How To Set Up Your Kayak For Inshore Fishing (Tackle, Tools, & More)

By: Tony Acevedo on May 18, 2020
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inshore kayak fishing setup

Want to know what items you actually need to go inshore kayak fishing?

Some people have way too much stuff on their kayak that they don’t actually need that’s weighing them down or getting in the way…

But on the other hand, some people are making life more difficult for themselves by not having a few simple tools that make kayak fishing a lot easier.

Since people ask us all the time what they need to get started kayak fishing, I made this video to show you everything I have on my kayak for a day out on the water.

This includes:

  • the small amount of tackle that I use
  • the anchor system that allows me to quickly stop and position my kayak so I can catch more fish
  • the setup I use to get good pictures and videos
  • and much more

Also, I’m not sponsored by any of these companies — this is stuff I actually use on a daily basis.

If you do inshore fishing from your kayak, or are thinking about getting into it, check out the video below.

How To Set Up Your Kayak For Fishing [VIDEO]

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Here’s a list of everything I use on my kayak (including my actual kayak):

Kayak

I fish from a 2019 Hobie Outback.

I love the pedals because they help me quickly get to where I’m going to be fishing, but most of the time they’re strapped down with a bungee cord in the rear tank well because I’m standing and fishing in one to one and a half feet of water.

Now, one modification I added to my kayak was a bungee cord setup in the front.

I use it to secure my paddle when I’m standing.

One end of the paddle goes under the bungee cord in the front of the kayak, and the other end goes in the paddle holster on my hip.

See how to make your own paddle holster here.

Net

I recently started using the YakAttack Leverage Landing Net and I’m really enjoying it.

It folds in half for easy storage and has an arm cup, so it’s easier to use with one arm.

See my review of the YakAttack Leverage Landing Net here.

Tackle

I keep things to a minimum as far as tackle goes.

Here’s why:

  1. There’s not that much room on a kayak
  2. I only use a few lures because I know they catch fish
  3. Using just a few lures saves me time by not having to tie on a new lure every five minutes

I have a Plano 3460 waterproof stowaway for terminal tackle, hard baits, hooks, etc., and I keep my Gulp baits in a Plano 3440 underneath my seat.

Center Compartment Storage

The Hobie Outback has a dry box for storage right in front of the seat.

Many kayaks have similar compartments, but you could also use a dry box strapped to your kayak for storage.

In this compartment I keep things such as:

  • leader material
  • extra GoPro batteries
  • packs of Slam Shady
  • pliers
  • scissors
  • other tools
  • phone
  • wallet
  • keys

Rod Holders

I like to have two to three rod holders on my kayak.

I always have at least two rods because if one breaks, you still have a second option, and occasionally, I’ll bring a third rod.

One of the rod holders is up front so I can quickly grab it in case I see a fish right in front of me, and the other one or two rod holders are in the back out of the way.

I use the YakAttack Zooka II Rod Holder and the Scotty Rodmaster II Rod Holder (note: if you use the Scott Rodmaster, you’ll need this gear head track adapter to mount it on your tracks).

Paddle Holder

I have paddle holders on the side of my kayak for quick access.

I use the Railblaza QuickGrip Paddle Mounts.

Anchor System

I have an anchor pin that is attached to an anchor trolley by a four or five-foot rope.

I use a roller-ball paddle holder to keep it in place on my yak when I’m not using it.

Camera Setup

I have a Ram Mount camera mount on the front of my kayak so that I can get good pictures and videos of the fish I catch.

I have a GoPro Hero 5 Black on that mount.

I also have a GoPro Hero 7 attached to my hat so that I can get a point of view angle for my videos.

Additional Tools

In addition to the equipment mentioned above, I always have these tools on me:

Safety Equipment & Water

Of course, I always have water on the boat because I live in Florida and it can get quite hot.

There’s a lot of safety equipment that I did not show in the video, as this was focused on just fishing gear and accessories, but you can see the safety gear and tips I recommend here.

Conclusion

how to catch redfish

If you’re inshore fishing from your kayak, the above items will help make your trip easy, safe and enjoyable.

Have any questions about any of this gear?

