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Previously, we talked about whether or not it was safe to use your kayak in the winter. While some kayak anglers use their kayaks throughout the year, especially those in warmer climates, many find their water levels are too low, too cold, or both.
A question most kayak anglers have to face during the long winter months is, ‘what do I do while I wait for the lakes to open up or the fishing to pick back up?’ Winter can be a time to take a breath, take a step away from the sport. Rather than sulk over the hours lost on the water, we can use that time to plan for the upcoming season.
Dedicated kayak anglers use the offseason and winter months to rig out their kayaks and to hone their setup further. Adding new accessories, changing out drives, adding wiring, or swapping kayaks entirely is a common practice that picks up more in the winter months. Beyond your kayak, many anglers use their down time to plan out their fishing schedules.
Here are some ideas, accessories to help you rig out your kayak and suggestions for preparing your fishing schedule to help set your 2023 kayak angling season in motion.
Create a Fishing Schedule
This may seem silly or straightforward, but creating a calendar of events and the waters you want to fish can help streamline your fishing season. See what local fishing tournaments are near you and start building out your weekends on a calendar well in advance. If you are new to tournament fishing, start small locally and then research when some of the larger kayak tournaments take place across the country. If you don’t want to fish in tournaments or have lots of available time, fill in your calendar with new places to visit.
Research New Fishing AreasMost anglers have their favorite spots to fish. They often return to these spots because they are comfortable with the area. Break out of your comfort zone. While the weather is too cold or the waters aren’t ready for angling, use your time to research new areas of interest. Almost all anglers have lakes or rivers they want to try, but many don’t because it is unfamiliar. Create a list of new waters with different fish species in them. Once you pick a few new places to try, add them to your schedule and put in the work before you go.
Plan Your Gear & Add New AccessoriesEvery kayak angler knows their kayak is never a finished product. Each year, innovative new products are created for fishing kayaks to further push the sport into new territory. What did you love about your kayak the previous season? What did you find frustrating about your current setup? Use your down time to work on your kayak. Don’t waste time in your prime fishing season tinkering with your kayak. Winter is a great time to add new accessories or make modifications.
If you have been on the water even once in a kayak to fish, you’ve experienced firsthand how purposeful, thought out storage accessories are the difference between having fun and wanting to sink your kayak to the depths of the sea. Storage crates, tackle box crates, dry bags and battery storage are but a few accessories to help organize your kayak. Here are some storage solutions you may want to consider adding for 2023:
YakAttack Blackpak Pro Kayak Fishing Crate
The original hard-sided kayak crate just got better. A lot better. Introducing the completely redesigned BlackPak Pro. The result of intense collaboration and more than a year of R&D and design, the BlackPak Pro is fully riggable and boasts a hinged lid, 25% weight reduction, and best-in-class functionality. Enhancements include things you might have expected and features no one saw coming.
Depth-finder installation on kayaks just got smarter. The YakAttack CellBlok is a track mounted battery box and its top surface serves as a mounting platform for the display and transducer deployment arm. No more drilling holes in your kayak or routing wires! Simply loosen the two track mount knobs and the CellBlok allows you to quickly and easily attach or remove your depth-finder.
Plano Weekend Series Soft Crate Bag
The ultimate kayak soft tackle bag. Fits securely in milk crate or rests freestanding as crate alternative. Side pouches make for easy reach while sitting in kayak. The future of tackle storage is hands-free. This modern tackle backpack offers greater versatility and mobility for anglers who want all their gear close at hand without any fuss. Comfortable air mesh straps and a padded back cushion allow you to load up and fish all day long.
NRS Ether HydroLock Dry Sacks add an extra layer of security and convenience to our do-it-all Ether Dry Sack series. Built to withstand immersion, in the same lightweight and durable package for keeping gear and clothing dry outdoors. The PU laminated ripstop nylon material is lightweight and durable, and the welded seams keep water out. Exclusive to NRS, the HydroLock zip-seal ensures 100% waterproof protection in a submersion.
The above items are but a few suggestions, shop all of our Kayak storage accessories.
If you are on social media and you are a kayak angler, you have undoubtedly seen the videos of fishing kayaks with motor mods. While motors are a cool way to take your fishing kayak and angling to the next level, upgrading how you propel your kayak doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes, upgrading your paddle can change the entire feel of your kayak. If you are looking for a more simple way to become a more efficient paddler, check these options out:
Old Town Carlisle Magic Angler Paddle
Designed for kayak anglers, the Carlisle Magic Angler is a lightweight, efficient and powerful paddle, with angler specific features. The asymmetrical, slightly curved blade shape, combined with a lightweight, flexible fiberglass shaft produces smooth yet powerful strokes. A cutout in the blade is used to free snagged hooks and the ruler on the shaft can be used to measure your catch!
