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.

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