Due to the ease of access to pristine fishing areas, kayak fishing has become more popular than ever. Although there are now many manufacturers that make kayaks specifically equipped for fishing, on board space is still a valuable commodity. How can keep you keep your gear at a manageable level? You might find the following five tips helpful.
- Bring just two or three types of lures to fish each portion of the water column instead of packing your entire tackle box. This will require you to think about the body of water where you will be fishing and the species you plan to target in advance of your trip. If you plan to target largemouth bass, for example, bring along two top water lures, two subsurface lures, a couple of lipped crankbaits for fishing the middle of the water column, a few deep diving crankbaits, and a pack of worms.
- Wear a fly fishing vest under your personal floatation device or wear a pair of cargo pants and use the pockets. Who says you have to use a fly vest just for fly fishing? I use my fly fishing vest anytime I fish from a kayak or from shore because it has plenty of zippered pockets to store my lures, leader material and extra hooks. This helps reduce the amount of tackle you have to store in the kayak and makes it easier to find what you need when you need it.
- Buy an adhesive fish measuring ruler for your kayak instead of trying to use a tape measure. You’ll find it much easier to hold your catch up to the side of the kayak versus trying to pull out a tape measure while also attempting to stretch a wiggling fish along the length of your lap. Adhesive rulers work well and will be more likely to give you an accurate length. As a reminder, be sure to abide by all state fishing regulations.
- If your kayak doesn’t already have built-in rod holders, purchase a mounting bar that will hold two rods and important tools like pliers or de-hookers. This will help you avoid dropping rods or tools in the water, which isn’t hard to do when you’re trying to take a fish off of the line.
- Tie your bait bucket to the kayak and let it drift behind you. I’ve seen some kayak anglers make live wells out of coolers and buckets, but I like to keep things simple. Just be sure to check that the bait bucket has enough aeration holes so that water can flow through. Keeping the bait outside of the boat gives you more room for necessities like rain gear or a small cooler with water and snacks.
Every kayak angler I’ve run into seems to have at least one or two tips to share. If you take regular kayak trips, what space saving ideas have you found to be most useful?