Some kayak fishing tips or do's and don'ts. Over the course of the years I have participated in this great sport, I've learned a thing or two. Some the easy way, and some the hard way. Below is a list to help you learn the "easy way". Kayak fishing tips can help reduce the learning curve.

DO: Replace your hatch after accessing the hull of your kayak.
DON'T: Leave your hatch off and have a large opening for water to fill, and potentially fill your kayak. It will happen before you know it. At the very least, the extra weight of the water makes for a very slow and laborious paddle back to shore.

DO: Lash your equipment or put it below deck while doing a surf launch or landing.
DON'T: Leave your gear above deck or non-tethered to your kayak. If you have a mishap and turn over, you don't want to have a "yard sale", and lose your gear.

DO: Respect the ocean and it's inhabitants. Pick up a piece of trash when possible. Be a responsible steward of the water.
DON'T: Litter or throw anything thing in the water that did not originally grow in it.

DO: Be a good steward of the waters and be familiar with and follow all Fish and Game regulations.
DON'T: Think the rules only apply to others.

DO: When removing a fish from the water that you're planning to return back to the water, handle the fish as minimally as possible, and support it's body when it's out of the water.
DON'T: Use a rag to hold onto the fish thereby removing the protective coating on the fish, or hang the fish by its mouth without supporting the fishes body and internal organs.

DO: Use artificial lures when possible when planning on releasing the fish you catch. The fish will get hooked more in the mouth area and not internally as much.
DON'T: Use fishing methods that cause fish to get internally hooked if you're planning to practice Catch-N-Release.

DO: Have a set of needle nose pliers and dykes with you while fishing.
DON'T: Violently shake the fish off the hook. Keeping the fish in the water, use the needle nose pliers to remove the hook thereby releasing the fish.

DO: Verify a fish is of legal size to keep before using a gaff on it.
DON'T: Gaff a fish only to find out it's undersize afterwards, or you're not going to keep it. There is no Gaff-N-release.

DO: When trying to free a stuck lure, keep the angle of pull going AWAY from your body or other anglers. Keep thinking," If the lure were to become free right now, would it come towards me or away from me"?
DON'T: Pull on a stuck lure towards your body or other anglers. Dislodged lures with hooks can become dangerous projectiles.

DO: When using a Sabiki style bait-catching rig, be very careful of the hooks, as they are needle sharp.
DON'T: Be careless and get a Sabiki stuck in your hand or worse. TIP: I usually remove every other dropper line/hook on my bait catchers. The extra space between the hooks reduces the tendency of the bait wrapping itself in hooks when caught, and makes handling them much safer.

DO: Put all electronics and reels below deck on in dry bags before entering or exiting the surf zone.
DON'T: Risk expensive equipment damage to save a few minutes of time.

DO: Use rod leashes when on the water fishing, especially on your trolling rods.
DON'T: Lose expensive gear because of a turnover, or an equipment mishap causes your rod to get pulled out of the holder, or off the kayak.

DO: Use an anchor in clam water to maintain your position.
DON'T: Use an anchor in rough water, or where that may be rogue waves or swells. Using one in these conditions could possibly cause your kayak to get pulled under the water.

DO: Give other watercraft and party boats a wide berth (out of casting distance) when fishing around them.
DON'T: Paddle through a boats chum line, or too close to the stern while passengers on the boat are fishing.

DO: When fishing in an area where there is a chance to catch a large fish that are known to break the water when caught, keep extra space between anglers.
DON'T: Be too close to other anglers that a jumping fish can jump in the close proximity of your kayak. Jumping fish have the potential to be dangerous to all.

DO: When trolling in the proximity of fellow kayak anglers, keep a close watch on your line position with regards to other anglers and their lines.
DON'T: Be so close that your lines foul, or when one gets a fish it gets tangled up with the others lines and lures. This has the potential to become dangerous very quickly.

DO: Have enough rod setups and tackle to fish the water column from top to bottom.
DON'T: Limit yourself to fishing in any one part of the water column.

DO: Remember that fish will orient themselves and make use of available structure for ambushing forage fish.
DON'T: Fail to try around all structure no matter how small it may appear. This is where a fish finder can come in very handy.

DO: Most importantly - get out there and have a great time. This is a great solo and group sport.
DON'T: Get too busy, or think that it is a summer only sport. Use of wetsuit type bottoms on a Sit-On-Top Kayak, or use of a sit inside kayak makes this a pleasurable sport year round.