Riding your Jet Ski and fishing are both very fun activities. But what if you combine these activities? I’m sure that would be a super fun thing to do for Jet Ski enthusiasts who also love fishing.
You can use a Jet Ski for fishing very easily, even though it might not look like they were made for the purpose. The main advantage of fishing on a Jet Ski being maneuverability, low ownership cost, and easy handling.
Should You Fish On Your Jet Ski?
Jet Ski fishing may pose some advantages but there are also many disadvantages to it. Considering that you are now aware of whether it is possible, you should now investigate whether you should fish on a Jet Ski or not. The pros and cons of fishing on a Jet Ski are mentioned below. So, you can make an informed decision.
- Comparing the prices of buying a boat and a Jet Ski it is obvious that Jet Skis are way more affordable than almost any other boat.
- Storing a Jet Ski is comparatively easier than that of boats. Depending on the size Jet Skis can be stored anywhere. Storing it in the garage is the best option but storing it in the marina will still manage to cost less than storing a boat as well.
- Even the cost of maintenance of a Jet Ski compared to the maintenance cost of a boat is comparably less.
- Jet Skis being smaller makes them much easier to drive. This makes them much more suited to different methods of fishing such as jig, troll, or even drift fishing.
- They burn less fuel compared to larger boats, more fuel efficiency results in less time and less cost for fueling.
- Jet Skis have outstanding top speeds making them quite a fast PWC. Which gives you more time to fish and lessens the traveling time between fishing spots.
- Jet Ski fishing accessories are very easily available due to the growing popularity of the sport.
- Lastly, it is very fun, the adrenaline rush from riding a Jet Ski, then finding a perfect spot to fish. You get to experience the rush of jet skiing and the peaceful bliss of fishing on the same trip.
- Jet Ski fishing is mainly a solo activity as it has limited capacity for riders. Even the most recent have a maximum capacity of 3 people.
- The storage capacity on a Jet Ski is limited when compared to boats, so there’s very limited space for fishing equipment.
- There’s also limited space for movement on a Jet Ski, fishing requires storage for things like replacing bait and reeling.
- Jet Skis provide very little protection from the elements. Rough weather and the heat of the sun can often ruin your fishing experience.
- Most water accidents are caused by Jet Skis according to USCG Accidents Statistics. So, from a safety perspective, boats are safer.
- Again, due to how little space a Jet Ski has it is difficult to store away your catch, even if you have a cooler, larger fish will fill your cooler up.
What to Look for When Buying a Jet Ski for Fishing?
Considering you decided the pros outweigh the cons the next thing you want to do is buy a Jet Ski that is suited for fishing if you do not already own a Jet Ski. But there are many factors you need to consider when buying a Jet Ski for fishing. These factors are mentioned below:
Price: Pricing is very important when buying a Jet Ski. Jet Ski prices significantly increase year after year so the price tag is the first thing you should consider when buying a Jet Ski.
Maintenance Cost: Maintenance costs also vary between models of Jet Ski. So, I recommend doing your research on maintenance costs between models before buying your Jet Ski.
The Hull: Hull dimensions are very important for fishing. For Jet Ski fishing you need a large, deep, and very stable hull. Typically, more powerful PWC models have larger hulls.
Capacity: Seat capacity is also very important even if you plan on fishing alone, as more seat capacity means more space.
Large weight limit: For Jet Ski fishing you need specific types of gear. As a result, I recommend buying a Jet Ski that has a large weight limit.
Accessories: You should always check the list of availability of equipment and accessories before you buy a Jet Ski since you can find some attached accessories useful for fishing trips.
Avoid Supercharged Engines: When purchasing a Jet Ski, I recommend going with a more reliable model and try to avoid any supercharged engines. The non-supercharged ones have fewer chances of malfunctioning and lower maintenance costs.
Power: Performance is another notable feature you should investigate when purchasing your Jet Ski. Jet Skis of 15-180 HP will be enough. These models have much higher fuel efficiency and reliability due to their naturally aspirated engines.
Reverse System: Be on the lookout for models with reverse systems. This allows for a safer Jet Ski riding experience, as well as help with docking and mounting on the trailer, or reeling in larger fish.
Best Fishing Jet Skis You Can Buy
The Kawasaki Ultra LX is what I would recommend for fishing due its greater seating, storage, and the accessories that come with it. But besides that, there are many more viable options for fishing. I will go over three Jet Skis that I recommend as well as why they are so suited to fishing below.
