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Fishing Gear: Use These 3 Essential Kayak Fishing Tools in the Fall

Posted by 
October 5, 2017
Published in News & Tips > Boating > Kayaking

Unlike summer, fall fishing from a kayak can be a little more difficult. The winds are back, the weather starts cool and can get warmer or cooler depending on the forecast, and fish just aren’t as easy to find without the right fishing tools. Use these three kayak fishing accessories to help you succeed in your kayak angling adventures this fall.

1. Depth Finder/ Fishfinder to Locate the Fish

Electronics play a key role in locating fish in the fall. If the weather is cooling off into the 50s and cooler at night, the chances are, your fall bite has moved deep. Fish that just a month ago were in 8 to 12 feet deep are now in 16 feet or deeper. They will most likely be in pretty thick schools around submerged brush piles, bridge pilings, and in the bends of creek channels.

Mounting a fishfinder on your kayak can help you eliminate “dead water”. Dead water is an area that looks fishy but in fact, there are no gamefish to be found. Fall schooling causes a lot of these areas to fool anglers without a fish finder.

lowrance h4x
Lowrance Hook-4x Fishfinder

I’d recommend at the minimum something with Down Imaging and as large of a screen as you can afford. GPS is nice but not absolutely necessary. The rule of thumb on electronics is get the nicest one you can afford.

1 arrow pointTip: Here are few popular fishfinders that work well on kayaks

1. Lowrance Hook - 5 or Hook-4x fishfinders. Both have down DownScan Imaging™ technology to give you a clear and complete view of the underwater environment.

2. Garmin Striker 5 CV fishfinder. This unit features built-in, high-sensitivity GPS and a transducer for advanced CHIRP sonar and Garmin's signature CHIRP ClearVü™.

3. Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2 Fishfinder. The Down Imaging® technology delivers the perfect sonar complement, bringing underwater details to light. It's a fishinder and chartplotter with Navionics+ showing strong returns and an undeniably clear picture.

2. Rope is  Kayak Angler's Best Friend

shop kayakingAs simple as it sounds, a good rope is a kayak angler’s best friend. During fall fishing, I like to fish in timber if at all possible near channel bends. When I am fishing in deep water (over 10 feet) I hesitate to use my anchor, especially if it is windy. A good rope like the Bass Pro Shops Multi Purpose braided rope with hook allows me to tie up to a tree so I can stay in place without the dangers of having a deep anchor get hung up.  I like a 15 to 20 foot long rope.

You can also add a brush gripper to the end of the rope if you’d like a faster way to get on and off a spot. Brush grippers are basically just a metal clamp that will latch on to a tree limb or stump and hold you in place.

3. Using Contour Lines to Find Fish

Topographical maps, often called a topo map. Using one of these maps to see the contours, creek channels, submerged bridges, and road beds of the lake you are fishing can be very valuable. In the fall I look for what a guide once told me was a “spot on a spot”. If you can find a road bed that intersects a creek channel bend, that also has a brush pile on it, you found a great spot. Utilize your electronics to guide you and you’ll find the fish in that spot.
shop navionics

Topo maps are also available on your smart phone as an app from Navionics. If your fish finder that you purchased doesn’t have GPS but you have a smart phone, for a mere $15 you can enable the GPS tracking of the Navionics app and mark waypoints on your phone. This is a great option for folks on a tight budget.

With these three accessories for your kayak, you’ll be able to find more fish and stay on them once you do.



Tagged under Read 419 times Last modified on October 10, 2017
Chris Payne

Chris Payne has been kayak fishing since 2003 and has made just about every kayak angling mistake in the book. He uses his company Crooked Creek Media to share knowledge (and his mistakes) through several different avenues including Kayak Bass Fishing Magazine, a free online digital magazine and the Kayak Fishing Blog, a website dedicated to unbiased reviews, how –tos and adventures in kayaks.

You can find Chris most often doing seminars at Bass Pro Shops, on the water at demo days or fishing with family and friends. He loves freshwater, saltwater, fly and conventional fishing as long as the fish love to fight. He’s available for questions via email at

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