Are you excited about going kayak fishing? Fishing, on its own, is fun and relaxing. A kayak opens up a lot of options and thrill in fishing. However, proper accessories can enhance your experience immensely. Let’s check out some of the must-have accessories for kayak fishing.
If you’ve ever gone fishing, you know the relaxation and peace, the serene, untroubled nature can bring in your mind, followed by the thrill and excitement when you catch something. A kayak opens a lot of fishing spots that were inaccessible without one.
Has it ever happened to you, that you sit there for hours, without seeing your bobber move unless you move it? Or you realize after a while that you are no longer where you started fishing? The wind can slowly and silently drift you away.
Those can happen, as well as other inconveniences such as accidentally getting your must-be-dry items wet, diving in the water after your stray fishing rod that decided to take a dip in the water, or making a mess of your deck with everything.
None of those is a killer. None is bound to happen. But when they do is when you wish you took precaution.
Table Of Content
Kayak Fishing Accessories
In this list, I represent some of the accessories necessary for those specific annoying times.
1. Life Jacket
A life jacket is, in my opinion, the most important must-have on an angler kayak. It is a must-have on almost any water vessel, but for a fishing kayak, the significance is even higher.
You usually spend a long time in the water, on a small platform, which is also not the most stable one in the world. You better be ready for anything. On a fishing adventure, you need to be ready to jump down in the water or get wet by any other means.
That’s very much the truth. However, it won’t be as pretty or safe if you aren’t ready for it. Probably you stood up to cast the rod further, and you lost your balance, or a sudden breeze tipped your kayak beyond the limit; accidents can happen any moment.
Having a PFD (personal flotation device) can make the difference between a silly accident and a tragedy. Besides, many of the PFDs have extra features like pockets in reach, clip straps for miscellaneous items, etc.
2. Anchor and Trolley
It may seem unconventional to think of kayaks and anchors together. Kayaks are usually recognized for speed and mobility. However, A fishing kayak is different from your usual sport kayaks.
A fishing kayak is neither meant to traverse fast nor far distances, but the opposite. A fishing kayak is supposed to stay stationary at a relative spot. Let’s say; you went on a fishing trip.
You’re excited, you cast the line, but hold on, the breeze is slowly drifting you around. The casting wasn’t nearly as good as you expected. Whatever, you prepare to cast a second line.
But wait, you are getting too close to the shallow water. Paddle your kayak back to the original place first. Would it be fun? I haven’t even mentioned fishing in rivers. Thus, an anchor is an essential piece of equipment for kayak fishing.
Anchors are common on bigger vessels, like your usual traveling boats or even fishing boats. Anchors usually tend to be heavy and bulky. But kayak anchors are smaller and lighter.
Rather than with sheer weight, kayak anchors keep the vessel stationary by other means, like a grappling hook, claw anchor, mushroom cap, anchor pole, etc. which are light, but still get the job done fairly well.
3. Tackle Crate
Having everything organized and in place is a good habit in general. Even though in everyday life, it might not seem as crucial, it indeed is when you only have the limited space of the deck of your kayak to work with.
You need to carry quite a few things on your fishing journeys, starting from your Hooks, pliers, sun protection, first-aid, food, water, and whatnot. All these can make an absolute mess, and you can never find what you need. A tackle crate is an easy way out of it.
You can easily throw a tackle crate on the back of your seat, not having to worry about it. There are different types of tackle crates out there. My personal opinion is to go with one that has dividers. That’ll allow you to pack nicely and compactly as well as keeping track, where to look when you need something.
Another advantage of a crate that is easily underseen is that it offers more space than having everything on the deck. They have higher walls, towering over the edges of your kayak. All those vertical spaces, you’ll be able to put into use. Therefore, A tackle crate is one of the essentials for kayak fishing, in my opinion.
4. Fish Finders
A modern piece of equipment that’ll help you locate and keep track of the locations where fish-schools are. Fishfinders are slightly modified, more portable versions of usual sonars. They use the same ultrasonic sound waves to detect the presence of underwater objects, which, in our case, is fishes (hopefully).
Imagine sitting in the middle of nowhere, all the lines cast, but no movement to be seen, no fishes caught. Would it be as enjoyable? Well, to be fair, it wouldn’t be a waste or loss-project.
You’ll still be blessed with the beauty of nature and the likes of that. But wouldn’t it be so much better if you could catch a fish or two every once in a while? Only if you knew where the fishes were, right?
Ultrasonic waves are not only beyond our capability of listening but also of the fishes. Almost like you can silently spy on their movement or presence without disturbing them.
Fishfinders come pre-installed in some of the fishing kayaks, but not all of them. In some cases, fishfinder models come with a GPS combo. If your kayak doesn’t have one, you should install one before your next trip.
