The Kayak Fishing Phenomenon

In this article you will learn heaps of tips for getting started with kayak fishing as well as some handy advice on accessories such as kayak electric motors.

Kayak Fishing

It is easily the biggest thing to hit the recreational and tournament fishing scene since the introduction and proliferation of soft plastics. The uptake of kayak fishing is nothing short of phenomenal, and it’s global. This incredible growth has seen the manufactures respond in kind to the point where the shelves are bursting with fantastic product designed specifically for the kayak angler. Let’s have a look at why kayak fishing has become so popular, some tips for getting the most out of your kayak, safety, comfort and the range of kayaks and awesome accessories like kayak electric motors and kayak fishing gear available to pimp your ride.

On reflection, fishing from such a vessel is hardly new. In fact it’s downright ancient. Many a tribal culture fished from small canoes. Ok, not a kayak but very similar. So why the hiatus? Why the delay in going main stream? It’s not as though kayaks have just recently appeared. Something has sparked the modern rush, yet is not entirely apparent as to why.

There have always been a small band of thrill seekers that have fished all sorts of locations from surf skies or outriggers and canoes, but it was pretty niche and not supported by the market. A fair explanation for the kayak explosion would be that the costs of getting on the water in modern times, i.e. a boat, is out of reach and impractical for many and, the introduction of new materials sparked tremendous innovation in kayak design.

Whatever the case, anglers are flocking to the kayak fishing phenomenon if for no other reason that it is amazingly fun. Regardless of financial access, transport and storage options, anglers are choosing kayak fishing, not as a compromise to a boat but because it’s sensational. The thrill, sheer joy, and boundless options are clearly the reason kayak fishing has become so popular, and is growing exponentially.

There’s no down side to a kayak. Fishing can now become a genuine part of a fitness routine. A kayak can give you access to fishing grounds you simply can’t reach in a boat, you have access to narrowest fresh water creek and the shallowest mangrove lined inlet. A kayak can be a perfect, awe inspiring vessel for fishing the open ocean. As a hunting tool they epitomise stealth, and they are super kind to the environment. There are no emissions and no noise pollution. They’re the biggest thing in modern angling and, if you haven’t got one yet, it’s time to start your research.

Choosing a Fishing Kayak

If you haven’t checked them out before, be prepared to be blown away by the range of styles and options. Take the time to be the excited kid in a toy shop, then get down to some practicalities. Getting the right kayak for you is similar, in many ways, to choosing a boat.

  • Where will you use it, open or closed waters, fresh, salt or both?
  • Are you prepared to simply paddle, or would you like an electric motor?
  • What sort of fish will you be targeting, Bass, Trout, Barra or Yellowtail Kingfish and Sailfish?
  • How will you store and transport your Kayak?
  • What are your on board storage requirements?
  • Will you be using a sounder?
  • How many rods will you carry?
  • What is your budget? Can you go bespoke straight up or can you go basic, with options for accessorising later?

Key Features to Look For in a Fishing Kayak

There is quite a list features a discerning angler will look for in a kayak. Many are purpose specific, many are subjective. There are however a few critical aspects that should be sought regardless of where your kayak will be deployed. Your weight, combined with your intended load will often be the determining factor in choosing the kayak size. Comfort and stability are by far the most important features of a kayak. You can double that if you intend to fish the blue water. Out in the open waters, comfort and stability are vital, you can’t easily pull over to the bank for a rest, and swell action, as well as battles with large fish, put serious demands on stability. Use this as a starting point then add your desired features relative to purpose.

Speed and manoeuvrability can often be a trade off with stability, particularly in cheaper models. The top shelf, ocean class kayaks are often without compromise and have it all. Speed, manoeuvrability, comfort and huge amounts of ergonomically brilliant storage. You will, of course, pay for this, and such models may well be overkill in closed waters, rivers, creeks, and fresh applications.

Storage is probably the next big thing. Well considered access, storage volume and protection from the elements should be considered. How much kit do you really need to hunt the brackish and fresh for Bass, as compared to jigging the blue for Kingfish?