Is there anything I missed?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who fishes from a kayak, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Daniel Watson
17 hours ago

great walk around thanks, on your front rod holder the Zooka II, is that a bracket that holds your holder to the paddle mount? who makes it or is it part of the paddle holder ( mount ) thanks

Edward Dietrich
20 hours ago

Great video, as always.

T Clark Wood
21 hours ago

Impressive Video. I hope to get mine set up in a similar fashion one day. Maybe recommend a fish / depth locator for the kayak and how to mount it?

Duncan Smith
1 day ago

Does that net float?

Michael Tomberlin
5 days ago

Hey Tony, I saw some sort of seat cushion on your seat. I also have a hobie and seats are comfy but after a full day I do get a little sore. What type of cushion is it and does it help>

Adam Bailey
5 days ago

It looks like the YakGear Sand Dollar Kayak Cushion. I’ve got the same question about how it helps too. 🙂

Gary Rankel
5 days ago

Ah, yes…….a place for everything, and everything in its place.

Jorge Tena
5 days ago

Hi Tony, great video man. Very thorough as always. How do you have your pickup set up for transporting the kayak?

Anonymous
Anonymous
5 days ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Thanks Tony

Michael Brady
6 days ago

Tony, what kind of paddle are you using in the video?

Charles Phillippi
6 days ago

Great video as always! Quick question How are you securing the part of the kayak that doesn’t fit in the truck. It looks like a rack of some kind under the kayak. Thanks in advance.

Jennings
6 days ago

what is the track system for your Hobie Ouback. I have an earlier model Outback and like the slide track system I you have on your Outback.

Jennings
5 days ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Thanks for the info. I am looking at the Ram Tough Track products. I believe the Ram Hand Track will provide for the addition of some of the Railblaza products and other slide mounts as well. Thanks for sharing your set up as I got some great ideas for my Outback. TIght Lines

Gabe Huish
6 days ago

Thanks Tony! As always….extremely helpful. Been doing a lot of kayak fishing lately and your gear list totally makes sense.

Michael Fitzgerald
6 days ago

Hey this is Safe Boating Week
Nice setup but you forgot to talk about boating safety. No life jacket or whistle. Did you know that 15 years ago paddle sports fatalities comprised about 12% of all recreational boating fatalities? Today that number is up to 22%. In going over the accident reports, there are an ALARMING number of non-swimmers without PFDs that drowned. The overwhelming majority of paddle sports fatalities are capsize/not wearing PFD/drowning.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/safeboating/

Michael Fitzgerald
5 days ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Great Video on kayak safety

Gregg Hoffmann
5 days ago

Michael I lost my beloved nephew and fishing buddy he fell out of his John boat at 14 years old and drowned because he didn’t have his life jacket on one of the worse times of my life it took the day off to dive teams 4 days to find his body the water temp was in the 40s to 50s the dive teams had to dive at 15 minute intervals there was a lot of divers searching for him the Marion county Citrus county Hillsborough county dive teams they found him in 6 feet of water 25 feet from the shore line Michael we was watching the dive team we was in our air boat parked in the same exact spot for those 4 days my nephew was found under our airboat bro we had no idea the water was so dark ( tannic) sorry for the long story bro only because lil Tommy didn’t have his damn life jacket on . Please everyone that reads this I ask to wear a flotation device. Take a kid fishing

Michael Fitzgerald
5 days ago
Reply to  Gregg Hoffmann

Sorry for your loss. It happens to often. The Coast Guard asked the Auxiliary to focus on paddlecraft education because of all of the accident. Life jacket – JUST WEAR IT!

Ron Vahey
6 days ago

Hey Tony. Nice, simple explanation on how to get started and be successful with a kayak. Keep it to the basics and life is a whole lot simpler. As you said, more time to fish than to adjust, change out to the extra gear that some lug along. Thanks again.

Robbie Johnson
6 days ago

Iam 5’11 and I have a 250 on a Bonifide ok in low seat but high seat not so good

Robbie Johnson
6 days ago

Hey Tony what size paddle you use ?

David
6 days ago

Tony, great video thanks. What kind of rod and reel do you prefer in the kayak? I’m looking at a new setup. I like the mojo yak and Fuego reel but wanted your opinion. Thanks again.

