Why Kayak?! The Advantages and Benefits of Kayak Fishing

Why would someone want to get into a little boat with a fishing rod and paddle around?

There are a number of excellent reasons, and in this article we explore the advantages and benefits of kayak fishing.

I sincerely hope it helps give you the encouragement you need to try this awesome sport/pastime.

Let’s get healthy!

Table of Contents

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The Benefits of Kayak Fishing – Too Long, Didn’t Read

Kayak fishing can bring several benefits into your life. If you don’t want to read the whole article, here they all are in a handy, bullet-pointed summary.

  • Accessibility – go where other vessels and anglers can’t reach.
  • Affordability – no need for an expensive boat.
  • You’ll catch more fish!
  • Physical exercise, baby!
  • Helps promote mental health.
  • Environmentally friendly – no gas required.
  • Travel and exploration – get off the couch and back into nature.
  • Connect with friends and family.

Let’s explore each point in more detail, with a few extra tips and tricks thrown in on how to get started, and the best fishing kayaks for each point.

recreation kayak fishing at a beautiful lake

Kayak Fishing Advantages


Kayaks offer the freedom to go where other boats can’t.

Their small size and profile allows the paddler to explore untouched fishing spots, and places where on-foot anglers will never be able to reach.

Compact kayaks are nimble and quick, and you can access some incredible locations down narrow rivers, in rocky coves, and glassy lakes.

Places that larger watercraft don’t have a hope of ever reaching.

And if you’re using one of these super-lightweight fishing kayaks, it gets even easier.

Or you can try an inflatable fishing kayak for the ultimate in portability – and put in just about anywhere it’s safe to do so.

Furthermore, fishing kayaks are easier to store, and take up less space than traditional boats. I’ve hoisted mine into the rafters in my garage.

Try doing that with a bass boat!

This article on kayak storage solutions offers some top tips on how and where to keep your kayak.


Kayaks are much cheaper than most other watercraft.

Especially when you take a look at this article on the best budget-friendly fishing kayaks, or go here for the best fishing kayaks under $1000.

Some can be as low as a couple of hundred dollars, which makes them more accessible than ever, and ensures that anyone can use the water, not just people who can afford pricey boats.

Sure, there are super expensive fishing kayaks, like the incredible Hobie Mirage Pro Angler, or the Old Town Sportsman PDL – both of which feature cutting-edge pedal drive technology.

But they’re still next-to nothing compared to the price of even a bog-standard motorboat.

And they’re also a lot cheaper to maintain with no insurance required, or fuel costs.

Take a look at this simple guide to kayak maintenance for more information.

inflatable fishing kayak on river

Catch More Fish

This kinda goes almost without saying.

Bank and shore anglers are stuck in one spot, and can’t reach those enticing locations where all the action is.

With a fishing kayak, you can go where the fish go, which will help you catch more fish, and a wider variety of species.

And if you use your craft with a dedicated kayak fish finder, well, it’s almost not even fair!

Physical Benefits of Kayak Fishing

This one is a no-brainer.

Paddling a kayak is an excellent form of low-impact exercise.

It doesn’t hurt your joints like jogging or running can, nor is it nearly as boring!

Kayak fishing is great for paddlers of advancing years looking to keep active, and promote the health of the ol’ ticker.

Pedals or paddles will do – but a combination of both will work the arms and the legs, as well as your core (with the correct paddle stroke, at least).

I’d also recommend trying a stand-up fishing kayak, as getting to and from a standing position will also be good for exercise, as well as those thrilling standing casts and reels.

two men fishing from kayak in river

Mental Benefits of Kayak Fishing

There’s nothing quite like getting away from the rat race.

I’ve had moments on my fishing kayak where I have closed my eyes, and let the gentle current of a river take me away from all of life’s problems.

The mental health benefits of kayaking and kayak fishing cannot be understated.

Being in a remote location, with nobody else around for miles, with only the sounds of nature to keep you company – it’s perfect bliss, and just the ticket for the rejuvenation you need to keep going.

In fact, outside of catching fish, being close to nature is the main reason people get involved in this sport in the first place.

That’s because nature = physical and mental well-being.

For the ultimate in relaxation, I’d recommend a fishing kayak with a lawn-chair seat and spacious cockpit.

Try the Perception Outlaw, the Vanhunks Elite Angler, the Jackson Bite, and the Lifetime Teton as great examples of uncluttered kayak comfort.

Environmentally Friendly

Fishing kayaks don’t run on gas. As such, they leave a much smaller footprint than that of a motorboat.

They’re also near silent, so you won’t disturb the nature or other water users around you.

But if you do want a bit more effortless pace, you can always try one of the best motorized fishing kayaks (which use battery-powered trolling motors).

man kayak fishing in river

Travel and Exploration

I loved to travel, and in particular – I love going to places I’ve never been.

Kayak fishing is a great way to explore your local waterways, and see things that most people don’t get to see.

I always reflect on this when I come across a spectacular fallen tree, a remote animal nest, or some interesting bluffs. You’re in a small minority of folks who know that such things exist.

For traveling longer distances, perhaps with overnight kayak camping stays, you need a fishing kayak with plenty of storage – and one that is going to minimize fatigue.

Check out this article on the best pedal fishing kayaks – which should help you with both.

Promotes Connection with Friends and Family

Like most anglers, I was taught by my dad – and he would have loved fishing from a kayak.

Alas, he had passed before the true kayak fishing boom of the last decade or so, and I often think how enjoyable it would have been to try this pastime together.

As such, I highly recommend kayak fishing as a way to reconnect with your friends and family, promote team building and camaraderie between work colleagues, and strengthen relationships in general.

Try one of these tandem fishing kayaks, which can be so much fun for sharing the experience with your loved ones – including a furry friend!


The advantages and benefits of kayak fishing are numerous, and it’s one of the most rewarding experiences you can have in the great outdoors.

I truly hope this article has inspired you to give it a try, or to encourage someone to come along for the ride.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Stay safe out there, tight lines, and happy kayak fishing!

Stuart Jameson

Stuart is passionate about travel, kayaking, camping and the great outdoors in general. He's not quite as enthusiastic about angling as his father was, but out of the two of them, he's yet to hook his ear lobe while fly-fishing, which he sees as an absolute win.

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