Add-ons for fishing kayaks

We won’t go overboard with all the creature-comfort options, but a few items of function and convenience merit mentions.

Stow-Mates and other mesh or soft-sided containers affixed to the kayak’s interior expand your storage space. These are good for your frequently used items like leader rolls, corks and gripping tools.

For sit-in models and sit-ons lacking self-bailing cockpit designs, a handheld bailing pump will remove any puddling from waves, boat wakes, rain or accumulated paddle dripping.

Milk crates (available at office and home supply stores) make dandy tackle/gear storage containers that sit securely behind your seat in most ’yaks designed for fishing.

Tackle trays, bait containers, various tools and maybe a rain jacket stay neatly organized in milk crates. Use zip ties to fasten foot-long PVC tubes to the crate for extra rod holders (vertical or angled for trolling).

Crates also make handy connection points for light poles or lighted safety flags.

Other items to consider

  • Head lamp — You can’t always count on a bright moon or dock lights when fishing after the sun goes down.
  • Flow-through bait bucket — Tow it while paddling and put it inside the cockpit while fishing.
  • Net — If you’re going to invest in a nice fishing kayak, you might as well be optimistic.
  • Lip gripper and hook remover — These tools allow you to handle the big ones and any toothy mackerel, bluefish or sharks you encounter.
  • Cooler — Stay hydrated on the water, and if you keep a few fish for dinner it’s better to store them on ice than essentially chumming for sharks by dragging fish on a stringer.
  • Waterproof containers — From dry bags to cell phone cases, protect your valuables from the inevitable splashing associated with kayak fishing.
  • Waterproof camera — GoPro, Ion or whatever your preference, capture your ’yak fishing highlights on video and digital still images.
About David A. Brown 323 Articles
A full-time freelance writer specializing in sport fishing, David A. Brown splits his time between journalism and marketing communications