If you’re an avid kayak angler, having the right accessories can greatly enhance your fishing experience. Kayak fishing has gained popularity in recent years, and there are a plethora of accessories available that can make your fishing trips more efficient, enjoyable, and successful.
From safety gear to storage solutions, rod management to navigation aids, these accessories can help you maximize your fishing opportunities and make the most of your time on the water.
In this article, we will introduce 12 must-have kayak fishing accessories that can enhance your fishing adventures and help you level up your kayak fishing game.
Different Kayak Fishing Accessories
Kayak fishing is a popular sport that requires a variety of accessories to make the experience more comfortable, safe, and enjoyable. Here is a list of some common kayak fishing accessories:
Paddle is an essential tool for propelling and maneuvering the kayak on the water. A kayak paddle typically consists of a shaft with a blade on each end, and it is used by the angler to propel the kayak forward, backward, or to steer.
Paddles for kayak fishing are designed with certain features to enhance their performance and usability. For example, they are usually lightweight and durable to reduce fatigue during extended paddling sessions.
Many kayak fishing paddles also have adjustable shafts and feathering options, allowing the angler to customize the paddle to their preferred length and blade angle for optimal comfort and efficiency.
Some paddles may have additional features such as drip guards or paddle leash attachments to prevent water from dripping onto the angler and to secure the paddle to the kayak to prevent loss.
Kayak fishing paddles come in different materials, such as plastic, aluminum, fiberglass, or carbon fiber, each with its own advantages in terms of weight, strength, and cost.
It’s important to choose a paddle that suits your paddling style, kayak type, and fishing environment to ensure a comfortable and effective fishing experience.
2. Life Jacket
A life jacket, also known as a personal flotation device (PFD), is an essential accessory for kayak fishing. It is a device worn on the body to keep the wearer afloat in the water in case of an emergency.
Most importantly, a life jacket should be worn at all times while kayak fishing, as it is a critical safety device that can help prevent drowning in case of an accident or capsize.
Life jackets come in different styles, such as vests, inflatable, and even hybrid. Some are designed specifically for kayak fishing and feature pockets and attachment points for fishing gear, while others are more basic.
When choosing a life jacket for kayak fishing, it is important to consider the level of buoyancy it provides, as well as its fit and comfort.
It should be comfortable to wear for long periods of time and should not interfere with your ability to move or cast. It should also be able to adjust to your body shape and size.
Additionally, it is important to choose a life jacket that is appropriate for the type of water you will be fishing in. For example, if you will be fishing in cold water, you should choose a life jacket that is designed for use in cold water.
It is also important to check the life jacket’s expiration date, as some PFDs have a limited lifespan, especially the inflatable life jackets.
3. Fish finder
A fish finder is a device that uses sonar technology to locate fish beneath the surface of the water. A fish finder is a popular accessory among kayak anglers. It is an electronic device that uses sonar technology to locate fish beneath the surface of the water.
Fish finders typically display the depth of the water, the location of fish, and the structure of the bottom. They can also show water temperature, and some even offer GPS capabilities.
There are different types of fish finders available, from portable, battery-powered units to more advanced models that can be permanently installed on the kayak. Some fish finders are designed for freshwater fishing, while others are suited for saltwater fishing.
Fish finders can be very helpful for kayak anglers, as they allow them to locate fish and structure in areas that would otherwise be difficult to find. Additionally, it helps to find the thermoclines and fish behavior in the water.
Some finders are designed specifically for kayak fishing and are more compact and portable. It is also important to consider the features that are most important to you, such as GPS, mapping, or wireless connectivity.
When looking for a fish finder for kayak fishing, it is important to consider the size and weight of the unit, as well as its power source and display size.
4. Rod holder
A rod holder is a device used in kayak fishing to securely hold fishing rods while fishing. It can have various uses and benefits, including:
Hands-free fishing: A rod holder allows anglers to keep their fishing rods secure and upright while they are engaged in other activities, such as paddling, navigating, or handling other fishing gear. This provides a hands-free fishing experience, allowing anglers to multi-task and be more efficient on the water.
Prevents rod loss or damage: Rod holders prevent fishing rods from falling into the water or getting damaged by being laid down on the kayak or leaning against other objects. This helps protect valuable fishing gear from loss, damage, or potential hazards in the water.
