10 Reasons Kayak Fishing Is Fantastic For Seniors (And What You Need To Make It Happen)

The opportunities for physical activity at retirement are endless, but one that appealed to me was kayak fishing.

Age With Attitude - Kayak Fishing For Seniors

Fortunately we lived close to the water for a number of years, but this pastime can be pursued if you are within a reasonable distance from water, both fresh and coastal.

Here are 10 clear benefits to kayak fishing:

  1. Great exercise, particularly if you have some knee pain issues.
  2. costs are not prohibitive.
  3. It is quite safe.
  4. Coordination skills are developed.
  5. It leaves a minimal environmental footprint.
  6. Online assistance is abundant.
  7. Bait such as soft plastics are cheap and reusable.
  8. Keeping a record of your adventures is now simple with GoPro type cameras.
  9. The yakking fraternity is supportive and growing.
  10. The thrill of a great catch is very real.

The key starting point is obviously the kayak. I opted for a Viking sit on model which I purchased originally for paddling only.

Many companies now offer purpose built fishing kayaks which vary tremendously in cost and suitability.

However, the challenge of “pimping” your yak with fishing features is lots of fun and keeps costs down.

Some additions are more expensive such as fish finders and electric motors, neither of which I have adopted.

Here is my list of simple modifications and gear:

  • rod holders at front and rear
  • leash for rod and pliers
  • rubber seat for comfort on long paddles
  • container for fishing gear
  • collapsible bucket
  • net holder
  • anchor trolley to adjust position
  • a few old rags
  • waterproof container for phone and camera
  • water bottle
  • leash and tether to secure paddle
  • life jacket
  • trolley wheels and tie downs for transporting the kayak

As I started simply paddling, I gradually grew in confidence and fitness. My respect for weather conditions and knowledge of tides grew over time.

Mother Nature can be fickle and every trip was planned to fully allow for the prevailing conditions.

The transition to fishing was simple and progressive but soon I soon preferred to be out fishing.

As you are very exposed while out on the water, the usual steps to cover up are vital such as a fishing hat, gloves, sunscreen and shoes. I always wore a full sleeved shirt and good polarised sunglasses.

I managed to record my adventures on a compact digital camera using both video and still photos.

However, I think an investment in a GoPro style camera will be the next acquisition as they are hands free and waterproof.

The process of landing and unhooking a lively fish is always challenging, particularly in the confines of a kayak.

A large flattie requires a degree of dexterity and patience to land and store, but with experience comes confidence.

The sense of peace and tranquility while on the water is palpable for one who came from a high pressure occupation.

Over the years some highlights have been:

  • Catching and landing a 69 cm flathead
  • Being towed by a stingray up the Pumicestone Passage
  • Having a dolphin dive under the kayak and resurface nearby
  • Releasing most fish once hooked
  • Learning to use light braid line and soft plastics
  • Phoning former colleagues while on the water to share the moment!
  • Meeting other paddlers and fishermen with the same passion
  • Devising new recipes to cook the keepers
  • Lowering my blood pressure

Transporting a kayak is relatively simple and there are various techniques to effortlessly position it on a car roof singlehandedly. I have transported mine over many long trips without incident.

For a retiree such as myself kayak fishing has provided a terrific personal challenge a world away from my previous professional life.

It’s a pastime that is affordable, fun and challenging. A good online starting point is the Australian Kayak Fishing Forum.

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