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Beginners Guide to Kayak Fishing

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/14/2007 | Fishing and Boating

Currently one of the most popular fishing trends in the United States (especially on the Gulf Coast) is kayak fishing. Kayak fishing is quite simply fishing from a kayak. Kayak fishing is an alternative to putting on your waders and hopping in the water. One of the top benefits to kayak fishing is that you can fish in areas that you would normally need an expensive boat to access. In fact, most kayaks can get places that even those extra expensive boats cant. What many people dont realize is that kayaks only cost a few hundred dollars and theyll get you to where the fish are!

Before you run down to your local outdoors store and buy yourself a nice new kayak lets learn a little bit about kayaks. A kayak is simply a small boat that is powered by one or more individuals. Kayaks are also sometimes known as canoes although they are different in history and design. Since were focusing primarily on saltwater kayak fishing lets specifically talk about ocean kayaks.

Ocean kayaks are different from traditional whitewater kayaks because they normally have a longer waterline. Having a longer waterline focuses more upon traveling through the sometimes-rough ocean waters rather then providing the extreme maneuverability that is needed for whitewater kayaking with frequent obstacles like boulders in the water.

Ocean kayaks also often have much larger below-deck cargo areas for easier storage of your fishing gear. Ocean kayaks also generally have rudders for better straight-line tracking and upturned stern or bow profiles for wave shedding. Many new ocean kayaks even provide waterproof storage via internal bulkheads. Unlike traditional one-paddler whitewater kayaks, many ocean kayaks can accommodate two or three paddlers.

Since most ocean kayaks are intended for fishing they are generally wider than most whitewater kayaks. The wider design prevents your new kayak from tipping over while fishing.

When ocean kayak fishing you need to become familiar with the tides where you're fishing. If you find yourself caught up attempting to try to fight a running tide, your return trip will end up taking up every ounce of energy in your body. And dont forget, your kayak is a very small craft; you need to stay alert as to the other boaters in your area. Dont forget (especially when you first get started with ocean kayak fishing) you should always wear a floatation device!

If youre getting lost in all the details, dont worry, the majority of the places that sell kayaks provide kayak training, generally at no additional cost.