Slipping quietly over a shallow weed bed, you feel the subtle brush of vegetation below your feet. With the sweep of a paddle a swirling vortex, water spins past the side of your small vessel as you slip gently through northern pike haven. That's kayak fishing at its best.
While fishing from human-powered watercraft such as canoes and kayaks is not new, this low-impact, low stress style of angling has grown quickly in recent years with the introduction of fishing-specific designs from companies like Ascend, with the Ascend FS12 Sit In Angler Kayak ($699.99) providing an easy and affordable way to access good fishing.
If you’re on the fence about kayak fishing, it’s worth trying out with a reputable guide if you aren't ready to invest in a boat — or you can jump right in. While it may not be for everyone, many anglers are quickly hooked on this method. Here's why:
Simplicity of maintenance — Yes, a powerboat is a wonderful tool quickly cover big water, but it comes with a high price tag and needs maintenance, fuel, a tow vehice and on and on. Some anglers find the simplicity of manpowered craft leads to more time on the water and less time in the maintenance garage.
Access to water — Find a body of water with a public bank, and you've found yourself a launch ramp.
Silence is golden — This term applies to fishing in a few ways. First, you'll get closer to fish without the spooking effect of an engine or even trolling motor. Second, it's just downright peaceful to float on the water in silence. The experience of gliding softly over a lake or river without engine noise drowning out the subtle whispers of nature is a great way to unwind.
Easy on the wallet — There's no way around it — power boats are expensive. While kayaks are are certainly not free, they pay huge returns, hold their value and last for many years with little or no maintenance.
Exploration — A watercraft that draws mere inches of water is unmatched or slow-speed exploration of backwaters, mountain lakes or secluded reefs.
Added challenge — Some anglers find the challenge of working off a kayak quite rewarding.
The exercise bonus — Kayaking is a great workout that tones the midsection, strengthens the back and burns calories. Getting a workout while fishing just may be the best multi-tasking combo yet, especially when it can even lead to dinner on the table.