Whether you are going big, to hit the open ocean, or smaller and more manoeuvrable for hitting the closed waters, there a many kayak fishing anglers who insist on being able to stand in their kayak. Standing has a few benefits. The first, is the ability to fish by sight. Standing allows a far better viewing angle for seeing beneath the surface. The second, is being able to stand and fish. The third benefit is simply being able to stand and stretch your back after long periods of being seated. Again, this is all about stability. Take advice from your local dealer or the manufacturer about the ability to stand in the kayak you are considering.

From this point it is up to accessorising. Here’s some things you might like to consider.

  • Does it have provision for vertical rod storage? This is very handy for saving space, particularly if you intend to take a number of fishing rods.
  • What is the provision for mounting after-market accessories? How many mounting plates does it have?
  • Will you be using a kayak fish finder? If so, there a scuppers hole (drainage hole) dedicated to a transducer? Is a protective battery bag provided?
  • Do you require a live bait well?
  • Does it have provision for ice box storage? Is it something you need?
  • Do you prefer to have a rudder system or are you happy to steer with the paddle?
    How many built in rod holders does it have?
  • Will you be mounting a kayak electric motor?

These are just a few options you will need to consider if you are buying a fishing kayak for the first time, or upgrading. It’s worth stating, that relative to a boat, a top of the range kayak is very affordable. A decent tinny, fully equipped to go, will cost in excess of 10 thousand dollars. For that sort of money, in fact less, you can get a flotilla kayaks, one for the bays, one for the rivers and creeks and one for open waters, all set up and honed perfectly for the target location and fishing style. All of your accessories can be interchangeable, so there is no need to double up on kit. Why not deck out the family? Brilliant!!!

Fishing Kayak Brands:

Whilst we don’t always sell fishing kayaks online due to the cost and inability to transport we are familiar with brands In the market place and some of the best fishing kayak brands include: Wilderness Systems and Perception Kayaks which we deal with in our physical store as well as other major brands such as Hobie Fishing Kayaks which we are not agents for but certainly recommend as one of the best top 3 brands.

Kayak Accessories For Sale

Kayak Accessories has a fantastic range of affordable kayak accessories. Follow the links below and check out the specs and prices, and load up your kayak with the latest Kayak accessories.

Kayak Electric motors: A long day on the water can be exhausting if you have to paddle all day, particularly against the current. A transom mount electric motor hooks up very easily to a twelve volt battery, for hours of power time. They pack plenty of thrust and they run very quietly, so you won’t lose any of your stealth capability. – See our Kayak Electric motors for sale here

Dry bags: Dry bags are nigh on essential. There’s no doubt you will have electronic equipment with you such as phone, cameras, car keys and the like that don’t go well with water. Dry bags are the perfect solution keeping your expensive electronics safe from water damage. See our dry bags for sale here

Rod holders: Your kayak may come with several rod holders but you will need more for flexibility and custom positioning. Check out our range of rod holders that will mount easily to your kayak. Mounting these rod holders is even easier on kayaks with dedicated mounting plates. See our Rod Holders for sale here

Head lamps: LED headlamps give brilliant light for hours on end. Being hands free makes them perfect for the kayak. See our head lamps for sale here

Folding buckets: A normal fishing bucket will take up far too much space in the confines of a kayak. Check out our folding buckets and grab a couple for your storage wells. They’re brilliant for holding baits. See our folding buckets here

Transducer mounts: Most kayaks will have a scuppers hole designed to take a transducer for your sounder. Check out our transducer mounts and put a fish finder on your kayak. See our Lowrance kayak transducer mount for sale here

Fish finders: Fish finders are more or less essential kit these days. Your kayak will feel naked without one, and so will your keeper bag. Have a look at our range of fish finders, there’s great models for the kayak. See our Kayak Fish Finders for sale here

Polarised Sunglasses: Our range of Polarised Sunglasses is fantastic. Without a set of these sunnies, the glare will ruin a day on the open water. They are essential kit for kayak fishing. See our Polarised Sunglasses for sale here

Tie Downs: Don’t lose your expensive kit in the drink. Tie downs really come into their own on a kayak. Space is limited, you’re close to the water and dropping something usually means dropping it in the water. Save yourself a packet and lash down all you can using secure ties.

