Jordan Lee demonstrates that it doesn't take a full-sized, high-dollar bass boat to catch fish. Photo by Garrick Dixon

There’s a big misconception in bass fishing that you have to take out a second mortgage and buy a $70,000 boat to be able to fish really well, and you just don’t. Kayak fishing is awesome, and pretty much anybody can do it.  

To start with, kayaks are way more affordable than a fully-rigged bass boat, and that’s a big draw. But maybe more important: I believe they are a great tool to help you hone your bass-fishing skills. 

Getting Into New Water

The first reason I think kayaks are ideal tools to help your bass fishing is that you can get into areas with them that a big boat often can’t access. With a kayak, you can fish small creeks, ponds and shallow backwater areas of big reservoirs – places where most people would never take their boat, or they’d just get it stuck if they did.

These unpressured areas can really help with skill improvement. Fish in these locations are often willing to bite and are a bit easier to catch. Because of this, you can take your time and hone your skills with different presentations. You can learn how to better works your baits to trigger strikes, and what the strike feels like.

Fishing out of a kayak allows me to squeeze into places where you could never take a full-sized bass boat. Photo by Garrick Dixon

Fishing Your Water More Thoroughly

Kayak fishing also teaches you to thoroughly fish your water. You can’t just blow into an area, fish it for a minute and then get up, run, and gun. You have to fish what’s in front of you, and I mean thoroughly fish through an area.

For me, getting into hunter/stalker mode in a kayak has really helped me become a more thorough tournament fisherman. In my big Ranger, I can always pick up and run 20 miles. As tournament anglers, we all tend to leave a good area when it slows down with whatever presentations we’re using, and go to an area we think is better.

In the kayak, though, you need to adjust, change baits, change presentations, and change how you approach that area. Since I’ve started kayak fishing, it’s helped me slow down while I’m fishing events. When you’re fishing the Bass Pro Tour, you really need to make the most of what’s in front of you and be thorough. That’s a big way in which kayak fishing has added to my success at the highest level of tournament bass fishing: I’m more willing to pick an area and just figure it out.

Bring along a handful of rod and reel combos you like to fish with, some confidence baits like soft plastics, jigs, bladed jigs, topwaters, and a couple of colors and some extra tackle when you fish out of a kayak. You’ll learn to be more efficient at finding and catching bass. 

Kayak Event Coming Up!

On October 5, I’m going to fish the Native Watercraft Tournament of Titans kayak event on Lake Guntersville in Alabama. It’s hosted by Native, but open to any brand of kayak. The bite should be good that week on Guntersville. This is a length-limit event where you measure the fish, take a photo, and release, so it’s a little bit like the Bass Pro Tour format, but with a twist.

I really love fishing tournaments, and this one should be a lot of fun.

You can read all about it on Native’s event page here.