June 07, 2020 8 min read

Prepare for Successful Kayak Bass Fishing

Kayak bass fishing in the United States date rights back to the 18th century when it was more than just a leisure past-time, it was key to survival! Nowadays, more than 49 million Americans enjoy going fishing, and bass is the most popular fish around. In fact, 43% of all anglers in the US go looking for black bass.

It isn't hard to see why bass fishing is so popular! This activity helps you keep fit, master new skills, and enjoy natural beauty like never before. However, if you are new to kayak bass fishing then you need to know what you're doing to make the most of it.

Knowing the right equipment to take and top fishing tips for catching bass will ensure you have a satisfying trip.

In that case, you've come to the right place! Read on to find out how to prepare for your kayak fishing trip and to hear our top ten tips for success on the water. Welcome to Bass Fishing Hub kayak style!

Beginner's Kit List for Kayak Bass Fishing

Before you head out on the water there are several things that you'll need.

Obviously, you can't go fishing from a kayak without a kayak! Whether you choose to buy your own kayak or rent one, there are several things you should look for from your kayak. These include:

  • An elevated seat position to increase your comfort and provide a better field of vision.
  • Multiple rod holders.
  • A paddle holder.
  • An enclosed storage compartment (otherwise known as a dry hatch).
  • Storage on deck with a bungee to keep your things secure.
  • A GPS or fishfinder mount for any gadgets you want to use.

You may also want to look at kayaks with retractable pedal power propellers. These let you move through the water while keeping your hands free when you need to.

Finding the right paddle for your kayak is also important. Too long and it will become a hassle to use, too short and it won't reach the water properly. A good paddle length is usually around 250 cm but this may vary depending on your height.

Finally, never go out on the water without a personal flotation device (PFD). Accidents on the water can turn bad very quickly. In fact, drowning is among the top five causes of unintentional death in the US.

A lot of angler's PFD's are designed to help you while you're out on the water in more ways than one. They come in green-brown tones so you don't stand out above the water and are fitted with extra pockets for your lure.

Once you've got these pieces of equipment in place, you're nearly ready to go. Before you do, take a look at these ten tips on how to have a successful day on the water.

1. Dress for Success

When people think about a day out on the water, their first thoughts might be board shorts or swimming trunks. But you'll need a lot more than this when you're bass fishing.

You will be out for most of the day so make sure you protect yourself from the sun. You can do this by wearing light-weight pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sunhat, and sunglasses as well as plenty of sunscreen. If you do get hot while you're out, dipping your hat in the water will help to cool you down.

However, don't underestimate how cold you can get when sitting still waiting for your catch or if you take an accidental dip in the water. In cooler months it's a good idea to have a wetsuit with a windproof jacket. Make sure you always pack extra dry layers in your dry hatch as well.

When dressing, you should think carefully about the colors you wear. Anything too bright will be visible from the water and can deter the fish. Instead, opt for natural colors, such as browns and greens.

2. Do a Few Practice Runs

Before you go out on your first fishing trip, it is a good idea to do a few practice runs in your kayak. When you're out on the water you need to be self-reliant and learning everything you need for this can take time.

Practice runs will help you to familiarize yourself with your boat and with the terrain you will be traveling through. That way, if you encounter any obstacles or issues the first time around, you can handle these without having to worry about your rods and fishing lines.

When you do go out on your first trip, don't take your best rods with you. That way if your boat does topple over in the water you won't lose your best kit first time around!

It's also a good idea to do a bit of research into where you are going fishing before you set out. Local information will help you to avoid dangerous spots and can point you towards the best bass spots.

Reading up will also ensure that you don't accidentally go out for your first fishing trip on a tournament day. This can seriously frustrate more experienced anglers.

3. Choose Your Lure Carefully

If you're going to catch anything then you'll need the perfect lure for your bass. It is a good idea to have a different selection of lures in your tacklebox to suit the different aquatic conditions.

For example, you can adjust your blade bate to suit different types of bass or use topwater lures to skitter on the water's surface. Crank and spinnerbaits are ideal for pulling across water columns and wormlike lures are very versatile.

