two men fishing on kayaks


Knowing what to look for and knowing particular bodies of water are both crucial to increasing your chances of success when you are fishing. Even if you are in an area known for good fishing, it is unlikely that others will let you know exactly where and when you can definitely find the fish. This is the fun of fishing – finding your own best fishing spots and keeping them to yourself.

If you are in a kayak and fishing, you are already ahead of the pack because you are on a craft that can take you into or above the best places to find fish with stealth. In this Quick Guide, we take a look at some of the best spots to find fish when out on a kayak.

If you are new to kayak fishing, you probably want to start out inland. There are those who only fish in rivers and lakes. If you are game enough, you can graduate to fishing beyond the breaks and head out to deeper waters.


Fishing on a kayak on smaller lakes and ponds is a breeze. Getting onto the water and getting out of the water doesn’t take much effort at all. Nevertheless, to increase your chances of success you need to find high-probability casting areas. Here are some recommendations to increase your chances of catching more fish.


Patches of vegetation are always found closer to the shore in lakes and ponds. Bass are especially keen on this type of environment because it allows them to ambush their prey. While this type of fishing structure provides ample opportunity for catching more fish, you might also end up losing your tackle because of snags. Use fishing tackle that suits the vegetation and strong fishing line.


Another advantage of kayak fishing is the fact that you can see directly into the water. A great pair of fishing sports sunglasses can go a long way to improving your vision, including being able to see better through the water. If you can see rocks under the water, you have found one of the best places to cast your line.


Underwater drop offs, especially those with shelves and other irregularities are often another hotspot to find the targets you are looking for. Dropoffs allow you to test a larger range of the water column, which can be especially beneficial for finding out how water temperature is affecting the way the fish are behaving. Jigs are excellent for dropping down from your kayak at underwater drop offs. Use other lures and try to bounce them off ledges or other structure.


Water inlets and outlets are always a great place to try to catch fish because these areas provide water flow and cooler water, which many prey fish prefer. Inlets and outlets are not as good to fish in during the warmest of seasons because fish will dive deeper to find the cooler waters.


Kayak fishing in the surf is really for the experts. Here are some basic pointers we have picked up with our limited experience. Similar to inland waterways, fish will be found in, around and above structure. You may be able to spot structure depending on the depth but a fishfinder can be used to help you get the lay of the underwater land.

Sandbars are always a great place to look for fish. Greener water indicates more turbulent water. Look for calmer water because this is where you are more likely to catch more fish, or at least have an easier time of it.



A fishfinder will go a long way to help you finding fish in unfamiliar waters. Transducers are another excellent way to get a look at the underwater topography.


Drift lines in the water are caused by the wind pushing surface water. There is a high chance that surface food will be available for the fish where you find drift lines. They can be great places to find fish.


Unless you really know the area you are fishing in, it is always a good idea to bring extra line so you can try fishing in deeper waters. Apart from being able to fish deeper, there is a good chance of losing some fishing line in structure. Having backup is simply smarter fishing.


A long day of fishing gives you ample opportunity to go after more than one target species and try fishing around different structure. If you intend on casting in a few different locations, there is nothing wrong with having a selection of fishing lures to test and try.


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Bill Matthews

Bill is as green friendly as they come. He's travelled the world, loves kayak fishing and camping.