Life vests: Safety is absolutely paramount on a kayak. A life vest is essential. While the primary function is definitely saving your life, comfort becomes a critical feature when fishing form your kayak. Check our range and look closely at the added features of convenient pockets and comfort. See our PFD’s For Sale Here

Sun protection:  Solar tubes keep the sun and wind from your face protecting you from harmful UV rays. Fingerless gloves will also protect the backs of your hands from sun and mitigate against callouses that develop from paddling. See our Sun Protection gear for sale here

The above list really is barely scratching the surface. Kayak fishing is made for the angler that loves to customise and accessorise. The money you save NOT buying a boat will allow you to set up the perfect kayak for whatever style of fishing you do.

Wherever you go, be safe. Always consider the weather, tides and current. It’s important to remember paddling a kayak is great fun but will make demands on your fitness. Choose your location wisely, a lazy creek requires very little effort but a trip out on the open water will require significant effort, particularly if there is a swell about, some breeze and a decent current.

An important note on colour: Kayaks come in a vast range of colours from bright orange to stealthy camo. Consider you location before you choose a colour. If you are fishing the rivers and creeks amidst the trees and steep banks, a camo colour would add some stealth to your attack. For those that are fishing the open waters and busy harbours, hi-vis colours are strongly recommended. Being seen is always the sage option in high traffic and in the vastness of the open waters.

Kayak fishing gives you access to an incredible array of species. On the smaller end, finesse anglers will tackle Trout, Bass, Whiting, Bream and Flathead. For the thrill seekers, you can jig up a storm, hooking the likes of Yellowtail Kingfish, Sailfish, Tuna and a host of monster sports fish you would never have dreamed of tackling from a kayak. Grab yourself a Kayak from a local dealer in your area then come back to us online and kit up through, and take your fishing to places where only a kayak can take you.

Whiting Fishing Tips – How To Catch Whiting

Whiting Fishing Tips

Whiting Fishing Tips – How to Catch Whiting

“If God told me that I was only allowed to chase three fish species for the rest of my fishing days, Whiting would definitely be in that three.”

Whiting truly are for everyone. If ever there was a ‘people’s fish’ the Whiting would be it. It has launched the angling careers of many a 3 year old. It’s the classic summer holiday fish. It has dedicated lifers who target nothing else. Dyed in the wool Marlin hunters can’t help themselves but beam with joy with a 45cm elbow slapper in their hands. Great chefs have launched careers on their delicate flavour. For most of us, it’s a special, a weekend target or the prize table fair from the day’s mixed bag.

Let’s revisit this old chestnut in some detail. We’ll look at Whiting fishing rigs, Whiting locations, the best lures for targeting Whiting, great Whiting kit and some good old Whiting fishing tips. First, we should have a look at where they live. They certainly get about, but target zones, i.e. the places we catch them, are a little narrower than there distribution.

The Whiting most Australians are familiar with are the Sand Whiting and the famous King George Whiting. Their distribution around Australia is more far reaching than most anglers would probably realise. Sand Whiting can be found as far South as just below the Victoria NSW boarder. In the North, their distribution reaches the tip of Cape York. The likelihood of catching Sand Whiting at these extremes is far less likely however and the target zone starts between Cains and Townsville and stretches all the way down to the far South coast of NSW.

The King George Whiting is fond of the cooler waters. It’s found as far north as southern NSW, all the way around the bite up to just south of Geraldton on the Western Australian coast. It is also found at the top of Tasmania. The target zone would commence at the Victorian NSW boarder, Stretch to Port Phillip, the recommence in on the South Australian coast where King George Whiting can grow beyond 50cm. The bottom end of Western Australia, Albany to Mandurah is also a target Zone.

Whiting congregate in the summer for spawning, hence the term ‘Summer Whiting’. The summer is probably the best time to target Whiting but they are available all year round. Now we’re in the depths of an Aussie winter, it’s probably a good time to restock some of your Whiting Kit. Throughout this article I will refer to fishing rods and reels and assorted kit that are perfect for Whiting. Check the links at the bottom of the article for a range of rods, reels lures and assorted tackle, brilliantly priced to get you kitted out for ‘Summer Whiting’.

