5 Expert Kayak Tips For Every Weekend Warrior

Stop fishing like everyone else and become top rod on the water with these expert tips.

Stop fishing like everyone else and become top rod on the water with these expert tips. Photos: Ben Duchesney


Most anglers fall in between the categories beginner and expert, but no one wants to stay there. After we shared 10 Expert Tips For Kayak Anglers Just Starting Out, we didn’t want to leave the majority of our readers out in the cold. For those anglers looking to start finishing at the top of the leaderboard in the local tournament, or to start catching fish every single time you hit the water, instead of just every few times, this article is for you. We’ve tapped ten kayak fishing experts to share their best tip for taking your kayak fishing skills to the next level, so you can consider yourself an expert too. Here’s what they told us:

1) Spend Time On The Water (Different Water)

One of the biggest differences between being an average angler and a pro is simply the amount of time spent on the water. However, the time spent on the water can’t be just doing the same thing over and over again. That is the definition of insanity! (Well I guess some would call kayak fishing insane anyway). It is important to challenge yourself to not always go to the same spot or throw the same lures every time. If you fish freshwater, try saltwater. If you fish saltwater try freshwater.  If you have confidence fishing structure and shorelines, then try to fish deep structure, or open water. Try skinny water, big water, and try things maybe someone hasn’t even tried before!

Joe Gugino, CEO & founding partner of Why Knot Fishing, Hobie Fishing Team Member and guide at Little Harbor Boathouse.

2) Learn From Your Mistakes

My advice to the tournament angler that is looking to step up their game would be to stay after it and keep a fishing log. You can’t place in every event, but you can take away knowledge that can help you at the next. Don’t get discouraged. A positive outlook when tournament fishing can make the difference from giving up and catching that winning fish at the last minute. Keep practicing because nothing beats time on the water when it comes to learning behavior of the species you are targeting.

Benton Parrott, Hobie Fishing Top Gun, guide and back-to-back IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Champion

3) Keep A Fishing Journal

My early fishing journals were little more than a photo in one of those old school plastic sheet photo albums with a few notes on river level and water temperature. Before long, I had developed a blank template with information on water clarity, top producing baits and their retrieval speed, wind speed and direction, cloud cover, barometer and so on. Not every piece of information you can possibly gather is important, but by gathering as much as you can for a year or two, you’ll understand which factors are most important for that particular fishery.

For instance, on river smallmouth fisheries, the river level and trend (rising, steady or falling) is paramount. For tidal bass, the tide is everything, but must be paired with the right structure or cover. On reservoirs, wind speed and direction is a huge deal. In keeping detailed records, you will be able to look back year after year to know which patterns are about to emerge.

Jeff Little, Wilderness Systems Regional Pro Staff Director and Producer of Tight Line Junkie Journal.

Keep a fishing log to track patterns and fish behavior over time.

Photo: Keep a fishing log to track patterns and see fish behavior over time that you wouldn’t be able to notice otherwise. (Credit: Jeff Little)

4) Find An Expert Mentor

Spend time on the water with a skilled angler in a purposeful way. Don’t just fish with them, observe what they do and ask questions. (Or just take my class!) Most excellent anglers are more than happy to share their expertise on how they locate and catch fish. I tell kayak angles that attend my seminars and classes that they can ask me any questions they want about how I pattern and catch fish.

I’m happy to share details. I have no secrets in that regard. In the next breath though I tell them not to ask about my secret fishing spots. That’s one tid bit of info I have a hard time giving up.

Juan Veruete, Licensed fishing guide at Kayak Fish PA, ACA Certified Kayak Instructor, Wilderness SystemsKokatat and Winco’s Custom Lures pro staffer. 

5) Do Your Research

First off, know there are just days that you will not catch fish or it will be real slow. If it happens often then some advice is obviously needed while targeting that particular fishery. The best place to find out how to step up your game is the internet. Search for the particular body of water you are going to target. Look for reports that coincide with the same time of year you are fishing. See what was working then and there is a good chance in the same conditions you will have similar results.

Bottom line is time on the water. There are 1000’s of weekend warriors out there that look at someone who catches fish consistently and wonder why it happens. The person who fishes 1-2 times a month vs the person who is on the water 2-4 days a week or more. The person out all the time has learned what it takes in certain conditions to catch fish. This can translate to other bodies of water too. If the average fisherman is out 2-4 times a month on the same body of water, then travels elsewhere to fish and has a hard time, it is typically just that the average guy does not know how to adapt to other areas and conditions.

Remember: the top pros did not start out at the top, they were beginners once too. The average fisherman needs to get serious about fishing and spend the time required to learn, or they will always be average. Even still, average is not bad if you are still having fun.

–Rob KnolesWilderness Systems pro staffer, tournament angler and Nor-Cal Inland Heroes on the Water coordinator.


Orgiinal Artcle:  https://www.rapidmedia.com/kayakangler/categories/skills/7503-5-expert-tips-for-every-weekend-warrior.html


New to kayak fishing?  10 Expert Tips For Kayak Anglers Just Starting Out


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