How To:

How To Setup Your Kayak For Offshore Fishing

Author: Team American Yaker - RIZZO

Gear You Need For Offshore Kayak Fishing

Setting up your kayak for offshore fishing can be a little tricky. First, choosing the right kayak. I won’t go into too much details about which particular kayak to buy but it most defiantly needs to be a sit on top kayak. I personally fish out of an Old Town Predator PDL which is a very stable and fast kayak.

Choosing The Right Kayak
Above is a picture by #BullbusterAmbassador Tavis Kagawa's article on choosing your kayak for offshore fishing. Click the picture above to get a more in depth answer on choosing your kayak!

Once you have your kayak picked out its time to rig. Let’s start with rod holders. The best rod holders on the market are the Stealth Quick Release rod holders. They work awesome for a variety of different types of fishing but for offshore they handling trolling like a champ! 

Stealth Quick Release Rod Holder For Kayaks
Photo of the stealth quick release rod holder via amazon.

Speaking of trolling, let’s talk about what type of rod and reels to use for trolling. I use a 7ft med heavy/fast action bull bay 20-40# brute force rod coupled with a Seigler SG conventional reel spooled with 40# bullbuster braid. This to me is the deadliest combo to use for trolling for either kings, bobo, Spanish, cobia, wahoo, mahi, sailfish, or tarpon. I usually bring between 2-3 trolling setups and at least one 4-5000 spinning setup for sight casting. Plus, a sabiki setup to catch live bait if need and timing allows. I rarely bring more that 4 rods total unless is rough then I will only bring 2 rods. Another tip for offshore is to lanyard all your rods to your kayak and any loose gear that you don’t want to lose if you roll over.  

Lanyard for kayak fishing
The picture above is from ebay of a set of lanyards you can use to secure your fishing rods to your kayak.

                When trying to organize all your gear the best way to secure and organize it to your kayak is to use a milk crate or a yak attack box. Both are very useful when trying to setup your kayak. I usually secure them to my kayak by using either several zip ties or a few bungee cords. Before securing the crate to my kayak I sit in it and place the crate behind my seat then reach back to see where the best place to secure it is. Making sure I can reach all 4 rods and gear without over extending myself too much.

Reasons For Using A Crate For Offshore Kayak Fishing

Using a crate allows you to store stuff out of the way which keeps your working deck space clutter free. This is very important for two reasons:

1. You won’t lose anything when or if you roll over

2. When you pull a fish up and in your kayak you don’t need your working deck space cover with junk. That’s how hooks get in your hands and legs. Trust me, been there don’t that. Not fun!

Kayak Fishing Crate

  Critical Items For Offshore Kayak Fishing

1. Gaff/ Fish Grips. Both of which are almost mandatory for landing any fish in the gulf.

2. Life jacket along other Coast Guard requirements.

3. Food and water. The more water the better especially during the summer months.

4. A good set of pliers. I like my bubba pliers but any good set of aluminum pliers will do. And finally, some type of signaling device and radio/cell phone. When the stuff hits the fan make sure you have a way of telling other people you’re in trouble and need help.

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