Have a seat

A kayak seat sets the tone for how well an angler will like a particular boat. Usually, you can pick out a good seat just by looking at it. The quality of the seat is often the best indicator of the overall quality of the boat.

The benefits of a good seat in a fishing kayak is comfort. This applies regardless of whether you choose a sit-on-top model or a cockpit style boat. Since not every seat is going to fit every paddler, it’s important that the existing or replacement seat be adjustable to provide the correct fit for the size, shape, and weight of the one using it.

Some seats are comfortable for a few trips, and then due to inferior quality construction or materials, may start to deteriorate and become uncomfortable. So when choosing a seat, look for one of sturdy construction made from durable materials.

For the kayaking angler, a seat that integrates properly with the boat will also enhance how it fishes by giving the angler good support, a wide range of motion, and may even be adjustable in height to allow the angler a higher vantage point when sight fishing or casting to specific targets.

Replace it

Most replacement or upgraded seats fit into one of four categories – universal design, two-piece, frame, and inflatable.

The universal design is also referred to as a clam shell and comes equipped with belts, buckles, and other connections both to secure the seat to the boat and to customize the fit to the user. A two-piece design is similar to the universal, but the two pieces connect to the boat independently. The frame design is often the hardest to fit unless made for a particular boat, costs more than the other varieties, but also provides the most support. Finally, inflatable seats are available offering comfort, but generally lacking in fit or design, and are usually the cheapest models.

Some specially designed frame seats may cost as much or more than some boats, but the comfort and fit are undeniable. The most popular replacement models fall into the universal/clamshell variety and are made of EVA foam, neoprene, or a combination of quality materials and range in price between $50 and $250.

A final note about replacing seats is to check the manufacturer website to see if they offer a replacement or upgraded seat option that can be purchased separately.

Getting crabby

Cut chunks of fresh blue crab will attract redfish of all sizes.

Crabs are choice baits for plenty of saltwater species and are often a prime bait for winter redfish.

Enhance the appeal of blue crabs as bait by cutting them to produce scent while still saving enough bait to stay on a hook and attract fish. The following steps will walk you through the process.

Step 1. With a heavy bladed knife and cutting board, place the blade on top of the crab and divide the carapace in half, creating equal portions.

Step 2. Remove the carapace from the half to go on the hook. The bait will keep longer with the carapace on, and is generally easier to remove when cut.

Step 3. Cut the claw off just past the pivot point of the pincer. This exposes additional meat to generate more scent.

Step 4. Insert the hook into the body cavity and exit through the leg joint. Make sure to expose the barb so the bait won’t back off the hook in current.

Smaller baits can be created by cutting the crab chunk in half, effectively quartering the crab. Removing the legs from quartered bait can be done to reduce the size of the bait. A quartered crab with the legs removed makes excellent bait for many types of saltwater fish.

Crabs can be caught in baited crab traps through the winter and can also be purchased at a variety of local seafood markets. Fortunately for kayaking anglers, blue crabs can be kept alive for fairly long periods of time if they are kept wet and in a closed container.

Best Bets


WHAT — Striped Bass

WHERE — Kerr Lake

HOW — Look for birds working bait on the surface, and for long points that striped bass often use to ambush bait. Cast weighted flukes in natural/pearl colors or A-rigs early and late in the day.

LAUNCH — https://www.ncwildlife.org/boating/where-to-boat/

INSIDER TIP — If fishing is slow, set up deeper on the edge of a drop off and use casting or heavy metal jigging spoons to enitce stripers into biting.



WHAT — Redfish

WHERE — Georgetown/Winyah Bay

HOW — Find schools of redfish by watching the water for disturbances, then cast 1/8-ounce jigs paired with scented soft plastics ahead of the school.

LAUNCH — https://www2.dnr.sc.gov/ManagedLands/boatramp/boatrampsearch

INSIDER TIP — Find big schools of redfish, even if you must paddle long distances. Don’t waste time fishing blind. Once you locate a school, keep within a casting distance of the leading fish in the school, and cast, cast, cast.

About Phillip Gentry 819 Articles
Phillip Gentry of Waterloo, S.C., is an avid outdoorsman and said if it swims, flies, hops or crawls, he's usually not too far behind.

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