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Fishing from a Sea Kayak: 10 Things to Remember

Last Updated on August 24, 2022 by Donnell Henderson

There’s no better way to start the day than chasing a big fish from a sea kayak.

Fishing from a sea kayak is an exciting way to enjoy the water, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. It’s not just as easy as sitting on a chair and casting your line; you must be alert and maneuver quickly to catch the perfect wave or spot. You’ll need a little bit of patience and good timing! You’ll also need some basics in both skills and equipment to start with.

What Should I Consider Before Fishing From a Kayak?

fishing from sea kayak

Fishing is a popular pastime for those who practice kayak fishing. The activity can be done in many ways, from the shore or on a boat. Still, it’s generally easier to fish from a kayak than from other watercraft because of its stability. After all, you’ll want to cast out further and reel in more easily when sitting on top of the water. Kayaks also easily get into tight spots where fish might lurk. View our article on kayak fishing here.

However, some things make kayak fishing different from fishing from a boat. Your location will determine the best mode of transport for your tackle and equipment, but if you’re primarily using a kayak for fishing, you’ll want to keep these things in mind:

Invest in a good fishing rod and learn how to cast, though you can probably find someone to help you if you’re having trouble. A fishing kayak will also be needed, which makes it challenging for people in urban areas without access to lakes or rivers.

Sea kayaks are smaller than regular kayaks and are made for use in the ocean rather than on lakes or rivers. They’re generally easier to manage and don’t take as much effort to paddle, but they’re also slower than larger kayaks, so you won’t be able to cover as much distance in one trip.

When out on the water, keep an eye on the weather conditions—you don’t want to get caught outside when rain or storm clouds roll in!

A paddler needs to consider how much room they’ll need for their tackle box, fishing equipment, and bait—you may need a bigger or smaller space depending on your preferences.

The weight of everything you carry will also affect how quickly your kayak moves through the water. If you plan on paddling for hours at a time, you may want to try out your gear beforehand to fit everything efficiently without compromising comfort.

An ocean kayak is way different from a paddle kayak as it is more durable for rough and tough situations. If you just started kayak fishing then personally I recommend first getting proper gear and training is a must.

10 Essential Tips for Fishing From a Sea Kayak

Fishing from a kayak is one of the best ways I know to get out in the water and explore an area. It’s much more accessible than a charter, and you can go wherever you want. Whether on vacation or just passing through town, it’s easy to find spots to drop anchor and cast off. Here are ten essential tips for fishing from a sea kayak:

1. Don’t Forget to Bring an Anchor

Most crucial thing for kayaking is an anchor. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of paddling and fishing, but it’s crucial to keep track of where you are. The last thing you want is your kayak to drift away from you. Kayak anchors are great because they are small and easy to store in a boat. They can be made from rope or chain, but it’s best to have both options available so that you can adapt to any sea floor.

2. Get a High-Quality Paddle

The most important part of sea kayaking is your paddle, and the best one you can get is the one that’s made specifically for the type of kayak you’re using.

Bending, flexing, and spinning makes your kayak move through the water and help you catch the fish you’ve been waiting to catch all day. If a good paddle is important to you, but you don’t know where to start looking, we have a few tips on how to find and buy a great one.

Tips for Buying a Decent Paddle:

  • If you’re going to be fishing as well as paddling, look for a paddle that has a rubberized pommel, or grip, at the bottom of it—it will help keep your hands from slipping while also providing cushioning in case you drop your paddle or accidentally lean on it too hard.
  • The blade of your paddle should be at least 16 inches in diameter; anything smaller will result in less control over your movements.

3. Sunscreen and Bug Spray

Sunscreen and bug spray are a must when fishing from a kayak. Protecting your skin from the sun is important, especially if you’re out for hours in direct sunlight. If you don’t use sunscreen, you could burn your face and hands or, even worse, get skin cancer.

It’s also important to use bug spray to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, flies, and other bugs. Some bugs carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans if they’re not killed with insecticide or if their saliva gets into a cut on your skin. These diseases can make you very sick. Be careful not to let spray get in your mouth or eyes because it could irritate them. And be sure to check the active ingredients for any product you buy—you don’t want anything with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluidine) in it; it’s been proven to cause neurological damage in lab animals.

4. Pack the Right Fishing Gear

If you’re making a plan for kayak fishing, here are some things you should have with you:

  • Some rods will feel more comfortable depending on height and arm length. Go to a store that sells fishing equipment and try them out before you buy one, or ask someone who knows about sea kayaking for recommendations. You’ll be using your arms to paddle and fish simultaneously, so don’t choose something hard to handle!
  • With a spinning reel, you’ll have to manually crank in each fish—which can be tiring if your hands aren’t strong enough or you’re out there all day long. With a spin cast reel, the weight of the fish itself will automatically cast back into the water when you let go of the line.
  • Line is important: if it’s too thin, the fish may snap it before they can get close enough for you to grab them; if it’s too thick, it might not fit through your hooks.

