Kayak Uptiding

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Kayak Uptiding

Uptide fishing from a kayak is really no different to the general uptiding methods employed in boat fishing. These methods were developed by South East boat angler Bob Cox who discovered that casting a bait uptide from an anchored vessel gave better results than bait fishing whilst drifting. To uptide from a kayak you simply need to anchor the kayak and cast your baited rig uptide. Once the rig hits the bottom you let out a large bow of line to pull the grip lead into the bottom.

uptiding for cod

How To Safely Anchor Your Kayak

There is a step by step illustrated set of instructions on kayak anchoring here. For safety reasons it is advised that you read the information at the link provided. Also remember that your kayak must be rigged for anchoring with a kayak anchor trolley. For safety purposes you should be aware that there are times when the tide flow is just too strong to anchor up safely. Please seek some advice through our fishing forum before trying to anchor your kayak in areas of strong tide.

Now For The Fishing.

Rods And Reels For Uptiding
As we have already mentioned, uptiding from a kayak is no different in fishing terms from uptiding from an angling boat. You will need a rod capable of casting weights upto the 6oz mark. General uptiding rods are perhaps a little to long to be used on a kayak. More suited to this style of fishing are the light jigging rods in the 10-20 or 20-30 lb class. In terms of reels any small to medium sized multiplier filled with 20-30lb mono is ideal. You shouldn’t worry about going to heavy on the line diameter as thicker diameters catch the tide better helping you to form an all important bow in your line (We will discuss this later).

Terminal Tackle For Fishing At Anchor

Your terminal tackle should really match the species you intend to target. On our coast the main target of uptiders is the cod. For this we use a 6 ounce grip lead and an ordinary beach fishing trace. A pulley rig or any well known single snood rig will be ideal. The best hook size for cod is the 5o. For larger baits such as cart cocktails a pennel rig consisting of two 5o hooks is often utilised. Over rough ground it is often desirable to use a rotten bottom system to reduce fish loss to snags. With regards to baits, you should always match them to the species you intend to target. When uptiding for cod I would suggest you give our top 10 cod baits page a read.

Casting From A Kayak

There is no real need to cast a long way away from the kayak. A simple flick uptide (In the direction of the anchor) will be sufficient. Allow your lead to sink to the sea bed. Once your lead hits the bottom do not click the real into gear. When uptiding it is essential to let a large bow form in your line. To do this leave the reel out of gear and allow the tide to pull the line off your real. In time you will come to recognise how much line you need to let off your reel. My advice would be that you can never let too much line off but you can let too little out, which in turn means a bow isn’t formed in your line and the line can become tight which seems to put the fish off biting. Quite why this happens I don’t fully understand but many of the local charter skippers suggest the line resonates in the water which tells the fish to stay clear.

kayak uptiding - catching cod at anchor - uptide fishing

So what now ?

You’ve safely anchored and cast in your baited rig, now all you need to do is watch for a bite. Uptiding bites are often very different to those experienced when shore fishing. You will note that your tip is often pulled over by the strength of the tide when uptiding. A bite is often signified by the rod tip springing upright. This signifies that a fish has picked up your bait and started to move down tide with it. As you have a bow in your line there is no point striking at the fish as you have no direct contact with your terminal tackle. Instead you should wait a few moments to allow the fish to swallow the bait. Then you wind in the slack line. Until you get direct contact with the fish it will feel like you have missed the bite, but once you have wound in the slack line the fight begins.


For more information on uptiding please visit any of the pages in our forum list of uptiding topics – Click Here

By | 2018-03-23T08:49:08+00:00 February 19th, 2014|Featured, Fishing And Catching|2 Comments

About the Author:

Site Administrator Glenn Kilpatrick has a passion for all types of sea angling. Past winner of the Whitby Sea Anglers fishing club on 2 occasions, Glenn now mainly focuses on summer fishing with bass and pollack being his favoured target fish. Glenn now also prefers Kayak Fishing over any other type of Sea Fishing.


  1. ian richardson January 23, 2013 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    just moved to whitby and intend fishing just off harbour never anchored kayak before what would be the best type and weight?
    regards Ian.

  2. darren hebron April 3, 2014 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    great information and thanks for diagram it really helped

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