Rick Trester
6 days ago

In Florida I use a similar style kayak. When I am in Wisconsin I have been using an Old Town NEXT canoe with a kayak seat and foot pedals. The seat sits 2” off of the bottom of the canoe. The advantages of this is room. The canoe has a 450 lb capacity and with an open design it hold plenary of gear. You can easily pack all of your camping gear along with the fishing gear. I use a Werner 240 paddle. The two negatives is that without decking you need to be creative with keeping your gear within reach. The other negative is the canoe weights a little over 50 pounds so portaging requires a dolly.

Tom
Tom
6 days ago

Thanks! Nice setup…

C. Lance Weaver
6 days ago

Great job Tony, I am trying to downsize my gear that goes with me. I still take quite a few rods rigged with different lures though.

Bill Brown
6 days ago

Good video Tony! What paddle are you using?

Dave Brookmyer
6 days ago

Great layout Tony! I have a bay boat, but some mornings I like to to a quick trip in my yak which is a basic sit- in model from Bass Pro with a few rod holders. But watching your video gave me some great ideas on the placement of some modifications I need to do. I’ll be getting some cleats, tackle webs, and some bungee to make this kayak a little more fishable. Thanks for the tips!

Gerald
Gerald
7 days ago

how long is your truck bed, and how do you secure your kayak in it? Looks like you have something coming up from the trailer hitch?

Ric
Ric
7 days ago

I’m interested in how you stand up in a kayak. I’m a big boy 6’2″ 215. Also, concerned about stability when setting a hook.

Jerry Mason
7 days ago

Another interesting and very informative video. Thanks for sharing Tony.

JEff
7 days ago

How would you set up a Hobie Oasis Tandem for fishing? One occupant.

Sam Craparo
7 days ago

Great information. Like the anchor trolley setup

Sam Craparo
6 days ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

I mostly kayak fish deep open flats in Tampa Bay. By the time I reeled the fish In I had drifted away and had no idea where it fish was hooked. I started using a float to mark the spot and would paddle back and drift the spot again. The flats are deep so I think staking our with anchor stick could be problematic. I have been experimenting using a scuba belt weight as an anchor with mixed results .I don’t have a trolley so I can’t position the kayak correctly. Time to get creative. Thanks for all of you content in these trying times.

Frank Santana
7 days ago

I’m torn between the Pro Angler 14 and the Outback. I have an 2011 Outback and the seat can be uncomfortable after awhile but if the fish are biting, I pay no mind to it. Thanks for the video and information. I’ll be fishing for another Hobie soon so my grand kids can use my older Outback when I take them out fishing with me.

David Hair
7 days ago
Reply to  Frank Santana

One other very stable kayak (can stand easily) choice that is less expensive is the Bonafide SS127. No pedal option, but many like me equips with an electric trolling motor option. I cut off the control head of a 40lb Minn Kota salt water motor and modified the MinnKota mount to attach directly to prexisting mount holes on the Bonafide. Built in steering cables attach to foot pedals that allow me to steer hands free with my feet. I also equipped with 50AHr LiFEPO4 18lb battery and variable speed fwd and reverse PWM controller. That also allows me to back out of the mangroves easily with fish on to clear the fish from the mangroves. The battery will last me all day and greatly extends my range and helps me tremendously in heavy current and wind conditions especially when I am paddling to keep up also.

It is very well thought out fishing kayak with many features and probably the most confortable seat I have ever found. They also have some smaller models now if the SS127 is too large for you. Still weighs less than most Hobies and definitely less $$$.

Frank Santana
6 days ago
Reply to  David Hair

Thanks for the information David. I will look into that kayak but I’m “hooked” on Hobies.

Jody
7 days ago

Suppose you want to take some fish home for dinner. What options do you like for keeping them in your kayak?

Jim
Jim
7 days ago

Two questions: why no PFD. And what type and test line do you recommend for inshore baitcast reel? Thanks in advance for your reply

Scott Carlin
7 days ago

How do you have your Go Pro attached to your hat?

David Hair
7 days ago
Reply to  Scott Carlin

I have a floppy wide brim fishing hat for sun protection and mount my Go Pro on an Action Hat mount. It can be used for most any hat but eorks well for me on my wide brim hat.
As always you have to make sure the Go Pro mount is tight and at the right angle or you het a nice view of your hat brim. https://actionhat.com/products/actionhat-do-it-yourself-kit