3. Leash that paddle.
How are you going to make it back to the access when your paddle goes overboard in the excitement of landing an early season trophy? A paddle leash will ensure that your paddle doesn't drift too far away from your boat, making for easy retrieval. The leash will wrap around the center of the paddle, and won't interfere with your paddling stroke in the least. Sooner or later, you'll be glad that you tethered that paddle to your boat! I use a very basic leash
from Austin Canoe and Kayak. It is another piece of very inexpensive insurance.
4. Don't forget about the sun.
One big change for me as I have transitioned between my big water rig and my Old Town Predator is that there is no longer any way to hide from the sun. Sad as it may be, my Ranger's bimini top has to stay on that big boat. Sun protection is serious business for the angler who is exposed to its damaging rays for many hours at a time. Strongly consider three items: sunscreen (applied liberally), a hat, and sunglasses to protect your eyes.
5. Do one thing at a time. Especially during your first couple of trips, you may struggle to manage all of the things that have to occur in order to have a successful kayak fishing adventure. My advice is to pick one thing to do at a time, and complete that task before you move on to the next one. Do you need to take a couple of paddle strokes to position your boat for the next cast? Put your rod down, grab your paddle, and then make those strokes. When your boat is where it needs to be, put the paddle down, grab your rod, and make a good cast. Work that cast all the way back to boat, and then think about adjusting your boat positiuon as necessary. Don't get lazy or creative by leaving your bait in the water, half way back to the boat, while you make additional paddle strokes; if you do, you'll be happy your followed tip #2, above.
Kayak fishing is great fun, and is an excellent way to target fish in smaller, untouched bodies of water. Give it a try this season, and stay tuned for more kayak fishing tips!