Introducing the Kayak Fishing Life to New Folks

3-minute read

One thing most of our ProStaff and Ambassador team members have in common is their desire to introduce new folks to kayak fishing. We asked a few of them how they do that.

man kayak fishing using a bending branches paddle

(Photo courtesy of Craig Dye)

Kayak fishing is a small but growing segment of the massive recreation fishing industry. What about it draws anglers? What do beginners need to know about it?

Jennifer and Jason Schall are a husband and wife kayak fishing duo, both members of our National ProStaff team. They both hold kayak fishing world record several times over. They’re also both Certified Fishing Instructors who give time to helping others learn this favorite sport of theirs.

Craig Dye is another member of our National ProStaff team and a winner of several US tournaments. He co-founded Kayak Bass Fishing TN to introduce new anglers to kayak fishing in a fun, competitive environment. His favorite budding kayak anglers are his two young sons.

We asked these folks a few questions to help new anglers get started kayak fishing. Here are their tips:

Why Do You Kayak Fish?

“Kayak fishing is our passion,” said Jason and Jennifer. “We're able to launch just about anywhere, we can access skinny water where larger boats can't go, and being at water level with the fish we're trying to catch can lead to some really thrilling experiences! Paddling is a great way to connect with nature because there's no noise pollution, and it helps us sneak up on the fish!”

Craig also loves the nature aspect of kayak fishing. He says, “I have always felt that when I'm paddling a kayak I'm part of nature and not one just visiting nature. There is a connection to the water that can be missed in a boat or even when a kayak has an electric motor on it.”

No matter who you ask you’ll find these answers are true across the kayak fishing world: Access to a wide variety of waters and intimacy with the natural environment around them.

What Are Your Best Tips for New Kayak Anglers?

Craig advises beginning kayak anglers to “paddle with someone who’s experienced.  This will help prevent bad habits early on and set you up for success.”

Jason and Jennifer like to focus on safety. “Make sure at minimum you have basic safety equipment including a personal flotation device (PFD) and a whistle. Always file a float plan with someone who can contact authorities if you don't come back from your trip when planned. We also suggest having a spare rope handy in the boat in case you need to secure the boat or use it as a tow rope.”

The Schalls offer advice on choosing a kayak paddle, too: “Make sure you select a paddle that’s right for the type and width of your boat and the conditions where you will be paddling. It's easy to just walk into a store and pick up a paddle that looks nice. But there are so many variables to consider that shouldn't be overlooked.”

Brandon Mayes kayak fishing, with a newly-caught fish

(Photo courtesy of Brandon Mayes)

How Do You Encourage Anglers in Their Kayak Fishing Pursuits?

Craig says, “I encourage other anglers by living the paddling lifestyle and sharing it on many social media platforms organically. It could be fishing the Etowah River on a solo trip or taking my kids out to the local pond. Sharing these experiences with others is a passion of mine because I want others to enjoy this sport as well.”

Images and videos from experienced anglers like Craig and our other team members are a great way to show new folks what it’s like and to inspire them to try it or keep going past difficulties.

The Schalls suggest ways to set new anglers up for success from the start:

  • Begin in easy-to-access spots with low-or-no current and motorboat traffic.
  • Always check the weather ahead of time to avoid going out in tough conditions.
  • Never go out when there are Lake Wind Advisories, no matter how experienced you are!
  • Keep your gear organized, packed and ready to go so you spend more time on the water and less time getting ready. They like to store their paddles, PFDs and other gear in their kayaks or in a tote that’s easy to transfer from garage to car when it’s time to go.

They say, “You want to start in optimal situations to be able to feel your boat out and assess your capabilities before being caught in the rain or wind. As you get more comfortable on the water, then start branching out into locations that may offer more of a challenge. It's important to stay safe and have fun!”

kayak angler carts his fishing kayak to the river

(Photo courtesy of Craig Dye)

Thanks to Jason, Jennifer and Craig for their insights! Follow them for more:

Do you have paddle questions our friendly Customer Service Team can help you with today? Contact them: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

More for you...