kayak

Kayak Fishing Checklist

Photo by: Michael Whitacre

Are you new or thinking about getting into Kayak fishing? If so, there are a couple of things to think about and a few basic items you will need. The below list is a Kayak fishing checklist. It is a good idea to print out a list for quick reference of things you don’t want to forget. We have all had that “oh crap” feeling when we are out and realize we forgot something! Don’t be that person…

Tip: if you store and load your items the same way every time, they are easier to track and makes running through your checklist much quicker.

Kayak Fishing Checklist

Kayak of course

We are not going to spend a lot of time on this one. It is pretty obvious that you will have your kayak but you would be surprised… I’m assuming you already have one. Just make sure it is loaded before pulling out lol.

Paddle

You paddle is another pretty obvious item but this one can get left behind a little easier. We suggest a lightweight paddle that has a way to attach it to your Kayak for transport. Remember, the best thing you can learn is to set yourself up for success and make travel/preparing as easy as possible.

Safety Gear

You would be surprised on how many people do not pack the correct safety gear. It is not only irresponsible for you, it also would affect you family if you actually needs it.

  • PFD (personal floatation device)
  • A emergency whistle or airhorn
  • Sun block
  • Something hunter orange like a hat (in case you need to be spotted)
  • Headlight if you will be fishing at night
  • Knife
  • Paracord, they make knives and bracelets made with paracord. Search for survival bracelets or knives.
  • If possible and you have room somewhere, it is advised to take a small first aid kit

Portable GPS

Photo by: kayakbest.com

Many people do not think about using GPS while out kayaking but it really is a smart idea. You may think you know your local waters but they can serve couple ways. 1. of course is to know where you are. 2. You can mark honey holes or a turnoff you may not have time to explore but may want to in the future. 3. as a safety device so you can let someone know your exact location if you get into trouble. KayakBest has a good list of the top 5 GPS systems you can find here.

Tackle and Storage

So you will be in a Kayak with limited space, where do you keep your tackle, power bars and water? You want something easy to store and in the limited space you have. This of course depends on the type of fishing your doing.

Engel cooler makes a nice device that has multiple uses. It is a live well if you are using live bait or it can double as a air tight cooler for water and food.  Did you catch it was air tight? The lid locks tightly so if you do capsize and end up dumping it, the cooler stays shut and protects everything in it. Great place to put your phone!

If you don’t want to put your money into one of those, I have two words for you. Milk crate… I have seen many people use these and they make an awesome storage spot. Easy to store and think of how much stuff it can hold. No worries if you have a small tackle box you want to take.

Lastly, think clothing. A cheap fishing vest or cargo pants give you a lot of room to keep lures, etc.

Camera

A camera is a must when fishing these days. When fishing by Kayak, using your phone camera is not the best choice. I always suggest always keeping them protected. We suggest something like a GoPro in a waterproof case. You could attach it to your hat or arm band to get some pretty cool shots.

Fishing License

Seems like a no brainer but make sure you have it on you. We also suggest laminating it as well since you will be on the water. Keeping it along with your wallet in something like the cooler above is recommended.

Water/Snacks

Pack plenty of water along with things like power bars. You will be doing a lot of rowing in the heat. You may be able to get away with a camelbak but a gallon water jug will be just fine (if you have the room).

Proper Attire/Weather Check

Check the weather, always dress for the elements. Remember that you will be doing a lot of rowing. Always wear a hat, wear plenty of sun screen (take extra with you) and wear polarized sunglasses.

Lastly

Though you may have other things to add to your list, this is a good starting point. Just like everything else in life, you need to tailor the list to your needs. It’s a good idea to make your list, print it out. Laminate it and keep it with your gear.

I also want to stress that coming up with a packing and travel system will save you a ton of headaches. That way, it is always the same, you know where everything is and you will not lose things when your in a hurry.