Kayak Fishing Accessories: 7 Essentials for Your Fishing Kayak
If you're a fishing enthusiast, there's nothing quite like reeling in your next catch from the back of a kayak. While fishing out of a full-size boat has its advantages, being so close to the water really enhances the experience.
So, if you have a kayak and love to fish, you should invest in the best kayak fishing accessories. This way, you can combine your two hobbies and get the best of both worlds. Once you try fishing from a kayak, you'll want to bring your gear every time you get out on the water.
For your convenience, we've also compiled a list of the top kayak fishing accessories to help you get started.
Top 7 Best Kayak Fishing Accessories
- Best Fishing Kayak: Bonafide SS127 Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak
- Best Kayak Anchor: Power-Pole Micro Anchor
- Best Kayak Fishing Life Vest: NRS Men's Chinook Fishing Life Vest
- Best Fishing Storage Space: YakAttack BlackPak Pro Kayak Fishing Crate System
- Best Fishing Paddle: Bass Pro Shops T-Grip Canoe Paddle
- Best Kayak Fish Finder: Lowrance HOOK Reveal 7 Fish Finder
- Best Fishing Bilge Pump: Attwood Hand-Operated Bilge Pump
Which Kayak Fishing Accessories Are Necessary?
Technically, all you need to go on a kayak fishing trip is a pole, a tackle box, and your kayak. However, experienced anglers know that having the right kayak fishing accessories can make your trip much more enjoyable and easier. For our money, we highly recommend at least the following items:
- Fishing Life Vest: You already need a life jacket when you're on the water, but a fishing vest has pockets and other features to make it easier to keep your supplies on hand.
- Anchor: If you've ever tried reeling in a big catch on a kayak fishing trip, you know that it's hard to stay in one spot. An anchor can help you get the leverage you need to bring in your prize fish.
- Fishing Crate: Bringing all your smaller kayak fishing accessories along is much easier when you have a waterproof crate in which you can store everything.
On top of these items, it's nice to have other gear like fish finders, bilge pumps, and even the right paddle. Overall, if you're planning on kayak fishing often, the more supplies you can bring, the better.
Best Kayak Fishing Accessories — Reviewed
1. Best Fishing Kayak - Bonafide SS127 Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak
How It Works
Although you can fish from the back of a regular kayak, you'll notice that it can be pretty challenging. Regular kayaks put you lower in the seat, so you have less range of motion. Fortunately, sit-on-top kayaks from Bonafide make your rig more like a traditional boat.
So, instead of sitting below the water's surface, you're elevated, making it easier to cast a line and reel in a catch. Plus, you can keep your kayak fishing accessories below the seat for easy access during your expedition.
Even better, the SS model stands for "Sit/Stand," so you can even stand up without capsizing or losing your balance.
What Customers Love
Kayak anglers love this boat because it maintains stability much better than a regular kayak. So, even if your catch is wriggling and fighting hard, you don't have to worry about capsizing or taking on water.
According to one customer: "This boat has handled tough conditions on Kentucky Lake, Oneida Lake and Lake George, among others. It handles great in wind and tracks well."
This company started in 2016 and has quickly become a recognizable name for kayak fishing accessories. The brand started with fishing kayaks, but has since branched out into fishing rods, bags, and other accessories.
- Works for freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing
- Tons of storage space available
- Fishing rod holders built-in for convenience
- Hull finish is not as good as most fishing kayaks
- Length: 12 feet 7 inches
- Width: 33.75 inches
- Color: Top Gun Grey, Camo, Steel
- Weight: 69 pounds without gear, 94 pounds with gear
- Weight Capacity: 475 pounds total
2. Best Kayak Anchor: Power-Pole Micro Anchor
How It Works
When it comes to kayak fishing accessories, an anchor might not be the first thing to come to mind. However, as experienced kayak anglers will tell you, having that stability is crucial when landing fish. Otherwise, your rig could move and sway, and it's hard to get the leverage you need to reel in your catch.
