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12 Advantages of Kayak Fishing (You’ll want one)

Daybreak kayak fishing on the open ocean.

See our huge Kayak Fishing Guide here >

I watched for years as people I knew online would buy their first kayaks for fishing around Tampa Bay. For a long time I wasn’t jealous. I could afford it.

I figured I could strap one to my Honda Prelude if I had to. I read their fishing reports and it seemed like they were catching more fish than I was, but the thing that really got me was this.

They had an endless number of ‘fishing spots’ to go to because they were mobile ont he water with a kayak. I could fish from piers, shore, and wade-fish, and just those fishing platforms were enough to keep me happy for years.

But I started wondering… how much would my fishing life improve with a kayak I could take out all day and hit countless fishing spots?

Years after buying my first fishing Kayak, a Perception “Illusion”… I want to share these advantages of Kayak Fishing with you. I strongly suggest you buy a fishing kayak. Your life WILL CHANGE FOR THE BETTER.

Fishing Kayak Advantages

  1. YOU’LL CATCH MORE FISH! Undoubtedly, you will find yourself catching more fish from your kayak because your fishing areas just opened up a thousand-fold. You can go out to any depth around you and fish the deep spots or the shallows to find fish. You’re no longer stuck in one spot, you’re mobile and not tied to the shore, the dock, the pier, or anything. You can cover miles of water in a half day of fishing.
  2. YOU’LL CATCH A BIGGER VARIETY OF FISH! Fishing from a pier or shore, there are the usual fish you may catch. You’re probably targeting only a couple of species. Sitting on your new fishing kayak, you can target dozens of different species because you can go find structure. You can go find deeper water. You can go find faster moving water or mangroves, or baitfish jumping a couple of hundred meters away. Fishing from a kayak is like getting your first car. You’ll go everywhere and explore everything around you because now YOU CAN! Don’t forget, you can kayak rivers, lakes, and open ocean… your range just exploded.
  3. STAY OUT FISHING LONGER HOURS! When I got my first fishing kayak one thing I noticed was that I was spending far less time with my girlfriend! I didn’t have a 2-seater, so, what could I do? I launched from the dock beside my apartment and into the canal. I returned 10 hours later with a hatch full of fish and a huge smile on my face. From this point forward I probably averaged 40 hours a week of fishing versus about 20 before I had the kayak. As another side-benefit, sometimes you just can’t get back into shore and home on time because well, the tide was going out and it was too hard to paddle against… so you waited for a better time. And fished during it. Sure, your home life is going to suffer, but take that for granted now and just go get yourself a kayak.
  4. LOWER STRESS, HIGHER QUALITY OF LIFE. Sitting on a kayak with the rising and falling waves is quite relaxing in a way you may have never experienced before. You can get away from the noise of cars and trucks driving by, dogs barking, and listen to the water, the birds, and the excited sounds of your breath as you hook into something you know is big or delicious on the plate.
  5. FIND FISHING SPOTS NOBODY ELSE KNOWS! This is one of the real clinchers for why you need to go buy a kayak for fishing as soon as possible. You can find your own secret spots! If you’re fishing from the shore or wade-fishing, fishing from a pier or bridge or anywhere on land you might think you have a secret spot but it’s likely someone already knows of it. I’ve found cool little areas where there were rocks that were unexpected, that held grouper and snapper. I’ve found snook holes from the kayak that were unbelievable producers of high-quality fish. The possibilities are endless when you have a fishing kayak.
  6. GET INTO SKINNIER WATER. Boats bigger than a kayak are limited by their dimensions and their need for having a certain minimum depth of water. A kayak needs a few inches of depth and are very thin. This allows them to reach deep into the mangroves or other hard-to-reach areas.
  7. IT’S COOLER TO FISH FROM A KAYAK. Not cooler in the sense that people will look at you and envy you, they will, but I mean cooler temperatures. Sitting on a concrete pier, the concrete soaks up the sun’s rays. Sitting on a kayak, you’re right above the water and receiving all the wind and splashes of water from the occasional wave that smacks the front of your kayak. You can dip your feet in anytime, or find a shallow place and jump in for a few minutes to cool off if you want. It’s all part of the thrill of kayaking.
  8. KAYAK PEDAL SYSTEMS ARE A GAME-CHANGER. I never had a pedal-kayak, but I watched plenty of anglers who did and I got jealous after a while. With a pedal-system like Hobie has, you’ll free up your hands for fishing. There’s also less stress on your back than paddling with a paddle because you don’t use your back at all in such a kayak. You pedal up and down (forward and back) and it’s easy and very efficient. You can probably stay out longer and go further because you’re not going to be concerned with whether you’re too far from where you started. Your legs are much stronger than your arms and you’ll find your range increases dramatically with a pedal-kayak. If you have the money, you’re probably better off getting one.
  9. GEEK OUT ON GEAR. Over the decades, gear for fishing kayaks have changed for the better. You can find affordable rod holders, GPS/SONAR systems, pedal systems, bait boxes, coolers, car racks, and anything else you need for your kayak to optimize it as the ultimate fishing machine.
  10. KAYAK CAMPING! With a kayak, you now have a new pastime available that is probably the best reason to get a kayak in my mind. Kayak camping is when you load up your yak with food, tent, and all the supplies you’ll need for a day or two (a week?) in the wilderness on some deserted island you find while kayak fishing. Florida’s west coast is more conducive to this activity and I strongly suggest you head over for your first weekend or overnight camping trip from your kayak as soon as you get geared up.
  11. SOCIALNESS INCREASES. One benefit of owning a kayak is that you’re now part of a group of people, men and women, who have similar ideas and activities planned. You can chat online with people and plan to meet up with some who seem like decent folk. I made a dozen friends real quick as I spent time on the message boards talking with others about what gear to buy and spots to fish from my new kayak. Of course there’s no mandate that you need to get social, having a kayak can also isolate you more from society if that’s what you choose. I enjoyed both sides.
  12. CHOOSE A SINGLE OR TANDEM FISHING KAYAK. It can get crowded, but plenty of people buy a tandem fishing kayak and take a friend or partner to make it an even more enjoyable adventure. For safety, it’s probably a good idea to have another person around too – isn’t it?
Fishing in the mangroves becomes a reality when you have a kayak.
Thick mangroves where snook and other gamefish might be holed up!

If you’re still unsure about whether kayak fishing is for you, rent one or borrow someone’s kayak to take out for a half-day. See if you like it. I’m guessing you will. Buying a kayak improved my fishing experience dramatically. I was having a blast before, but with a kayak I could now choose to fish from many more places!

What are you going to do?

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