Kayak angling is a great hobby, but like with most things in life, it does require some skill to master.
Too many people believe that because they are already know how to angle they will be able to do so easily from a kayak. On the other hand, there are also a number of kayakers who think that because they already know how to paddle, that it would be easy to just take along a rod and catch some fish. Unfortunately, this approach can deter a lot of people from the hobby and it can also be very dangerous. Instead, here are a couple of essential kayak fishing skills that you should master, or at the very least familiarize yourself with, for a better and safer experience out on the water.
How To Get Back In Your Kayak
Most fishing kayaks are very stable, but you never know what is in store for you when you go out on the water. Some anglers have ended up in the water due to circumstances that are completely out of their control, such as becoming the target of a goose. This is why it is so important to wear your PFD at all times, but unless you want to be treading water until help arrives, it is also useful to know how to get back in your kayak after you go overboard. The type of kayak you are using will determine the best way to get back inside, so familiarize yourself with the procedure and, if possible, practice doing it in a safe environment. That way, if it happens while fishing you’ll be able to perform a recovery without panicking.
How To Secure Your Gear
Getting back safely in your kayak if you fall overboard is important, but ideally you’ll also want to all your expensive gear to still be there. However, unless you learn how to properly secure all your gear, this might not always be the case. There are a number of different ways to ensure that your gear doesn’t end up at the bottom of a lake or river, so make sure you know how to use dry bags, storage containers, surface mount retractors, and other ways of keeping your gear on the kayak or at least floating on the water for easier retrieval. It is also a good idea to leash your rods or make use of products that can float your rod/reel combo.
How To Reel In And Release A Fish
Reeling in a fish on a kayak is a bit more tricky than doing so from the shore and the same goes for actually releasing it again. If you are new to the hobby, it might be a good idea to first practice your cast close to the shore before you venture into deeper waters. Even if you are an experienced angler from the shore, it’s a different ball game out on a kayak. When you actually have a fish on the line it is important to stay focused and ensure that your hook is set. Secure your paddle, keep a tight line and make sure that you keep the fish away from your anchor line if you are using one. Since fish have a protective coating, be sure you take the necessary precautions when releasing them again if you don’t plan on eating your catch. In the event that you do bring a fish into your kayak, you should be aware of the dangers that its fins and teeth can pose, especially in such a confined space. Knowing how to safely remove your hook, without injuring yourself in the process is a valuable skill to master. Using proper gear, such as nets, fish grips, stringers, gloves and pliers can make a huge difference.