Best Kayak Fishing Accessories

Kayak fishing is growing in popularity among sport fishermen and beginners alike for its practicality, simplicity and inexpensiveness. Furthermore, it allows the outdoorsman to get up close and intimate with the fish and his surroundings in a way that a larger boat doesn’t, and often affords access to areas those bigger boats can’t reach.  It’s a sport that’s accessible to most anyone who pursues it. You don’t even need a kayak built specifically for fishing to get started. Any standard kayak will suit a novice. Should those testing the fishing waters from a kayak decide it’s an activity worth pursuing further, we’ve chosen some durable, top-rated, high-performance accessories for kayak fishing that won’t let you down. Our picks will make time spent on the water (no matter the skill level) as comfortable, enjoyable and successful as possible.

Marine Kayak Anchor
  • Marine Kayak Anchor
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Locking mechanism
  • Compact storage bag
  • Price: See Here
SealLine Dry Bag
  • SealLine Dry Bag
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Durable
  • Water-tight seal
  • Price: See Here
YakGear Crate
  • YakGear Crate
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Great price
  • Storage space
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Accessories For Kayak Fishing

 

Best Marine and Outdoors Kayak Anchor

Best Marine and Outdoors Kayak Anchor
Compact, light and easy to transport, the Best Marine and Outdoors Kayak Anchor is durable and dependable for a small-craft fisherman.
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Durability

The Best kayak anchor is made with galvanized iron for rust resistance. The locking mechanism for its four-pronged anchor creates stability even when fishing in windy conditions or mild river currents. The included nylon storage bag allows you to compactly protect your anchor and rope when not in use.

Size

3.5 pounds
12” x 5” in folded position
40ft long anchor line

Ease of use and install

Best’s included bag makes for easy transport and storage when kayak fishing. The locking collar maintains prongs in an open position when in use or in a closed position when storing.

Weather and Water Resistance

Ideal for all water conditions, the Best galvanized iron anchor includes both a stainless steel hook and braided, marine grade rope.

Summary

The Best Marine and Outdoors Kayak Anchor is a highly rated item that will take much of the frustration out of a kayak fishing experience. Instead of spending time fighting current and relocating your kayak, you will be free to focus on landing your catch.
Pros
  • Locking mechanism to maintain the open or closed position of the anchor

  • Includes a storage bag

  • Folds up into a compact position

Cons
  • Slightly more pricey than some other anchors on the market

 

YakGear Black Angler Crate

YakGear Black Angler Crate
Most kayaks offer a bit of storage space, but when kayak fishing you may be in need of something a little larger. The YakGear Black Angler Crate is a classic for its simplicity and easy storage space. It is a practical addition to any fishing kayak.
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Durability

The YakGear Angler Crate is simply constructed of a solid, hard plastic that will withstand many a fishing trip.

Size

13” x 13” Standard size (other size options are available)

Ease of use and install

The YakGear milk crate’s size enables it to fit into the tankwell or on the deck of most kayaks. The honeycomb design allows for plenty of rigging attachment points.

Weather and Water Resistance

As stated previously, YakGear’s crate is essentially a milk crate, made of long-lasting, weather-withstanding tough plastic. Add-ons, such as the new Crate Well, fit right down into the main crate should you need items to be kept out of sun or water.

Summary

YakGear’s Black Angler Crate is a widely used kayak add-on that will hold a decent-sized amount of gear at minimal cost.
Pros
  • Low cost
  • Adds a well-contained storage space
Cons
  • Not waterproof without additional gear

SealLine Baja Dry Bag

SealLine Baja Dry Bag
For anyone spending a good amount of time on water, a dry bag is a basic necessity if you are carrying items that you want to stay dry. SealLine’s Baja Dry Bag is top of the line and is proven to last through years of water adventure.
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Durability

SealLine’s Baja Dry Bag has a long-lasting, heavy-duty, vinyl-coated exterior to create a travel bag perfect for fishing trips out in nature’s elements.

Size

Bag sizes range from 5 L to 55 L, with the smallest size weighing in at 7 oz and the largest at 1 lb 12 oz.