Multiple rod management: Rod holders are often designed to hold multiple fishing rods at once, allowing anglers to carry and access different rod setups for different fishing techniques or species. This provides versatility and convenience, enabling anglers to switch between rods easily during fishing trips.
Reduced fatigue: Holding a fishing rod for an extended period of time can cause fatigue in the arms and shoulders. Using a rod holder can alleviate this strain, as anglers can simply place the rod in the holder and relax while waiting for a bite.
Increased rod stability: Rod holders are typically designed to securely hold fishing rods in place, preventing them from moving or wobbling while on the water. This helps maintain stability and prevents accidental rod tip movement, which can spook fish or cause missed bites.
The price of rod holders for kayak fishing in the USA can vary depending on the type, material, and features. Basic rod holders may start around $10 to $20, while more advanced rod holders with additional features such as adjustable angles, swivel mounts, or built-in accessory holders can cost $30 or more.
It’s important to choose rod holders that are compatible with your kayak’s design and meet your specific needs for rod management and convenience during your kayak fishing adventures.
5. Fish cooler
A fish cooler for kayak fishing is a specialized cooler designed to keep caught fish fresh and preserved during a fishing trip on a kayak. It is considered a necessity for kayak anglers who plan to catch and keep fish while out on the water.
A fish cooler for kayak fishing typically features insulation and waterproof construction to prevent water from entering the cooler and to maintain the internal temperature. It may also have UV-resistant materials to protect the fish from direct sunlight, which can spoil the catch.
Fish coolers for kayaks typically come with airtight lids or closures to prevent air from entering the cooler, which helps to maintain the freshness of the fish.
The working principle of a fish cooler for kayak fishing is simple. Once a fish is caught, it is placed inside the cooler, which helps to keep the fish chilled and preserved until it can be cleaned, filleted, or transported back to shore.
By maintaining a cold and sealed environment, a fish cooler helps to slow down the spoilage process and keep the fish in a fresher condition.
The price of fish coolers for kayak fishing in the USA can vary depending on the brand, size, and features.
On average, fish coolers for kayaks can range from $50 to $300 or more, with larger or more feature-rich coolers generally being more expensive.
It’s important to consider factors such as size, insulation quality, durability, and capacity when choosing a fish cooler for kayak fishing, and to select one that meets your specific needs and budget.
An anchor is a device used in kayak fishing to secure the kayak in place, allowing anglers to fish in a stationary position. It can have various uses and benefits, including:
Fishing in specific locations: An anchor allows anglers to fish in specific spots, such as areas with structure, cover, or fish activity. It helps keep the kayak in place despite wind, current, or tide, allowing anglers to focus on fishing without constantly paddling or repositioning the kayak.
Precision fishing: An anchor enables anglers to position their kayak precisely, allowing them to cast their baits or lures to specific spots and increase their chances of catching fish. It can help anglers maintain their desired fishing position, control their drift, or stay in a productive area for longer periods.
Hands-free fishing: Using an anchor can free up the angler’s hands, allowing them to handle fishing gear, bait, or fish without worrying about the kayak drifting away. This provides a more convenient and efficient fishing experience, as anglers can focus on fishing tasks without having to constantly paddle or hold onto the kayak.
Safety and stability: Anchoring the kayak can provide stability and prevent it from drifting into hazardous areas or choppy waters, reducing the risk of accidents or capsizing. It can also help anglers stay in control of their kayak and avoid collisions with other watercraft.
Fishing in diverse environments: An anchor can be used in various fishing environments, such as freshwater lakes, rivers, saltwater flats, or coastal areas. It provides versatility for different fishing techniques, including kayak fishing for bass, trout, redfish, flounder, and other species.
The price of anchors for kayak fishing in the USA can vary depending on the type, size, and material. Basic anchor kits with a small anchor, line, and float may start around $20 to $30, while larger anchors or anchor systems with additional features such as anchor trolleys, cleats, or pulleys can cost $50 or more.
It’s essential to choose an anchor suitable for your kayak size, fishing environment, and anchoring needs, and always follow proper anchoring techniques and safety guidelines while kayak fishing.
7. Dry bags
Dry bags are considered necessary for kayak fishing, as they provide essential protection for valuable items and gear that need to be kept dry during a fishing trip on the water.
Dry bags are designed to be waterproof or water-resistant, keeping the contents safe and dry even when exposed to water, waves, or rain.
