to kayak

Competitive kayak fishing is taking the bass tournament world by storm. There are local kayak clubs popping up everywhere, and with the recent launch of the Huk Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series powered by TourneyX presented by Abu Garcia to go along with already established national tournament circuits such as the Hobie Bass Open Series, the sky's the limit for this niche of the sport.

The financial requirement to get into kayak fishing is of course much lower. Kayaks, like the ones in the Old Town Topwater series, offer anglers the chance to jump into the sport for less than $1,000, or just more than $2,000 if you prefer a PDL pedal propulsion system. Add on some electronics, rod holders, possibly a small trolling motor, and you are chasing bass just like you would be in a 21-foot Ranger.

Except for one thing: Where the heck am I supposed to put all of my stuff?

A surprising number of anglers have made the move from bass boat to kayak and never looked back. Many stories go like this: “I bought a kayak to fish small waters or take a quick trip, fell in love with the style of fishing immediately — now the boat collects dust,” or “I sold it.”

Regardless, one of the major hang-ups for those thinking about adding a kayak to their fishing arsenal, or making the move to kayak fishing exclusively, is the fear of not being able to carry what is needed on the water. With proper planning and a little ingenuity, you can have all the gear you need out there, and then some.

Rods/reels

Chasing fish from a kayak draws many anglers because of the simplicity, but when it comes to tournament fishing a lot of that simplicity goes out the window. Because a kayak is a huge chunk of plastic, anglers pull off some amazing designs though modifying them to suit their rod-storage needs. On tournament day, it is not uncommon to see eight to 10 rods sticking out the back of a kayak with several more stored in the hull. Anglers use manufactured rod holders to pull this off, or create something themselves, typically with PVC-style pipe.