Fishing from a kayak: Techniques for using a fishing pole

Fishing from a kayak: Techniques for using a fishing pole

Kayak fishing has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to its affordability, portability, and versatility. Fishing from a kayak is an excellent way to enjoy the great outdoors while also catching some fish. However, it does require a few skills and techniques to be successful. In this blog, we will focus on the use of a fishing pole from a kayak and share some techniques to help you get the most out of your kayak fishing experience.

Choosing the Right Fishing Pole

The first step to successful kayak fishing is choosing the right fishing pole. You want a fishing pole that is lightweight and easy to maneuver. A medium to light-action spinning or baitcasting rod with a length of six to seven feet is ideal for kayak fishing. These rods offer enough sensitivity to detect even the slightest of bites while also providing enough strength to fight the fish.

Kayak fishing also involves a lot of casting, so you want a fishing pole that can cast well. Look for a pole with a fast or medium-fast action, which provides the right amount of stiffness to cast long distances with accuracy. A rod with a soft tip is also useful, as it will absorb shock and help prevent the fish from pulling the hook.

Baitcasting or Spinning Reel?

The next decision you need to make is whether to use a baitcasting or spinning reel. Baitcasting reels are better for accuracy and control, which is especially useful when casting under overhanging trees or into tight spaces. However, they have a steep learning curve, and if you don't use them correctly, you can end up with a lot of backlash.

Spinning reels, on the other hand, are more forgiving and easier to use, making them an excellent choice for beginners. They are also better for casting lightweight lures, such as small jigs or live bait. However, they lack the precision and control of a baitcasting reel, so you may struggle to cast accurately in tight spaces.

Once you have chosen your fishing pole and reel, it's time to learn some techniques to make the most of your kayak fishing experience.

Techniques for Using a Fishing Pole from a Kayak

  1. Anchoring the Kayak

The first technique to master when fishing from a kayak is anchoring. An anchor will help you stay in one spot and prevent the kayak from drifting away from your fishing spot. Use a lightweight anchor, such as a mushroom anchor or a claw anchor, and attach it to a length of rope.

When anchoring, make sure you do not anchor too close to the shore, as the waves and current can push your kayak towards the shore, which can be dangerous. It is also important to make sure that you do not anchor in a place where the current is too strong or the water is too deep. When in doubt, ask an experienced kayak angler or a local fishing guide for advice.

  1. Casting from a Kayak

Casting from a kayak can be tricky, but it's an essential skill to master. Start by facing the direction you want to cast and use your non-dominant hand to hold the kayak in place. Use your dominant hand to hold the fishing pole, and keep your elbow close to your body for better control. Once you have found your spot, cast out your line, keeping it low to the water to prevent it from getting tangled in the kayak or other obstacles.

If you're using a baitcasting reel, make sure to use your thumb to control the spool and prevent backlash. If you're using a spinning reel, release the line with your finger, and use your other hand to guide the line and prevent it from tangling.

  1. Jigging from a Kayak

Jigging is a technique that involves moving the fishing pole up and down to create a jerking motion that attracts fish. It's an effective way to catch fish in deep water or when fish are not actively feeding. To jig from a kayak, start by dropping your lure or bait to the desired depth. Use your fishing pole to move the lure up and down in short, quick movements. You can also use a slow, sweeping motion to imitate a wounded baitfish.

When jigging, it's important to pay close attention to your line. You want to be able to feel even the slightest bite, so keep your line taut and ready to set the hook at any moment. Jigging can be especially effective for catching fish like walleye, bass, and trout.

  1. Trolling from a Kayak

Trolling is a technique that involves dragging a lure or bait behind your kayak as you move through the water. It's an effective way to cover a lot of ground and increase your chances of catching fish. To troll from a kayak, attach your lure or bait to a leader and then to your main line. Adjust your speed and depth until you find the right combination to attract fish.

When trolling, keep your fishing pole in a holder and pay attention to the tension on your line. If the line goes slack, it may mean that the fish has taken the bait. Be ready to set the hook at any moment.

  1. Fighting Fish from a Kayak

Once you've hooked a fish, it's important to fight it carefully to prevent the fish from breaking the line or pulling you over. Keep your fishing pole angled towards the fish and use your body weight to counterbalance its movements. Reel in the line slowly and steadily, and avoid jerking the fishing pole or trying to force the fish towards the kayak.

If the fish is too large to bring into the kayak, you can release it by carefully removing the hook and gently lowering it back into the water. It's important to handle the fish as little as possible and to release it quickly and safely.


Fishing from a kayak is a fun and rewarding way to catch fish and enjoy the great outdoors. By choosing the right fishing pole and reel and mastering these techniques, you can increase your chances of catching fish and have a great time on the water. Always remember to prioritize safety and follow local fishing regulations and guidelines. With practice and patience, you'll become a skilled kayak angler in no time.

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