How To Find Kayak Fishing Spots
So you got a new or used kayak but now you need to know how to find kayak fishing spots. We’ve all been there. Maybe you have a few friends who know some places, but part of the sport of kayak fishing is finding fishing destinations other people haven’t or couldn’t get to before. That’s half the fun!
My brother and I started going on kayak fishing trips to new cities and bodies of water and have used the tactics below to find some fun places to put in. It worked out, too!
Here is my list of how to find a good kayak fishing spot:
The most common way we have found kayak fishing spots is by using Google Maps and their satellite view. We’ll start with a place we want to go fishing and try to read it out the best we can. What are we looking for? It depends on the kind of fishing, but overall you’re looking for the same basic things.
Structure – we know by now fish like to hang out around structure – docks, trees, points, dropoffs, and you’d be surprised how much you can see by using Google Maps for this. Look at this picture below and you can see easily the places I’ve marked.
Red Arrow – Some sort of wall or structure. So I search google for Fort Fischer Wall and immediately found people talking about it.
Yellow Arrow – an obvious mouth of a creek that would be great
Green Arrow – a fork in a creek creating a point, I love fishing points
Orange arrow – a tucked away body of water that could be hard for other boats to get to
So in about 10 minutes of searching, I technically had a map of a whole day of kayak fishing.
Now comes the harder part. Was there a good entrance for a kayak? What has helped us get to a lot of good spots in the past is a good kayak cart. It makes some of the coolest places more accessible.
In this case, there was a small boat launch made for kayaks, but it doesn’t always happen that way. Scroll in on your spot and start to look for dirt roads or parking lots or offshoots where you could leave your car. (BassGrab does not condone or encourage trespassing). Make sure you are in a legal spot, though.
My go-to way is to search “kayak boat launch” in the area I want to fish. Most of the time you’ll find something come up. But if not, that’s where the next section comes into play.
Local Kayak Groups and Fishing Forums
This is the money maker when Google Maps is failing you. There are so many of these local forums for you to find. Just search something like “city+kayak+launch+group/forum” and I bet you’ll find a great place.
We’ve even found recent success on Facebook with specific city kayak fishing groups. With the help of the community, you’ll be able to ask questions and even read past answers about where to go.
Sometimes you’ll even find people asking for kayak fishing partners. It’s always safer to go with someone else and you can swap tips and tricks. Just make sure you stay safe!
FishBrain didn’t sponsor this, and to be quite honest, not sure if we would have accepted it. I’ve used the app a few times to look at what kinds of fish people have caught in certain places, but it isn’t the best place to find spots to launch a kayak.
It’s also a paid app and I haven’t ever paid for it before. In my opinion, people don’t give away their good fishing spots anyway on an app like FishBrain, but it will show you if people have at least caught fish at the lake, river, or coast you’re going to.
State DNR Sites
This is a new one to me that I recently found out about through a fishing Facebook Group. A state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) site has reports of where and when they stock certain kinds of fish and in which bodies of water. Here’s an example of North Carolina’s DNR site – https://www.ncwildlife.org/Fishing/Hatcheries-Stocking
There are a few pages where you can find out when and where states are stocking lakes and rivers you like to fish. For us in North Carolina, it’s always fun to catch a striper in a freshwater lake, so we lookout for that.
You can find your own Stat’s DNR site by searching “state”+DNR site in your search engine of choice.
While this doesn’t give you specific spots to drop your kayak, it can key you in on bodies of water to target and then use our Google Maps trick to find a good location to launch your boat.
Local Bait And Tackle Shops
When all else fails, or honestly, the best place to look for good fishing and kayak spots is your local bait and tackle shop. As I’ve mentioned before, my brother and I (and usually a friend or two) try to visit a new place each year to go kayak fishing.
When we do this, I have had a lot of luck calling the bait shop before we even go on a trip and ask how the bite is. Of course, you may assume they’re going to say, “Great! Come spend all your money at our bait shop.” I actually haven’t had that happen too much. Most of the time they tell you the truth because you’d rather trust a bait shop and become a repeat customer than be a one-and-done shopper.
Recently, we went to a new city, and they told us to stop at this certain bridge on our way out to the point. They knew we were in kayaks and didn’t want to spend all day paddling. They told us we could catch a few redfish, trout, or flounder at this bridge.
We ended up staying at the bridge all day and caught all those things and plenty of them! Now we’re headed back to the same spot this year and going to that same bait shop.
So let’s round this out. When you are looking for new kayak fishing spots, go to Google Maps, check the online forums and state DNR sites, and check in with a local bait and tackle shop. You’ll be finding fish in no time.