There is kayaking and then there is kayak fishing. The one big difference being what type of kayak you will need to use. If you are serious about fishing and want to know how to get started with tournament kayak fishing, the first thing you’ll need is the proper kayak.
Choosing the Right Kayak
The “sit on top” kayak is almost the only one used by serious fishermen. If you are going to enter a lot of tournaments you are going to need one designed for fishing. A kayak that has the mirage drive system will allow you to move around hands-free. Anglers will find this incredibly efficient so that an anchor isn’t needed or the need to paddle around. Some things to take into consideration when choosing your kayak are:
- Weight of the kayak
- Storage capacity
- Method of propulsion
- Seating options
- Color of the kayak (visibility reasons)
- Mounting options
The greatest thing about kayak fishing tournaments is they are not as expensive as motor boat tournaments. These no-motor tournaments are not about how fancy your equipment is, it’s about finding the fish and capturing them with a photograph in a set amount of time. The yak anglers are not out to be competitive fishermen, those who participate do so for the social aspects.
Choosing the Proper Equipment
Once you’ve chosen the proper kayak you will need the fishing equipment:
- Paddles- every type of kayak needs to have a paddle. The store where you purchased your kayak should recommend the proper one for you.
- Personal Flotation Device- Everyone in a kayak must have a flotation device.
- Anchor (in case you need to anchor the kayak at some point) you will not need a heavy one.
- Leash or rope to attach to essentials like; paddles, fishing rods and other gear.
- First aid kit- these are not used my many, but the materials in these kits can come in extremely handy for a lot of situations.
- VHF- these radios will keep you in communication with the Coast Guard and any passing ships if you are fishing in ocean waters.
These items are essentially for your safety. Items for fishing should be kept simple when you are first starting out.
- A rod holder would be considered one of those essentials. They are normally mounted right on to the kayak behind the cockpit or in the front; whichever is going to be an easy reach for you.
- A decent gps enabled fishfinder that is kept well protected from water.
- Tackle and tools should be kept at a minimum and within close reach.
- Bilge pump to bail out any excess water that may come aboard.
- Throw rope or tow rope in case you run into any difficulties and need assistance back to shore.
- Camera and measuring stick to photograph your fish and submit your entry for the contest. All fish caught will be released after you’ve laid them on a measuring stick and photographed them.
If you’ve chosen the right kayak and have the proper equipment you now need to locate a tournament to enter, learn how to register and find out what the details for the event will be so you can maximize your experience. A lot of people use social media to locate where they will be held in your area. You will also have to decide if you want to enter “to win it” or to just enjoy the event.