Skip to Content

How to Fish for Trout in a Kayak

One of the best aspects of fishing is the ability to challenge yourself. And one of the best ways to do this is by fishing from a kayak. With a few tricks, you’ll be able to land quite a few trout. But what are some of the things you need to know when fishing for trout? 

When fishing for trout, sit-on-top kayaks work best since they give you more stability and space to move around. If you’re trolling, angle your rods and secure them properly. Lures that can maneuver well through the water will grab the trout’s attention, giving you the best chance of catching one. 

Catching a trout from a kayak will often depend on the tactics that you’re using. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important things you need to know.

Choosing a kayak for trout fishing

There are a few things to look for when deciding which kayak you want to use. First, try to get a sit-on-top, as this will give you more flexibility to move. You’ll also need to decide the shape and method of paddling. Often, this will depend on the type of fishing you want to do. 

There are dozens of different kayaks available for you to choose from. Unfortunately, the wide availability and options can often make it harder for people to know which one will suit them best. It can help to think about the types of features that you are looking for. However, this will depend on the type of fishing that suits you the most.

Generally, when fishing, you want to get a sit-on-top kayak. These models will often come complete with a chair for you to sit in. These kayaks have a few distinct advantages for trout fishermen. First, they will give you a wider range of motion, which is important when fighting a powerful fish. Also, they tend to be more stable, reducing the chances that you will end up falling into the water during your battle. 

The next thing to determine is the shape you want to use. Generally, there are two options that you can use. First, you can choose a longer, wider option. These can be slower, but they will give you more flexibility. This can make them an excellent choice when reeling in a bigger trout. Alternatively, you can choose a thinner, narrower kayak. This will give you more speed, which you can use to cover more ground, getting to the best fishing spots faster. 

Finally, you’ll need to think about how you want to move the kayak. There are a few options for you to consider. First, you might want to paddle the boat yourself. This can give you a lot of control over how the boat moves, letting you get into a precise position. Alternatively, you can use a pedal kayak. This can allow you to keep your hands free for fishing. However, pedal kayaks tend to be heavier and harder to steer.

Choosing the right kayak can be tough, but to give you some examples of what to look for, here are some of my top choices for kayaks:

Budget: Perception Flash 9.5

Best all-around: Lifetime Tamarack Angler

Premium: Perception Pescador 12

While you can’t go wrong with any of these three, keep-in-mind the Perception Flash 9.5 is a sit-inside, while the Tamarack and the Pescador are sit-on-top kayaks.

Trolling for trout from a kayak

When trolling for trout in a kayak, the first thing to do is set up your rods properly. Choose no more than one or two light or ultralight rods, as this will be easier to manage. Then, let out some line and slowly paddle through the water. The movement of the kayak should attract trout and help trigger a bite.

There are a few things you can do when trolling to give yourself the best chance of landing a trout. The most important aspect is making sure that your rods have been set up properly. To do this, it can often be helpful to angle the rod out

This will put more pressure on the trout when they first bite, helping to set the hook. It will also make it easier for you to grab, so you can start reeling it in as quickly as possible. 

You should also make sure that you add straps to the rods. If you get a strong trout, they can sometimes pull the rod off the kayak before you have time to grab it. Adding a cheap leash to the rod is the easiest way to stop this, making sure that you’ll have plenty of time to reel them in. 

Once the rods have been set up, you can start trolling. To do this, let a little line out. The amount you release will often depend on how deep the water is. Trout movement can be affected by the seasons, which impacts the temperature of the water. Generally, you’ll be able to find trout at a depth of 8 feet (2.5 meters). It can often help to experiment with this a little, so find the right level for your local area.  

If you want, you can add a depth finder to your kayak. This can let you see what the bottom of the lake or river looks like. This can allow you to adjust your strategy, to find what will work best for that stretch of water. 

As you’re trolling, try to keep the line as tight as possible. This will ensure that the paddle strokes will cause the lure to move under the water. This can help give fish the illusion that the bait is alive, increasing the chances you’ll get a bite. If you’re using live bait, this won’t be a big concern.

Choosing a lure that will attract trout

Many types of lures can give you an excellent chance at catching trout from a kayak. First, you might want to use a spinnerbait or a crankbait, these are especially effective in most bodies of freshwater. You might also want to try winged baits and diving minnows. 

There are a few important things to look for when choosing a lure. One of the most important factors in choosing a lure is getting something that’s flexible. This will allow it to twist and move as it travels through the water. This will make the bait more realistic, helping you attract the attention of the trout and convince them to bite while you’re trolling in the kayak. 

Some good options for lures to consider are:

  • Kastmaster
  • Proptail topwater Choppo
  • Thomas Buoyant
  • Suspending Jerkbait Cutter 90 Shallow
  • J-5 Rapalla

It’s often best to experiment with a wide range of lures. This can give you a better idea of the type of things that will deliver the best results in your local area. Tying on a leader can help keep the line invisible and not give away the lure. You might also want to talk to more experienced fishermen, as they’ll be able to give you a better idea of what works. 

Related Questions

How fast should you troll in a kayak?

Depending on if you’re moving with or against the current, a good speed to maintain is 2-3 mph. Trolling at this speed will help keep the lure at the right depth and movement to attract trout.

Where do trout feed?

There might be some times when trout come to the shallow surfaces to feed on insects. In most cases though, they’ll be in the deeper, colder water. As a result, this is the best place for fishermen to drop their lures and troll for trout. 

Final thoughts

Catching a trout can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially from a kayak. To land a trout from a kayak, you’ll need to make sure that you have the right boat and the correct equipment. Though it can take a while to perfect your trolling technique and find what lures work for you, you’ll be able to catch them regularly.