I just want to share information on how to catch bass from a kayak. Catching bass from a kayak is no different than doing it from a boat but it might offer a better experience or even feel more rewarding.
The first thing I think about when fishing for bass is habitat. Bass often like to hang out where they can ambush their prey. This includes ledges, drop offs, lily pads, milfoil, rock piles, docks, pilings, and just about anything where bass can conceal themselves from potential food. Bass need an ample food source so don’t waste too much time fishing in places where there doesn’t seem to be much food. If you can find baitfish on a sonar/fishfinder and think the habitat might be right, then take a chance. Bass like to eat bugs such as crickets, flies, and other crawling critters so don’t rule out fly fishing if you have the skills. They also like to feed upon small mammals such as frogs and rodents. Another food source for bass is fish. When you start targeting bass you may want to consider the time of year and what food sources might be available in conjunction with good habitat.
Right now it is the middle of summer when largemouth bass and smallmouth tend to be in 20 feet of water or less on the local lakes. Some of the lures I might use to catch bass are as follows
- Inline spinners
- Buzz bait spinners
- Crankbaits up to 3.5 inches
- Texas or Carolina rigged worms or other rubber critters
- Top water popper, frog or similar lure
Typically I try to fish for bass in spring, summer and fall. I’m too busy targeting other fish in winter time. My favorite areas are lily pads and shallow water. There are two main approaches I use from the kayak, trolling and casting. When I decide to troll I usually do so when the water depth is greater than ten feet and I will often use a crankbait such as a Rapala jointed shad or a spinner tipped with worm and a large hook to avoid catching yellow perch that are extremely aggressive. I troll using 12lb test lead core line and a 10-50 yard top shot of 10lb monofilament. In shallow water or areas where it isn’t ideal for trolling I normally focus on casting. In water less then 5 feet of depth I will use an inline spinner or floating crankbait often paddling the kayak to within 20-30 yards of shore and casting towards the very edge of the shoreline or the edges of milfoil and lily pads. I have caught many largemouth bass in less than three feet of water this way. When it’s a little deeper or when it appears very weedy from milfoil or even lily pads I will often use a Texas rigged worm, a top water popper or a floating frog like the Captain Ken’s Designer Frog (Clone Series); which ever one seems most appropriate and least likely to catch weeds. If it is absolutely thick with lily pads I use the frog but if it is not so dense my favorite lure is the Texas rigged worm because it seems to entice the strike quite well.
When casting I like to have a rod holder so that I can set the rod in when I paddle between spots that I target. If you have a rod holder or somewhere to place your rod for that moment when you need to paddle between positions it will help. Not only that it will be helpful when landing a fish with the net. My favorite rod holder is the versatile YakAttack Zooka Tube. You can position this rod holder for trolling or turn it straight up in the air to just place the rod butt into when moving between spots.
Good luck fishing!