The uses of dry bags for kayak fishing are versatile and can include:
Storing electronics: Dry bags can protect electronic devices such as smartphones, cameras, GPS units, and other gadgets from water damage, allowing kayak anglers to carry and use their electronics while on the water safely.
Storing extra clothes: Dry bags can keep extra clothes, towels, and other personal items dry, allowing kayak anglers to change into dry clothes or keep warm during wet or cold weather conditions.
Storing food and snacks: Dry bags can keep food, snacks, and other perishable items dry and protected from moisture, ensuring that kayak anglers have fresh and safe-to-consume food during their fishing trip.
Storing bait and tackle: Dry bags can be used to store bait, tackle, lures, and other fishing gear, keeping them dry and in good condition for effective fishing.
Storing personal items: Dry bags can be used to store personal items such as wallets, keys, and documents, protecting them from water damage or loss during kayak fishing trips.
The price of dry bags for kayak fishing in the USA can vary depending on the size, material, and brand. Entry-level dry bags may start around $10, while higher-end or larger dry bags with advanced features such as multiple compartments, padded shoulder straps, or higher waterproof ratings can cost $50 or more.
It’s important to consider the durability, waterproof rating, and size of the dry bag to suit your specific needs and budget, and to ensure that it provides adequate protection for your gear and valuables during your kayak fishing adventures.
8. Landing net
A landing net is a useful accessory for kayak fishing, as it allows anglers to safely land and release fish. A landing net is used to scoop up the fish and hold it in the water, minimizing the time the fish is out of the water, and reducing the stress on the fish.
There are different types of landing nets available for kayak fishing. Some are designed for specific types of fish or fishing environments, such as saltwater or freshwater fishing.
The most common types of landing nets for kayak fishing are:
Telescoping nets: These nets have a handle that can be extended and locked into place, making them easy to store and transport.
Foldable nets: These nets have a frame that can be folded down for storage and transportation.
Rubber nets: These nets have a rubber or rubber-coated mesh bag that is gentle on the fish and does not damage the scales or fins.
When choosing a landing net for kayak fishing, it is crucial to consider the size and shape of the net, as well as the material of the net bag, and the handle’s length.
It’s also important to consider the size of the fish you will target. Some landing nets are specifically designed for larger fish, while others are better suited for smaller fish.
It’s also important to consider the net’s weight and portability, as it needs to be easy to transport and store on your kayak.
Finally, for the conservation of fish, it’s important to release the fish gently and quickly, and a landing net with a rubber bag will provide the best protection for the fish and release it unharmed.
9. Bait bucket
A bait bucket for kayak fishing is a container used to store live bait, such as minnows, shrimp, or worms, during a fishing trip on a kayak. Bait buckets are designed to keep the bait alive and in good condition, allowing kayak anglers to have fresh and lively bait for their fishing needs.
The uses of a bait bucket for kayak fishing typically include:
Preserving bait: Bait buckets are designed to provide a suitable environment for live bait, helping to keep them alive and healthy for a longer period of time. This allows kayak anglers to have effective and lively bait to attract fish and increase their chances of catching fish.
Easy access to bait: Bait buckets are designed with easy access points, such as lids or hinged doors, that allow kayak anglers to quickly and easily retrieve bait without disturbing the other kayak contents.
Preventing escape: Bait buckets are designed with secure lids or closures to prevent bait from escaping or jumping out of the container while on the water. This helps to keep the bait contained and prevents the loss of bait during transportation or while on the kayak.
Reducing mess and odor: Bait buckets are designed to help contain the mess and odor associated with live bait, keeping the kayak cleaner and more pleasant during the fishing trip.
The price of a bait bucket for kayak fishing in the USA can vary depending on the size, material, and features. Basic bait buckets made of plastic or mesh can start around $10 to $20, while higher-end bait buckets with advanced features such as aerators, insulated walls, or UV-resistant materials can cost $30 or more.
It’s important to consider the size, durability, and features of the bait bucket to suit your specific bait storage needs and budget, and to ensure that it provides a suitable environment for keeping your live bait fresh and healthy during your kayak fishing trips.
10. First aid kit
A first aid kit is an essential item for kayak fishing, as it can provide critical medical supplies and treatments in case of injuries or emergencies that may occur during a fishing trip on the water.
First aid kits are designed to provide basic medical care and can be a lifesaver in situations where immediate medical attention is needed.