The thing which separates traditional kayak fishing from modern offshore fishing is the fishing gear. A kayak angler should have a kayak fish finder for sea kayak fishing. Plus, a fishing vessel is not complete without a set of navigation lights, and a sound-producing device is also required by law to do saltwater kayak fishing. The rod holders must be on your kayaks, as a fishing rod leash is essential for keeping your kayak and fishing gear together.

5. Wear Protective Clothing

Wearing protective gear while kayak fishing can save you a lot of injuries. A life jacket or PFD (personal flotation device) is the most important. You should always wear your PFD when you’re on the water. Sea kayaks are not that different from other kayaks—they’re still small, sit-on-top boats and can capsize if you don’t have a good hold on them. If you fall out of your kayak in the ocean, no matter how good a swimmer you are, wearing a PFD will save your life.

6. Stay Hydrated and Well-Fed

Staying hydrated and well-fed are two very important things when you’re on a fishing trip. In the wilderness, you don’t have a refrigerator to store food, so it’s important to be prepared. Eating the right kind of food is also important so your body can stay healthy.

As for hydration, the amount you need per day depends on how active you are and how warm it is outside. The general rule is one gallon of water for every 50 pounds. If you’re fishing from a kayak, you’ll need at least a gallon per day (two if it’s warm). You should drink water before, during, and after activity to keep your thirst quenched between meals and snacks.

7. Take a Flashlight, Flare Gun, and Life Vest

Boating can be hazardous, and those who choose to venture out into the water should be prepared. You need to be equipped with a flashlight, a flare gun, and a life vest when in the water. The first two are obvious, but the last one might seem strange to some of you. A good life vest isn’t just a helpful accessory for swimmers in an emergency: it’s also a safety measure for paddlers. Paddling in open water or moving through shallow waters can sometimes mean crossing over sandbars or other submerged hazards that don’t appear on your charts or charts from your charting app. The vests are bright orange (or at least they tend to be, there are many different colors available) and can often be spotted by people helping to rescue you before you’re in danger of drowning.

8. Prepare for the Worst

When you’re out on the water, it’s easy to forget that things can go wrong; when they do, you want to be prepared. In sea kayaking, a small accident can quickly lead to a dangerous situation if you don’t have the right equipment. First, it’s important to wear your wet suit. It might not seem a big deal to get it wet at first, but that could cause issues later as you continue your day.

9. Use a Large Kayak if You Can

Sea kayaking is a great way to enjoy the water, but it also requires a lot of things that may not be accessible to everyone. For starters, you’ll need to be in some body of water, freshwater or saltwater, with waves that aren’t too high. You’ll also need the right kayak to support your weight and equipped with the necessities: seats, a rudder, and a place for fishing rods. If you’re into fishing, you’ll need lures and weights for your line.

One of the most common ways people fish from their kayaks is by using a rod holder attached to the top of the kayak, which is often referred to as “stern fishing.” While tough fishing has its benefits, such as being able to sit comfortably while fishing and being able to fish without having your feet get wet if you don’t want them to, it can make it difficult to cast your line very far from the side because there’s only so much room on top of the boat. This means that you’re forced into casting near where you are to reach deeper waters with your lure.

10. Make a Plan Before You Head Out

If you’re fishing from a sea kayak, you must prepare before heading out. Here are some basic guidelines to help your trip go smoothly:

  • Research the area you’ll be fishing in, and figure out the best places to get bait if you’re not using bait you’ve caught yourself.
  • Get enough time on the water so you won’t have to rush back, especially if it’s a long trip or you’re far away from land.
  • Be prepared for any inclement weather that could come up during your trip.


One of the greatest strengths of a sea kayak is its simplicity. The average boat has about 600 parts and goes for about $1,500, but a sea kayak can be had for half that. While the average kayak is difficult to maneuver and requires a lot of time at the dock, a sea kayak is easily maneuvered with one hand and can be launched from any beach.

Sea fishing kayaks are also great for kayak anglers because they’re so versatile. If you’ve got an outboard motor on your kayak, you can fish in more remote areas without having to paddle your way back to shore after each catch. The only problem with fishing from a sea kayak is that it’s such a small space—there’s not much room to store your gear.

The best solution is to keep everything organized and strapped down to the deck or in the hull, so it doesn’t go flying around as you maneuver your way back to shore after catching something big.

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