- Kawasaki Ultra LX
For those riders looking for a luxurious and convenient aspirated engine, the Kawasaki Ultra LX is for you. Launched as a Dedicated fishing Jet Ski. It features the brand’s extremely stable ultra-hull, fuel capacity of 78-liters, storage of 212-liters, and a 1498cc 4-stroke inline engine. Making it the best for Jet Ski fishing while traveling long-range to catch a wider range of fish offshore.
The 3-person seating capacity allows you to bring two more friends or more space for fishing. It also comes with accessories such as the stainless-steel Manta rod holder, the Lowrance Hook 2.5″ with a split shot fish finder, and it even has an Icey-Tek 70 L cooler to store away your catch.
- Yamaha FX HO Cruiser
This Jet Ski can take you and two of your friends to the best fishing spots with its 3-person seating capacity allowing more space for you if you decide to go alone. It has a fuel capacity of 70 liters and a storage capacity of 166 liters, a powerful 1.8L 4-stroke High-Output Yamaha Marine engine. It also has a stable hull that makes changing directions fun and comfortable.
This Jet Ski includes a multi-mount system so you can easily equip optional accessories. For example, wireless Bluetooth speakers, GPS Fish Finder, and action cameras. So no matter where you decide to fish you can take the best accessories with you.
- Sea-Doo Fish Pro
The Sea-Doo Fish Pro is full of the best Jet Ski features available for fishing. It includes the Garmin Fish Finder and Navigations with its 6-inch screen. And it has an in-hull transducer, watertight compartment with a USB port, and 51-Liter LinQ Cooler.
To provide optimum performance, it comes equipped with a 170hp Rotax 1630 ACE engine. It has increased stability so that your fish experience is even more enjoyable. Moreover, it even has an 11.5-inch extended rear platform to provide more fishing and boarding room.
Accessories And Equipment You Will Need For Jet Ski Fishing
Accessories and equipment play an integral role when it comes to fishing on a Jet Ski. One of the biggest challenges of Jet Ski fishing is safely transporting your gear. It might seem tricky at the start. But if you have the right gear, everything becomes much easier. So, I have prepared a few accessories and equipment that you will find handy.
A few items are always necessary for a fishing trip. But when using a Jet Ski, fishing gear is not the only thing that needs consideration. Below I will mention some items essential for fishing on a Jet Ski and just for general Jet Ski use.
You should always have a lifejacket, and you should be wearing it all the time. It is always good practice to wear a lifejacket no matter how good of a swimmer you are.
Worst case scenario you might have to abandon ship, and, in that situation, you will be glad you have it. Most countries require you to wear lifejackets at all times while on your Jet Ski. So I recommend keeping it on in case the authorities pull you over.
A fire extinguisher is another must-have for every watercraft. The uses of fire extinguishers are obvious. If any part of the Jet Ski such as the engine catches fire it is better to use a fire extinguisher than to sink the entire watercraft.
In case of an emergency, you are more than likely to look for help. But out in open water, it is often difficult to tell whether someone needs help.
That is why it is necessary to have a way of getting someone’s attention from far away. For this purpose, flares are an excellent go-to option to be seen from far away. Another way to signal for assistance can be an orange flag but it can take longer to be noticed than a flare. A whistle or an air horn can also draw attention to get help faster.
Now let us move on to the gear that you may require for fishing but are not essential, these are mainly fishing gears.
Necessary Fishing Gear
Above I mentioned the essentials that you will require no matter what you use your Jet Ski for. I will now mention the fishing gears that you will need. Below I have mentioned some accessories that you will need for fishing.
Fishing Rod Holder
The most crucial gear for all fishing trips is the fishing rod. Due to the length and size, it might be hard for maneuvering and holding on to the Jet Ski during skiing. A rod holder can easily solve this problem. Rod holders are also available in different variations.
Jet Ski Fishing Rack
An even better alternative to just a holder is a fishing rack for your Jet Ski. These racks can hold up to 6 rods and are located at the back of your Jet Ski. Additionally, they can even hold a tackle box, cooler and even gas cans in case you need fuel while on water. This helps remove the worry of how to handle all your gear and lets you fully enjoy driving your Jet Ski.
When talking about fishing accessories for your cooler we cannot forget about the cooler. To store the fish, you catch and any sodas or beers you bring with you a cooler is a must to have on a fishing trip.