The uses of a first aid kit in kayak fishing typically include:
Treating cuts and wounds: A first aid kit may include items such as adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, and gauze pads that can be used to clean and dress cuts, wounds, or abrasions that may occur while handling fishing gear, hooks, or other equipment.
Managing injuries: A first aid kit may contain items such as splints, instant cold packs, and elastic bandages that can be used to manage injuries such as fractures, sprains, strains, or bruises that may occur during a fall or accident on the kayak.
Handling burns and stings: A first aid kit may include burn ointments, sting relief pads, or antihistamine medications that can be used to treat burns from hot fishing gear or stings from marine creatures such as jellyfish or stingrays.
Dealing with allergic reactions: A first aid kit may contain epinephrine auto-injectors or antihistamine medications that can be used to treat severe allergic reactions that may occur due to insect bites, food allergies, or other triggers.
Providing CPR and basic life support: A first aid kit may include CPR masks, gloves, or other supplies that can be used to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or basic life support in case of a medical emergency on the water.
The price of a first aid kit for kayak fishing in the USA can vary depending on the size, contents, and brand. Basic first aid kits may start around $10 to $20, while more comprehensive first aid kits with additional supplies or advanced features such as waterproof cases or specific marine-related treatments can cost $30 or more.
It’s important to choose a first aid kit that is suitable for your specific needs, provides adequate medical supplies, and is easy to carry and access on your kayak.
Additionally, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the contents and proper use of the first aid kit, as well as basic first aid and CPR techniques, to be prepared for emergencies during your kayak fishing adventures.
11. Trolling motor
A trolling motor is an electric motor that is commonly used in kayak fishing as an additional means of propulsion. It can provide a range of benefits and uses, including:
Enhanced mobility: A trolling motor can help kayak anglers move around more easily and cover larger distances on the water. It allows for increased maneuverability and control, especially in windy or challenging conditions, enabling anglers to position their kayak in the desired fishing spot without the need for paddling.
Extended fishing time: Using a trolling motor can extend the amount of time anglers can spend fishing on the water. It can help conserve energy by reducing the amount of paddling required, allowing anglers to fish for longer periods and cover more ground.
Silent and stealthy approach: Trolling motors operate quietly, which can be advantageous in situations where a quiet approach is needed to not scare away fish. The silent operation of a trolling motor allows anglers to sneak up on fish and improve their chances of catching more fish without disturbing the water or fish with loud noises.
Precision control: Trolling motors typically have variable speed controls and can provide precise and controlled movements, allowing anglers to position their kayak precisely and maintain the desired fishing speed or direction. This level of control can be especially beneficial when navigating through tight spots, around structures, or in areas with heavy vegetation.
Navigation in shallow waters: Trolling motors can be used in shallow waters where traditional propeller-driven motors may not be suitable. They can be adjusted to operate at different depths, allowing anglers to navigate through shallow waterways, flats, or other areas with low water levels.
12. Fish grips
Fish grips are specialized tools designed to safely handle and release fish during kayak fishing. They can provide several uses and benefits, including:
Safe fish handling: Fish grips allow anglers to safely handle fish without touching them directly, reducing the risk of injury from sharp fins, teeth, or hooks. This helps protect both the angler and the fish, promoting responsible catch-and-release practices.
Easy hook removal: Fish grips often come with built-in hook removers, making it easier to safely remove hooks from the fish’s mouth without causing harm to the fish or the angler. This can save time and effort and increase the chances of successful catch-and-release fishing.
Secure fish control: Fish grips provide a secure grip on the fish, allowing anglers to maintain control while unhooking, measuring, or taking photos. This can help prevent the fish from escaping or causing damage to the angler’s kayak or fishing gear.
Minimal harm to fish: Fish grips are designed to minimize harm to the fish, as they do not exert excessive pressure or squeeze the fish, which can cause internal injuries. This promotes the fish’s well-being and increases their chances of survival after release.
Versatility: Fish grips can be used for a wide range of fish species, sizes, and fishing techniques, making them a versatile tool for kayak fishing in different environments and conditions.
The price of fish grips in the USA can vary depending on the brand, material, and features. Basic fish grips may start around $10 to $20, while more advanced fish grips with additional features such as built-in scales, lights, or floating capabilities can cost $30 or more.
It’s important to choose fish grips suitable for the fish species you typically target and meet your specific needs for safe fish handling during kayak fishing.