Ease of use and install

For the amount of protection your gear will receive, the Baja Dry Bag is incredibly simple to use. Place all items inside that you don’t want water to have access to, roll down the top and clip it closed!

Weather and Water Resistance

In addition to the vinyl coating, the Baja Dry Bag features welded seams and a DrySeal closure, securing all the items inside from weather and water leaks.

Summary

This is one item you will not regret purchasing if you desire protection for dry gear.
Pros
  • Variety of sizes and colors to choose from
  • Hardy, and ultra long-lasting
  • Easy, water-tight roll-top seal
Cons
  • More expensive than some other dry bags

Scotty Powerlock Rod Holder

Scotty Powerlock Rod Holder
Having a rod holder mounted on your kayak makes it easy to grab your paddle and reposition or bait prep when you need to. One of Scotty’s most popular rod holders, the Powerlock is built to fit most any rod and can be mounted to most any watercraft.
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Durability

Made with fibre reinforced engineering grade nylon, the Scotty Powerlock Rod Holder will be durable and reliable on any fishing kayak. The cradle will hold almost any reel and includes a front locking ring to ensure your reel is protected during travel.

Size
Interior diameter 1.95”

Ease of use and install

Scotty created this holder to be available to any fisherman on any watercraft. You can customize your setup by partnering mounts and extenders specific to your kayak’s needs.

Weather and Water Resistance

The Scotty name is a dependable one and their products are made to withstand most any weather and water condition the kayak fisherman will find himself in. The Powerlock Rod Holder is no exception.

Summary

The Scotty Powerlock Rod Holder is a wise investment if you want to maintain consistent control of your rod while on the craft at all times. In addition, when it’s not in use you can remove the holder from the mount for safe storage and saving kayak space.
Pros
  • Color options
  • Versatile use for any watercraft
  • Adjustable
Cons
  • Some fishermen feel this is a large holder for their kayak while others love its versatile size

Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Floatation Device

Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Floatation Device
A personal floatation device is a smart safety addition for any watercraft, large or small. The Stohlquist Fisherman PDF serves a dual purpose that is perfect for the kayak fisherman with limited space. In addition to creating protection in the case of water mishaps, this PDF also serves as something of an on-site tackle box, with available tool space right at your fingertips.
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Durability

Crafted with a 500 denier Cordura outer shell and a 200 denier oxford liner, this PDF is built to last and is a Type III PFD with sea level buoyancy of 16 lbs. 12 oz.

Size

Three size options included universal (fits 30”-54” chest), SM/M (30”-42” chest) and LG/XL (42”-54” chest)

Ease of use and install

Stolhquist’s Fisherman PDF is comfortable and functional while still manly. It has large, dual front tool pockets that fold down for easy access and workspace. It also has mounting spots for attaching gear, as well as a cinch harness adjustment to get just the right fit.

Weather and Water Resistance

As previously stated, the inner and outer shell are specifically crafted with materials that resist abrasions and tears, making it a winner when facing the wild outdoors.

Summary

For those looking for a practical floatation device, the Stohlquist Fisherman PDF is an excellent option that won’t let you down.
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Storage space on the device itself
Cons
  • May feel bulky at first

Scotty Bait Board and Accessory Tray

Scotty Bait Board and Accessory Tray
A bait board is an excellent tool for creating a flat surface space on your fishing kayak. The Scotty #455 Bait Board allows you to place and work with all your necessary tools at a customizable arm’s length without losing your gear if you hit a wave or currents.
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Durability

This board secures to any Scotty post mount, locking it into a position that is safe, comfortable and ready to withstand hours on the water.

Size

9.5” x 12.25” x 1.75”

Ease of use and install

The rim of the Scotty Bait Board ensures that all on your bait board remains in place, with no slipping off its edges. There is a built-in lure and accessory rack for keeping everything you need in its place.

The standard Scotty Bait Board serves as an excellent jumping off point to customize as you need. You can elevate with a mount and extender, install a cup holder, fish finder or even a dry box. The possibilities are up to the fisherman.

Weather and Water Resistance

Hardy and crafted specifically for water purposes, this board and accessory tray will withstand most any weather and water condition.

