Paddle power catches fish
  |  First Published: December 2004

With Summer here I am going to talk to you about fishing from canoes and kayaks in your local estuaries or creeks.

Fishing from kayaks is spot-on for younger anglers as getting a kayak is usually much easier and cheaper than buying a small tinny. Kayaks are also a lot easier to move around and look after and don’t use any petrol, so there are some big savings there for kids with limited funds.

Paddling a canoe or kayak is also good exercise and will help build your strength and fitness. What else could you want to do along with wetting a line and catching a few fish ?

Getting into canoe or kayak fishing is easy so have a look in your local paper or Trading Post, or even a kayak shop, for a second-hand outfit. There are dozens of types about, from old canoes right through to single and double kayaks with all the gear. You can be sure of finding something to suit your price range and budget that will do the job as a cheap and convenient fishing platform.

Next thing is to organise getting your kayak to the water. If you live close to water you can make up a cheap trailer/trolley from old bike wheels and timber. Just put the kayak on it and wheel it down the road while watching out for traffic.

If you’re further away from the water you may need to get Mum or Dad to give you a hand by putting it on the car roof racks.

Before you put the kayak in the water and even think about fishing, make sure you have a personal flotation device (PFD) for anyone who’s getting in it. Also, spend some time in shallow and calm water padding about to get the hang of things before venturing into deeper water or too far from land.

Paddling a kayak may take some getting used to so take your time and just paddle around before trying to fish out of it.

Once you are proficient and confident, it’s time to start thinking about catching some of the local fish. This can include fishing freshwater creeks and dams for bass or trout or flathead, whiting and bream in the saltwater.

A kayak is a big advantage in shallow and quiet water and gives the angler a chance to slowly drift and sneak up over flats or around oyster leases without spooking fish as much as you would in a tinny with an outboard motor.

You don’t need much tackle or gear to fish from a kayak, just a light threadline outfit and a few lures like soft plastics or hard-bodied divers, or some bait and hooks and sinkers.

Take a pair of pliers to remove hooks, a small landing net and something to put a few fish in.

Travelling light is a great way to fish and much less complicated than carrying a heap of stuff you don’t need or will never use. Fishing from a kayak is a cheap and easy way to get on the water and expand your fishing horizons from the local wharf to being mobile and able to go where you want.

Just be careful, wear that PFD all the time and don’t go out if it’s windy or in rough water.



Fishing from a kayak is very effective on estuary fish like bream and flathead.

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