How to catch bass from a kayak

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.

bass on popper

Smallmouth bass on popper among the lily pads

bass frog

Largemouth bass on frog

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!

Texas Rigged Worm for bass

Texas Rigged Worm for bass with 1/8 oz egg singer for assistance casting

Kayak Bass Fishing Lures

Kayak Bass Fishing Lures Crankbaits

Bass Fishing Lures Spinners

Bass Fishing Lures Spinners

Kayak Review Current Designs Storm GT 17′

It’s time to do a kayak review for the Current Designs Storm GT 17′. This is a polyethylene sea kayak produced by Current Designs.

The specs and dimensions are as follows:

  • Length: 17′
  • Width: 24″
  • Depth: 14″
  • Cockpit length: 32″
  • Cockpit width: 16.5″
  • Weight: 63lbs
Rock Formations Cape Flattery

Current Designs GT Storm at Cape Flattery

The Storm GT retails for $1,549, which is comparable to similar models made by competitors. I purchased my kayak second hand… This was my first sea kayak and it has been a superb all around kayak fishing vessel. I have used the Storm GT on class III rapids of the Sol Duc River searching for steelhead, to calm days on lakes in eastern Washington catching bass or cutthroat trout, to the rugged Pacific Ocean near Cape Flattery hammering lingcod or rockfish.

The Storm GT allows the paddler to cover a lot of distance due to the efficiency of the hull design. At 24″ wide with a rudder, this kayak does handle rough water as good as any sea kayak. This summer one of the times we were crossing from Cape Flattery to Tatoosh Island the current was moving fast. In strong current the rudder helps direct my boat properly and the Storm GT kayak cuts across the water very well. For surf launches this kayak is quick and therefore has advantages in passing through the surf zone swiftly. The bow has a slight rocker so that the kayak performs better under surf conditions. This kayak has allowed me to cover great distances on the local lakes so I can spend more time fishing where the fish congregate instead of traveling slowly with a sit on top kayak. If I had to buy one kayak for all of my fishing, it would be this Current Designs Storm GT.

The rudder seems to be made of a durable plastic and is operated by foot pedals. I have not had any concern during the last seven months with respect to the rudder’s durability. The rudder works great and I wouldn’t have a sea kayak without one. The rudder sees use on every journey.

The seat is very comfortable due to adequate padding and also provides the perfect amount of lower back support in just the right spot. The cockpit is roomy and easy to get into or out of. I use a Snap Dragon spray skirt and store a pelican box with a battery for my fish finder in front of my feet. Behind the seat I used Marine Goop to install my transducer. I drilled a hole in front of the cockpit to run the cables for the fish finder which is mounted from a RAM arm.

Storage space inside the hull is roomy. I have done overnight camping trips at Cape Flattery and stored tents, cooking and eating utensils and stoves, food, fresh water, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, jackets, sweaters, etc inside of this kayak. The Storm GT seems to perform better when loaded; it just takes a little longer to get it moving in the water when heavy. The deck in front allows me to tie down two or three fishing poles and run another pole in trolling mode from a Yakattack Zooka Tube. Behind my seat I placed two RAM mounts and typically use one for a fishing net and the other to hold a camera when filming. There is adequate bunjee for storage on the deck and my favorite tie downs are made by Nite-Ize. Normally I utilize Nite-Ize tie downs in order to lash down a fishing pole to a RAM base. The fishing pole tips are place into two pieces of pipe tubing (foam) which is tied to the carry handle on the bow. Sometimes I attach a home made PVC rack to the rear of the hull when fishing salt water, in order to hold many fish.

Current Designs Storm GT kayak

Current Designs Storm GT kayak at Lake Sammamish with two of my best friends

Current Designs Storm GT kayak

Current Designs Storm GT kayak at Potholes Reservoir

Current Designs Storm GT kayak

Current Designs Storm GT kayak on the Sol Duc River

Current Designs Storm GT kayak

Current Designs Storm GT kayak at Banks Lake

This is a great kayak fishing machine and I highly recommend the Current Designs Storm GT.

