Best Lures for Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing is an otherworldly experience. For kayaking enthusiasts, nothing tops the euphoria of gliding across serene water bodies—basking in the glory of the great outdoors as you troll for a prize catch. The thing about kayaks is that they can access remote—and potentially under-fished—fishing spots that are inaccessible by other conventional means (i.e., motorboats). Not to mention that they’re affordable and riveting for recreation pursuits.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned angler, the appeal of a kayak is undeniable – that’s more-or-less set in stone. The only ‘hiccup’ is the initial learning curve of kayak fishing. You need a combination of the best skills and gear—which brings us to the aim of this article; to give you some indispensable tips on finding the best lures for kayak fishing.

Why Lures?

One of the most important considerations in fishing is baiting. You can use live bait (wriggling worms, nightcrawlers, insects, small fish etc.) or lures (artificial). While both techniques have their pros and cons, here are some reasons you might choose lures over live-bait:

  • Less messy and easier to acquire than live bait.
  • Easily interchangeable – If one doesn’t work, just toss in another.
  • You can target a species more accurately – specifically designed to imitate natural prey.
  • Better for ‘Catch-and-Release’ fishing than live bait (debatable but still worth mentioning)
  • Cast further than live bait
  • Legal issues. Some countries do not allow live-bait fishing.

But as you’ve probably already figured out, finding the right lure for your kayak fishing expedition is an overwhelming experience. Read on for more on the best lures for kayak fishing.

First Things First; Know Your Target!

Contrary to what you may have heard, the rumoured ‘holy grail’ of lures does not exist – i.e., a lure that catches all types of fish is nothing more than a marketing ruse. The best lure is determined by the target species’ natural prey and the water conditions (current, visibility etc.). Along these lines, also do some research into the depth (i.e., topwater, intermediate, or the bottom of the water column) that the fish tends to hunt in for best results.

What works for one fish may not necessarily work for another species! This is why the first step to finding the best lure for kayak fishing is knowing your target. Looking for a bass? Or maybe some yellowtail? Whatever you plan to reel in, ensure you understand its typically prey and hunting depth--then pick out a lure that imitates it.

A great way of figuring out which species to go for is by going to your local fishing shop. Go speak to them and ask for advice - and if you do so make sure to support them by purchasing your lures from them.

This brings us to the next hurdle; differentiating the near-endless types of lures…

5 of the Best Lures for Kayak Fishing

As highlighted earlier, you need to factor in the feeding/hunting habits of the target species when choosing the weight, shape, and size of a lure. Similarly, you must consider the water conditions. For example, a heavy lure is ideal in windy conditions and strong currents.

Here are some common types of lures (mainly freshwater) —plus a baiting guide to take your kayak fishing adventures up a notch.

  1. Crankbait

The good ol’ crankbait; a lure with a range of versatility like no other. Crankbaits come in a wide variety of colours, shapes, and designs. They typically come with a ‘lip’, which is a bill-shaped protrusion on the front. This ‘lip’ determines the diving depth of the lure—and consequently, the type of fish targeted. Crankbaits are great for bass fishing.

  1. Jigs

As the name suggests, Jigs lure fish through their jigging motion. These popular lures come in many different designs, which demands a tweak in the fishing technique.

Whether you opt for a flipping jig, a football jig, or a swimming jig, the lure’s erratic motion is effective at attracting big freshwater fish such as perch or bass species.

  1. Spinnerbait

A spinnerbait is characterized by oval-shaped metal blades that spin as it’s pulled through the water. It imitates prey such as shiner and minnow. The propeller-like motion combined with the reflective surface of the lure makes it irresistible for fast-swimming predatory fish species like pike.

PS: They sink fast so you might want to retrieve the cast a bit faster.

  1. Spoons

Spoons are the ideal example of a tool that continues to stand the test of time. They’re simple; low-cost, and a must-have item in any angler’s lure collection.

Spoons are basically an oblong-shaped piece of solid wedge metal with a hook. Their wobble movement and fast sinking speed imitate an injured prey—making them ideal for species that tend to hunt herring-like fish.

  1. Buzz Bait

If you often kayak fish in shallow waters, murky places, or at night, a buzz bait will work wonders. Simply put, it’s a typical lure but one that vibrates in the water. By churning the water, buzz baits coax targeted species out of their hiding spots. They are also effective when there is low visibility.

Now, Reel ‘Em in!

The general rule of thumb when kayak fishing with lures is to carry a collection of different varieties. This prepares you for unforeseen conditions and improves the outcome of your fishing trip.

But remember:

“It is essential to have good tools, but it is also essential that the tools should be used in the right way.”

Wallace D. Wattles

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