Tackling Bass from a Kayak
If having the proper tools is the key to success when you are fishing, than fishing from a kayak is no different. The ability to get into tight spaces with incredible stealth is one of the biggest advantages to fishing out of a kayak, but kayak fishing is more than just about advantages, there is the aspect of challenge. You are not as fast as a Nitro with a 220 on the back and you don’t have the same vantage point, but that’s what makes hooking up with giant bass that much more rewarding.
Stout heavy rods, heavy lines, and weedless baits are the way to go if tackling bass in the shallows is the game you play. Having a lower vantage point out of a kayak, makes it harder to spot deeper weed lines, so top water fishing is one of the most popular techniques out of a kayak. Frog fishing is one of the most exciting ways to catch bass, having the water blow up around your frog is a life changing experience. If you are picking apart a lily pad field or slop, you can slow down with a Bass Pro Shops Kermy Frog. If you want to cover more water you can throw a Humping Toad rigged on an extra wide gap hook. Having the stealth capabilities that go along with targeting bass out of a kayak, slowing down and targeting visual structure is a very productive technique. Throwing a Stick-O or a Pro Series Enticer Flopping Jig around docks, laydowns and undercut banks you can slow down and really focus on high percentage areas.
Preparation is key when you are looking to get into some close combat bass fishing. First and foremost, be ready for a swim. Tipping is not all that common, but in the scenario that you do it should not ruin your day. Wearing quick drying clothing will keep you comfortable through out the day, especially if you go for a swim. Sitting in wet cotton all day will make your experience less enjoyable.
Having the rods and reels, your tackle boxes and boat bags strapped in will prevent you from loosing your gear if you do decide to go for a swim. Using a tackle box like the Plano Hydro-Flo will make sure that whatever gets wet, gets dry and not rusty. To protect items like cell phones, gps devices and cameras you may want to consider waterproof cases like the Plano Waterproof Stowaway that gives you a clear lid so you can still see what your electronics are trying to communicate, shock padding on the inside to prevent damage if it gets banged around, and a waterproof seal.
Preparation goes beyond anticipating a swim. Bad weather, a longer than expected trip or getting lost are all things you should prepare for. Mounting a GPS/Sonar combo on your kayak does double duty. The obvious, the sonar gives you the ability to find possible fishing location. But, more important is the mapping capabilities. Using the tracking feature to show you where you have been will help you get back safer. Efficiency is key when you are traveling in a kayak, and knowing that there is a prime bay just around the corner, or a way to get off the water quickly, in case of an emergency, makes an easy to use GPS/Sonar like the Lowrance® Elite-4 Combo a no brainer.
If you have never tried kayak bass fishing than it is hard to explain what it is that you are missing, well aside from an engine….but don’t dismiss it. Its not here to replace bass boats and fast motors, it is just another way to explore the habitat of our favorite aquatic animals. Grab your paddles, a few rods, tackle and safety gear and get out on the water. There are new experiences waiting for you, get out and enjoy.
By Daniel Notarianni