New to kayak fishing, wondering what accessories you really need, and which accessories really make a difference to your kayak fishing adventures?
Any experienced kayak angler will tell you there are key accessories that really do make a difference, accessories they will not be without on any kayak fishing trip. These 10 key kayak fishing accessory suggestions will help you prioritise what you invest in when getting set up.
1. PFD – Personal flotation device
The PFD range available today for kayak anglers is extensive with some extremely functional fishing PFD’s that also help with tackle management. They are extremely comfortable and there are plenty of options to suit all budgets. If you end up in the water, we can assure you its going to be because of something you did not plan for. Regardless of the rules in your area wearing a PFD in this situation is going remove a lot of risk, stress or danger.
2. Kayak Trolley – Let the trolley do the work
Whether the distance is long or short to the water being able to carry your kayak and all the fishing gear in one effort is going to make things far simpler. A Kayak trolley will take the hassle out of getting to and from the water, most can be broken down and stowed away in the hatch and have wheel options for both hard and soft surfaces.
3. Fishfinder - Find the bait, find the fish
Why get a fishfinder? Having a fish finder will help you understand the structure below – if you find the bait and it’ll lead you to fish – that’s the facts. Understanding the species your targeting and
the environment they live in will greatly enhance your chances of catching fish.
If your fishing in new waters having a fishfinder will mean you are not fishing blind and a GPS/Chart-plotter Fishfinder combo is highly recommended. Pre-set coordinates or simply mark new structures and bait fish. Find the bait or structure and that’s where you will find the fish!
Fitting a fishfinder to your kayak has never been easier or more affordable with pricing and options to suit all needs and budgets.
4. Landing fish – Net or lip grips
Often overlooked is a plan for bringing fish on board or securing them while removing hooks etc. This can be as simple as taking a spare towel which you wet down before handling fish. A more reliable option is having a good landing net, this will save you losing the fish boat side (fish are often lost when you lift the head of the fish out of the water, one last flick and away they go or the leader breaks under the extra load).
Fish grips are a great way to safely secure fish either in the water beside the kayak or removing them from the net. A secure hold from the Fish Grip will reduce the risk of hooks getting thrown at you, reduce the chance of you getting spiked and can reduce the stress on the fish. Also great for holding the fish up for a picture.
5. Adjustable rod holders
Whilst most fishing kayaks come with a good selection of flush mount rod holders these are mostly useful for parking rods out of the way more than as working rod holders. Adding a couple of adjustable rod holders to your cockpit layout will greatly enhance the practicality of your fishing kayak. Set them up for trolling, drifting or simply to add extra rod storage. It’s a good Idea to have several mounts/bases fitted to the kayak so you can move the rod holder around to suit.
Trac Mounts – Fishing Kayaks with track offer the advantage letting you re-position the mount on the go without the need of tools. If your kayak does not have track already installed its easy enough to mount some track to the kayak. This is something you can do yourself or bring it to us for custom installation.
6. Leashes - Leash it or lose it!
The simple investment of a few leashes will remove a lot of pain to your wallet! Leash rods, paddle and anything that’s not stowed away. when working in such a small area its very easy for gear to get knocked overboard especially when your focus is on landing a fish. Every experienced angler has a story of losing an expensive item that could have been avoided with a $30 leash!
In the offshore surf environment if your mindset before heading out it is “plan to capsize” you will have a process for everything to either be stowed away, secure to the deck or leashed.
7. Anchor system – Stay with the fish
Finding the fish is one thing, staying with them when there is wind and currents is another challenge! The easiest solution to anchoring up is to fit an anchor running rig/trolley to the side of your kayak which will allow you to easily deploy and retrieve the anchor. A full-length anchor running rig offers the ability to position your anchor off the bow, stern or anywhere in between. Easy to attach to your kayak either by yourself or get an expert to give you a hand.
8. Knife Pliers and Snips
These seem like obvious choices to have in your tackle box but forgetting to pack them or having poor quality tools can really take the jam out of your donut when you’re on location! A range of quality multi-tools are perfect to help you out, including:
Snips / Scissors – Cutting braid and leader without a pair of appropriate cutters can really ruin your day (or your teeth if you need to bite the line). This is such a simple useful thing to have and can be stowed in your PFD pocket with a retractable lanyard like the, Wilderness systems retractable tether, to avoid it going overboard.
Safety knife – Having a knife dedicated as a safety tool for cutting lines (mono & braid), freeing leashes etc. will give you extreme piece of mind should you need it. Ideally securing it out of the way but within easy reach like on the PFD or if using a multi-tool, secure it with a lanyard in the PFD pocket.
Pliers – Always carry a quality set of pliers not only for removing hooks from fish but have the ability to cut hooks if needed, you will be glad you did that day you or a fellow angler truly need them.
9. Sun Protection
We can’t emphasis enough the importance of sun protection when kayak fishing here in Australia. In your kayak you’re not only exposed to the rays from above but also the reflection from the water. Key areas that get overlooked are tops of the hands, feet and legs.
Sun protective paddling gloves are comfortable and help protect from fish spikes and hooks. Neoprene shoes will not only protect the tops of your feet but a pair with a thicker sole will be helpful to protect your feet when negotiating terrain at launch and landings for example.
10. Flags & Lights – Be safe be seen
Being seen when out in low light or in the dark is easier to achieve than ever before for paddle & pedal craft. With the range of nav-night lights and waterproof lights designed specifically for small vessels and all budgets.