What do you REALLY NEED to get started kayak fishing in South Louisiana?
1) Kayak, paddle and PFD
2) Fishing license
3) 1 pole, a few pieces of terminal tackle, and some dead shrimp.
With that in mind, I thought it would be good to talk a little bit about what kind of boat you should search out when you first start. I know a lot of people love their gear, and want to treat themselves to the very best equipment, but my advice is to look for the entry to mid level model of a well known brand, and to consider a used kayak as your first boat. As with any hobby or profession, it is very likely that the first tool you choose isn't going to be the ultimate fit for you. You will need to get comfortable with your fishing style, your preference for stability vs speed, your body type, how you like to arrange your rods, whether you want to sit and fish or would like to be able to stand, and more. In that case, in my mind, it makes a lot more sense to find a simple model from a good brand, rather than something brand new with every bell and whistle out there. Trust me, it will take you long enough to master juggling one rod and a paddle. Kayak fishing is a constantly evolving circus, and it seems like sometimes every single thing that can go wrong, get wrapped around something, stuck on something, dropped overboard or stuck into your flesh will happen simultaneously. Simplicity is your friend, both in the beginning and beyond. I often feel like beginning anglers get far too caught up in imagining their perfect setup and working on rigging their kayaks before ever getting them on the water. The only way you know what you're really going to want is by spending time in the kayak on the water. With that said, let's go through some of the choices you have in fishing kayaks:
- Speed vs stability
- Rod holders and rigging
- Paddle vs Pedal
- Sit on top vs sit in