Trout Fishing in a Kayak: The Official Guide to This Freshwater Fish

If you’re a beginner fisherman, having the best advice is going to make your new hobby a lot easier for you. The difference between having a good time catching fish and being frustrated with the lack of fish comes down to knowing what to do. While spending your time out on the water is relaxing and fulfilling, it’s going to be even better when you can take home a few trout.

Therefore, before you head out to the lake, you might want to take note of the tips we have compiled for you.

What Types of Trout Are There?

Trout Fishing

When it comes to trout fishing, you need to know what you’re looking for. There are a few different types: 

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Lake Trout and Steelhead

If you plan to hit the lake in your kayak, then you are most likely going to come across lake trout and steelhead. On the other hand, if you are looking for rainbow trout or brown trout, you are going to want to head to streams and rivers.

Trout are not a rare fish, by any means. This makes them great for beginner fishers.  Most lakes and streams have a heavy supply of trout. To add to it, they are not difficult to catch. They survive well in all types of cool, fresh water.

Why Kayak Fish for Trout

Kayak fishing is a sport growing in popularity. If you are an angler, then kayak fishing should be on the top of your list. If you want to get off the shore and you don’t want to jump into a powerboat, then you might want to look at kayaks.

Here are a few reasons why people choose to fish from a kayak.

school of trout fish

Accessible Fishing

The kayak is incredibly versatile. When it comes to getting out on the water, you have your choice of a variety of bodies of water. You can hit the lake, float the river or go in small ponds and creeks.

Less Time on Maintenance

With a kayak, you do not have to deal with a lot of maintenance. The majority of maintaining your kayak is cleaning it of its excess dirt and mud. There are products that will gently wash your kayak and will protect your boat from sun damage. What you don’t have to worry about is dealing with motors or mechanics.

Cost-Effective

If it comes down to the issue of price between a kayak and a motorboat, the kayak is going to be the less expensive of the two. If you shop around, you’re likely to find a good deal on one.  While all boats are an investment, they aren’t all high-priced investments. You just need your kayak, a paddle, a vest and your fishing equipment.

Healthy Exercise

If you are looking for a good workout, kayaking is good exercise. When it comes to a healthier lifestyle, paddling around the lake is actually a great way to help stay fit.

If you love to fish and enjoy getting out on the water, then there is no reason not to try out kayak fishing. In fact, you can find fishing gear attached to some kayaks.

What to Know About Trout Fishing

If you’re not a professional angler, then there is probably a lot that you don’t know about trout. While trout fishing is one of the easiest fishing sports for beginners, there are some tips and tricks that will help you. Whether you’re fishing for food or just for enjoyment, the point is to find something in the water. The more you know about the fish that you’re catching, the easier time you’ll have detecting them.

Trout Fishing

If you don’t know their habits or where they prefer to live, then you aren’t going to be able to predict where to catch them. A good angler knows where to look and how to adjust his or her methods according to the fish available. With just a little information, you can do the same.

Research First

So, you’re ready to hit the water, but where do you go? Every area has its own locations where fish are more prominent, especially trout. While you can search maps and the internet for good bodies of water to fish, you should also check with other anglers. They will be able to tell you the best places to fish. This way, when you take your kayak out, you will not be disappointed with what you find.

Rules and Regulations

Before you take your kayak onto the water, make sure that you have read up on all of the rules and regulations of angling in your state. You do need a valid fishing license, and in some areas, you may have to have special permits or trout stamps. If you don’t know the regulations, you could wind up breaking them and these generally come at the cost of hefty fines. Your local tackle store should be able to tell you all about the regulations.

Bodies of Water

Trout prefer cool water. Usually, a trout will stay in water that is between 50 and 60 degrees. If you’re planning to fish in the streams, then you should try to find some deep pools. The bigger fish hold up here, waiting for their food. What you want to do is cast your hook upstream. If you do this, then the lure will look natural to the trout as they try to get it.

You also might have luck if you look behind large boulders. Many trout try to hide as they wait for their prey. The rocks help keep them out of the current, while also allowing them to watch for prey. In addition, they may hide under undercut banks.

Now, if you plan to hit the lake, you need to make sure that the lake is cool. In the summer, trout may be harder to find, since lakes warm up. Always try the deeper water, where it’s bound to be cooler. Trout have fewer ambush points while in lakes, but they do like to conserve energy and wait for their prey to come by. Something to be aware of is that trout prefer to group together in lakes. If you catch one, then you will probably find another.

kayak fishing

Gear and Tackle

When it comes to your tackle and gear, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on it. Trout fishing is relatively inexpensive. You can use either a closed-bale reel or an open-bale reel. The open-bale reel is easier to use and more versatile, but it’s all about preference. Make sure to use a monofilament line. Some reels come with it already, but if they don’t, you can find it at a tackle store.

As far as hooks are concerned, you can use between #6 and #10 hooks. For weights, you want split shot weights. Trout anglers also make use of spinners and spoons. It is easy to lure trout with the flash from the blades.

Care for Fish

Now, fish care depends heavily on your goal while fishing. If you practice catch-and-release, then you’ll have to take care of the fish. Trout have a slime coat that protects them from bacteria and disease. When you catch one, you need to make sure you handle it as little as possible. If you touch the fish too much, it will lose its slime coat. Wet your hands before you handle them, and try not to touch the fish while you remove the hook. In addition, you can use a rubberized net instead of the standard nylon.

When you release the fish, you may want to gently hold the fish by its stomach under the water and move it back and forth slightly. This will help it regain its equilibrium so that it can swim away. Remember that it had to use energy to fight against the hook. Wait until it moves away on its own.

Kayak Trout Fishing Is Full of Benefits

There are many benefits to fishing. As far as recreational hobbies, trout fishing is one of the more relaxing. You get to spend your day on a lake or stream, in a completely peaceful and quiet environment. To make it better, you don’t have to pay a lot of money to be able to do it. Some hobbies, no matter how fun they are, can leave deep holes in our wallets. Kayak fishing is not one of them. The investment into the boat is small.

If you like to eat trout, then you also get a great source of food from lakes and streams, while getting a workout. Kayaking is an active sport. You aren’t simply powered around by a motor all day. You have to utilize the paddles to get you from place to place. This takes a lot more energy than you’ll probably realize while out on the water. With the right gear and the right knowledge, using your kayak to fish for trout is a rewarding hobby.

Janice Friedman
 

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