Must Haves: Kayak Bass Fishing

Contributed by JR Young


Many people looking to get into kayak bass fishing, or any kayak fishing for that matter, are faced with a tough decision on what product to buy. Which PFD is better? What yak is better for the body of water that I fish? What type of fishing equipment, and what storage is to be used? And the hardest for the angler, whether it be a newcomer, or a veteran, is how to rig it all out.

For the past few years kayaks have been an on growing addiction for a lot of anglers out there. And along with those years come bigger and better equipment, especially in the kayak itself. What will make you the most happiest with your boat is to lean more towards the body of water you fish. If you fish lakes, and rivers about as equal, then get something that is comfortable for both.

A great river boat is a more narrow boat, with a lower seating position. The narrowness of the boat can alter the way the river, or creeks current affects your boat position. The narrowness of a boat with less surface area, creating less drag for the current to catch and take with it, will be easier for you to maneuver, and fish certain areas along the body of water.
A good large body of water boat, something for inshore, and lake fishing, is something a little wider, and usually a high seating position as there is usually not enough current to affect the maneuverability of your boat.

If you are looking for something in between then choose a boat with a moderately wide stance, and the option of either a high to low seating position, which is offered on many boats today. A boat that is about twelve foot in length is perfect for both rivers and lakes. A longer boat will be a little tougher for personal maneuverability, but is great for bigger lakes, where windy days will not be much of a problem.



The Lure 11.5 is a great all around boat made by Feel Free for lakes, and larger bodies of water.
The Feel Free Moken 12.5 shines in those fast moving waters you’ll find in rivers, and creeks.

A PFD (personal flotation device) is the number one safety procedure taken when any boater is on the water, especially in small craft like a kayak. If a boater were to wear his/her PFD every time he is on the water, he reduces the risk of drowning from an accident to about 25%. If he/she did not wear a flotation device, there risk goes up to about 85%.

What most kayak anglers realize about fishing out of there yak for the first time with a traditional PFD is that it is uncomfortable as you are sitting down most of the day. But with many of the new vests being made today, this is not an issue. I personally wear a NRS Chinook PFD, every minute I am on the water. At the beginning of tournaments, I already put it on even if there is still 10-15 minutes left before launch.



The NRS Chinook PFD like many others made today, have a high padding area on the back to make it more comfortable for the angler. They also do not put any of the foam inserts on the shoulder straps to help reduce irritation. The NRS Chinook life jacket is also set at a good price point under $100.
Another good thing about many vests is the many small storage areas on the front of the vests. These can be used to hold cameras, scents and dyes, identifiers for bass tournaments, and even your favorite plastic bait you’re using throughout the day. I use most of the pockets for these items, but I also make sure to have a whistle and compass on my life jacket at all time. You can also attach a small utility tool, and line cutters on the outside of your vest.

Fishing Equipment:
Many anglers getting into the sport ask themselves and others about the type of fishing equipment they should use. The equipment you have used before works well in a kayak. As long as the rod and reel works, and the line is strong enough to reel in that big lunker, you’re ready to start fishing.

Every kayak angler has their own way of organizing there gear. A simple milk crate is what most newcomers and even some of the best use. There is also companies such as YakAttack who make a specialized crate system. It looks clean, is lightweight, and as strong as they come.



Your standard 3600 Plano boxes fit any way you like them in the YakAttack Black Pak, and the 3700 length wise. You can fit up to about nine 3600 size Plano’s comfortably, and around 5-6 of the 3700 size.

Every kayak angler has different items equipped on their boats. They will have rod holders, depth/GPS units, rudders, and even a light weight trolling motor. YakAttack has many mounting accessories for fish finders, and also partner with Ram Mounts to make there rod holders.

A kayak angler can wear anything in their kayak. But you want to wear is appropriate, comfortable, and stylish in all weather conditions. Companies such as Under Armour, Columbia Outfitters, etc. make good products for every season of the year.

It is also good to keep in mind of sun protection year round, as the sun can cause harmful UV rays to damage your skin. Sun block, and the appropriate hat, with a buff will keep you protected when you’re on the water.


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Chris Payne

A lifelong Texan, Chris Payne has been an outdoor enthusiast his entire life and has spent the last 15 years fishing mainly from a kayak. He is known for his thorough and helpful reviews as well as how to articles for nearly everything kayak fishing related. If you have questions or comments, you can leave them on this post or email Chris at:

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