Kayak fishing heightens your senses and you feel every nuance and wave. You hear every sound from the water and shoreline. You feel the wind and weather from a new perspective. Now imagine a big predator attacking your line, exploding on a run, towing you and your craft with it!

The power of a big predator surprises you every time you lock into one: a 10lb bass on the sea…. a double figure pike on freshwater. Landing these types of fish from a kayak requires attention to stability, comfort, correct gear, safety and smarts.

Here’s six tips to help you succeed with predator fishing from a kayak.

1. Choose Your Kayak Wisely.

Stability of your craft is important when battling a big predator because they can drag a kayak from the side. Many angry predator turns directly to you and runs under your kayak. Although rare, big fish can pull you over. A stable ride is a huge help. A great place to start learning about the best kayak for you is kayakerguide.com/best-fishing-kayak. They offer a comprehensive review with pros and cons on all the kayaks out there.

2. Always Use Your PFD

Don’t argue, don’t work on your tan. Wear it. You have to respect the strength and fight of a big predator fish to possibly put you in the water.

3. Use a Strong Rod Long Enough for a 360 Degree Sweep

You don’t want a big predator to run your line directly under you. You may need a total sweep around your kayak so plan your fishing accordingly. Match line and leader to your prey. Start with 30 pound test and go up, braided. Research the best leaders for your target.

4. Carry Only Essentials

You need a fish gripper, line cutter, long nose forceps, first aid kit and a handful of your favorite lures. When you hook a beast, you don’t need four rods in their holders looking cool but interfering with a full sweep of the kayak. Neck lanyards with multi-clips are perfect. Especially clip a line cutter here. You don’t want to fumble with a pocket knife in a battle. Tie everything down.

5. Manage the Wind

Wind is a huge factor in kayak fishing. Learn to use a kayak/canoe anchor. Make sure it is a quick release style. Consider a drag sock. A trolling motor is a huge help if allowed.

6. Land the Big Ones on the Banks

Big predators alongside your craft are dangerous. Sharp teeth and flailing hooks pose a real threat. It may be safer to paddle in the shallows to unhook a true beast. It’s smart to fish with a kayak buddy when predator fishing. A buddy can provide stability when it’s time to land a big one, and take better pictures of you and your trophy.

Predator fishing from a kayak is a thrilling, fun experience that will get you hooked, in a good way! Plan for stability, comfort, correct gear and safety. Enjoy the wild ride that only comes with kayak fishing.