Kayak Fishing is the fastest growing segment of sport fishing today and draws hundreds of people into its ranks on a daily basis. There are many reasons why this phenomenon has been so successful in growth and shows no sign of slowing down in the future. Perhaps this is mainly due to the ready availability of quality fishing kayaks and the recent development and marketing of accessories that make fishing from a kayak more user-friendly. However I think that there is perhaps more to it than just this.
There are many advantages to going fishing from a kayak. Kayaks are first and foremost a challenge; they test and develop an Angler’s skill. When fishing from a kayak you are not able to zoom all over the lake searching for your prey with the latest electronics. With the limited range of a kayak one must make some decisions about where and when to launch with their kayak so as to be on the targeted species. This process is in itself an education and improves an angler’s decision making process on their local waters. Kayak fishing also forces an Angler to hone his fishing techniques to be more productive.
Another advantage to kayak fishing is the affordability of getting set up and getting out fishing. The initial cost of kayak fishing is just a fraction of owning and operating the traditional watercraft. One could buy a new kayak including gear for as little as seven to eight hundred dollars, or you could buy used and save even more. Kayaks require almost no maintenance, just the occasional cleaning and maybe a wipe down with some form of UV protection. I love the fact that I can go fishing more because of the low cost of getting out on the water. Most local trips only cost me about fifteen to twenty dollars, which includes fuel to drive to the water and the purchase of bait.
Kayaks are also a great way to get some exercise; Paddling and fishing from a kayak is a low impact activity that in most cases can give you a good aerobic workout, increase the muscular strength in your back arms and chest. The great thing here is that you go at your own pace, so it is a great sport for young and old. Most of the kayak anglers that it has been my pleasure to fish along side of have ranged in age from 9 years old to well in their 60’s.
Fishing from a kayak gives you access to waters that are not accessible by boats; a boat launch is not required, any place that you can get to the bank is a potential place to launch your kayak. A kayak generally only requires 6 to 12 inches of water to float even when loaded with 300 to 400 lbs of driver and gear. This allows kayak fishermen to go where the traditional powered boat cannot.
Fishing from a kayak is stealthy; in some of the heavier fished waters, I believe that fish have learned to associate motor noise, sonar noise, electric motors and various noises with danger. From a kayak you have the ability to get to fish with the possibility of spooking them decreased. Not to mention that kayaks allow you to experience nature in a closer and more personal way allowing you the opportunity to observe things you normally would not notice.
It is an environmentally conscious means of fishing; first and foremost you are not burning fossil fuels, not to mention the savings in fuel and maintenance costs which are getting higher every day. This directly translates into an environmentally conscious activity that is more than sustainable on a consistent basis.
Kayak fishing is therapeutic; there is no doubt that fishing is a great way to get away from the rat race even for a short period of time. Doing it while in a kayak just makes things so much simpler and peaceful. When I have had a long work week and just feel like life is too complicated and rushed, nothing soothes the soul and reenergizes me like a day out on the water… Just me, my kayak and fish.
There is a certain attraction to kayak fishing that stems from a love of nature and the challenge of doing things just a little different than the norm. I for one would have never realized the amount of enjoyment and satisfaction that one can get from kayak fishing until I had experienced it. I have observed wildlife in a way that I never would have from a powered craft. The challenge of effectively pursuing sport fish from my kayak has definitely made me a better fisherman who understands my prey in ways not necessary before. I have been able to access waters not accessible to boaters, and catch fish that have not been fished heavy. The kayak gives me a connection with my environment that was not possible before.
There are many other reasons for the growing popularity of kayak fishing like spending time with your family and friends, teaching our kids the joys of fishing, enjoying nature, or just getting out of the house. There is also the proverbial “Sleighride” you get when hooking a large fish that you will not experience from a larger craft.