Summary

With the right setup, you’ll become the envy of the other kayak fisherman with Scotty’s bait board and tray. Your productive space will increase and you’ll have a proper flat surface on which to easily handle your bait and rigging.
Pros
  • Ability to customize
  • Space-saving and mountable
Cons
  • No drainage holes on the board
  • Doesn’t include mount and attachments

Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+

Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+
While there are certainly fish to be found without, fish finders are a great addition for those who aren’t quite sure where to fish yet, of for those who are ready to step up their catch game. Perfect for all fisherman in salt or fresh water, the Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ brings kayak fishing to a whole new level. Learn where the hot spots are, as well as the underwater landscape of your favorite water sources with this WiFi-enabled and mapping ability fish finder.
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Durability

The Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ is small and castable, built for all water conditions.

Size

3.5 oz
2.5” in diameter

Ease of Use and Install

This fish finder is WiFi connected, eliminating the need for internet or cellular usage. The GPS-enabled sonar allows you to create maps of ideal biting spots with a user-friendly Smartphone app. Download area maps from the app, navigate through water bodies and customize map layers. The sonar has adjustable device sensitivity to suit the needs of particular waters. With the Deeper Smart Sonar you can add an arm mount to your kayak, tie it to a bungee or cast it out.

Weather and Water Resistance

As previously stated, this fish finder is a castable or mountable one, built to withstand a day in any water condition.

Summary

For those wanting to learn their waters or get on the fish quicker, the Smart Sonar Pro+ is the perfect addition to any fishing kayak.
Pros
  • Compact size
  • Highly-rated phone app
  • Bathymetric site mapping capabilities
  • WiFi connection
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • Higher cost
  • May need a backup phone battery for app use as the sonar battery will likely last longer than your phone

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Personal Cooler

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Personal Cooler
If you’re planning to spend any amount of time on the water, a personal cooler is an item you’re going to need. Yeti’s Hopper Flip 12 soft cooler is the perfect option for a long day outside. Yeti’s proven ability to keep items cold for long periods doesn’t fail in this smaller, day-trip option.
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Durability

The Hopper Flip 12 is made with a DryHide Shell that resists mildew and abrasions on the cooler’s exterior. Its zipper is a heavy-duty one, keeping inside items safe and unaffected by the elements on the outside.

Size

10” x 12” base
11” tall

Ease of Use and Install

Yeti’s Hopper Flip 12 is cubed, lightweight and easy to transport. Its wide opening allows for easy interior visibility and access. Throw drinks and sandwiches in for a day trip, and simply wipe clean at the end of the day.

Weather and Water Resistance

A waterproof shell and HydroLok zipper ensure a leakproof cooler all day. Even when outdoor temperatures rise, Yeti’s ColdCell Insulation maintains a cold interior environment superior to that of other coolers.

Summary

Any kayak fisherman would find that the Yeti Hopper Flip 12 is well worth the investment. Its ultra durable construction and ability to keep a 12-pack cold on a warm day are definite advantages to the adventurous fisherman.
Pros
  • Proven name with long-lasting ColdCell Insulation
  • Extra tough exterior
  • Ideal size for kayak fishing
Cons
  • Higher cost

Sams Aluminum Landing Nets

Sams Aluminum Landing Nets
It can get tricky to pull a fish out of the water from a kayak. Having a good net on hand ensures you save your catch from shaking the hook and that you get a good hold of him when he’s in. Sams Aluminum Landing Net is compact and sturdy, perfect for a day spent fishing from the kayak and making it easier to land your fish.
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Durability

Crafted with a thick aluminum rim and nylon netting, a Sams net is sure to hold up under pressure of fish.

Size

12“ x 15.5”
180g

Ease of Use and Install

The net is made with soft micro mesh nylon and 1/8” holes so that catch-and-release fish remain unharmed. A cord handle is attached to its end to prevent loss.

Weather and Water Resistance

The partnership of tough aluminum and nylon make the Sams Landing Net a proven keeper for many trips out on the water.