Bending Branches Angler Scout Paddle
The paddle designed to take on abuse while improving the fishing experience with a 40-inch tape measure and hook retrieval system. Built to take tough knocks, the Scout provides beat-it-up durability at a wallet-friendly price with epX engineered polymer blades and ovalized aluminum shaft. A built-in hook retrieval system and a tape measure on the shaft for a perfect sizing guide.
The Lake Paddle is made of an impact resistant nylon composite blade and a fiberglass shaft and is easy to assemble, pack, and use on the water. The center ferrule (joint) and shaft to paddle ferrule is a traditional stainless steel button system for an easy secure fit.
Solstice 4-piece Quick Release Paddle
The Solstice 4-piece quick release paddle is great for beginners or for those looking to add a second paddle. Made of aluminum the 4-Piece quick release has 3-Position adjustability and is compact for storage and travel. The outdoors awaits, dip your blade and take off.
If you are interested in powering your kayak beyond changing out paddles, we explored how to add a motor to your kayak in a previous blog. With a few accessories and mods, just about any fishing kayak can be converted to a powered kayak in one way or another.
Another simple way to transform your kayak angling experience is to upgrade your PFD. Like your paddle, your life jacket is easy to overlook as a crucial part of your experience on the water. If you plan to be on the water for long periods of time, your comfort plays a large role in whether or not your excursion is enjoyable or not. Much like adding storage to your kayak, getting yourself a fishing life jacket can not only enhance your comfort, but your gear storage as well.
Performance High-Back Fishing Life Jacket. Designed with the performance kayak angler in mind, the Lure Angler jacket comes equipped with many features and adjustments that are designed to keep you fishing in comfort longer. Featuring a high-back construction, which nests comfortably with tall kayak seats and the AirComfort system to keep you cool on the hottest days.
NRS Chinook Fishing Life Jacket
With all the organization and attachment points needed for your fishing accessories, the NRS Chinook Fishing PFD is the world's best-selling life jacket for kayak anglers. Not only is it designed to make you more effective on the water, the comfort of the Chinook can't be beaten. The NRS Chinook Fishing Life Jacket is a Type III life jacket that delivers 16 pounds of flotation.
NRS Women's Shenook Fishing PFD
Purpose-built for female anglers, the Shenook fishing PFD has all of the features of our best-selling Chinook with women's cut and styling. Designed to make you more effective on the water, the Shenook offers endless organization and attachment points for all your fishing tools.
The low-profile NRS Matik Inflatable PFD resembles a traditional lifevest with the compact convenience of an inflatable. The NRS Matik Inflatable PFD folds into a low-profile horse-collar style jacket giving you on-demand flotation that doesn't get in your way when fishing.
Shop all of our life jacekts and PFDs here.
Gear Track Accessories
Most fishing kayaks come with accessory rails. Taking full advantage of these rails is paramount to rigging out your kayak. Mountable accessories free up space and open up the freedom to customize your fishing kayak your way. Starting small when you purchase your fishing kayak is a great way to save money in the beginning while you learn what you like about your kayak or what you need to suit how you use your fishing kayak. After some experience, there is no doubt you will be ready to add rail accessories to best suit your fishing techniques. Here are some items you may find useful as you rig out your fishing kayak:
Didn't see anything you were look for? Shop our vast array of Fishing Kayak Accessories.
When it comes to kayak fishing, everyone needs different setups to be successful. Depending on the water you fish, the species you target and your experience level, everyone needs a slightly different kayak and accessories. In simple terms, pick a kayak and accessories that fit you, your body type, your needs, and your experience level. Once you've picked out a kayak that works for you, the only thing left to do is rig it out and head to your favorite fishing spot!
If you find yourself overwhelmed or still unsure which kayak is best for you, check out some of our additional resources. A great place to start is by joining our public community, The Kayak Anglers Resource, where you can ask questions of members who have real experience. Or, check out our YouTube channels for reviews and how-tos: Eco Fishing Shop and Kayak Anglers Resource.
Browse all of our blogs and Buyer's Guides to most of our brands below. To check out our full range of the best fishing kayaks and accessories we have to offer, available to you via free and fast shipping, click HERE. We are happy to help and answer any questions. Click the chat button, give us a call or ask your questions in the public community, we will be there to answer no matter how you communicate!
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