SNYDER: Fishing from kayak easy and addictive

  • An hour of kayaking burns an average of 340 calories.
  • Kayaking is a low-stress workout that is easy on the joints.
  • Almost anyone, of any age and on any budget, can go kayaking.

Every year, we see more and of the slick crafts on the water.

Kayak fishing is quickly growing in popularity. It's cheap, it gets you ultra-close to the fish, and, best of all, I have yet to see a kayak that requires gasoline.

The only fuel a kayak burns is the cereal the paddler ate for breakfast. It doesn’t get any simpler or easier.

One of the criticisms I hear a lot about fishing is that it's one of the few sports a participant can actually gain weight while doing. Well, that is certainly not a possibility while kayaking. It is great exercise. Just an hour of paddling burns an average of 340 calories. Plus, it's a low-stress workout that is easy on your joints.

I was hooked the first time I slid into a kayak many years ago. I was astonished by the incredible amount of fish I saw. I knew from the start, fishing from a kayak would give me a great advantage over motorboat-based anglers.

One of the most appealing aspects of fishing from a kayak is that almost anybody, on any budget, can do it. I have seen 7 year olds and I have seen 70 year olds paddling the local lakes. It does not take a world-class athlete to leisurely paddle around a lake.

Plus, you don’t need any fancy equipment to get started kayak fishing. You don’t even need a kayak designed for fishing. While there are plenty of upper-end kayaks made for the sport, the added benefits and features of those models are not necessary.

Most entry-level kayaks come from the factory with everything you need. While it may not be pretty, I transform my kayak into a fishing machine by strapping an old milk crate to the stern. I bolted two plastic rod holders to the side and now all my gear is within an arm’s reach. It cost me less than $20.

Kayak fishing opens up a whole new world of fishing opportunities. You can paddle into the skinniest of water. You can glide up to a school of fish and make a cast long before they ever know you are there.

A novice paddler should have no problem covering an entire lake in a day. But kayaks aren’t just for lakes and ponds. The Susquehanna River is a great place to paddle. The smallmouth fishing in the meandering waterway is an excellent opportunity for anglers to straighten a few hooks.

Even the Chesapeake Bay and the nearby ocean waters are good places for kayak-based anglers. I wouldn’t recommend big, open waterways to novices, but many experienced paddlers ply the local saltwater by kayak every year.

Kayaking is like no other experience on the water. I just wish I had tried it decades earlier.

SNYDER: The Susquehanna River flows with history

A boy, a kayak and three months of summer vacation could do some great things.

Andy Snyder writes about the outdoors for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at