If you're hoping to get more out of your next kayak fishing adventure, learning to use your kayak paddle can be a great place to start. From making course corrections to remaining vertical over prime fishing spots, a few simple kayak paddling tricks can help.
Charting a New Course
One of the best things about kayak fishing is that you can navigate skinnier water and launch in places where boats can't.
- Going Shallow: If the quickest route to the best fishing spots takes you through shallow water, paddling can be tough. As long as your kayak floats you, however, you should be able to navigate extremely shallow conditions. When you paddle through skinny water, consider using your kayak paddle in different ways. First, you can use your kayak paddle as a wading pole. To use your kayak paddles as wading poles, assume a wide-legged stance over the center of your kayak. Next, push off the shallow bottom with one of your kayak paddle blades. Repeat this process, exerting maximum force against the bottom. If wading doesn't work, you can skim the surface of the water with your kayak paddle blades. To generate more speed, skim the water and maintain a rapid paddling rhythm.
- Portage over Paddling: The most efficient way to travel with your kayak is likely to be by car. Before you launch your kayak at a boat ramp, consider scouting out the location. If you can find somewhere to park closer, you can probably get your kayak to the water without the boat ramp or the long paddle. To make the portaging process easier, consider investing in a kayak cart. When looking for the right kayak cart, consider a model that fits the width and weight of your kayak and gear.
Staying Above the Fish
One of the most challenging parts of kayak fishing is maintaining a vertical proximity to a productive fishing spot.
- Casting Ahead: Maintaining a vertical position over a spot, particularly on a windy day, can feel impossible. To give you a better shot, consider paddling into the prevailing wind and/or current. Once you've paddled past your spot, use your kayak paddle to angle the bow so that it points directly at your fishing spot. After you've lined up, make a long cast past the spot you want to fish. As the bait descended to the right depth, it will swing toward you. Ideally, your bait will flutter into the strike zone right as your kayak drifts over the spot.