Sight Fishing Success from Your Kayak

3-minute read + 9-minute video

Sight fishing in shallow water is a challenge, but is something every kayak angler can learn to do with success. Bending Branches ProStaffer, Gene Jensen, gives us his best tips and tricks for sight fishing from your kayak in this video:

If You can See the Fish, the Fish can See You

When he’s sight fishing, Gene knows the fish are very aware of what’s going on around them—including above the water’s surface. So your first plan of attack is to “break up your outline” so you’re harder for the fish to see.

Wear lighter colors. Take advantage of camouflage patterns. Stay away from brights, including your hat and life jacket. The less conspicuous you are, the better.

A Good Pair of Polarized Sunglasses is a Must

A good pair of sunglasses with the right UV protection are important anytime you’re on the water. They help protect your eyes from the sun’s glare, and from wind and debris.

When your sunglasses are polarized, they help you see through the glare on the surface into the water below. This, of course, means you can spot fish faster and keep watching them as you cast and reel.

Be Quiet and Stealthy

Fish can both hear sounds and detect vibrations. So when you’re fishing close enough to be able to see them, it’s important you’re as quiet and stealthy as possible.

Being in a kayak already gives you an advantage. If you have a trolling motor or pedals, don’t use them. Even turn off your electronics, especially anything that pings.

If you need to paddle, do it carefully and selectively so you don’t splash or paddle drip too much. And have a way to manage your paddle when you’re not using it so it doesn’t bang around on your kayak.

Gene Jensen in his fishing kayak on a lake holding up a big bass he just caught

Know Where the Sun Is

A moving shadow will spook fish. So try not to let the sun get directly behind you so that it casts your shadow in the sight line of the fish you’re pursuing. You don’t want your shadow to interfere with your success!

Keep Your Cast Compact

Keep your movements minimal and tight. As you cast, keep your hands close to make the motion as compact as you can. Any large movements of your hands, arms and rod can scare your potential catch away.

Aim for a low entry with as little splash as possible. Practice these kinds of movements so when you’re in an ideal sight fishing environment they come naturally.

Don’t Use Braided Line

Fish can see quite well. If you use a braided line, you run the risk of giving the fish too much of a hint of your whereabouts. Instead, Gene recommends thinner flaurocarbon line when sight fishing in the shallows.

For more kayak fishing tips from Gene Jensen, visit his YouTube channel, Flukemaster.

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

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