striped bass oceanThe popularity of kayaks, in recent years, has grown tremendously. But what many people might not know is that they make excellent fishing platforms, and if you are into angling, it doesn’t get any better than hooking a good sized fish. So, for you anglers out there, we’ll give you a list of some of the best fish to go for out in a kayak.

Of course, this list is wholly subjective. You could essentially fish for anything. But hooking something like a tarpon or a shark could potentially be trouble, from fouling your line, destroying your kayak, or even towing you out to sea! So we’ll keep this list down to fishing in the coastal waters, and even at that, there will be no shortage of action.

Spotted Sea Trout

Just like their fresh water namesakes, the spotted sea trout is a good fighter and one of the tastiest fish to eat. Spawning occurs between April to October, and during these months, they can be found in deeper bays or the surrounding grass beds that line them.

Artificial baits that look like minnows work well, but real minnows or shrimp, suspended beneath a bobber, also catch fish.

Striped Bass

Sometimes called a “rockfish,” these fish are most active during the winter months off the coast. They are frequently found near shore, and live bait, like minnows, can be suspended or jigged off the bottom. Spoons or other artificial baits that resemble small fish work well too. They are very well regarded as food for the table.

Black Sea Bass

Jettys, piers, reefs and even shipwrecks are black sea bass habitats. With a light and flaky delicious meat, they are some of the best eating fish to go after. These fish are not picky eaters, and you’ll catch them on minnows, clam meat and even worms. This is a terrific summer and fall fish to target.


Often thought of as deep ocean fish, they frequently come into shore to feed. Cast outwards off of beaches into deep water with cut baits on jigging rigs, or for more action, use popping surface baits. Although when prepared properly, they can be eaten, but for many, this is a purely catch and release sport fish that is first rate to hook and play.

King Mackerel

If you want a wild kayak ride, hook into a king mackerel. These are fighting sport fish that are not well regarded for their taste, even if they are prepared right. Trolling is the best method for hooking into a king fish, and you can try dead ribbon fish or cigar minnows as bait. Target them in the summer and fall when they move inshore along beaches and near the mouths of rivers. Hook one and hang on!


For a great fight and a culinary delight, go for a cobia. They love warm water, so target them in spring and summer. Sight cast to a school using pilchard or a big bucktail. Check around beaches, bouys or other navigation markers.

Red Drum

The state saltwater fish of North Carolina is the Red Drum, or the redfish as it is also known. The best place to fish for them is in the shallows near the outer banks. You can actually see where they are because they have a tendency to forage the bottom for food, head down with their tail sticking out of the water. Use cut fish or shrimp and drag the bottom. Blackened redfish is considered a delicacy, and although these fish can go over 100 pounds, target the smaller ones for the best taste.