Fortunately, this micro anchor from Power-Pole is compact enough to fit on any boat (even an inflatable fishing kayak) and works in all conditions. You can anchor down in mud, rock, and sand and get the stability you need to catch all the fish you want.
Best of all, this device is super fast. You can anchor down in about seven seconds flat, meaning you could theoretically deploy it after getting a bite (although we don't recommend that).
What Customers Love
You might assume that an electronic anchor like this might make noise as it deploys. However, customers say they can be in the middle of their fishing grounds and it won't disturb any of the fish.
According to one user: "A great product for when you are spot fishing the mangrove islands. Just hit the wireless remote and lock yourself down to make the perfect cast without spoiling the fish."
As with the best kayak fishing accessories companies, Power-Pole was created by an avid angler who wanted to address a specific problem. Manual anchors were too slow and forced individuals to take their eyes off the fish. Power-Pole alleviated this issue by using a remote-control system and a quiet motor so anglers can drop anchor without taking their eyes off the prize. This company has been around since 1998, and it also sells trolling motors, as well as hydraulic and stick anchors.
- Quiet operation
- Compact design
- Convenient remote control system
- Works on all terrains, including mud and sand
- Bluetooth enabled system
- Only works in really shallow water
- Mounting Footprint: 5 x 6 inches
- Color: Black
- Weight: 7.5 lbs w/out clamp, 11.5 lbs with clamp
- Max Weight: 1,500 pounds
- Deployment Depth: 102 inches
3. Best Kayak Fishing Life Vest: NRS Men's Chinook Fishing Life Vest
How It Works
No matter what, you need a life vest when you're on the water — period. However, while a regular life jacket can keep you afloat if you go overboard, it doesn't do much to help you catch fish.
Fortunately, this fishing life jacket comes with pockets and a fishing rod holder so you can do even more with a product you're going to wear anyway. Better yet, this vest uses molded and curved foam for a perfect and comfortable fit. So, even if you're on the water for hours on end, you won't feel uncomfortable at all. There are also six areas where you can adjust the vest to accommodate your specific frame.
What Customers Love
One issue that many life vests have is that they can make you hot and sweaty, particularly when you're out in the sun. Fortunately, this model from NFS seems to be much more breathable and allows air to flow through so you keep cool during your trip.
According to one customer: "If you are concerned about it being too hot in the dead of summer, don't be, it's extremely breathable and comfortable."
Users also like the size and number of pockets.
NRS stands for Northwest River Supplies, and the company has been around since the late ’70s. In addition to life vests, NRS also sells apparel, dry bags, paddles, and even waterproof electronics you can use while you're out fishing.
- Soft and breathable foam
- Multiple adjustment points for added comfort
- Tons of pockets available for convenience
- Plier holder is too large for smaller sets of pliers
- Sizes: XS to XXL
- Colors: Bayberry, Charcoal
- Flotation: 16.5 pounds of flotation
- Outer Fabric: 400D ripstop nylon
4. Best Fishing Storage Space: YakAttack BlackPak Pro Kayak Fishing Crate System
How It Works
Once you buy all the best kayak fishing gear, you need a place to store it while you're out on the water. Fortunately, this fishing crate system from YakAttack is large enough to hold everything from bait and tackle to your fishing rods.
What makes this crate so beneficial is that it's lightweight, floats automatically, and is built for wear and tear. So, you can bring this along on all of your fishing trips and it will keep working perfectly year after year.
This crate is also stackable and comes with exterior storage components — such as rod holders and hooks — to keep all of your kayak fishing accessories organized.
What Customers Love
Although you have to put this crate system together yourself, most users say that the process is pretty simple and straightforward. Customers also appreciate the attention to detail and the ruggedness of the entire system.
One customer wrote: "This is definitely the nicest out there and I would also have to say the most robust. They really thought of everything."