Summary

The Sams Aluminum Landing Net is ideal for kayak fisherman due to their size, durability and ease of transport. It makes the perfect landing spot for trout, bass, crappy and perch.
Pros
  • Light
  • Easy to carry and transport
  • Sturdy
Cons
  • None to mention

Flambeau WP5005 Tuff Tainer Utility Box

Flambeau WP5005 Tuff Tainer Utility Box
Necessary for all types of fishing is a good tackle box, where all your hooks, bait and lures can land in an organized fashion. The Flambeau WP5005 tackle box provides kayak fisherman with solid, waterproof tackle storage in a simple package. You can’t go wrong with this option.
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Durability

Flambeau’s tackle box is manufactured with a layer of Zerust anti-corrosion protection, creating long-lasting storage for your kayak fishing needs.

Size
14”L x 8.9”W x 2.1”D

Ease of Use and Install

Five fixed compartments are provided, as well as Zerust dividers, allowing you to simply customize your fishing tackle organization.

Weather and Water Resistance

The Flambeau WP5005 Tuff Tainer is built with polycarbonate latches and a waterproof O-ring silicone gasket, ensuring your gear is secure watertight for many a fishing trip to come.

Summary

For a dependable and space-saving tackle option, Flambeau’s WP5005 Tuff Tainer Utility Box is an affordable and reliable choice.
Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Compact
Cons
  • Good for small lures and baits, not for tools and larger items

 

Criteria Used For The Evaluation

When choosing gear for your fishing kayak It’s always important to consider these few specifics.

Durability

When engaging in any type of outdoor activity, accessories and gear must be durable first and foremost. Nature’s elements are constantly changing and are unpredictable. Outdoorsmen need to hope for the best conditions but prepare for almost any. When making an investment in gear it’s important to seek out high-quality products that are proven to hold up in harsh environments, rugged conditions and a good deal of transport. Is it made of reliable and well-made materials? Is it marine or military grade? Is it galvanized or stainless steel? Is it thick and abrasion-resistant? Make sure your accessory choices are built to last so that your energy is spent reeling in a keeper, and not on faulty equipment.

Size

Using a kayak for fishing is an excellent choice for accessibility, cost and simply transport. Space, however, is limited and therefore kayak fishermen must consider the size and weight of all extras on board. The goal of accessories is to create ease and increase productivity. Consider the added experience value and productivity before loading a kayak with add-ons. Adding an item that is more than a few pounds may become a weighty hazard and chore to transport. Also consider the width and length of your particular kayak and the width and length of the item you’re considering. Choose carefully as your space is limited.

Ease of use and install

One great thing about kayak fishing is its simplicity. You want your gear to follow suit. Do you need it to be adjustable and is it so? Do you have all the tools and parts that are required for install? Does it require a great deal of set-up with each use? Is it simple to uninstall or store when not in use? Well-made accessories will include thorough, easy-to-follow set-up instructions, excellent customer service and useful add-ons.

Weather and water resistance

It goes without saying that a kayak fisherman and his gear will spend much time near or on the water. Fishing accessories are often made of water resistant material or coating to ensure a long-lasting product. Furthermore, storage containers are typically equipped to keep water OUT for extended in water is durable and what should be out of water remains precisely so.

On fish finders and GPS

When choosing a fish finder for your small watercraft consider the installation process. Is it one you will want to manage? A thorough manual and excellent customer service are always important when dealing with high-tech devices. Troubleshooting assistance may be needed when becoming accustomed to your device. Also, you may want to purchase one that has a GPS and pre-existing maps available. Some allow for creation of new maps and map layers while others are more basic. Some are more costly than others. Also, a good warranty is an important factor for many. Typically a small investment is necessary for a good fish finder and a warranty insures that a company thinks highly of its product and stands behind its product.

Kayak Fishing Safety

 

Do your research. Get to know the spot.

Sure, a body of water is foreign until you’ve spent time on it and get to know its features and characteristics. However, it is incredibly wise to get to know it as much as possible before putting your kayak in. Ask locals and area fishermen and experienced paddlers for details about what to expect. Do a bit of online or local book research on the water conditions, landscape, and wildlife of the location where you’re headed. Get a feel for what to expect from local paddling clubs, conservation groups or wildlife experts. They often have online forums or regular meetups and can be a wealth of information. Local professionals in the outdoor industry are also an excellent source.

