Efficiency is one advantage of kayaks. Most models are human powered, eliminating fuel costs. For electric powered kayaks, an occasional battery charge is all that is required in terms of energy costs.
Another area where kayaks differ greatly from larger boats is access. This can be a huge issue in freshwater fishing. In many areas, boat access is limited in ponds, lakes, creeks and streams. Kayaks are among the few boats which are light enough to be carried by hand and launched from a shoreline or creek bank.
In addition to their easy launch requirements, most kayaks have an extremely shallow draft. When paddled, they require only a few inches of water to safely navigate. Kayaks are also able to pass thru areas where motorized boats are useless, such as areas of dense vegetation or underwater obstructions.
For many fishermen, weight is a critical factor. Most kayak models are light enough for one person to carry and launch. Their light weight makes them transportable by even the smallest vehicles. For situations where a kayak must be transported some distance over terrain, there are lightweight hand carts made specifically for the task.
The low cost of basic kayak models makes them affordable for a much larger group of anglers than other types of boats. New models start at just a few hundred dollars and used kayaks can be found for even less.
Simplicity is one of the most valuable aspects of fishing kayaks. Their ease of use allows novice anglers opportunities that are not possible with power boats. With few components to maintain, kayakers are able to fish more and spend less time doing boat repairs.
Most kayaks are quiet and non-threatening to fish. Their stealth often allows anglers to approach within a few feet of fish without alarming them. This fishing technique can be extremely effective, especially among wary species of fish.
In most areas, little or no registration is necessary to own and use a kayak. Mandatory equipment requirements are also lower for kayaks than for larger and more complex boats.
Anglers face a variety of challenges when kayak fishing. While some anglers put off by these experiences, others embrace the challenge of kayak fishing.
Fishing kayaks are often engineering marvels, with manufacturers building in a variety of specialized features. After purchasing a kayak, anglers often add to these features, creating unique additions to suit their special needs.
The obvious advantages of kayaks have contributed to their surge in popularity among freshwater and saltwater anglers.