Getting off the banks and onto the water is a dream for every angler, but for many, it’s seemingly inaccessible. Boats are simply too expensive, and many people can’t warrant the expense; especially in the modern day with unreliable economies all over the world.
That’s where kayaks come in, and specifically, inflatable kayaks.
Inflatable kayaks offer a cost-effective way for anglers to get out on the water and away from the overpopulated banks to catch bigger, better fish without all the competition.
However, it can be a bit of a chore to get used to an inflatable kayak while fishing, and making certain mistakes can flush your investment right down the proverbial drain.
Today, we’re going to go over some tips that will help you make the most of your inflatable kayak during each fishing trip.
Let’s get started.
1: Avoid Underwater Hazards
This is probably the most important tip. Inflatable fishing kayaks are made to withstand abrasions. If they weren’t, you’d be lucky to get one trip in. However, they’re not impenetrable.
One of the biggest sources of punctures is the risk of underwater hazards.
These can be quite a few things. You can scrape across a shallow bottom and tear up the bottom of your kayak, allow an underwater tree to slip a branch between protective layers, or you could accidentally ride right into some barely-submerged rocks.
The key to avoiding this is checking the bottom of the waterway and actively avoiding hazards. There are countless fishing maps that provide sonar readings of popular waterways, and you can invest in a castable sonar that can relay real-time scans to your phone. However, you can also put a little effort into simply paying attention to where you’re going and maybe using your paddle to prod the bottom when possible.
2: Keep Fish Away from the Bottom
Fishing kayaks typically have plenty of protective features to prevent hooks from sinking into them, but if you’re not careful, you can still manage to puncture your boat. During casts, and under normal fishing conditions, this is unlikely.
It becomes a lot more likely if you allow a hooked fish to nestle itself beneath the boat. This is for two reasons.
First, the hook can become dislodged from the fish’s mouth and snag itself in an unprotected part of the kayak’s bottom. Small punctures like this aren’t the end of the world, but they do need to be patched immediately.
Then, you have to consider the damage the fish can cause. Fish have spines going through their fins most of the time, and one good swipe can leave a gash in your kayak.
Try to guide fish towards the side of your boat as you reel them in.
3: Minimize the Presence of Sharp Objects
Finally, you need a lot of sharp objects while you fish. Primarily, this means hooks and a fishing knife. However, you want to minimize how many you have in your kayak, and if possible, keep them stowed away until you’re using them. You can tow a cooler if your kayak doesn’t have a compartment.