Kayak fishing is one of my favorite ways to fish. Nothing against boats (I have two), but if given the choice of catching a large fish by kayak or boat, I would choose the kayak, hands down. Not only can you do things in a kayak you simply can’t from a boat, but there is nothing like having a big fish tow you around on a kayak while bringing it in. Whether you are new to kayak fishing or a seasoned pro, here are a few tips I have accumulated over the years to help you catch more fish. 

Use your stealth 

One of the benefits of a kayak is you can sneak up on almost anything. There is no motor making noise and your profile is much smaller than that of most boats. This means not only can you sneak up on fish in front of you more easily, but you can also troll behind you without scaring as many fish. Utilize this to your advantage! 

Use your mobility

Another benefit of kayaks is that they can get to places you just can’t go in a boat. Whether that is across low water, in between docks, or other tight spaces, you can use this to your advantage. Getting access to unfished areas is a huge benefit! Or at the very least, getting to the other side of a dock to make a cast that a boat can’t reach. Either way, keep this tip in mind when out on the water. 

Troll something while you fish or travel 

To troll natural bait you need to be going slow (depending on the bait usually 1 – 1.5 mph). When I fish from my kayak, I am always trolling one or two things behind me while I cast to the front. That could be shiners, saw bellies, mud minnows, finger mullet, whatever. Most bait fish can swim naturally while hooked through the nose and require little if any attention once the line is out behind you. Since you will be going slow while casting this speed is good for trolling a natural baitfish. 

If you are traveling on your kayak, I will usually troll a shallow diving hard plastic or spoon that works better at higher speeds. Unlike a boat, you are not likely going so fast in a kayak that you cannot still troll something. If you have to go slower in a kayak versus a boat, you may as well use the time fishing. 

I usually catch about 50 percent of my fish from the trolling even while spending most of my time casting. That’s double the fish of only doing one thing! 

Placement is key 

Again, with a kayak you have more maneuverability than most boats. You can get closer to docks, into smaller spaces, and generally get a superior cast over that of a boat. Use the size to your advantage while casting whatever you are using. Especially with dock fishing, if practiced, you should be able to place your casts better on average then from a boat.

Fish low light 

I catch most of my fish very early in the morning, usually at first light or even before sunrise. While you don’t have to be on a kayak to fish low light, you can use the stealth of a kayak even better in low light conditions. If quiet, there are very few fish that would spook while sneaking up on them quietly in a kayak in low light conditions. If you are like me and like to fish with topwater plugs, these low light conditions are even better!