This may seem hyper-vigilant, but the information could possibly spare you an expensive or harmful mishap. Intense weather and erosion could shift the conditions of a river to create Class III rapids where there previously were none. A lesser known put-in ramp a mile down river could save your day, your gear, and even yourself. But only if you’re in on its whereabouts.

High rains could create a hazard while slightly downstream appears to be nothing more than a slow and easy current. Likewise, low water levels can expose rocks and risks or create new maneuvering issues. It’s a good idea to look at recent weather patterns and be aware of their possible effects on your favorite fishing spots.

In more remote areas, the local wildlife could present a threat and will be something to prepare for events) are also a thing to be mindful of.

Every spot will be different and pose its own set of challenges and features to be cautious of. Becoming an expert on your favorite fishing holes will not only impress others but it will significantly lower your chances of making little mistakes that have the potential to cost you big.

Don’t neglect it. Wear a PFD.

Spend enough time on the water and eventually something unplanned is going to present itself. You’ll want to be ready.

Laws may vary from state to state. For instance, North Carolina law requires you to carry a Type I, II or III life jacket for each person on board. It must be size appropriate, in good and effective condition and available for use. However, federal regulation is that anyone under 13 years of age must wear a PFD while on a recreational boat. Get to know your state’s regulations and while you hope for the best, prepare for just about anything. Though wearing a PFD at all times isn’t required for everyone in all states, if an accident occurs and it’s already on you, it’ll be much more effective than if it’s tucked away somewhere “in case!”

Consider your anchor.

Should you purchase and use anchor system for your kayak, take care with its placement. Attaching it to the side, where it may seem most accessible from your seated position, isn’t the safest of locations. When it’s secured to the side, the surface area affected by current and waves is greater, increasing the chance of capsizing or accident. However, attaching it at the stern or bow reduces the surface area affected by current or waves and makes it easier to move with and through them.

Learning the area will not only help you stay the safest, but it will also enable you to choose the type of gear that will be most beneficial to you.

Outfitting Your Kayak

 

Rod Holders

After you’ve chosen your preferred style of rod holder (styles include flush mount, rod holder with base, or rod tube), you’ll need to install it properly. Unless you’ve chosen one that clamps on (a more temporary and less secure setup), you’ll attach a drill mount on the side or top of your watercraft. Typically, it takes two to four small drill holes per mount. Once you have a base mount installed, such as the Scotty mounting system, you can change out the holder and/or add extension arms specific to your style of fishing and what suits you best. Adjustable rod holders allow for more freedom and ease of use for the fisherman, and a locking system helps to ensure that you keep your rod on the boat and not in the water.

Once you’ve got your rod holders mounted and your rods in their place, you can then attach a simple leash for extra security. Tie one end to a loop on the kayak deck and the other to your rod.

Crate

A simple milk crate is inexpensive, has grated sides that are good for many attachments (including nets and rod holders), has good water drainage because of its open design, has plenty of interior space for most tackle boxes and is easy to secure to your kayak. Behind the seat, sit-on kayaks often have a flat space for gear. This is a good spot for milk crate storage. It may be more difficult to find appropriate space for a milk crate on a deeper, sit-in kayak. With the sit-on, simply place the crate in the flat space and secure it down to the hooks on the sides with clamps, bungee cords, zip ties or carabiners. It may be a good idea to place some sort of padding underneath it for a snug fit. If you’re really serious about its permanent location you can drill holes, caulk it and screw it to the deck for extra security.

Anchor System

An anchor system is a pretty useful setup that you may choose to add if you’re in an area with even slight current, wind or waves. It can get frustrating to reposition over and over with a line in the water. An anchor system is a pulley system that allows you to easily put the anchor in and out of the water, reposition it from the stern to the side to the bow, change direction with the anchor still in the water and maintain the utmost control of your kayak. A shock cord is an optional addition that is attached at the end of the pulley rope and helps to absorb some of the boat’s movement for less unwanted motion. While most pulley systems are only set up on one side of the kayak, some fishermen choose to install one on either side for an even more still position. On the other hand, those fishing in very shallow waters use a simple stake pole to anchor their craft down into their desired position. Carabiner clips can be used for anchor trolley systems and make for easy detachment.