YakAttack is an American company that makes all of its products in the USA. Founded in 2009, YakAttack makes a wide range of fishing gear for both kayaks and traditional boats. Other products include mounting brackets, safety flags, cup holders, anchor trolley systems, and much more.
- Fully waterproof materials keep your kayak fishing accessories dry
- Sound dampening bumpers to reduce noise while you're on the water
- Manufacturer's limited lifetime warranty
- Assembly can be complicated for inexperienced users
- Sizes: 13 x 13 inches, 13 x 16 inches, 16 x 16 inches
- Colors: Black, Desert Sand, Olive Green
5. Best Fishing Paddle: Bass Pro Shops T-Grip Canoe Paddle
How It Works
Technically speaking, when you're out kayak fishing, you should use a kayak paddle to move through the water. However, a canoe paddle can also work well, especially if you're piloting a sit-on-top kayak. This way, you can move silently and not have to worry about storing a larger paddle when it's time to cast your line.
The shape of the handle is curved and comfortable, and the plastic and aluminum materials will last for years. While this isn't the most durable paddle option, it's still sturdy enough to handle most fishing trips with ease.
What Customers Love
Most customers love the lightweight and easy-to-use design of this paddle. Since it's such a simple device, there's not much more detail to discuss, but it seems like the paddle is built to last for a long time.
About Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops is one of the largest sporting goods retailers in the US. Its founder, Johnny Morris, is also an ardent conservationist, and the brand donates to various conservation efforts domestically and worldwide. You can find almost any fishing gear at Bass Pro Shops, along with hunting equipment and other outdoor sporting goods.
- Lightweight design
- Durable plastic and aluminum materials
- Curved grip for easier paddling
- Ridge the grip may dig into your hand if you're paddling for a while
- Blade Size: 8 x 20 inches
- Length: 48 inches, 54 inches, 60 inches
- Weight: 30 ounces
6. Best Kayak Fish Finder: Lowrance HOOK Reveal 7 Fish Finder
How It Works
Realistically, you don't need a fish finder when kayak fishing. Since you're so close to the water anyway, you can just spot the fish from the back of your boat. However, if you're really trying to get the best catch (or you're night fishing), a finder like this one from Lowrance is an excellent option.
As far as kayak fishing accessories go, the HOOK Reveal 7 is a state-of-the-art system that helps you find fish in rivers, lakes, and even the ocean. No matter what kind of kayak fishing you're doing, you can save time and energy by locating your next catch with this system.
The HOOK Reveal 7 has all the latest technological upgrades, so you can see the fish in the water clearly without having to guess what they are or where they are in relation to your boat.
What Customers Love
One problem with most fish finders is that they can be tricky to mount to your boat, especially when you’re working with the limited surface area of a kayak. Fortunately, the HOOK Reveal 7 is much more intuitive so you can get it up and running in less time with less disruption to your rig.
One customer remarked: "By far easiest install than my previous Lowrance fishfinder-GPS. I have been installing these for 30 years. What I like most is the fact components on unit have evolved to smaller diameter and length of cables."
Lowrance is pretty much the gold standard for fish finders and transducers, particularly because the company has been around since 1957. Over the years, Lowrance has adapted to new technology to make its products better and easier to use. In addition to fish finders, Lowrance also sells trolling motors, speaker systems, sensors, and gauges.
- Intuitive menu layout
- Relatively easy installation
- High-tech sensors for better visibility
- Works in shallow and deep water
- May be difficult to mount to a kayak
- Models: Hook Reveal 7x Tripleshot, Hook Reveal 7 TS US Inland, Hook Reveal 7x Splitshot, Hook Reveal 7 SS US Inland
- Screen Size: 7 inches
- Mount Options: Front-Dash or Gimbal Bracket
- Imaging: Color
7. Best Fishing Bilge Pump: Attwood Hand-Operated Bilge Pump
How It Works
A bilge pump is one of those kayak fishing accessories you hope you never have to use but you still want on your rig, just in case.
