A fishing kayak is loaded down with essential items for fishing, safety, paddling and hydration. Sometimes though, an angler needs something extra to feel comfortable or to produce the right kayak fishing mojo to catch that big one. Kayak Angler asked seven pros for their most essential fishing accessory. Here’s what they told us.

7 Pros Pick Their Most Essential Fishing Accessory

1 CJ Siebler

Wilderness Systems and Adventure Technology pro staffer

“For me, it’s a paddle leash I cannot leave the shore without. The one thing I always worry about losing on the water is my paddle, for obvious reasons. This is especially true when fishing offshore or in areas that getting back to the shore is not an easy task.

My AT paddles, being made of carbon fiber, are so light that even a slight breeze will often blow them off my lap and into the water. I always tell customers, ‘Yes they float, but they usually float away from you.’ I, for one, would rather have insurance that it is going to be there when I need it.”

angler holds up a huge fish caught with an essential fishing accessory, his lucky hat
The right accessory, like a lucky hat, can boost your kayak fishing mojo. | Feature photo: Matthew Moyer

2 Jean McElroy

Old Town pro staffer and tournament angler

“I always have a micro-fiber rag to wipe my sunglasses, and a hand towel. I hate not having those. I would also panic if I forgot my bungee clip with my Boomerang line snips, pliers and Fish Grip. Why bother going out if I forget those items!”

3 Drew Haerer

Wilderness Systems, Carolina Custom Rods and Columbia Sportswear pro staffer

“I always make sure to bring my camera in an OtterBox dry box that fits perfectly in the side compartment of my MK Stealth 12.  I have a Canon S100 that takes great photos and videos and as a blogger is a must to take with me every time I hit the water. You never know when that fish of a lifetime may bite!”

4 Guyton Thorne

Old Town pro staffer, charter member of New England Kayak Fishing and owner of Butchie Built Custom Tackle

“My lucky hat, signed by Ana Popovic, my favorite female blues artist, is on the top of the list. If not that, the next one on the list is rod and paddle leashes.”

5 Jeff “Birdsnest” Herman

Jackson Kayak and Werner Paddles pro staffer, ACA certified instructor and writer

“Having a handheld VHF is critical gear for me. Weather alerts, quick communication on the water with your fishing partners, and on some models GPS. I think a good handheld VHF is a great every day tool and doubles as a great emergency back up for communications if your cell phone dies or you need to ping others on the water.”

kayak angler uses pliers to unhook his catch, an essential fishing accessory
“One thing that I can’t go kayak fishing without is a solid pair of pliers.” | Photo: Preston Haytac

6 Matthew Moyer

Guide at La Jolla Kayak Fishing Adventures and professional chef

“I was known for my red La Jolla Kayak Fishing hat. I always wore that thing, maybe went through about 6 of them. I still have one of them and it’s pretty beat up. I’m still weird about what hat I wear; I was the same way when I played baseball.”

7 Preston Haytac

Kaku Kayaks pro staffer

“One thing that I can’t go kayak fishing without is a solid pair of pliers. I prefer ones that have a good braid cutter on them, are long nose, and have a bungee that I can attach to my kayak or PFD so that I don’t lose them.

The ones I currently have are made by ForEverlast and are lightweight as well as super durable. They also sell replacement braid cutters so that you can get a fresh pair every couple of seasons.”

The right accessory like a lucky hat can boost the kayak fishing mojo. | Feature photo: Matthew Moyer




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