Paddle Clip

While it may be possible to fish and kayak without a paddle clip, it’s certainly easier with one! You can snap your paddle into place without trying to juggle your rod, your paddle, your bait and other gear. When installing a paddle clip you’ll want to place it on the side within a comfortable and easy arm’s length position and out of the way of other gear and mounts. You’ll simply pop the paddle shaft into the clip for easy storage when you need use of both hands without losing your paddle to the water.

 

Other Important Facts to Consider

Where You’re Fishing

Depending on whether you will be in salt or fresh water, a lake, river or sound, your gear needs could change slightly. Seek out what others in the area are doing, what works and the accessories to suit those needs.

Experience Level

It’s a wise step to learn your kayak before you fish from it. Learn how to maneuver in calm waters, swiftly moving currents and the conditions in which you predict/plan to spend most of your time in. Learn how to turn, go backward and even how to recover should you flip your kayak. Get comfortable transporting, putting in and out of the water, and simply moving around in it before adding the activity of fishing.

Likewise, it’s a good idea to gain a bit of experience fishing and landing a fish on before putting a kayak underneath you. This way, you’ll prevent mishaps and handle any situation that should arise more confidently while on the water.

Add-Ons

Does the gear come ready to place on your craft or will you need to purchase additional attachment pieces? Seasoned fishermen often begin to craft and customize their own setup to meet their personal preferences and kayak fishing needs. Less experienced fishermen may need a more all-in-one package and setup to begin with.

When preparing your setup, keep in mind that there are some items you should always include. You will absolutely need a paddle, a fishing pole, a storage box prepared with your tackle and/or bait, a fishing license, a knife, a personal floatation device, and drinking water.

Items that aren’t a necessity but that you may want to include could be an anchor system, boots or some sort of water shoes, a comfortable kayak seat, a cooler, a dry bag or box, a bait well, a catch well, a whistle, waterproof wear, a fish grip, a landing net, a rod holder, a ruler or way to measure fish, a first aid kit, pliers and other small tools, a fish finder, a phone, a paddle clip and/or leash, a cup holder mount, a trolling motor and a bait board.

FAQs

Q: Why kayak fishing?

A: Kayak fishing is inexpensive. You can fish from a standard kayak as long as you bring along a few fishing necessities (rod, bait, etc.). Specific fishing kayaks are quite a bit more costly and as you rig your kayak and outfit it to serve you it can certainly go up in cost as well. However, a fishing kayak and your accessories will still be a fraction of the cost that a fishing boat with accessories will be.

In addition, you don’t need a boat trailer and so transporting a kayak is relatively inexpensive and simple. You can secure it to rooftop racks on your vehicle or throw it in the back of your truck, SUV or van if the space is large enough. Some choose to use a small cart for hauling it from the vehicle to the water if the travel distance to and from is a bit longer than is comfortable for carrying.

Kayaks are able to navigate narrow and shallow stretches of water that boats sometimes can’t. This makes for access to areas that are often quieter and less populated than other easy-to-access spots. This can be a perk for many needing a day of peace and solace on the water. Kayak fishing is eco-friendly and a good form of exercise as well. Instead of running on gas or oil, your kayak is powered completely by you!

Q:  What items do I need to begin kayak fishing?

A: To begin kayak fishing you really only need a few basic items. You’ll need to carry your fishing license along, and you’ll obviously need a sturdy kayak. A paddle is needed to get around in the water. You’ll also need a rod, reel, knife, and your standard tackle (bait, lures, hooks). If your kayak doesn’t have a storage area for all of this you may need to set one up with a tackle box or crate. It’s always a good idea to carry water and some food along.

Once you’ve got these basics on your watercraft you can add extras that will increase your comfort, enjoyment and ease of kayak fishing.

Q: Where do you put fish that are caught?

A: Some fish will be catch and release, but for those you want to keep and bring home for dinner you will need a place to put them until you’re back at the house. You will need an insulated catch well where you can keep the fish on ice and as fresh as possible.  If it’s not too hot you could also use a game clip to keep all the fish in one place.

 

Kayak fishing is growing as a sport. As it does, so do the technologies and gear created to make it as enjoyable and productive of an experience as possible.