Kayaks are Stealthy: No matter how you slice it, a kayak is quieter and less noticeable to fish than any boat – even poling skiffs! Not having a trolling motor makes you kayak quieter. Even the pressure of the bow of your boat creating a small ripple will give fish in shallow water a serious case of lockjaw. A kayak can slip into any size pond and the fish won’t even know you’re there! To make your kayak even more stealthy, adhere stealth rubber to every spot on your boat that you lay paddles, Plano boxes and rods.
Kayaks offer better casting angles: When fishing from a motor boat, most of your casts are perpendicular to the bank and your lure swims from shallow water to deep. With a kayak you can gain a major advantage by placing your kayak right on the marsh grass. Then you can cast up the grass line and retrieve along the grass. This keeps your lure in the “red zone” for much more time than the typical boat cast. Also throw out into open water and retrieve back to your kayak that’s placed on the shoreline. This swims the lure from deep to shallow which is the instinctual way that bait fish typically avoid hungry predators. Turning the tables on casting angles makes a huge difference in catch rate.
Catching fish is more fun in a kayak: Hook into a 24 inch Redfish with a kayak underneath you, and you’re off on the “Cajun Sleigh Ride”. Hook the same Redfish in a motorboat and you horse the fish into the boat in less than a minute. Fish just feel bigger when you are catching them out of a kayak. The fish may completely circle your boat during their initial runs – giving you that adrenaline filled out of control feeling that make fishing so much fun. That “man vs. nature” feeling is so apparent when you have a big fish throwing mud and water up on you and over you as you struggle to gain the upper hand.
Kayaks are more fun when the fish aren’t biting: Everyone has those days when the fish just don’t seem interested. When you are fishing from a kayak, you have the added fun of seeing all the other wildlife abundant in the marsh. I recall the thrill of seeing a mother deer and her baby emerge from the marsh grass, swim the canal and head off into the grass on the other side – all while never spotting me. You’ll see amazing bird life, otters, raccoons, gators and more. I’ve even seen a Black Bear swimming a canal and coming up on a mud flat in the marsh. As an added bonus, you get a day of great exercise.
Kayaks allow you to fish where other boats cannot get: I have spent countless days fishing in the marsh in my kayak where I don’t see another single boat, kayak or other craft. Louisiana has so much marsh to fish that’s basically inaccessible to motorized fishing craft. Not only is it accessible, but your craft is perfect for fishing these waters once you get in there.
Kayak fishermen are social: Once you have a kayak – you’re in the club. There’s a kindred spirit among the people that forego the common path and take up kayak fishing. You’ll find that you are much more approachable by not only kayak fishermen – but also all the folks in motorized craft as well. If you’re into clubs and tournaments, you’ll find a plethora of opportunities to join other kayak fishermen for club trips and tournaments year round.
Kayak fishing is downright cheap: Take away fuel, insurance, storage, launch fees not to mention the upfront cost of purchasing a motor boat and you can see that kayak fishing is a great way to have more fun fishing at a much lower cost. You may not want to sell that motor boat quite yet though. Consider keeping the boat and using it as a “mothership” to carry you and your kayak to areas you can’t paddle to from the launch. Truly the best of both worlds!
The bottom line is that coastal Louisiana is the perfect playground for kayak fishing. I often tell people “If you want to ski powder snow, go to Colorado – but if you want to catch big saltwater fish out of a kayak – come to Louisiana”. We have a treasure trove of opportunity that is absolutely phenomenal for kayak fishermen. I look forward to seeing you on the water!