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5 Must Have Kayak Fishing Accessories

Fishing from a kayak is one of the best ways to get outside, cover lots of water and sneak up on hungry fish. Among the many advantages that kayaks offer anglers is the versatility and customization options available. You can think of your kayak as a blank canvas that you can trick out to fit your exact fishing style, personality and the conditions you fish. The list of kayak accessories for fishing goes on and on, but if you're just getting started, here are 5 must-have accessories every kayak fisherman needs.

1. Milk Crate

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When you're fishing in a kayak, you’ll need a place to keep all of your gear and tackle.

Most fishing kayaks do have storage space in hatches, but there are certain items that you’ll need quick access to. Enter the milk crate...

Most kayak fishermen have found that the best option for easy access gear storage is a standard milk crate located behind the seat of their kayak.

The grated sides and bottom of the milk crate allow water to exit, and make it very easy to attach other accessories like vertical rod holders.

Inside the milk crate is a great place to store your tackle boxes, dry bags, rain jacket, and anything else you want to keep handy.

The best milk crates for kayak fishing are the standard commercial crates used by dairies. If you're lucky, you might already have some laying around the garage, but if not, you should be able to find them at your local hardware store.

If all else fails, you can always purchase them online. Keep in mind that other types of crates can be used as well. Setting up your kayak fishing milk crate is a great opportunity to get creative!

2. Anchor Trolley

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When you're fishing in a kayak, much of your time will be spent paddling through the water and finding new spots to fish. But once you find a great spot where the fish are feeding, you're going to want to stop moving so you can cash in on some fish.

Unless you want to be constantly adjusting your position around on the water, you’ll need an anchor. And to make your anchor easy to deploy and use, you’ll need an anchor trolley system.

An anchor trolley system is simply rigging that runs along the length of your kayak that you attach your anchor to. A pulley at the end of the rigging allows you to move and position the anchor of the kayak, depending on which way you'd like to be facing in the current.

Ideally, the length of your kayak should be positioned with the current which requires that your anchor line be held at either the bow or stern. An anchor trolley makes this operation smooth and easy.

3. Paddle Leash

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Your paddle is your primary method of movement when kayaking. Unless for some strange reason you actually enjoy hand-paddling, you don’t want to lose your paddle overboard.

A simple solution to help you keep your paddle with you at all times is a paddle leash.

A paddle leash is a piece of bungee material that tethers your paddle to your kayak.

When you're fishing, you'll be picking up and setting down your paddle frequently, and a paddle leash makes sure that if (or more likely when) it goes overboard, it's not lost to the depths.

4. Kayak Cart

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You can launch a kayak just about anywhere which means sometimes you'll have some distance to cover between your vehicle and the water.

Kayak carts allow you to transport your fully loaded kayak over land with ease.

There are several styles of kayak carts to choose from: end carts, strapped carts, and plug in carts.

End carts go over the end of your kayak and are used without any strapping or attachments to the kayak. They are easy and quick to use and but work best with narrower kayaks. Some of the wider fishing kayaks are too wide for end carts, so be sure to check the dimensions and specs of a cart before you buy.

Strapped carts are very versatile and can work with kayaks of any size. With a strapped cart, your kayak sits on top and you strap it down, just like you would on the roof of your car. The main challenge of using a strapped cart is that you have to lift your kayak onto it which can be difficult.

There are strapped carts that have a kickstand, making it much easier to lift your kayak on top and strap it down.

Plug in carts are designed to work with sit-on-top kayaks and secure to the kayak by plugging into the scupper holes. Some believe plug in carts can do damage to the scupper holes so be sure to check with the manufacturer of your kayak to ensure you won't damage your kayak.

Plug in carts are very easy to use and can be installed by tipping the kayak on its side and inserting the cart frame into the scupper holes.

5. Waterproof Case 

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When you're on the water fishing all day, you’re bound to get a little wet.

And if you're like most people, your phone will be coming with you for the ride.

If you want to keep your phone, wallet and other electronics dry and functional, you’ll need a place to store them that's guarded against the elements.

Waterproof cases and dry bags offer convenient places to store your valuables when kayaking. You'll find these waterproof containers available in a wide range of sizes, colors and options specific to the type of equipment you plan on storing.

One thing you may want to consider is finding a waterproof case that floats, or adding foam to make it float. That way if it does go overboard, you'll be able to retrieve it easily.

Final Thoughts

Customizing your kayak can be a lot of fun and the more creative you get, the better. And it’s true that what works for one fisherman may not work for another, but with these five kayak accessories for fishing, you'll be off to a great start in gearing up your kayak for your kayak fishing endeavors.

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