Fishing Kayak: Choosing a Kayak for Fishing


fishing kayak

Fishing From A Kayak

Almost everyone I know who has a fishing kayak would choose something different if they purchased a new one. I have fished often from my son’s “Sit-in” 10-foot kayak. It is a pretty good set-up for floating White River or fishing small pits. However, sitting low makes it more difficult to comfortably cast and stresses my lower back.

I have been watching ads for used kayaks on the internet. Some, a thousand bucks or more, were out of my price range while there are bargains from $150-$600. Add-ons, such as crates with side pouches, didn’t look good but served a purpose. I was close to making a purchase several times but just could not get there before they were sold.

I liked an Ascend 12 at Cabela’s, but it was $599.99. As an employee, I can get a discount of seven percent, above cost, on boats. Last Saturday, my dream Kayak showed up at the Bargain Cave marked down $100. A customer returned it because he found a scratch.

I asked the fellow working the Bargain Cave what my discount was worth. “This is considered a camping item not a boat. Therefore, you can use your store-brand employee discount of 45%,” he said.

I grabbed the ticket off the boat and headed for the check-out. This 12-foot, lime-green, sit on top Ascend Kayak was mine. It is long, wide and a little heavy, but will be a comfort to fish from.

Fishing Kayak Paddle

Now, I needed a kayak paddle. This gets complicated. There are Performance paddles with carbon shafts that are lightweight and most often used for speed.

Touring paddles are the most common and used for lakes and rivers. They can be made from carbon or fiberglass.

Whitewater paddles are the most durable, but still can break. With the danger involved in this type of kayaking, it is suggested a spare, four-piece backup be on board.

In addition to types of paddles, the blades have either high or low angles. The high is more for deep digging strokes while the low angle is for more horizontal paddling. I chose the latter.

Selecting the right length paddle is a bit of a quandary. One method requires you take the width of your kayak, mine is 30-inches and your height. Google Search for this info and charts. This theory tells me I need a 250 cm paddle.

A second suggestion goes by your torso length. Sit on a straight chair and measure from your crotch to your nose. Mine was 30-inches. This chart advised me to use a 210-240 cm paddle.

The last theory on paddle selection is standing the paddle on end. Your fingers should be able to bend over the top end of the blade. Given that method, I need a 220 cm paddle.

Fish More Than Cruise Kayak

My kayaking will involve more fishing than cruising; for that reason, I’m going for a 220-230 length paddle. The Ascend makes a great fishing kayak. It has rod holders and clips for your paddle, but most of the time I will simply lay the paddle across my lap.

There are carts to pull your kayak and brackets to secure it to your truck or car. A wealth of info awaits you online. Sit down with a cup of coffee. Your first kayak adventure will be making an informed decision on which one to purchase.

First Fishing Trip In New Ascend Kayak

The remnants of Hurricane Barry came through Tuesday and I thought the bite would be on. Was I ever wrong? I tried three lakes before being redeamed.

My son Greg and his Step-Father Joe Jones caught several nice bass Saturday and Sunday evening on plastic worms and Whopper Ploppers anchored by one weighing 5.5 lbs. It was time I caught up.

This was my maiden voyage in my new Ascend, sit-on-top 12-foot kayak. It handled nice and I like sitting on top, but the wind wreaked havoc on me. Still, I got in some good cast with a worm and top water with nothing to show for it.

When I decided to leave there was a problem. The bank dropped off deep, where I launched, and I could not get the nose of my craft upon the shore. I called my sons Brian and Greg hoping one could come help, but neither answered.

Boots Full Of Water

I paddled to another part of the lake and took a shot at crashing the shore. No dice, but I did grab a cattail followed by a willow to steady the kayak’s nose against the shore. I stepped over the side while maintaining my grip and went in waist deep, filling my boots with water.

I pulled myself upon the bank and reached back to grab my boat. While sitting on my tailgate pouring water out my boots, I realized the only thing I had done right was leaving my billfold in the truck.

To say the least, I had worked up an appetite, Wet clothes and all, I was going to eat at a favorite country restaurant only to find they are closed on Wednesdays. I drove to Greg’s RBI in Middletown and they were on vacation.

With dry clothes and waiting out a brief shower, I was determined to catch a bass. The pasture pond I fished next was muddy and gave me a 10-inch bass on my last cast before rain set in.

At 6 p.m., I grabbed an ultra-light spinning outfit and some wax worms to set forth one more time. Oftentimes, you can catch a few bluegill when nothing else will bite. I was relieved when a nine-inch gill hit my little red jig.

Bluegill on light tackle was what the doctor ordered. They were not biting well but I caught enough to make me happy with a big redear bonus. Momma said there would be days like this.


About Rick Bramwell 38 Articles
Grew up in rural Indiana fishing farm ponds and hunting woodlands. Bramwell has been writing outdoors for 48 years. He harvested the record typical whitetail for his county and hunts rabbits with his beagle Tramp. He fished bass tournaments, including Red Man, until 1989. Bramwell has put together an ultra-ultra light system for catching panfish that mostly involves tight-lining a small jig. He attended college at Indiana State and Anderson University. Bramwell has two sons in their 50s, Brian and Gregory. A daughter Jourdan age 27. His greatest memory: fishing trout, salmon and halibut in Alaska. Bramwell's passion, apart from the outdoors, has been coaching high school age fastpitch softball.