One can do many kayak activities, but trolling from a kayak might be the most fun. Not only is it peaceful and serene, but you get to troll your prey, who usually end up being stunned and caught by the kayak.
It is a simple sport but tough and challenging all at the same time. It is incredibly satisfying to catch your predators.
When trolling from a kayak in open water, you must have very sharp eyes, as the prey will usually be more significant than what you see on the water. As hunters, we must adapt our vision to pick up quick small movements happening in front of us.
One of the essential qualities a hunter needs to learn is how to “see” to see an animal. If you cannot see them, then you will never be able to catch them.
Trolling is very similar to speed running, as you are simply trying to get your kayak in position with the nose of your boat facing the target while they are still behind you.
In speed running, the runner sees the sprinter’s approach and quickly turns around to pass them. In trolling, we need to be able to see our prey, then turn around fast enough to catch them.
The kayak you use should have enough stability and make turning a breeze. Your kayak should be long enough so your head is above water while turning at full speed.
Tips for Trolling From a Kayak
1. The speed and the angle of your kayak will be critical in trolling
The angle is similar to the front end of your bike. You will lose control if you are too far forward or too far back from being level.
If your kayak is too slow, you will not catch them; if it is too fast, you might get tired very quickly. It is always a good idea to have a partner helping out, as you will always be able to afford to lose your kayak and get a new one.
2. Be prepared for any situation that could happen
The best example would be when I lost my kayak in slow-moving water, and this was my first time trolling from water. I had the misfortune of losing my sled, so I had to quickly turn around and pole my way back to the boat to retrieve it.
In this situation, the kayaker should have a paddle with them to get to the boat quickly. One can also use a kayak camping paddle.
3. The ability to read the water and understand weather conditions will be important
It is essential to have the ability to interpret what is happening on the water. You will often be on the deck trying to move quickly and suddenly have a huge wave that slams your kayak.
In these situations, you need to know if it is dangerous or not, and if it is simply a wave you need to ride out of or an approaching fish that requires you to set up a trap or some other plan. You need to know what you are seeing.
4. You have to set up a plan before you ever begin trolling from your kayak
The origin of the troll is the first part of your plan, as it will define your entire look. Your intention should be clear from the beginning; if you get a bite that smokes out quickly, you will not be utterly stumped about what happened.
When trolling, understand that you have everything in front of you and nothing behind you except for the water. You will understand your options when you see the water on all sides.
You want to set up a plan immediately, knowing exactly where to be when the fish approaches. This way, you can adjust your position quickly, making it difficult for the fish to get away.
5. The only way to catch fish is by understanding how to create a box
A box is a space where fish are comfortable and willing to swim. It would help if you found the right place on the water to attract them towards you. Are they feeding or swimming?
Once they find this box, they will swim back and forth inside it and start waiting for food, usually small crustaceans that you can see at the water’s surface.
6. The ability to move your kayak quickly will be a great asset
Usually, a fish comes against the wind because its senses are sharper than ours. It knows it is coming and does not want to get caught behind us.
Since the prey usually swims faster than we can troll, you need to be in position before they arrive at your location and then keep moving while you wait for them to catch up to you.
The best way to move quickly is using a small, fast kayak such as a sit-on-top one. This way, you can move your kayak around quickly, with enough clearance, so the wind does not blow your catch away.
7. It is always better to have too much control than your prey having no control
One of the essential parts of trolling is knowing what is happening around you and being prepared enough to adjust your position quickly. It is a good idea to have a clear look in front of you while at the same time keeping an eye on what can happen behind you.
One of the best ways to do this is by using a scissor or pedestal mount for your camera. This way, you can see behind you and also get footage at the same time.
Trolling is an enjoyable and exciting way to catch fish. However, before starting trolling, you must spend time on the water using different techniques to understand how they work and what fish attract.
Once you know how things work, you can successfully troll from a kayak. It is important to remember that trolling is a hobby and not a profession, so you do not have to be perfect.
Take time to learn the proper techniques and have fun on the river; you will be much happier once you catch your first fish.