How To Master Kayak Fishing for Bass Amazing Outdoor Fun

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through links. I will only recommend products that I have personally used! Learn more on my Private Policy page. Affiliate Disclosure



Mastering Bass Kayak Fishing: A Comprehensive Guide

Kayak fishing for bass is an exciting and rewarding outdoor pursuit that combines the tranquillity of kayaking with the thrill of catching this amazing fish we call bass. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, understanding the nuances of kayak fishing is essential for a successful outing. In this article, we will explore key aspects of kayak bass fishing, answering crucial questions along the way.

Kayak fishing for bass
Kayak fishing for bass

What Baits to Use for Kayak Fishing?

Choosing the right bait is a fundamental aspect of successful kayak bass fishing and fishing in genereal come to think of it. Bass are known for their diverse diet, so versatility in bait selection is key. Here are some effective baits and lures to consider:

What is the best bait for bass

Bass Baits

  1. Peeler Crab:
  2. Squid
  3. Fish baits
  4. Live prawns
  5. Sandeels
  6. Lugworm

<<For a full guide for the best bass fishing baits follow this link>>

Bass lures

  1. Soft Plastic Lures: Worms and Sandeel lures are highly effective for kayak bass fishing. Rig them with a weighted hook rig for a natural presentation.
  2. Topwater Lures: For an adrenaline-pumping experience, use topwater lures like: Xorus Patchinkos, Megabass & Tackle House all great options to entice surface strikes.
  3. Hard Lures: There are a multitude of hard lures to choose from we have numerous guides that can help you pick the right one. Deeper diving lures can also be beneficial for fishing from a kayak. This is because you are more likely to be in deeper water.

What Is the Best Length for Kayak Fishing?

The ideal kayak length for bass fishing varies depending on your fishing environment and personal preferences. Here’s a general guideline:

  1. Shorter Kayaks (10-12 feet): These kayaks are highly manoeuvrable, making them suitable for small ponds, rivers, and tight spaces. They’re easier to transport and store, which is a plus for many anglers.
  2. Medium-Length Kayaks (12-14 feet): These kayaks strike a balance between manoeuvrability and stability. They’re a popular choice for versatile bass fishing in various water bodies.
  3. Longer Kayaks (14+ feet): Longer kayaks offer superior tracking and speed, making them ideal for larger bodies of water like lakes and reservoirs. They often come with ample storage for gear and fish.

Do You Need a Fish Finder for Kayak Fishing?

While a fish finder can be a valuable tool for kayak fishing, it’s not an absolute necessity. Fish finders use sonar technology to locate fish and underwater structures, helping you identify potential hotspots. However, many successful kayak anglers rely on their experience and knowledge of local waters to locate bass. If you’re fishing in unfamiliar territory or enjoy the technological edge, a fish finder can be a beneficial addition to your kayak setup.

Do You Need a License for a Kayak if you are fishing a river?

The need for a river license for kayak fishing varies by location and regulations. In many regions, you may require a fishing license to legally fish from a kayak in both rivers and other bodies of water. It’s crucial to check local fishing regulations and licensing requirements to ensure compliance. Failing to do so can result in fines or penalties.

Do Fish Finders Work on Kayaks?

Yes, fish finders can work effectively on kayaks. There are specially designed fish finders and transducer mounts compatible with kayaks. To install a fish finder on your kayak, you’ll need a stable mounting system and a waterproof battery compartment. Fish finders provide real-time information about water depth, temperature, and the presence of fish, enhancing your chances of a successful kayak fishing adventure.


Kayak bass fishing offers a unique and immersive angling experience that brings you closer to nature and the thrill of the catch. Armed with the right baits, kayak length, and optional fish finder, you can increase your chances of landing that trophy bass while enjoying the serenity of the water. Remember to always adhere to local fishing regulations and respect the environment for a responsible and enjoyable fishing trip.

I feel that fishing from a kayak is an amazing way to fish those areas that cannot be fished from the land at high water or even low water in some scenarios.

Sometimes that clear water is just out of casting reach with a decent lure. But there is still no stopping us from using bait if we want to. We will be covering both in this post along with some safety tips that you should adhere to.

Kayak lure fishing for bass
Kayak lure fishing for bass

Safety first when kayaking.

Yes, I know we want to catch bass but we also don’t want to drown either. You know the weather can do some strange things, especially at sea. Having said that I definitely wouldn’t venture that far from the shore anyway, especially while fishing.

I remember once years ago my friend Ashley and I decided to take a dingy out onto the beautiful open sea, about 100 yards from the harbour to be totally frank. We weren’t exactly crossing the Atlantic but just a bit of fishing in some deeper water. Getting out to where we ended up was fun and games, to say the least. It reminded me of Hawaii 5 O with Ashley taking on the waves with an oar in hand standing at the front of this tiny little boat.  These waves were temporary as once you got past them the water was fairly flat, with no breakers. 

Apprehensive about Conditions

Anyway, I haven’t always had the best sea legs so I’d been a little apprehensive before we embarked on our epic voyage. But once we were out there and fishing I loved it. Typical though we weren’t really getting any bites so we ventured out further. That’s the ticket. Right then, now we started to get some action, only a couple of whiting but hey we were fishing, this was great. 

The Look of Doom

Then I saw the look of doom on Ashley’s face as he said “There’s a massive swell getting up the wind has changed directions” I was thinking what the hell are you on about, I was loving it. Then the sky darkened and the land started disappearing and we dropped down in the swell. Ashley started paddling like the clappers because by now the waves were starting to come over the little boat. Oh dear, I think we’re in trouble.

