Kayak fishing is a great way to access small lakes and to venture out into places that big boats can’t get. What many people don’t think of is using a kayak on big lakes. A fishing kayak might not be the best vessel for big water, but there are many options on the market that are plenty capable of handling most conditions. Why would one want to venture onto a big lake with a fishing kayak when there are so many small lakes to choose from? Big lakes hold big fish and targeting these big fish in a kayak can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences.
Before venturing out onto the lake there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Know your limits - weather can get ugly quick, and this causes significant waves on bigger lakes. Keep within a short paddle of shore in the event you need to get off the water quickly.
- Plan your trip - watch the forecast and wind report prior to your day on the water. This can help you prepare for the weather and potential for storms that day. Also, make sure to check in with a friend or family member and let them know where you are going and when you expect to return.
- Make yourself visible - most big lakes are more heavily trafficked with motor boats so it is best to keep yourself visible to them. Having a small flag for your kayak is a good idea to make sure other boaters can spot you. Any other additional bright colours on your kayak and paddle can also help.
- Fish with a friend - when venturing out onto a big lake it is always best to paddle with at least one other person. They can help you in the event of an emergency and can help you get some good pictures of that huge fish you catch.
- ALWAYS wear your PFD! - In the event of an emergency, it is unlikely you will have time to grab a PFD from the back of your kayak. Buy a comfortable PFD with features you will use. A PFD with storage for a knife, phone, line snips, and any other frequently used gear will make it an essential piece of gear that you will always want to wear.
Good luck out there!