How To Make A Standing Platform For Your Kayak (So You Can See More Fish)
By: Joseph Simonds on April 11, 2017
Who would have thought an extra foot would make such a HUGE difference in how many fish you can catch…
If you fish from a seated position all day in a kayak, you are probably missing out on some awesome sight fishing opportunities.
And if you are able to stand in your kayak (which is typically only at water level) you are still probably missing out on some great sight fishing opportunities.
While out on the water one day, I decided to try standing on my seat to see how much more of an advantage it gave me while sight fishing (it gave me about a foot more of elevation).
I was amazed as to how much further I could see! Those 12 inches actually made a really big difference.
I was also amazed that I didn’t end up going swimming. I had figured it was going to be super wobbly, but it wasn’t that bad.
However, standing on the seat wasn’t exactly the most stable means of standing as the webbing on the seat was very flexible.
It’s a fact: When fishing in clear water, the further you can see, the better.
Fish are very easy to spook in clear water. If you can see a fish from a far distance and get a long accurate cast in, your chances of catching that fish are greater than if you are low to the surface of the water and the fish ends up seeing you before you see them.
Having your back to the sun also helps in reducing glare and increasing visibility.
This also puts the sun in the fish’s face reducing their ability to see you. Just be sure to keep your shadow from casting over them.
I did some brainstorming as to how I could build some type of platform to stand on that was solid and functional.
I had an extra seat frame laying around since I recently had to replace my old seat, and this is where the pieces started coming together.
I have an Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game II which allows for an adjustable seat position.
With the seat lowered and folded down, the slot that the seat would lock into for an elevated position was free.
The bottom of my old seat frame was able to lock into this slot and all I needed was some type of crossbar for the back part of the frame to rest onto and level out the frame.
I had an old aluminum step from a ladder which I used for this crossbar, but a piece of wood would have worked just fine as well.
From there, I added 2 “L-brackets” to the bottom of this crossbar to keep the platform from sliding side to side.
A solid piece of wood covered in some indoor/outdoor carpet bolted to the frame using conduit brackets and she was ready for a test!
Note: I also added a rod holder to have quick access to a rod and to avoid having to bend down to pick one up.
When I got out on the water, I keep the platform stored behind me so I can comfortably use my seat to paddle to my spot.
It sits perfectly on top of my cooler in the tank well behind me and when I get to the spot, I put the platform into position.
If I don’t have to travel far, I will just sit on the platform and paddle.
After using the platform for the first time, I realized I didn’t really have access to my stake out pole unless I stepped down from the platform and grabbed it.
I tried resting it on the platform so I could just reach down and grab it but I ended up kicking it into the water every time.
I made a quick fix and added a halved piece of PVC pipe to the side of the platform for the anchor pin to rest in so I could easily reach down and grab it to anchor myself.
In addition to the platform, there are a few extra items I am always sure to bring along to effectively sight fish from the platform:
- Polarized Sunglasses
- Push Pole and/or Stand Up Paddle
- Extra clothes for if and when you do finally go for a swim (you will most likely fall out at least once as you get your balance on the kayak platform).
To put the platform to a good test, I went out for a trip to one of my favorite spots for sight fishing and it turned out awesome!
How To Make A DIY Kayak Platform
An extra foot of visibility goes a LONG way while inshore fishing from a kayak.
In fact, a DIY kayak platform like this was a complete game changer (even when compared to standing up normal in the kayak).
You can see more fish, you can see more bait, and your chances of sneaking up on a nice redfish, tarpon, snook, trout, or black drum go up significantly.
Finally, I hope you can see from the video that you can make a nice platform all by yourself.
Did I leave anything off?
Let me know what you think in the comments.
Related Post: SUP Fishing With A Push Pole: Sight Casting Machine (see the full post here)
Related Post: Inshore Fishing 101: Your Ultimate Inshore Fishing Resource (see the full post here)
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