The best places to find Whiting?

Beach Fishing TipsWhiting reside in the salt water inshore grounds and are prolific on our beaches. While Whiting can be caught some distance up river, the start of the brackish will generally put the brakes on the Whiting bite. Structure is critical, not the man made pylons and racks that attract Bream, but the holes, hollows, drop offs and subtle undulations of the sea bed. The edges of weed beds, sand and mud banks are perfect locations. Whiting live in the shallows and will forage the sea bed in waters a few inches to 6 meters deep (up to 12 meters for King George), they’re looking for worms, yabbies, pipis and other invertebrates uncovered by wave and current action. They will also take small bait fish. KG Whiting love fresh Squid. Beach gutters, deep and shallow, are brilliant for Whiting. Light wave action is perfect.


The best Whiting Fishing Rig – Rods and Reels

A general purpose 7-8 foot rod and 3000 reel combination will see you covered for most Whiting scenarios, a hand-line will suffice for that matter, they’re not a complicated fish. But you can, and maybe should, create a Whiting arsenal that sees you equipped for all locations, conditions, techniques and styles. Essentially, it comprises of 3 rods and 3 reels.

Outfit 1

A 7 foot full graphite spin rod, lightweight, rated 2 to 4kg. Strap on a spin reel to balance, size 1000 to 2500. This is the rod you will be using most of the time. It covers all of your closed water applications from land based to the boat and Kayak. Use mono or braid for casting fishing flesh and live baits or for casting lures. This rig is ideal for the beach also, weather permitting. Whiting can literally be just centimetres from the edge, in less than a foot of water. They comb the wash looking for food, as it slides up and down the beach. Why hold on to a 12 footer if it’s just not necessary. The key feature of the rod is a sensitive tip.

Outfit 2

A 10 to 12 foot full graphite spin rod, lightweight, suitable for a spin reel 3000 to 5000. Again, the tip should be sensitive but strong enough to handle the rigors of more powerful casting. This outfit is primarily for the beach. You will be using mono or braid with flesh and live baits. Essentially, the length is for casting purposes. This combo will also be useful for fishing wider rivers, where the drop off is some distance from a gently sloping river bank. When the tide is in, it can be difficult to reach the strike zone with a smaller rod.

Outfit 3

Outfit 3 is a dedicated beach rod. It’s graphite, 12 to 13 foot and can be spin or Alvey style. For the spin rod, strap a 6000 or 8000 reel to the rod. Yes, this sounds heavy for a humble Whiting. The reason is simple however. Just because the weather is acting up a little and the wave action is a little more aggressive, doesn’t mean there isn’t good Whiting to be had. If you need weight to hold your position or get over a sure break to a distant gutter, weight and strength is the answer. Don’t feel too nervous about upping your mono rating. It’s a lot better than casting with light line, only to hear your line snap under the pressure of the cast. If you have to beat the wind and hold the bottom, weight is the only answer.

Tips for Whiting Rod and Reel Selection

  • Be cautious of being too brand loyal. Understand your budget then look at specs and ratings. There are so many excellent manufactures competing for your dollar. Stubbornly sticking to a brand might see you miss the best tool for the job at a better price.
  • Quality finesse outfits are usually more expensive and often suffer in the hands of children, newbies and careless anglers. For the kids and the ‘rough’ anglers look for an outfit that is a little more robust.
  • Most general purpose rods are a little less sensitive in the tip. This is for obvious reasons, they’re pointed at all sorts of fish. Consider the outfits listed above and purchase, ‘built for purpose’ equipment. A sensitive tip can make all the difference when hunting Whiting.


