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How To Kayak Fish In Saltwater: 5 Tips For Success

Kayak fishing is an exciting sport no matter where you fish. However, the open shores provide an adventure unlike any other. There are numerous opportunities to explore whether you prefer off-shore or in-shore kayak fishing. There are big fish waiting for you and endless waters to explore, so be prepared.

The numerous opportunities for saltwater kayak fishing each come with its own set of challenges. So, before you head out to your fishing destinations, here are 5 saltwater kayak fishing tips that will ensure your comfort, safety, and success on the water.

5 Kayak Fishing Tips For Saltwater Fishing

  1. Choose the appropriate kayak

There are numerous kayak options available, and new models and designs are introduced every year. When it comes to saltwater kayak fishing, choose one that is built to withstand the challenges of the sea. It will be worthwhile to spend a little more money on a good kayak for comfort, safety, and success on the water.

When choosing a kayak for saltwater fishing, consider the following factors:

  • Invest in a fishing kayak. Other kayaks may be able to do the job, but they will require modifications that will cost you more. For better angling stability, fishing kayaks are shorter and wider. In choppy seas, the design also reduces the likelihood of capsizing.
  • Get yourself a saltwater fishing kayak. The materials are designed to withstand the corrosive nature of seawater.
  • Choose a kayak color that stands out against the ocean’s white and blue waters. You’ll be sharing the water with large yachts, coastguards, and other kayak anglers, so make sure your kayak is visible to everyone. Orange, yellow, and red are the color options available.
  • Sit-on-top fishing kayaks are preferable to sit-ins. When fishing, sit-on-top kayaks are a good option. It has more seating options to prevent backaches, more storage options for your catch, equipment, and gears, and is simple to get in and out of in the event of an accident.
  • Always try out your chosen kayak before purchasing it. Check for ease of transport, storage, and maintenance, as well as whether it is suitable for fishing. This can be accomplished by renting a kayak of a similar model from a local kayak rental shop.
  1. Get yourself a good paddle

When you’re kayak fishing, fatigue is your worst enemy. It also has a lot to do with the paddle you’re using. You might think that because fishing is a sit-and-wait sport, any paddle will suffice. No! 

A good paddle allows you to easily steer your boat into and out of the water while covering as much water as possible without putting strain on your hands.

When purchasing a paddle for kayak saltwater fishing, keep the following factors in mind:

  • Choose a high-quality lightweight kayak fishing paddle for increased efficiency and speed, as well as less strain on your arms. The best options are those made of fiberglass reinforced with nylons rather than polypropylene or resin.
  • Don’t go for the cheapest option. Choose the best paddle you can afford. Ensure that it is well-designed and made of high-quality materials so that it can serve you for a long time and efficiently.
  • Choose the appropriate kayak paddle for your height, weight, and kayak length. To avoid straining, choose a shorter paddle with a narrow blade if you are short, and the opposite if you are tall and heavy.
  • If your paddle does not come with a leash, purchase one. When fishing, you may not be able to hold your paddle all of the time, so having a leash ensures that it is secure.
  1. Have the proper angling equipment and gear

Big catches in saltwater necessitate the proper fish handling gear and equipment. If you are not prepared, you may catch a good fish but not be able to bring it home. As a result, you’ll need a different set of angling gear and equipment than you would for freshwater fishing.

For example, saltwater fishing necessitates the use of a longer and heavier fishing rod than freshwater fishing. Saltwater fishing lines have a higher density and smaller diameter.

Here’s what you’ll require when it comes to fishing kayak accessories:

  • For saltwater fishing, you’ll need the right rods, lines, hooks, and natural or live bait.
  • Knife or scissors for snipping lines and cutting up small baits
  • Once you’ve found a good fishing spot, anchor to keep your boat safe. Purchase anchors that are strong enough to hold your kayak but light enough to transport.
  • Unhook your catch with a pair of pliers.
  • Heavy-duty nets for catching fish
  • Emergency repair kit for repairing the kayak if it is damaged unexpectedly while kayak fishing.
  • Install rod and paddle holders in your kayak.

N/B: To withstand the corrosive effect of ocean water, all equipment and gear should be non-corrosive. To keep things simple, only bring what you need. This saves space and makes it simple to locate the items you require while fishing.

  1. Always keep a navigation system on hand

Whether or not you are familiar with the waters from which you are fishing, you will require a navigation system. The thrill of landing large catches in open waters may entice you to venture far from shore until you are unable to return. As a result, always carry a navigation device and set it up before venturing out onto the water. If you lose your bearings, the device will assist you in navigating safely to the shore.

When purchasing a kayak fish finder with a GPS navigation system, the following features should be considered:

  • Waterproof with an IPX7 or IPX8 rating
  • In any condition and at any time, the display should be clear and readable.
  • Have a long battery life to avoid having to replace the battery on a regular basis. However, always keep extra batteries on hand in case the old ones run out of juice.
  • Mounting options for attaching to the kayak
  • Simple to use to make navigating when lost less stressful.
  1. Take precautions to keep yourself safe

When fishing in open waters, safety should come first. The following are some safety precautions to take while saltwater kayak fishing:

  • Always bring someone with you in case of an emergency.
  • Be aware of weather changes so you can react appropriately when the situation arises.
  • Carry and wear a kayak fishing PFD in case your kayak capsizes or you fall off the boat.
  • To protect yourself from harmful UV rays, use sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Also, bring plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Bring emergency communication devices with you, such as a VHF radio and a cell phone. Consider purchasing waterproof devices or storing them in a waterproof bag.
  • If you plan to fish near lagoons or mangroves, bring insect repellent.
  • Wear appropriate clothing, such as rain gear, to protect yourself from the elements.
  • Always have a plan and share it with your family and friends, including where you intend to fish, your route, and when you plan to return. If you do not show up, they will seek assistance.


Saltwater kayak fishing is enjoyable, but if you do not follow the necessary precautions, the unexpected can occur. For a safe and enjoyable angling trip in open waters, always use the right kayak, have a good paddle, bring along the proper fishing gear and equipment, as well as a navigation device, and take precautions.

About the author: 

Name: Ally MashBio: A world traveler and outdoor enthusiast, Ally has spent most of his free time backpacking through South America, Iceland, Vietnam, and Europe. His mission is to get more people in the mindset of protecting our planet by sharing its beauty with fellow adventurers like him on Adventures Pursuit!

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