Anatomy of a Good Fishing Kayak Rig

Florida charters explain the various components that comprise a good fishing kayak

Fishing on a kayak as opposed to a motorized boat has become increasingly popular in recent years for a variety of reasons.

One is money – it is much less expensive to outfit a kayak for fishing. A large motorized boat on the other hand is prohibitively expensive before you even get into actually using it.

Secondly, a kayak is ideal for reaching out of the way fishing spots quietly, which as you know, is key to not spooking the fish away.

Retrofitting a kayak for fishing isn’t really that big a deal. The biggest thing to remember is how well you organize things and how “balanced” the load is in terms of weight.

We invite you to continue reading to learn more about the different parts that make a good fishing kayak rig.

Florida kayak fishing charters and private anglers will have to carefully plan how they load their boat to ensure adequate space and balance when out on the water

A good fishing kayak rig isn’t all that complicated – it really just involves a few add-ons to any standard kayak on the market today. However, one of the biggest challenges to retrofitting a kayak for fishing is storage.

Some of the components necessary for having a full-fledged kayak fishing rig include:

  • Fishing rod holders – This is probably the most critical component you will need for a kayak you intend to use for fishing for the simple reason that you can’t hold your fishing pole while paddling. You should mount your holders in a spot that’s close enough to reach them but far enough that they don’t interfere with your paddling or landing a fish. Most fishing kayaks will have the rod holders behind the cockpit situated on either side of the boat.
  • Electronics – Kayaks used for fishing should also have a GPS and/or fish finder mounted somewhere in front of your seating area. The GPS is especially important if you plan on going out into the open ocean. Many fishing kayaks on the market today have spots to mount these type of items and easily remove them at the end of the day. If you have to mount a GPS or other electronic yourself, just make sure you allow enough space for you to paddle, cast and land a fish. Also, another necessity if you go offshore is a VHF radio that’s waterproof, or even a Personal Locator Beacon.
  • Storing your gear – One of the realities of fishing for any considerable length of time is gear. You will need your bait, lures, some food, water and so on. One option for packing your gear is to attach dry bags to the top of your boat. Specially designed kayak “deck” bags include all kinds of pockets and compartments, and like dry bags, can be easily attached to the top of your boat with a bungee or rope.
  • Shelving for carrying tackle boxes and trays – Most serious anglers will have a tackle box or even trays for keeping all of their lures, leaders and line in order. Many kayak models will include shelving in the cockpit to help hold these trays and make them accessible while you’re out on the water.
  • Notches for holding a bait bucket – Many anglers simply prefer to fish with live bait, but in order to do so, you need to have a bucket with water to keep the bait alive. That’s why kayaks outfitted for fishing will have notches for securing a bait bucket into the boat. Having an aerator on the bucket helps keep shrimp or minnows from getting lethargic. The spunkier they are, the more fish they’ll attract. Having a dip net will help you retrieve the bait safely and easily.
  • Other safety gear – Some safety items are in fact required, which is why you need to have at minimum a whistle, signal mirror, bilge pump, a sponge or small bucket, a throw rope, durable flashlight and more.

If you’re planning to enjoy kayak fishing through one of many charters in Florida, you should be on the lookout for these items either on your kayak or the one the captain is using. A good guide will provide a boat that is properly equipped and can safely handle the waters you’ll be fishing in. Click here to learn more about kayak fishing charters in Florida or to schedule a trip today.

 Kayak fishing - paddling through mangroves

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