Depending on the type of fishing kayak you're using, you may have to worry about taking on water, especially when reeling in a big catch. Since it is never a good thing to have water inside a boat, you can suction it out with this compact and easy-to-use bilge pump.
While this pump won't address issues like leaks or capsizing, it can help you stay dry and comfortable if water does get inside your kayak. Plus, the long can get into every nook and cranny.
What Customers Love
Customers appreciate the ease of use and how fast it can pump water out of a single spot. In fact, some people have used this kind of pump to draw water out of a flooded basement with incredible results.
Attwood Marine is a company that's been around for over 100 years, so it knows a thing or two about making bilge pumps. The brand specializes in automated pumps that can fit on motorboats and other marine watercraft. In addition to pumps, Attwood also makes boat accessories and ventilation systems.
- Easy to use
- Lightweight and durable construction
- Fast pumping action
- Extra-long hose for convenience
- Larger than you might expect
- Pump Rate: 8 gallons per minute
- Pump Size: 24 inches
- Hose Size: 32 inches
- Color: Gray and black
How We Picked The Best Fishing Kayak Accessories
Whether you're an experienced kayak angler or you're trying to fish from a kayak for the first time, it's imperative to have the best gear. Since we're recommending all of these kayak fishing accessories, we wanted to make sure you can feel confident about buying any one of them.
So, here are the criteria we used to verify that these kayak fishing supplies are legitimate:
Ease of Use
When you're fishing from a kayak, you realize how little space you have to move around. While a sit-on-top model is easier to fish from, you still need to be as economical with your movements as possible.
The best kayak fishing accessories are simple and easy to use, particularly when you're trying to land your next fish. If an item was too cumbersome or complicated, we felt that it could ruin your fishing experience and may even prevent you from catching your next fish.
Accidents and mistakes can happen on the water all the time. If you're new to kayak fishing, you'll likely make even more mistakes on your first few excursions, meaning you need equipment that can be extra forgiving.
We paid close attention to the materials used for each of these kayak fishing accessories so they could stand up to all kinds of wear and tear. While these pieces are not indestructible, they should be able to last season after season without forcing you to buy a new product every year.
We also prefer items that can work for both fresh and saltwater fishing so you have options. Since saltwater can corrode most materials, it's imperative to buy something that won't be affected by the salinity.
One challenge of kayak fishing is that you have such limited storage space on your rig. So, you have to make sure that each accessory is worth its weight on your kayak. If not, there's no reason to weigh yourself down with unnecessary products.
For this reason, we only focused on kayak fishing accessories that would enhance your overall experience. While all of these accessories aren't 100 percent necessary, they are all adept at helping you achieve your goal - catch more fish. To that end, if you purchased all of these products, you would feel pretty good about bringing something home with you, even if you're not an experienced angler.
Size and Weight
Another struggle you can experience when kayaking (in general) is that weight limitations are a real problem. Since kayaks have a maximum weight capacity for you and your gear, you need to make sure everything you bring is as lightweight as possible.
Additionally, the size and dimensions of these kayak fishing accessories can make or break their practicality on the water. For example, if something is too large and cumbersome, you won't be able to use it well when it's time to cast a line or reel in a fish.
Overall, we prefer fishing equipment that is as compact and lightweight as possible. So, molded plastic, aluminum, and fiberglass materials are often at the top of the list because they can withstand a lot of wear and tear without adding too much weight to your inventory.
Finally, as with everything else, the price of your fishing equipment matters. However, what matters even more is the value of the kayak fishing accessories you're buying. For example, we're okay with dropping a few hundred dollars on a new fishing kayak if we're confident that we'll get a lot of use out of it before we have to retire or sell it.
On the flip side, there's no reason to invest a lot of money in a product that doesn't have to be "high-end." For example, when bringing a bilge pump on board, you don't need something with state-of-the-art controls or refined materials that will last for centuries. What matters is if the pump works or not, so buying something relatively cheap won't make much of a difference.
What Is Kayak Fishing?
