If you’re a fan of fishing for pike and own a kayak, blending the two together is an excellent way to access phenomenal fishing opportunities.
Many large pike roam waters off limits to anglers with powerboats, and getting into back lakes or small- to medium-sized rivers is easy with a kayak. More often than not, these unpressured fish are willing to hit baits with unbridled predatory aggression, only heightening the fun of kayak angling!
Kayaks let you access lakes and rivers off limits to powerboats, which often equates to phenomenal angling action.
A Bit About Kayaks
Kayak fishing is booming in North America. The growing popularity exists for several reasons. Being able to access waters cut off to powerboats is one. In a kayak any public access spot on shore is a launch site. Then it’s just a matter of paddling to biting fish. Another reason kayak fishing is growing is their low-cost advantages. No motor or trailer means lower fuel costs with these small boats. The ability to customize kayaks into fully functional fishing machines is another reason more anglers are taking up kayak fishing. Lastly, kayak fishing is fun! You’re closer to the water and battling even smaller-sized fish can be a blast in these low-profile paddleboats.
Kayaks Access Prime Pike Waters
There is no wrong time to target pike using a kayak. Look for pike around creeks and bays where they’ll recover after spawning in spring. Come summer and autumn, bays and weed lines are good areas to paddle and cast baits.
As kayaks glide through extremely shallow water, use this to your advantage and work shallow, weedy, and sand bays off the beaten track. Also, don’t be afraid to explore up small rivers or lake tributaries. Sometimes these connect to lakes with undeveloped shorelines. It’s spots like this where non-stop pike action is common as fish aren’t likely to see very many lures in their lifetime.
Top Kayak Pike Gear
Fishing pike from a kayak begins by having the proper gear. Medium-heavy to heavy bait cast or spinning rods are good. Some prefer longer rods of at least 7 feet to help them control fish and keep them a safe distance from the boat until they’ve played them sufficiently and safely, and it’s time to land them. Use braid starting at 30-pound-test and either use wire or heavy-duty fluorocarbon leaders of at least 60-pound test to prevent bite-offs.
Kayak Pike Baits
As you’re fishing much closer to the water, try and use lures featuring single hooks, or pinch down barbs on trebles. This makes releasing fish easier, but also lessens the chances of an angling accident.
Good top water lures include frogs and buzz baits. Soft-jerk baits rigged on single hooks are excellent to twitch around weeds or wood for pike as well. Spinner baits are another great single-hook option and are always pike magnets. To work the bottom or along weed edges, buck tail jigs bulked up with twister tails are my favorite choice.
The Right Release Tools
It’s important to carry all the necessary release tools when fishing out of a kayak. This ensures you can quickly remove the hooks from a fish and resume fishing. The longer you take to land and release a fish at boat side the greater the chances for mishaps. Pliers are a must, and floating models are available. Keep them on a lanyard so they’re always within reach and carry a spare set. Jaw spreaders are important for pike as well to quickly open a fish’s mouth and remove a lure. A net is also a good tool to carry in the boat. Many handles easily stow in flush mount rod holders. If targeting big fish, it’s often best to angle with a partner so assistance is nearby for landing and removing hooks.
Fishing pike from kayaks is exciting. These predators often aggressively hit lures and back lake fish are sure to be more aggressive than ones found on pressured waters regularly angled and exposed to plenty of boat traffic. Whether you own one or not, if you enjoy pike fishing, try angling them with a kayak.
You might be surprised how much fun it is, not to mention the size and number of fish you’ll like catch if you get on less pressured waters.
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