During your day you may move locations and need different types of lure or you may want to use them in combination. This is why it's a good idea to carry a selection with you. For ease of use when you're out on the water, take the time to organize your tackle box before you go out

4. Perfect Your Paddling Skills

When you're out on the water, perfecting your paddling skills will help you to move quickly and efficiently where you want to go. This is particularly important as it means you will save energy and be able to stay out for longer.

Mastering your forward stroke is particularly important as this is one that you will use a lot and it lays the foundation for your other strokes. When moving forward through the water, look at where you want to go as this will help you to stay on course. For the perfect stroke, follow these tips:

  • Put the blade into the water near your toes to maximize the stroke length but don't overstretch yourself.
  • Submerge the blade fully before you pull it back.
  • Twist your torso to pull the blade back rather than pulling it with your arms. To help understand this movement, think of how you'd pull on the engine cord of a lawnmower to start it.
  • Bring the blade out of the water around your hip, unless you are doing a steering stroke.

When you are paddling, make sure to pull the wide edge through the water. It is a good idea to start out slow and find your rhythm rather than rushing and wasting energy.

5. Find the Perfect Spot

One of the best things about kayak fishing is that you can go almost anywhere on the water so use this to your advantage. All the fishing tricks in the world won't help you make a catch if you're sitting in a quiet patch of water.

The more you go out, the more you'll realize which areas are best for bass at different times of the day or year. When setting out, look for partially submerged objects in the water, edges of vegetation, or changes in depth. These are all good places to track down bass.

Remember though, your favorite fishing spot one day may not be as successful a week or so later. Be patient but if one place isn't turning up any catches, don't be scared to switch it up.

6. Develop Your Rod Quiver

Seven-foot rods tend to work best for kayak bass fishing but it isn't always easy to tell which lures will work for bass on different days. However, you can save yourself time by setting up a couple of rods with different lures on them.

That way you don't have to wait around to see if one works best. If one rod is working significantly better than the others you can switch the lures on your other lines to match it.

7. Look After Yourself on the Water

If you really want a successful day on the water, you need to look after yourself. This will help you to keep your focus when you go get a bite. Lose that focus and you may lose the fish altogether!

When you're out on the water, make sure that you stay hydrated throughout the day and bring food with you. You will burn through a lot of energy without realizing it so having plenty of snacks is important.

Ensure that you have spare sunscreen in your dry hatch and keep reapplying this throughout the day. It is easy to get sunburnt as the water reflects any light so be extra cautious.

Make sure that you have a watch and phone with you out on the water and keep an eye on the time. You don't want to be out on the water after dark.

Check the time before you set off and when you reach your fishing spot for the day. That way you will know roughly how long to leave yourself to get back at the end of the day.

If you do start to feel unwell for any reason then it's a good idea to head back to shore immediately. The last thing you want is to get stuck out on the water on your own.

8. Cast Away

Casting off from a kayak can feel strange. The boat can wobble a lot and your instinct may be to grab on tight. Because of this, you may prefer to use a spinning reel on your rods when you first start bass fishing.

If you do want to cast off your own line then remember to trust your boat.

Your boat has two types of stability - one to keep it flat in the water and one that works when you make a dramatic movement. This second stability works when you are casting off.

You can test it out by moving your hips from side to side when sitting. This will help you to get used to the motion before you cast off. As you get more confident, you will be able to move into a kneeling position and even stand up to cast off!

9. Land Your Fish Right

Getting a fish on your line isn't the end of your journey. To land it right, you have to keep the line tight.

You should reel your line in until there is an arm's length or less of the line between the fish and the end of your rod. Then slowly pull the rod back across your body away from the fish, keeping the line tight. As the rod moves back you will be able to reach the fish and get hold of it.

As a beginner, you may find it easier to get the fish in a net rather than grabbing it with your hand.

10. Focus on the Positives

Not every day on the water will be a successful day's fishing. In fact, you may find yourself getting frustrated by the lack of bites.

It's important to keep in mind that the bass are only one part of a great day's kayak fishing. While you're out, remember to focus on the natural beauty around you. Enjoy some peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

If you can keep this in mind, then every day on the water will be a great day!

Get Ready for Your Kayak Fishing Adventure!

As you can see, when it comes to kayak bass fishing, practice makes perfect so don't expect to nail it the first time around. Keeping these top tips in mind will ensure that you have a great trip out of the water regardless!

For more kayaking tips, check out the rest of our blog.

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