Kayak Fishing?

"Kayak Fishing" is a rapidly-growing segment of the sport of fishing
Fishing kayaks along the shore
You won't be breaking speed records out there on the water, but you can enjoy a nice leisurely paddle while making your way to your favorite fishing spot.  It can enhance your fishing experience - you will be closer to the water and fish.

"We go everywhere the powerboats go - it just takes us longer to get there." - Lewis

I need a kayak - what kind of kayaks do you use?  Any other advice for the newbie?

A majority of our club members use sit-on-top kayaks.  There are many brands out there vying for your money - we recommend visiting a store that sells kayaks, such as Time Out Sports, to actually lay-hands on a kayak and ask their knowledgeable staff questions about their stability, how it paddles, fish-ability, etc.

You won't need to spend a great deal of money on a kayak.  There are some excellent deals out there on the used market.  There are also some kayaks that can be had for around $500 or less.  One thing I advise folks to do is try out a kayak before you buy it.  If that is not possible or practical, you can "scout" different brands by watching videos on YouTube, reading online reviews, etc.  Caveat:  One person's experience may not fit your experience.  A petite 150-lb person might enjoy that $250 Walmart kayak and paddle it with no issues, but take that same kayak and put a 250-lb guy in it and it can be terrible for him due to capacity issues/center of gravity.  Overall weight capacity can be a good guide to getting a kayak that you'll enjoy.  Another thing to consider is length, as generally a longer kayak (13' or better) will paddle faster/track better than the shorter kayaks.  Shorter kayaks tend to paddle slower and will require more corrective strokes to maintain a straight line over distances.

What all do I need?

Along with your kayak and paddle - you need a PFD (life jacket) and whistle.  We recommend you get a PFD you'll be comfortable wearing all the time.  If you stow it, it might not be there when you really need it - WEAR YOUR PFD AT ALL TIMES!

You are required to have a noise-making device - so get a beadless whistle and keep it on a lanyard in your vest!  If you are planning to do any fishing before sunrise or after sunset, you'll need a signaling light, such as a flashlight or headlamp.

There are many different paddles available to propel your kayak.  The paddle, along with your muscles, is the 'engine' of the kayak.  We recommend getting the lightest paddle you can afford.

Clothing is another consideration.  Kayaking is a wet sport - and you will get wet.  There is a popular saying in kayak fishing: "Dress to Swim".  Wear quick-drying shirts and pants.  Avoid cotton clothing since it takes longer to dry than polyesters and other synthetic fabrics.  Long-sleeved shirts and pants will protect your skin from the sun.  Hats, gloves, and face protection such as a Buff and sunglasses are commonly worn by kayak anglers.

Your fishing gear is your gear and you'll figure out what you need and don't need in due time.  However there is another popular saying in kayak fishing: "Rig to Flip".  Whatever you have on your kayak is subject to loss when your kayak eventually flips over (aka "turtle").  You might consider incorporating rod leashes and other gear-saving devices.  Lots of kayak anglers use waterproof trays for their tackle and fishing gear.  A dry-bag or case is essential for keeping your phone and other personal effects from getting wet.

Another important item is drinking water!  Don't leave the shore without it, especially during the hot summer months.

Where do I go?

There is good fishing within decent paddling distance from most ramps around the Lowcountry.  Our club Meet & Greets are a great way to discover new fishing spots, too.

No matter where you go - please let someone know where you are going and when you are expected back (i.e. float plan!).  Be mindful of tides and weather conditions prior to launching.

Be a good steward of the sport and be courteous at all boat ramps and landings.  Don't block ramps for excessive amounts of time.  Do your prep work on your kayak and gear prior to backing your rig down to the water.  Kayak carts can eliminate the need to use your vehicle on a boat ramp!

Okay I enjoy this sport - what's next?

Get out there and enjoy the water!  Try out different kayaks, rig them to suit your style of fishing, add electronics or keep them bare-bone - your choice.  The stock kayak is like a painter's canvas - it is waiting for you to add 'color' to make it come alive.  Your enjoyment of a nice enjoyable paddle-and-fish experience and your wallet will drive your experiences going forward...good luck and safe fishing!

Meet your fellow kayak anglers at places like our Facebook Group Page.  It is always fun to fish with others - get your friends involved!  We hope to see you at a future LKA event.
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