Kayak Fishing Reminds Me Why I Fish - Chris Fonos

Kayak Fishing Reminds Me Why I Fish

I can be pretty impatient. When I set out to go kayak fishing I am completely focused on getting there and fishing. I’m rushing to get out the door, rushing to get to the launch and rushing to be on the fish. Once I’m on the water, however, I completely unwind.

The last few trips out on my kayak I caught myself just sitting and taking in my surroundings. I wasn’t feverishly tying on lure after lure, breaking down points and structure in my mind, or actively searching for fish. I was just there, in the moment. I felt no need to be in a rush since I’m already where I want to be. That’s one of the benefits of this style of fishing, it just forces a person to slow down.

I know what you’re thinking, my time is valuable, and if I’m not catching fish I’m wasting my time. When you’re in a kayak there is no running and gunning and no motoring from spot to spot looking for active fish. I admit that I was frustrated by that fact in the beginning. It can be hard to explore large lakes in a small boat, but what I experienced was a shift in my mindset. If the area I’m fishing isn’t producing, instead of just starting the motor and finding another spot I tend to ask myself why. In a kayak its more effort to travel from place to place so first I’ll try a different presentation or look for other clues in my surroundings. I don’t view my kayak as a hindrance to getting around the lake, I see it as a way to be even closer to where I’m at.

Fishing from a kayak has given me a much broader experience than a boat ever has. Boat motors are loud and tend to spook more than just fish. While in my kayak I’ve had opportunities to be surrounded by nature. I’ve had loons diving for food beside my boat, otters playing along the banks I’m fishing, and muskrats swimming right up to me - seemingly unaware there could be any threat. Unlike boats, kayaks can just blend into nature. 

Kayak fishing reminds me why I fish in the first place. I may go out my door to prove to myself I can catch fish or to put a bit of food on the table, but I really fish to experience the outdoors. Taking up kayak fishing has brought me a lot closer to the nature I’ve been looking for. Yes, it’s slower and more effort to fish from a kayak, but putting in that time and effort only adds to the experience.