Kayak fishing for crappie has recently gained more popularity due to its low barrier to entry. Kayak fishing for crappie requires very little equipment, and it’s surprisingly productive – the stealthy profile of the kayak lets you get close to crappie without disturbing them.
To start kayak fishing for crappie, you need a few basic supplies. As mentioned previously, these are relatively easy to obtain, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money. The essential items that you need include:
You’ll obviously need a fishing rod and reel. We suggest starting with a light action rod paired with a 2000 series spinning reel. That’s a great setup for getting started with fishing for crappie. It can also be used for other species and is an excellent option if it’s the only setup you will have.
You’ll also need a few basics, including fishing line and hooks. You can save a few dollars by purchasing a spool of 6lb test monofilament – it’s dirt cheap and will get the job done. If you want to go all-in, pick up some braid and throw on a fluorocarbon leader.
My favorite hooks are Aberdeen hooks. They are a solid crappie hook and help prevent the fish from being gut hooked.
Choosing a kayak is a very personal choice, but a few guidelines will help you make a decision. First, the large the kayak, the heavier and harder to maneuver it will be. On the plus side, larger kayaks are also the most stable. Smaller kayaks allow you to be nimble on the water but tend to feel “tippy” and can be very hard to use for larger boaters.
I’d recommend testing a few kayaks before you make a decision. Also, buying a kayak used can save you a good amount of money.
One of two types of bait is necessary for this type of fishing. The first is artificial bait, also known as plastics. Plastics come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but I’d recommend a few crappie magnets in various colors to get started.
The second is live bait, and for crappie fishing, that means minnows. Minnows have to be purchased from a local bait shop but can be very effective on the lake.
A tackle box is used to hold all of your fishing gear, and it should not be overlooked when preparing for kayak fishing for crappie. Fishing on a kayak is very different from fishing from shore or a boat because space is premium. Being organized will keep you safe on the water and allow you to focus on fishing.
A lifejacket or personal flotation device is an absolute must when kayak fishing. It’s very
easy to tip a kayak, and having a PFD on will save lives.
There are many different types of lifejackets, but I’d recommend one made specifically for kayaks. These typically have a higher back so that you can sit comfortably in your kayak seat without being hunched over.
Also, I’d stay away from the inflatable PFDs. These tend to be expensive and
unnecessary for a kayak angler.
Many kayaks these days easily allow you to attach a battery, depth finder, and transducer. Having access to a quality fish finder will make it significantly easier for you to locate fish and cover. This is especially true if you are fishing during the summer or are targeting deep cover.
When choosing which fish finder is right for you, it’s important to remember that you don’t have a lot of space on the kayak. Stick to smaller screens as they won’t be in your way like some of the 9 inch or larger screens do. Also, larger depth finders are much heavier. Weight is a kayaker’s enemy, making it much harder to paddle. Try to keep
things light to save your arms.
To recap, getting started in kayak fishing for crappie is simple and easy. Keep in mind that most of the tips in this article have been geared towards small ponds, lakes and rivers. Kayak fishing is easy, fun and a great way to relax while getting some exercise. Be sure to follow the safety rules of the water, and when in doubt, please check your state’s boating laws.