How to Troll for Fish in a Kayak

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Kayaking and trolling for fish go hand in hand. It can be attributed to the fact that kayaks are easy to use, maneuver, and customize. A combination of any of these incredible features brings forth a lot of benefits, such as maximizing the chances of catching more fish.

When trolling, the trick is to ensure that you cover large areas of water. If you do so, more fish are likely to see your bait, increasing the chances of it being bitten. Thus, you are bound to have a bountiful catch.

Depending on your budget, you can either use a paddle, pedal, or motor kayak. Although there are some major differences in these vessels, the bottom line is that you will need some basic skills to help you troll the right way.

In this article, you will learn how to troll for fish in a kayak in these three different types of kayaks. It is important to understand that there are distinct tactics for trolling depending on your canoe type. You will find more success by matching the proper tactic to your vessel.

How to Troll for Fish in a Kayak

Trolling in a Paddle Kayak

Paddle kayaks are usually the starting point for most people. Your strength and effort power all forms of movement. It is not an easy feat, especially because not everybody is suited to handle that much work.

Although it is possible to troll for fish using this vessel, the task here is much tougher. Even with paddle training and experience, you will still find it hard to coordinate between operating the kayak and the fishing lines.

Luckily, there is a hack that can help you troll with ease, even when using this type of canoe. It entails using a model that reduces the moving parts, therefore maximizing control. Essentially, you have to minimize weight and stick to one fishing rod.

Trolling for fish using a paddle kayak begins with paddling the vessel in the direction you want to move in until you gain momentum. It is after building up some speed that you should start focusing on your fishing gear.

If you are using a crankbait, spoon, or spinner, you should cast it directly behind the kayak while it is still moving and fasten it by placing the rod in the holder. After that, you can keep paddling, maintaining the speed, and pausing where necessary to set the lines as needed.

Using a kokanee dodger or a lake troll means you can’t cast it behind the vessel while still paddling. If you want to troll using either of these, you will have to build up speed while your rod is still in the holder. After gaining enough speed, you can then stop paddling and release the fishing lines slowly.

Lock the spool and get back to paddling as the speed dies down, regaining the speed and direction. You can repeat this until you feel satisfied with the depth and distance of the lure.

How to Troll for Fish in a Kayak

How to Troll for Fish Using a Pedal Kayak

When using a pedal kayak, the trolling options increase in comparison to a paddle-operated one. This vessel type typically leaves your hands free. Therefore, it is less of a challenge to handle fishing gear. It is easier to maintain favorable speeds using minimal effort.

Most pedal-operated kayaks have accessory tracks designed for installing fish finders and rod holders. It means that you can catch larger fish, troll more than one fishing rod, or accommodate divers. Additionally, you can carry heavier gear for long distances without breaking a sweat.

Trolling using this type of vessel requires you to start by pedaling into your desired direction until you gain some speed, after which you can begin trolling. You should ensure that the rods are fastened in the holder before casting your fishing rods into the water.

You can alternate between lowering the rods and then pedaling, or doing it simultaneously. If you notice any dragging, correct it by adjusting the steering until the kayak is balanced. It would be best if you then got back to pedaling to ensure you maintain the right speed.

You can place the rod in its holder and get back to pedaling, or lower the second rod using two lines when you reach your target depth. Repeat this process until you achieve the desired depth.

Trolling for Fish Using a Motor Kayak

Motorized kayaks make it effortless to troll for fish. Some motor kayaks like Sportsman AutoPilot 120 from Old Town come with an autopilot mode that makes trolling even easier. With such vessels, you can easily cast your lure without having to steer.

All you need to do on this type of kayak is set the speed and course on autopilot. It will handle the rest, and you can focus on setting up your equipment. Besides, you can handle much heavier loads, and cast multiple fishing lines and divers without any effort. Therefore, you can easily target various large fish with ease.

The major advantage that people have when using a motor kayak is the battery power the kayak has. Those with between 54 to 100 Ah lithium-ion batteries can troll for longer. Using such batteries, you can even troll all day without running out of power.

You can boost your trolling game by equipping your kayak with tools such as rod mounts, storage areas for fish and fishing gear, trolling reels, and fish finders. The better your canoe is equipped, the easier the trolling.

Final Thoughts

Trolling for fish in a kayak is an art that gets better with time and exposure. The more you engage in it, the better you become. After learning, it becomes productive and fun since you catch more fish with minimal effort.

It is important to make sure that you have the right fishing gear, such as fishing rods, rod holders, and fish finders. It improves your chances of a good catch, making the whole experience worthwhile.

It is also important to seek expert advice and assistance if you are faced with any difficulties. You can read online guides such as this one or see expert videos to help you get started.

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