Thinking Like A Kayaker

A Head-to-Toe Guide for Extending your Kayak Fishing Season

By JEREMY MACKEY

 

There’s no doubt about it, kayak fishing is taking Arkansas by storm and its popularity is showing no signs of slowing down. For most anglers, the season begins in early spring and lasts through the hottest months of summer. But there are an intrepid few who fish from their kayak all year round, even during the coldest days of winter.  How do they do it? They begin thinking like a kayaker. With just a few basic principles of layering along with some specialized gear, you can easily extend your season and enjoy all that fishing from your kayak during the winter has to offer.

Avoid Cotton: Cotton may very well be the fabric of our lives, but it has no redeeming value when it comes to winter kayaking. Cotton holds moisture and promotes evaporative cooling which can begin the process of hypothermia. 

Layering: Start with a breathable base layer, add an insulating layer, then top it all off with a waterproof shell. As you paddle and build up body heat the base layer will pull moisture off your body allowing the mid layer to keep you toasty warm. The outer layer will protect you from wind and water which will allow you to fish comfortably all day long. By layering you can also compensate for changes in the weather, adding or removing a layer as the situation requires.

Bring Extra Gear: As the weather changes, so too should the supplies you bring along with you. A small dry bag filled with extra layers, food and fire starter can make the difference between an enjoyable adventure on the water and a dangerous situation.

 
 
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One Tough boat

This boat redefined what a fishing kayak should be. Designed by kayak anglers for kayak anglers! The Coosa HD is fully customizable, comfortable, stable and versatile on any type of water and during any time of year.
Starting at $1,799


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NRS Fuse Gloves

If you’ve ever searched for a pair of fishing gloves then you know how difficult it can be. Finding the right combination of warmth and dexterity is important. Fishing from a kayak requires an extra dimension—grip.  These gloves combine all three!
$29.95


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Immersion Research Men’s Thick Skin Union Suit

This is the best base layer for a cold-weather paddling pursuit. Regardless of your choice in outerwear, it’s what’s underneath that counts. Proper layering can be the difference in staying warm enough and extend your time on the water doing what you love, searching for the next big catch!
$110.00


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Kokatat Hydrus 3.0 SuperNova Angler Paddling Suit

With dry suits, fit is extremely important, and while the fit guide on Kokatat’s website is very accurate, nothing can compare with experience. Visit your local outdoor specialty shop to get measured and ensure the perfect fit.
$615.00


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Astral Designs Rassler

No matter the season, proper footwear is key! They should drain and dry quickly while providing enough support and grip to keep you confident on the water. Astral has been designing and manufacturing paddle sports gear for over 20 years. The Rassler is hands down a best choice in footwear for kayak fishing.
$119.95

Be sure to check out your local outfitter for these products.