Topwater bass with poppers on kayak at Lake Sammamish

A short morning of topwater bass fishing with poppers on Lake Sammamish produced three bites and I landed two smallmouth plus lost one largemouth that shook the hook. The lily pads were active and there were even perch biting the Senko worms in the shallows. Water temperature is warm at about 67 degrees and constant winds at around 10mph.

bass on popper

bass on popper

bass on popper

bass on popper

Lake Washington Kayak Bass Fishing

My daughter and I hit Denny Park again and were fishing Lake Washington for bass on the kayak. We only managed one bass in about an hour and a half worth of fishing. We also picked up some perch. It was a good outing because it was my daughter’s first smallmouth while fishing from a kayak.

Lake Washington Kayak Fishing Smallmouth Bass

Lake Washington Kayak Fishing Smallmouth Bass

Lake Washington Smallmouth Bass Kayak Fishing from rayborbon on Vimeo.

Lake Washington Kayak Fishing

Today I launched out of O’Denny Park and just hit north and south of that park, kayak fishing for trout or bass. I picked up some perch on troll and casting between docks. I also picked up a peamouth chub, a sculpin… In front of Denny Park I snagged a trout which looked like it was blimping up on the salmon smolts.

Peamouth Chub

Peamouth Chub

Sculpin

Sculpin

Cutthroat trout

Cutthroat trout

Cutthroat trout

Cutthroat trout

Lake Crescent Kayak Fishing Beardslee trout

My daughter and I camped at Lake Crescent and were fishing for Beardslee trout and Coastal cutthroat trout. We did manage to pick up both and are able to report that spoons seem to be the best lure for us.

Lake Crescent has a very short fishing season and is located inside the Olympic National Park just west of Port Angeles. There are first come first served campsites located at the extreme west end of the lake.

The fishing regulations at Lake Crescent require a single point barbless hook and no bait. In addition, you cannot have more than 2 oz of weight on your line. The trout are fighters and my daughter enjoyed some catch and release.

Lake Crescent Trout

Lake Crescent Trout

Lake Crescent Beardslee Trout

Lake Crescent Beardslee Trout

Lake Crescent Trout

Lake Crescent Trout

Beardslee trout kayak catch Lake Crescent from rayborbon on Vimeo.

Florida Fishing Mahi, Tarpon, Snapper, Barracuda and Stingray

Last week I was in Florida fishing and caught mahi, stingray, tarpon, barracuda, snapper, speckled trout and more. Here are a couple of videos and photos from the trip. There was even some kayak fishing happening…

Stingray Florida from rayborbon on Vimeo.

Mike’s Mahi – Florida from rayborbon on Vimeo.

Mike’s Tarpon Florida from rayborbon on Vimeo.

Barracuda Kayak Fishing Florida from rayborbon on Vimeo.

Kayak Fishing Florida Snapper

Kayak Fishing Florida Snapper

Mahi Fishing Florida

Mahi Fishing Florida

Kayak Fishing Florida

Kayak Fishing Florida

tarpon

tarpon

Lake Washington Bass and Trout from the kayak

Today Todd and I hit Lake Washington and I got a couple of videos of him catching bass and trout. Even with the wind the fish were biting although I only managed to snag a perch. It was better than working!

Lake Washington Bass Kayak Fishing from rayborbon on Vimeo.

Lake Washington Cutthroat Trout Kayak Fishing from rayborbon on Vimeo.

Spring kayak fishing Lake Sammamish

My daughter and I hit Lake Sammamish with our tandem kayak and fished for perch. We picked up some perch, squawfish, trout and bluegill by using drop shot worms or trolling an inline spinner.

Trolling for Perch Lake Sammamish Kayak Fishing from rayborbon on Vimeo.

Kayak fishing Lake Sammamish

Kayak fishing Lake Sammamish

Kayak fishing Lake Sammamish

Kayak fishing Lake Sammamish

Kayak fishing Lake Sammamish

Kayak fishing Lake Sammamish

Kayak fishing Lake Sammamish

Kayak fishing Lake Sammamish