What Kind Of Fish Can You Catch In A Kayak?

Kayaks offer a different fishing experience than other watercraft. They can go to places and reach water levels that other boats can’t. Kayak fishing is an experience that you can enjoy however you want. It can be relaxing, adventurous, or competitive. 

In short, similar to motorized boats, you can catch almost any type of fish, including but not limited to Bass, Red Drum, Pike, Walleye, Bluefish, etc. We’ll go into further depth below, so keep reading. 

Just decide on the right location and what kind of fish you want to catch with your kayak. Kayaks have developed a great deal in recent years. For example, some fishing kayaks come equipped with modern gadgets and mechanisms. 

Professional and competitive anglers customize their kayaks with all sorts of technologies to advance them. The key principle is to catch the kind of fish they want while enjoying their fishing journey. They select a practical kayak and gear and decide on the right fishing methods. 

Before we get into the type of fish you can catch, we first have to discuss some of the advantages of fishing from a kayak. It will help you understand why it has become so popular. 

What is Kayak Fishing? 

Using kayaks or canoes originated by the Inuits in the Arctic region for transportation and fishing instead of recreation. 

Advantages of Kayak Fishing

Kayak Fishing has gained recent popularity for its unique experience. The kayaks allow you to waters that other boats can’t access. Those who seek kayak fishing are looking for unmatched adventure, serenity, and fun.


A kayak’s expenses are much less than other watercraft. This includes the expense of buying, running, and maintaining a kayak. A kayak loaded with gadgets is less expensive than any motorized boat. There’s no fuel cost and no motor to maintain.


A kayak can go near the shore, shallow water, narrow channels, and more waters that other watercraft can’t reach, which opens a whole new world of fishing areas and fish species.

One of the pros of kayaking is being near the water and getting to see the fish closely. 


Using a kayak means avoiding the sound of loud motors and the bow waves movement of other boats. This adds serenity and enjoyment to the fishing trip. It’s also an opportunity to sneak and not frighten the fish.


When you choose to paddle over a motorboat, you choose to prioritize health. As a result, paddling strengthens your arms, legs, abs, and back.

Best Season for Kayak Fishing

As far as fish are concerned, they’d still be hungry even when water bodies are frozen. Kayakers might think that summer and spring are the best seasons, but professionals know that winter and fall are better. 

This is when there are fewer anglers fishing, boats, and jet skis. All the seasons are great for kayaking as long as you stay safe, dry, and warm while on the water.

Best Locations for Kayak Fishing

  • Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania
  • Lake Estes – Colorado
  • Deer Creek Conservation Area, Maryland
  • Lake Guntersville, Alabama
  • Clearwater River – Montana
  • Chattanooga River – North Carolina
  • Kona Coast, Hawaii
  • Devils River, Texas
  • Shelter Cove, California
  • Caney Fork Watershed, Tennessee
  • Panama City Beach, Florida

What Kind Of Fish Can You Catch In A Kayak?

The popularity of kayak fishing crosses both saltwater and freshwater. Each has its exceptional experience, gear, techniques, and fish species. 

Freshwater kayak fishing is safer for beginners, while professionals can decide between freshwater or sand professionals. 

Beginners can decide on still water locations. It offers a peaceful experience and even better practice. The more experienced kayakers can decide on water locations that have stronger currents.

There’s a variety of fish to catch in both freshwater and saltwater. In freshwater, there are pike, perch, trout, and chub. And in saltwater, you can catch bass, cod, haddock, Pollock, and mackerel. 

Spotted Sea Trout

Spotted Sea Trouts are usually found in shallow waters, especially in grass beds. These are challenging fish to catch. They’re fighters and biters. But in return, one of the tastiest fish to eat. 

Baits used for catching Spotted Sea Trouts are preferably live ones, like shrimps, but artificial look-alike will work.

King Mackerel

Even though King Mackerel fish are easy to catch, they are not encouraged as a tasty trophy. They are also known as King Fish. 

They travel close to the shores or beaches and on the surface. The best way to catch them is with live bait and by trolling.


Kayak fishing is the best way to catch the king. Whether it’s Largemouth bass, striped(Rockfish) bass, or BlackSea bass, they’re found in weeds and grass or near the shores and shipwrecks. 

You can use any bait, as bass fish eat almost everything. Live baits like minnows, shrimps, small fish, and even worms. Or artificial baits that look like small fish and spoon baits. 

Red Drum

They are also known as Redfish. They can be found in shallow water, and they are easy to catch.

Red Drum Fish eat anything. They’re not picky eaters. So live baits of shrimps, crabs, and small baitfish will do the trick. 


Pike fish are found in shallow water, small rivers, and streams. They can also be found in brackish water. Pike fish are toothy fighters, so they are not for beginners in kayak fishing. 

Spinning is a good choice for a kayak fishing a pike fish. It’s an opportunist feeder, so spinnerbaits and bucktail baits will easily lure them. 


Bluefish hang out in shallow saltwater. Most kayakers avoid these fish because it’s an aggressive fighter and can cause significant damage with their choppers.

That’s why hard metal and plastic baits are preferred when kayak fishing the challenging bluefish. 

Some anglers prefer to use the trolling fishing technique to catch a bluefish, while others go with flyfishing. 


They are also known as ling or lemon fish. Kayak fishing a cobia and bringing it on a kayak is as tricky as finding it. It has sharp and thick back spines that can cause severe damage to the kayak and the angler. 

Cobia is a saltwater fish that likes to hang out with sharks and rays in saltwater or near structures like platforms and corals.

 It’s a very powerful fish that can be caught by trolling either live or frozen baits. 


Panfish is a name given for many small fish species, not a specific species on its own. Examples of species under the same name are crappies, yellow perch, and rock bass. 

The wide variety of panfish includes many freshwaters and some saltwater fish. You can fish for them near weed beds, rocky bottoms, or near the shore.

Trolling fishing technique is suitable to target panfish. The best bait for panfish is the live baits, like crickets and worms. But you can also use artificial spinnerbaits like inline bait to lure the panfish.

Great Barracuda

The great Cuda is a large predator with a mouth full of teeth that can cut its prey in half. They are saltwater fish that live next to the reefs and shorelines. 

Try trolling and silver bait like sardines or mackerels to catch a barracuda. Great Barracudas have a very strong fishy flavor that not all seafood lovers favor. 


Kayaks allow accessible approaches by their easy movement in shallow waters, easy launching from the shores, and going as deep as your paddling strength can take you. 

Kayak fishing offers you a great escape and a better connection to nature around you. It can be enjoyed as a competition, adventure, a relaxing trip, or even an exercise. 

With all the kinds of kayaks, fishing techniques, and baits, you can catch any type of fish you want. 

You can even go for a large game fish or just small leisure fishing.

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