5. Dry Bags
In all honesty, a fishing trip is all about water. Even you need to be ready to get wet or even have to jump down if needed. But even so, there is some must-be-dry equipment that you can neither go without nor can you get them wet. There, a dry is your savior.
A dry bag is what it sounds like. It is waterproof and keeps the items inside dry, even if your kayak happens to capsize. It is usually made of nylon or vinyl or other types of waterproof materials. The goal is to provide safety for your phone, camera, or other types of electronics.
Some dry bags offer up to 99.9% water resistance, according to some companies, when sealed properly. The size of a dry bag may vary, but they usually range between 8 liters to 15 liters.
In terms of aesthetics, they come in various colors. You’ll easily find one that pleases you. Or if you are like me, you could go for a transparent one or with a clear window. If you carry multiple, color-coding them helps a lot in coordinating.
6. Kayak Fishing Rod Holder
Since you are reading this article, chances are you are already into kayak fishing or at least know the necessity of a rod holder in a fishing kayak. So, I’m going to go through the basics. However, what I do want to talk about is the types of rod holders.
There are a few types, and you should choose the one that suits your style. Many angler kayaks come with pre-installed flush-mount rod holders. These are the ones that go inside the structure of your kayak.
Regardless of whether you have them or not, you can always install a set of clamp mount or crate mount rod holders quickly and effortlessly. They are very simple to install or remove or reposition.
Other types of rod holders include track mount and deck mount holders. They are a little more complex to install compared to the ones I priorly mentioned. However, they offer you better stability and customization options according to your liking.
When you have your rods positioned where you like them to be, you’re going to like your fishing trips so much more.
7. Floating Stringers
Stringers are a great way to store the fishes you catch. Not on board, but rather in the water. It is an effective way to put some weight off of your kayak as well as keeping them alive and fresh longer. My suggestion is rather than getting a genuine stringer, get yourself a floating stringer.
Another great method to store your catches is cooler. However, carrying around a cooler means spending a big part of your already limited budget of space and carrying capacity. If you are not fishing in predator infested areas, a cooler will almost be an unnecessary luxury that costs a good fortune (of space).
Why bother with a floating stringer, do you ask? Has it ever happened to you that you put all your fishes in one stringer, and it snapped? No? You’d know why to bother with a floating stringer if you had to face it. At least you’ll be able to locate them even in the worst-case scenario.
Leashes are one of the most important must-haves for an angler kayak, in my opinion. They are so small of a detail that most people fail to acknowledge them completely. But they can make such a big difference should things go out of hand.
Have you ever accidentally dropped a paddle or rod in the water, trying to move something else? If you have, you know the pain to reacquire the dropped item. A leash here could save you so much trouble. You just have to secure the thing with your kayak before you set off, and not worry about it until you’re back.
Leashes are available for both rods and paddles. They are small pieces of rope or chain that you can secure with the butt of your rods or paddle and then lock them with your vessel. If you use a fishing net, you probably should secure that as well. You know, it could potentially save you a dive into the water.
9. Kayak Cart
A kayak cart is relatively less compulsory compared to some of the other items I mentioned here. Neither does it have a use in all circumstances. But where it does, that’s not insignificant. That’s why I chose to mention it here. It can save you a good deal of hustle and spare the hull of your kayak intact.
You see, not every fishing location is equally convenient. Some locations are relatively more remote and inaccessible compared to others. If you frequent between multiple fishing spots, or if you need to drag your kayak to reach the water body, a kayak cart will help you a lot.
Besides, it’s a one-time investment, but you’ll be getting the output for a long time. The down-to-basic structure of a kayak cart helps to minimize complicacy and repairs needed. It’s small, light, and easy to carry around when the kayak is not on it.
10. GPS Tracker
Having a GPS tracker, will not only help you navigate in massive bodies of water, but also keep track of where you fished recently, or where to go to find a bigger school of fish, etc. Modern devices can be as simple as a wristwatch, which is no additional effort to carry but effective, nonetheless.
You can collect a wide variety of data using a Kayak GPS tracker, like starting from finding your position to keeping track of your movements. And not to orbit around the same position.
Some devices even offer functionalities like adding a marker to your position, where you found (in the past) a lot of fishes so that you can come back later.
Overall, a GPS tracker is a helpful gadget to have ready at hand, especially when it’s not a big deal to have one. Not to mention help you get back, should you get lost in massive lakes or ocean.
That concludes my list of the must-have accessories for kayak fishing. I hope you found it helpful. These are some of the most necessary accessories you need for a pleasant and exciting as well as safe kayak fishing experience. These are not all the items, but they occurred to me to be of the most significance.