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Bass anglers looking for a much better and easier way to move around hard-to-reach backwaters and shallower areas this summer will find kayaks are a great option. Easily transportable, reasonably lightweight and lacking a bigger noisy motor that bass boats carry, kayaks are the optimal bass fishing choice for shallow waters, even if you do outfit yours with an outboard meant for a kayak.
There are countless stories from Vibe owners of hauling in massive bull reds, huge bucketmouths, and even the occasional shark and tarpon. So don’t let anyone ever tell you it’s not possible to bring in huge catches using anything from the 'super stealthy, shallow water hybrid SUP' Cubera 120 or pro-angler elite Shearwater 125 or even the 'do-it-all' fast and agile Yellowfin 120, down to the smaller, easy throw-and-go Yellowfin 100.
Here are some tips for bass fishing from a kayak.
GEAR UP, BUT DON’T OVERDO IT
While you won’t need five or six rod and reel combos, you should at least have two on hand and within easy reach. Most all of Vibe's kayaks have built in rod holders and the ability to put more on via integrated gear tracks, or even on your crate. It's good to keep one setup rigged with a soft plastic like a Texas rigged worm, and the other combo rigged with a shallow search lure, like a Rapala minnow or a small spinnerbait.
Use the faster bait to find the fish and then if you find that you’re getting hits, try to toss your plastic and slow things down. It's also smart to always keep at least one or two tackle storage boxes in the kayak, filled with a few fave lures, hooks, drop shot, and a small pair of pliers. Toadfish makes some cool gear like their Stowaway Folding Filet Knife with Built in Carabiner or make sure your fave beverage doesn't take a spill when waves hit with Toadfish's Non-tipping 12oz Can Cooler + Adapter. Good water shoes are key through the whole summer and Astral Loyak shoes are a must-have, along with a good Vibe hat and sun jammer to keep that sun at bay.
FIND THE SHADY SHALLOW WATER
This time of year bass tend to stay very shallow in the morning and evening, and then move to deeper, cooler water when the sun is high. In your kayak you can silently move into previously unreachable, shallow areas, where you’re likely to discover a lush, cool feeding ground rich with bass and all the things they like to eat.
If possible in these areas, cast onto the bank and drag your lure into the water. This tactic makes for a more stealthy approach and offers a more natural presentation, since you won’t make as much of a splash.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO GO ASHORE
One very cool thing about reaching secluded waters in your kayak is being able to explore those areas further by stepping onto the shore. It’s okay to occasionally land your kayak, walk around, and fish newfound shorelines for a while. Doing so also gives you a chance to stretch your legs for a bit, as well as see from a higher vantage point what waters you may wish to explore later.
IF YOU HAVE THE ROOM…
Aside from your fishing tackle, a lifejacket, and perhaps some food, other items that are smart to keep on hand include paracord for tethering gear to keep it stable in rough waters, polarized glasses to help you see through the sun-reflected waters so you know right where to put your lure, and protection from the sun, like sunscreen or a wide-brim hat.