Practice Packing and Loading

I have read a lot of articles about Kayak Fishing. One thing I haven’t seen in any of them, is the art of packing your yak for a day on the water. This is especially important if you have a new kayak with different storage options, than what you’re used to!

Ok, lol I hear some of you snickering, saying this guys on drugs….WTH is he talking about?? Let me explain, soon it will become clear!

Everyone is always excited to get on the water as soon as they can. If you and a few buddies go to the local lake for a day of fishing, the last thing they want to do is wait around shore for 20 or 30 minutes while you install stuff and set up everything! It’s the same thing on tournament day….you want to be ready to go instead of spending a lot of time getting ready. Although most of us get to the ramp on tournament day extra early, I say the same applies. What if you were pulled over for speeding? Have a flat? Your extra time would be chewed up!

I say if you cannot be unloaded and set up in 10-12 minutes you’re wasting time! How do you get good and quick at setting up your rig?? It’s a simple 4 step process, which done right saves you time & hassle on Tournament day. If you follow these steps & practice a few times, it will become 2nd nature & you will be less likely to forget stuff.

1. Make an initial list of all your kayak fishing goodies that you use, or think you’ll use. (Except for your fishing rods & baits)
From here on out you will keep all this gear together. If you have multiple yaks like many of us do, you may have more than 1 pile.
For example: If you have a Kilroy and a Big Rig, you will have 2 piles of stuff you use for each boat. *note you will have some overlapping gear, which is why you want to keep
Your piles next to each other.

2. Take an afternoon and set up your boat for a day of fishing. Do this with a species that you will be using a lot of tackle for…such as bass. Take your time and rig it up just the way you need it. Now with this done, you can figure out what you can preload in the boat & which items you will have to install at the ramp. (Include all rods & baits)

3. Practice this a few times. Try to set up & tear down a couple of times for bass, then maybe reconfigure for a panfish trip, or a catfish trip. Doing this practice you will develop speed and you will get to know which items you can omit from this trip vs that trip, or what you need to add! For example: If I’m going to a bass tournament I need my blackpak for all my tackle, and just a small cooler for a few drinks to keep me hydrated vs. if I’m going catfishing where I can leave the blakpak home & just carry my tackle in a knapsack, but I need a bigger cooler for a livewell plus my collapsible cooler for drinks.

4. Preload the night before, get as much stuff loaded in your yak, in the proper place as you can.

Taking the time do this, ensures you will be ready to go even when running a little late. Also your buddies won’t be annoyed, waiting on you. And when you get to the ramp, check in, and get set up, you’ll have time to sip some coffee & get your mind focused on your game plan instead of scrambling around trying to put your stuff together & wondering what you forgot!



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