Lucky Escape

We were still quite a way out to sea but luckily we had a bucket to bail out the water that wanted to enter the boat. Blimey, we made it back but if it wasn’t for that bucket I fear we could have drowned and ended up food for the crabs.

So my first lesson would be: Check the weather forecast before you venture out on your kayak. Yes check the weather, there are loads of free weather apps that are updated regularly.

Here is a few weather app you can download for free.

What to wear kayaking for bass

The kayak is a perfect instrument for leisure and sport. It gives you the ability to explore the rivers, lakes and the sea. Moreover, with its various accessories, you can control it with ease. As with any sport or leisure, there are rules to respect, especially when these activities take place on the water. The rules are aimed at allowing you to stay safe based on what to wear kayaking.

On the water

Venturing into the sea or lake is a risk. It is even greater if you do not take precautions with the most appropriate accessories. It is important to minimize the risks by using the right kayak safety equipment. You should go to sea with personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a vest and a helmet. These two types of equipment must also respect the standards of the rigidity of buoyancy.

Choosing the Right Helmet for Kayaking

With regard to the helmet, it must be perfectly adapted to your head and the vest to your body. This allows you to move freely and direct the kayak. It is important for you to wear closed shoes when you are at sea.

Knowing what to wear kayaking is vital because you need to feel comfortable and protected. It would be a shame not to take full advantage of your activity because you did not choose the appropriate outfit. For the upper body, the best is to opt for a lightweight anti-UV garment, which lets the skin breathe.

Summer Weather Conditions

In the summer, wear a swimsuit put shorts on top and a short sleeve jacket designed for this type of activity. Also, plan for a windbreaker or anorak to protect you from the wind and sea spray. In case of the hot sun, do not forget your sunglasses with a cord, sunscreen and a cap.

Cold Conditions

If the weather is not warm, add a woollen sweater under your anorak, it will keep the heat even if it is wet during your canoe trip. It is essential and mandatory to wear a lifejacket approved for your size as well as closed shoes. You will have to walk in the water, so protect your feet. Also, consider packing a spare outfit in a waterproof bag to change before going home. During the activity you risk, most certainly, to come out wet.

Life Jackets For Kayaks
Life Jackets For Kayaks

Use a compliant kayak

It is very important that your kayak has some bump rings. These rings are handles that must be placed on the front and rear tips of your craft. This is an important rule because handles are used for rescue operations.

You will have the opportunity to save a kayaker or a person at sea, by hooking a harness to the boat using these handles. In addition, these handles play another role for your boat: they prevent it from filling with water.

In an open sea or on the water, you must be attentive to all changes and adapt accordingly. But to do this, it is important to anticipate currents and identify the path upstream. Also, it is vital to avoid kayaking on your own. You may need help at any time, especially if you are on the rough water.

Preparation is the key to managing any form of problem successfully. Make an effort to wear a lifejacket, a dry suit, and a helmet when planning to go kayaking. The helmet plays a vital role when kayaking close to danger or in an area with rocks and rapids. Remember to purchase other accessories that can boost overall safety, including radio, navigation devices and types of safety equipment. Radio allows you to report your position to rescuers if something goes wrong.

Choosing life jackets

Pick a flotation device according to weight and size. Standards for assessing the buoyancy of a vest apply by default for people weighing 70 kg. The effectiveness of a vest, however, changes according to the weight and size of people. For example, a 55 kg person wearing 110 N has a buoyancy rating of 150 N.


For children under 30 kg, the models must be in the 100 N category. They can protect them by keeping them afloat even if they are unconscious or cannot swim. To protect yourself once at sea, life jackets must be practical and comfortable. There are three types of vests very different to choose from before jumping into the water. These include automatic vests, hydrostatic vests and buoyancy aid vests.

Special Features

Each of them is distinguished by special features, such as the automatic triggering of inflation, and the freedom of movement left to the wearer. Automatic inflatable vests inflate when the wearer drops into the water. The salt pellet device contained in the vest instantly melts in contact with the water, thus releasing the firing pin of the cartridge for immediate inflation.

The pellet is only sensitive to total immersion and will not trigger inadvertent inflation during your manoeuvres under spray or rain or when rinsing equipment (provided you do not get water into the mechanism). Dry storage is strongly recommended.

Inflatable Vests

Inflatable hydrostatic vests inflate when the wearer falls into the water. The Hammar device, which is sensitive to the pressure of the water during immersion, releases the firing pin of the cartridge for immediate inflation. The Hammar system is sensitive only to certain water pressure and does not risk any inadvertent inflation when the wearer is showered with spray or rain or during heavy rinsing equipment. This vest can be stored under any humidity conditions.

Click here to see the life jacket on Amazon

Click here to see the life jacket on Amazon

Buoyancy aid vests

These vests are not life jackets since they are smaller than 100 Newton’s but are ideal for use in sailing and other water sports. These vests provide a buoyancy aid to relieve the athlete when in the water stationary swim without hindering freedom of movement.

Lifejackets can be supplemented with other safety equipment to ensure better identification in the water for example. Thus, several objects are highly recommended and others are mandatory for the most powerful vests.

There are, however, other useful items that can save your life as soon as the sea is shaking a little or helping you to be spotted. Thus, there are lamps that can be seen even in the dark, bonnets to keep you on the surface and even distress GPS that allows you to be detected (to use as a last resort).


Intex Challenger K1 Kayak – One-Person Kayak

Click the image to see available prices

Aqua Marina Betta Kayak

Click the image to see available prices

Cambridge Kayaks Pioneer

Click the image to see available prices

Boat fishing for Bass
Catching bass from the prom
Best Bass Baits


Scroll to Top