Kayak Bass Fishing Tips and Guide

Kayaking is fun, Kayak bass fishing? It’s super fun!

My name is Wesley, and I have over 20 years of kayak fishing experience. Kayak bass fishing is one of my favorite activities during my off time.

Over the years, I have gathered a lot of useful tips and knowledge, and some of them have helped a lot in making my trips a lot safer, easier, and more enjoyable.

And this is why I want to share with you my top 11 kayak bass fishing tips and some must-have accessories so you can enjoy this amazing activity just like I do.

Let’s paddle and catch some bass!

Tip 1: Stay Safe

You should not overlook your safety. ALWAYS wear your life jacket. This should go without saying, primarily if you fish alone or in areas where few people go.

Other boaters can see you can keep you from being run over by wearing highly visible clothing and hats. Remember, you are in a small plastic boat that can be hard to see for boaters cruising across the lake. Make it easier on them by wearing bright colors that stand out on the water.

Protect yourself from the sun. Some of the worst sunburns I have ever experienced have been while on the water. Wear a hat, long sleeve breathable shirt, and put on sunscreen.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Just because you are on the water doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be drinking water. In the excitement, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water. Be sure to bring not only enough water but also drink it!

Tip 2: Keep it Simple

Since a kayak has less room, you need to keep everything simple. Bring two or three rods, a small tackle box, and a net if you need it. The fewer pieces of gear you bring along, the better your experience will be on the water. 

If you’re like me, you’re a gear junkie. We want to bring everything we own with us on every trip. I have found this only hinders my fishing experience. Bringing only the essentials has increased my success and enjoyment while fishing from my kayak.

As you develop as a kayak angler, you will know what you should and shouldn’t bring with you. Now I can go for a kayak fishing and camping trip with only two 20L waterproofs bags.

Tip 3: Use the Wind

The wind can be your biggest enemy, or you can use it to your advantage. You can spend your entire trip fighting the wind to get good positioning, or you can allow the wind to move you toward your target area. 

Going with the wind isn’t ideal fishing conditions because it might be moving you faster than you want to go. To counter this, you can purchase a drift sock that will slow you down while drifting. 

Something as simple as hanging your foot over the edge or using your paddle to slow down can help you manage your speed.

I say use the wind instead of fighting it because you will spend more time struggling against the wind than fishing. If you miss a cast, simply paddle back upwind and drift past it again.

Tip 4: Don’t Forget About Your Shadow

Be conscious of where the sun is in the sky and where your kayak’s shadow is cast. The shadow will spook fish as it comes over the top of them, making them very unlikely to bite your hook.

This is why it is best to make long casts and stay back from your target fishing area, especially in shallow water. In deeper water, this isn’t as much of a concern, but it is still something to have in the back of your mind if you’re not getting bites.

Tip 5: Re-Learn to Cast

You know how to cast standing up, but do you know how to cast while sitting down? What about casting while sitting down on a moving platform? This adds another dimension of difficulty. You can practice while sitting in your kayak on the grass, but nothing will beat OWT (On the Water Training).

By learning how your kayak handles the waves, and your movements will help you understand how you need to adjust your cast for kayak fishing. Your kayak might restrict your natural casting motion, forcing you to change your cast completely.

Tip 6: Paddle One-Handed

You will experience moments when you have cast into the perfect spot only to realize you need to readjust your kayak before you spook the fish. In these moments, you have two options, reel in and risk missing a bite or paddle one-handed.

I suggest paddling one-handed. Learning this skill will keep your lure in the water that much longer, increasing the chances of you getting a bite and landing that once in a lifetime fish. 

Tip 7: Go Where Others Only Dream

One of the most significant benefits of kayak bass fishing is that kayaks can get to places the big bass boats cannot. Finding a small creek or backwater can pay off big. These areas are often not as heavily pressured and have the potential to hold big bass.

Since you don’t need a traditional boat ramp to launch your kayak, you have more options of where you can launch. Your fishing opportunities exponentially grow when fishing out of a kayak.

Tip 8: Be Stealthy

Kayaks are quiet, great for sneaking up on fish. However, you can ruin your advantage in a split second by dropping something or bumping your kayak. Remember, sound travels through water long distances. 

Being as quiet as possible will give you the best chance of catching more fish. Disturbing the water will also startle fish. Try not to rock your kayak or unnecessarily splash to avoid spooking fish you could catch.

Tip 9: Use an Anchor

Using an anchor or Powerpole can be the difference between catching fish and not catching anything. Many bass fishing techniques require a slow retrieve, and this can be difficult to do while the wind or current is pushing you along.

Another reason to use an anchor is that bass is schooling fish. When you catch one, there are bound to be more in that same area. So drop anchor to ensure you’ve caught all the fish that are going to bite!

Tip 10: Bring Somebody Else Along!

As fun as fishing is, it is much more fun with someone else! Bring along a friend with whom you can share the experience. Having another person with you is especially nice when the fish aren’t cooperating.

Bringing another person along can also be a safety factor. If something bad happens to one person, the other is there to give the necessary aid. 

Tip 11: Have Reasonable Expectations

You should have reasonable expectations for your kayak fishing adventures. You are learning an entirely new skill, even if you have kayaked or fished before your trip. Combining the skills of kayaking and fishing will take time to master. 

When you have reasonable expectations, you can enjoy your time on the water. Don’t forget every trip is a successful trip, no matter the number of fish you land!


The following are some commonly asked questions relating to kayak bass fishing.

Is it Safe to Fish in a Kayak?

It depends on where and when you go kayak fishing. Most of the time, kayak fishing is pretty safe, however, depending on the weather, location, wind, kayak fishing can be dangerous. 

So it is a good idea for you to go with an experienced company, keep wearing your life jacket and tracking the weather all the time.

Is Kayak Fishing Alone Dangerous?

Kayak fishing alone is more dangerous than going with a company. 

In fact, our chief kayaking consultant Angel, who used to be an ex-professional kayaking athlete, and a famous kayaking instructor, have made this statement “You should never go kayaking alone.”

Therefore, try to avoid kayak fishing alone.

What Color Kayak is Best for Fishing?

Theoretically, a solid yellow or orange kayak would be best for kayak fishing because of safety reasons. The high contrast against the water makes them stand out and visible to other boaters even from a very long distance.

It is not the color of the kayak that will scare or attract fishes, it’s the shadows or movements that will affect fishing.

Bottom Line

We all start from somewhere. If you have just started kayak bass fishing, welcome to the club! This activity combines fantastic sport and relaxing hobbies that can quickly develop into a lifelong pursuit.

Follow the tips mentioned, you can enjoy an easy, fun, and safe journey.

If you have any other questions regarding kayak bass fishing, leave me a comment!! I love talking to someone sharing the same passion!