Kayak fishing is when you go out and catch fish from the back of a kayak instead of a boat or dock. This type of fishing is unique because you can go into many more bodies of water in a kayak than you could with a traditional fishing boat.
For example, it's much easier to be in shallow water, such as the beach or in a relatively shallow river. Since kayaks are naturally more buoyant, they don't sink down as much, so you have more freedom and flexibility.
That said, one challenge of kayak fishing is the lack of storage space. Since these watercraft are so nimble, they don't allow you to catch as many fish or bring as much equipment. Overall, kayaks are great for personal fishing (i.e., catching two or three fish) or catch-and-release fishing.
How to Find the Best Fishing Kayak
Although most fishing accessories are items you bring inside your kayak, the most valuable piece of equipment you can have is the kayak itself.
There are three primary options available when choosing the best fishing kayaks: sit-in, sit-on-top, and inflatable. Let's discuss the pros and cons of each type so you know what to expect.
If you're serious about kayak fishing, you'll likely want to invest in a sit-on-top kayak. These are some of the best fishing kayaks for a few reasons:
- Sitting higher means you can see your next catch more clearly.
- An elevated position also gives you better leverage for reeling in a fish.
- These kayaks are built for buoyancy and stability, meaning you can move around without a high risk of capsizing.
Plus, sit-on-top kayaks also allow you to stand and move around. This capability ensures you can grab equipment, store your fish, and bag your next catch with ease. Basically, if you want to use a kayak that gives you a traditional boat experience, this is the type to buy.
Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
If you want the ability to go out on the water anytime and anywhere, having an inflatable fishing kayak is the way to go. Since you can simply store this product in your trunk, you can keep it with your standard fishing supplies so you're always ready to go.
The main problem with an inflatable kayak is that it takes a while to inflate (and deflate), and it can capsize pretty easily. If you're not an experienced kayaker, you might wind up drenched and struggling to bring all of your gear to shore.
However, if you know what you're doing and have used similar kayaks in the past, an inflatable model is great for spur-of-the-moment fishing trips. Just make sure to have an electric (or car-powered) inflater handy, or you'll be spending about an hour or so to inflate the kayak manually.
Traditional sit-in kayaks are also great for fishing, but you need to practice a few times before you start trying to catch bigger fish. Because you have to maintain your balance at all times, it's relatively easy to capsize if you overextend yourself.
Also, fishing rod holders are a must when using a sit-in kayak. Since you can't get the same leverage when reeling in a catch, you need to have a mounted rod holder to keep the fish from dragging you underneath the water.
Realistically, if you're casual about kayak fishing, it can be nice to cast a line while you're out on the water anyway. However, if you're serious about using a kayak to fish, we highly recommend upgrading to a sit/stand model if possible.
Which kayak fishing accessories are right for my trip?
As we discussed earlier, the most essential kayak fishing accessories — beyond bait, tackle, and a rod — are an anchor, a fishing life vest, and a storage crate. Each of these items is highly useful on the water and will make it much easier to land your next catch, no matter what you're fishing for.
Can I use my regular fishing accessories for kayak fishing?
Yes, you can use standard fishing accessories when traveling via kayak. However, standard equipment isn't built for such tight quarters, so you may find that it's hard to store your gear or pull it out when you need it. As a rule, kayak fishing accessories are designed to be easy to use and highly accessible without having to move around too much.
Can I use my regular kayak for kayak fishing?
Yes, a traditional sit-down kayak can work well for fishing, but keep in mind that there is a bit of a learning curve. Since you're sitting below the water line, you have to be careful about how you move around. If you shift your weight too much in one direction, you could capsize the boat, which will ruin your fishing trip pretty quickly.
Although kayak fishing is a bit trickier than trying to land a catch from a traditional boat, it's still very rewarding. Also, when you're using the best fishing equipment, like the pieces we've listed here, you can feel confident while you're out on the water. No matter your skill or experience level, the best kayak fishing gear will help you get the most out of your next angling adventure.