Kayak Fishing


Ryan Haseman
Has anyone tried fishing along the coasts with a sea kayak? I'm thinking of trying it but am worried about stability. I know about the oar trick with the foam block. An advatage I can see is stealth, especaily with the SRC's. any advise?
Done succesfully all the time. Read the thread "Beautiful Day" by HotinTotten, In the Salt, a few threads down. The man's living in paradise.


I ran into a couple of guys out at Neah Bay who fish gear from their kayaks for rockfish and lingcod. They were doing it just south of Cape Flattery, this was summer time and the weather was reaaaaaaly nice though. It cam be done, but I'd make sure you're comfortable with what you're doing if you're going to hit the coast.
Fishing from a Kayak in Puget Sound is pretty easy as long as you keep a good eye on the weather. Even my fishing partner Amie gave it a go when the Pinks were running. Its also good to know the currents in the area and to learn to handle the kayak well before heading out. I myself fish mostly between Des Moines and Tacoma with mine but do get into other area at times.
One area I would stay away from until you are really good with the kayak is the Narrows because there are some real strong currents in it.
Six I have used a sit on top (SOT) from Perception kayaks the for about ten years now and just love it. It's almost 15' long with a rudder so it tracks very well and has a decent cruising speed. It also has room for tons of gear under the deck. Stability is great and it's self bailing if you decide to go through some rough water. The greatest thing is if you do find yourself off the boat somehow, you can crawl back on and start paddling again without having to bail the whole thing out like a conventional kayak. Plenty of people have used regular kayaks for fishing but I wouldn't even consider it especially solo. I've also done plenty of multi day river trips in this boat, being plastic it's pretty much indestructible. Do a search on the net as there are plenty of purpose built SOTs nowadays. I'd stick with one of the bigger brands though such as Perception. Drop me a line if you have any more questions.

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Ryan, do you wear a full wetsuit or drysuit this time of the year on your SOT?
Seems like you'd be subject to maximum exposure on a SOT yak. From my surfing experience, I know that you can actually stay pretty warm and toasty for a few good hours, even when getting wet, and on a cold Winter's day, too (as long as you keep moving) when properly suited up. On really cold days, the wind can bite pretty badly, but a windbreaker worn over the wetsuit should take care of that.
From what I've read, most people who've tried both SOT and "regular" style boats prefer the SOTs and say they are safer and generally better for fishing. I've never tried a SOT, but have been considering getting a yak to expand my flotilla of personal watercraft.
I used to have an old 15' home-made touring yak that I fished out of in the Sound when I lived on Bainbridge Island in the early 80's...until I loaned it to some neighbor teens who trashed it on the rocks, after which I quit using it and eventually gave it away. Was a beamy and stable three-hole design...two person and large cargo hole in center. I mainly mooched and jigged from it, and sat on top of the deck with my feet in the center cargo hole...and only lowered myself inside to paddle when I had to go some distance or into the wind.
I never really got splashed much...was a dry ride, as I was sitting pretty high for a yak. I guess my question is this: Do you get splashed repeatedly by wind chop in your SOT...is it a wet ride? If so I would assume that wearing a wet or dry suit is highly recommended, if not mandatory for comfort, protection from hypothermia, and safety.


Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Whoa! Big flashes of lightning and huge thunder...twice in last five minutes here (9:15am -9:20am) solid downpour, strong gusts, and a huge murder of crows looking for cover....no fishing today!


I have been kayaking fishing in Puget Sound as well as other places for a couple of years and I am hooked! I mainly use sit in Kayaks but have use sit on tops in Mexico and Costa Rica. I took a kayak trip to Prince William Sound Alaska this summer and caught Pinks and Silvers to hearts delight. I mostly used bait casting rod with a flasher and Coho flies when paddling and fly fished from shore. I have attached some pictures from this trip. We rented a big double boat which was stable and great for fishing. I also brought a prawn trap which came in handy.

Jim, yes it is quite a wet ride. This time of year I'll wear a light farmer john (no arms)wetsuit with neoprene booties with a drytop made for kayaking. Pogies are a great idea too when it's cold and blowing. I manage to stay pretty warm this way.

I have wondered how it would be to wear neoprene waders with a splash jacket in a sit on top? I've used them in the summer in warm water, and the only thing that got wet was my butt. I guess it could be a safety issue, if you swamped?
Teeg, I do wear waders as well on my sot when fishing rivers. It works great to drift down the river and stop and fish the likely runs. I can't stress enough the importance of wearing a waist belt and a chest strap under your life jacket. If you end up in the drink and you take some water into your waders you will not be able to drag your arse back on board. It's something to goof around with in the summer to see what to expect.