The best Whiting Fishing Rig – Rigs and terminal tackle

For outfit 1, spool up with mono to 6 pound if you’re casting flesh and live baits. Of course you can fish lighter still, depends on how brave you are feeling. For drifting in your boat or kayak, it might be wiser to fish a little heavier. Fluoro leader to 6 pound is ideal, the hot tip is to get a leader as soft as possible. Use a long shank hook, size 4 to 8 and always go for the top brands. They are perfect for baiting live worms, yabbies and pipis and the long shank is easier to remove from the long snout of a Whiting. Run a long leader up to a swivel, and weight for conditions. A ball sinker is best. Simple is always the first option but a variation might be a paternoster rig for drifting or twin hooks on twin leaders for double hook-ups when casting into schools. If using a paternoster, ensure your bait hangs below the sinker.

When casting lures choose braid 2 to 6 pounds. A leader to 6 pound is ideal. A leader length just over a meter is generally advisable for best action and casting balance.

For outfit 2, spool up with 9 to 12 pound line. Feel free to up that to 15 but keep in mind lighter is usually best, depending on conditions. The rig and hook are the same as in outfit one, however a larger ball sinker is likely required but should only be heavy enough to match conditions and casting requirements. Again, a long leader is suggested for inviting more bites but not too long as casting will likely be compromised.

For Outfit 3, Line rating will be determined by the rating of your chosen rod. The first rule is balance. The second is, as light as conditions allow. You are using this rod because the sea and wind conditions are acting up. It’s likely you are using significant led to cast and hold the bottom. You will need a line rating that will handle the pressure of a hard cast.   Again the rig is the same as the first two outfits, with the exception being that you may wish to shorten the leader, for better casting. A larger swivel is also recommended for outfit 3.


The Best Whiting Lures

Best Whiting Lures

Whiting will take soft plastics, including grubs and fish tails. Surface lures however like poppers and stick baits have been a revelation for Whiting lure fishing. Casting lures at Whiting is still not widely practiced but there is an ever increasing band of Whiting anglers spreading the word and preaching about its effectiveness.  Braid is pretty well essential. Jerking, blooping or ‘walking the dog’ encourage attack from below. Working out speeds is often based on experiment for each session. Adding pauses to the retrieve is often very effective and erratic retrieves, often a default when experimenting, can entice plenty of interest.

The Best Baits for Whiting

Without a doubt the best baits for Whiting are live blood and sand worms, yabbies otherwise known as saltwater nippers and pipis. King George Whiting are very fond of fresh squid flesh. If you don’t have access to live baits the next best thing would be fresh peeled prawns. Using live baits however, is the key to getting big Whiting. There is nothing better.

Whiting Fishing Tips

  • Keep the bait below the sinker. Even when drifting I would rarely, if ever, use a paternoster rig. This is particularly pertinent to King George Whiting.
  • When fishing the beach and a Whiting shows interest in your bait, back slowly up the beach without striking. The fish will take the bait and you can gently lean back and set the hooks.
  • As with many fish, dawn and dusk seem to be the best times to increase your catch. I would argue that using live bait is more important. With Live baits quality fish in big numbers are possible throughout the day.
  • Look for current and wave action when searching for Whiting. It’s this action that reveals their prey.
  • Saltwater nippers catch the biggest Whiting. Once during a beach session, I fished the same gutter, using, more or less, the same rig as a much older guy standing next to me. The gutter was only about 150 meters long and the tide was receding. I had live sand worms and was catching good fish. He was using yabbies and catching the biggest Whiting I had seen in my life.
  • Avoid striking heavily when a Whiting bite, it’s easy to pull hooks, particularly if you’re fishing with braid.
  • Longer leaders work best with Whiting. It allows live baits to move more naturally for longer, and encourages a more aggressive bite.
  • When fishing the beach, if the tide is receding, fish the front of the gutter. Fish the back of the gutter on an incoming tide.

Whiting put up a fight that defies their diminutive size. This is why they are so much fun and so loved by Australian anglers. Fishing for Whiting can be as relaxing or as intensely active as you choose. From the collection of bait, to catch and fillet, a Whiting expedition is always very rewarding. There’s a 40 cm plus Whiting out there with your name on it. For the South Aussie Anglers there’s a King George over 50cm shaping for a fight. Check the links below, stock up on your Whiting kit, bag out, and then feed the family with some of the most amazing tasting fish the ocean has to offer.