12 Effective Saltwater Kayak Fishing Tips – Catch More Fish & Avoid Risks!

Whether you’re a complete newbie to saltwater kayak fishing, or a little more experienced, it’s always nice to improve your game. This article will discuss 12 useful saltwater kayak fishing tips that will help you catch more fish. Enjoy! 

Saltwater Kayak Fishing Tips

Saltwater kayak fishing is incredible fun. However, it also carries some risks and dangers that you must be aware of. Below, we’ve explained our top 12 Saltwater kayak fishing tips to help you catch more fish and stay safe.

1. Bug spray

One of the lessons you don’t want to learn the hard way is to keep bug spray in your kayak. There is nothing worse than encountering bugs and mosquitos that bite you all over your body.

This is especially the case if you go saltwater fishing in the mangroves, as they’re often packed with mosquitos and other types of bugs.

Have a bottle of standard insect repellent with you. This way, you can stay in whatever fishing spot you find, no matter what type of bugs and mosquitos are there.

2. Sunscreen & sun protection

Okay, this tip won’t necessarily help you catch more fish, but it’s priceless nevertheless. Many beginners get so excited about fishing (which we can’t blame them for) that they forget the basics.

When kayak fishing, protecting yourself from the sun and its harmful UV rays is even more critical than on a regular boat trip. You have no roof or anything similar covering you; you’re directly exposed to the sun.

So, here are some ways you can protect yourself from the sun while kayaking:

  1. Wear a sun-protection hat
  2. Wear sun-protection clothes (Fishing shirt, fishing pants, etc.)
  3. Waterproof sunscreen
  4. Polarized sunglasses

3. Correct fish handling gear

Having the wrong fish handling gear can be incredibly frustrating. When you have the wrong handling gear, you can lose fish that you caught. Or, you can also not be equipped for when you catch the wrong fish. Either way, you must have the right type.

We recommend bringing at least:

  • A net
  • Line cutters
  • Fish grip to help you hold fish
  • Gloves
  • Stringer
  • Pliers

With this equipment, you should be equipped for most fish and keep it fresh if you want to eat it.

4. Avoid cutting costs on the Paddle

If you’re not overly familiar with the cost of Kayak fishing, you might be a little surprised how much it all costs. While you don’t need to worry about getting the best kayak at first, it is wise not to cut costs on the paddles.

The reason for this is that they can help you be a lot more efficient. Plus, they can also reduce the number of blisters you get.

In some extreme cases, the paddles can even break if you go cheap on them, which would be a nightmare. However, that is very rare, but better paddles will still help you be more efficient.

Efficiency = Less time spent paddling, meaning it’s worth it.

5. Don’t bring Bananas

This may sound like a joke, but Bananas are known to bring bad luck on ships and boats. This idea started in the Caribbean in the 1700s, where the majority of disappearing ships carried bananas. There are also endless stories and theories about why you should avoid bananas on boats and yachts.

While it’s up to you whether you believe them, we like to play it safe and avoid bringing bananas on boats.

6. Rain Gear

Even if you’re living somewhere warm, there’s often that random rain that comes out of nowhere and ruins your day. And quite often, this unexpected rain turns into a horrible storm.

If you’re not prepared for those horrible storms, it could become pretty uncomfortable. You’d be stuck out in the sea with no protection what so ever from the rain… You get the point, bring the rain gear.

7. Bring the right (waterproof) camera

Most of us love to take pictures when we catch a nice fish. That makes it even more fun, and it’s a great way to create memories. However, if your camera gets wet, it can often break unless it’s waterproof. Even worse is if you don’t have the right type of camera.

Use a camera that you can position yourself while sitting down. We wouldn’t recommend using your phone, because we’ve heard endless stories of people dropping it into the sea when taking photos. Something similar to a GoPro that has a wireless remote would be much better suited.

8. Liquids

Catching a massive number of fish is fantastic, but none of them will help if you find yourself dehydrated in the burning sun.

So, don’t forget the liquids. And if you are bringing a friend on the kayak, tell them not to forget theirs either! Otherwise, it could ruin your trip as well.

We usually bring plenty of water and Gatorade, but you can also choose any drinks that you prefer.

9. Use the right bait

The best saltwater bait is live or natural. This includes shrimp, shellfish, eels, or even strips of squid. If you’re on a budget, you can find your own. However, if you want to get straight to the job, you can also purchase live baits.

If you do want to go for lures, which is also possible, you can try the following baits:

  • Paddletail soft plastic
  • Gold spoon
  • White bucktail

Although live/natural baits are better, lures can also work incredibly well.

10. Don’t forget your life vest

Whether you like it or not, you NEED a life vest. When fishing in the ocean, you are exposed to additional danger such as waves. Sometimes, it can be quite hard to control the Kayak, and you may fall into the sea. Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t common, but it does happen.

And, if you’re not prepared for these events, bad things can happen.

It doesn’t have to be one of those huge vests that you may remember from being a child. There are many smaller and comfortable options that are less noticeable that you can use instead.

11. Anchor

When you find fantastic fishing spots, it’s frustrating when you can’t get your kayak to stay there.

An anchor allows you to stay in those great spots without the winds blowing your vessel all over the place. You can find various types of anchors online, but we recommend a grapnel anchor as they are great for most environments and can easily be stored in your kayak.

12. Don’t get lost

Sometimes, when you’re far away from your shore, you can lose track of where you are. You can avoid this by picking up a GPS unit for your kayak. Plus, you can also use a fish finder, which will help you notice if you’re going a little too far out.

These will stop you from getting lost, which of course, carries many risks. 


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