These usually come with a fishing rack. Filling it up once with ice will last you through the entirety of your trip. Some better models of cooler even come with drainage plugs that make draining the cooler much easier than traditional ones.
Now let us look at some fishing equipment for your Jet Ski that may be helpful to have. But even without these, you can manage to fish. These nonessential accessories and their purpose are mentioned below.
Fish Finder/GPS Combo
It is important to have a reliable GPS on your Jet Ski if you like heading on to deep waters and exploring on your own.
And there are many good GPS that also double as fish finders as well. The most notable manufacturers of these being Lowrance, Raymarine, and Garner.
Jet Ski Sunshade
It might be excessive, but Jet Skis also have sunshades like the ones available for boats. If you are extra sensitive to sunlight, I would recommend you get one to save you from getting sunburned. But a much easier alternative would be wearing a hat.
Depending on how long you want to stay on the water an extra can of gas can always be helpful. Having an extra can of gas gives you more peace of mind. As a result, you worry less about how much gas you have in your tank and you spend more time enjoying yourself out on the water.
An extra can of gas also lets you visit more fishing spots without worrying about running out of fuel. It also means fewer trips back to shore to fuel up. It also gives you a chance to drive further out to fish.
Watertight Storage Bag
Most Jet Skis have a watertight compartment for the purpose but sadly they are usually under the seat or the hood. This makes accessing it inconvenient for the rider when on the water. With a watertight storage bag, you can overcome this issue.
With a watertight storage bag, you can store a few items like a phone or your camera while still having it accessible when you need it. And you do not have to worry about ruining it as long as you do not drop it in the water.
There are only a few ways you can truly improve your Jet Ski with equipment and accessories. There are a few other accessories out there, but these are the most notable and will provide you the most benefits. But you can also look at other accessories yourselves to make your fishing rig your own.
Turning Your Jet Ski into A Fishing Platform
A jet ski by itself might be a bit unstable when stationary to fish. So, tweaking it a bit to be more stable is a must for any Jet Ski fisherman.
Some technical adjustments must be made to convert your Jet Ski into a proper fishing platform. There are many convoluted variations available for converting your fishing vessel into a more fishing-friendly vessel, I will talk about four of the most common setups.
PWC Bracket System
One of the most economical setups involves having one bracket coming out of the back of the Jet Ski at the Jet Ski hook. While another bracket is installed at the steering column of your Jet Ski.
When removing it no harm comes to your Jet Ski, and it makes adding and removing that much easier. It may not add much more room for storage, there will now be plenty of room for bringing six rods.
Another handy attachment for converting your Jet Ski into a fishing vessel is pontoons. Jetwing designed and manufactured a type of flotation device that you attach to the sides of your jet ski to turn it into a pontoon. This allows you to enjoy a productive and safe fishing session.
These provide more than 20L of built-in flotation, which doubles the market requirement. Practical attachments include two storage trays or buckets that can be removed to properly store bait, tackle, or even beverages. Additionally, it comes with 8-rod holders giving you more options to fish with.
Rear Basket System
Lots of anglers may require more space to carry additional gear or accessories. For this purpose, riders can add a tray-like mechanism to the water vessel. It requires no modifications or drilling to your water vessel, attached to your Jet Ski with bungee clamps, straps, and clips.
If you like you can add to it by attaching a basket and cooler so you can bring even more goods and drinks. It should be noted that this setup will make it difficult to get re-entry if you fall into the water.
This is one of the more expensive rig setups for those looking to go all the way. This setup can cost a few thousand dollars. So, you need to think it through beforehand. This rig setup requires an actual change to the physical body of the Jet Ski.
You need to start by drilling holes so you can add the chrome tubing over the back and the midsection to allow proper alignment for a cooler, the rod holders, and if need be a live bait kit. Like the rear basket system, this type of configuration makes it hard to get reentry if they fall off.
Jet Ski Anchors
Now that you have all the accessories you need for fishing, you can head out onto the water and find the perfect fishing spot. Once you find the perfect fishing spot you will need to anchor your water vessel, especially during strong currents. These are of different types to be used under different water conditions.
These anchors differ in size and weight. So, you need to take the weight limit and storage size of your water vessel into account. The different types of anchors as well as how they can be used are.
These anchors are generally used on boats. It is heavy to carry and bulky for your Jet Ski, but it works very well in deep and open waters. It holds up especially well against rough currents whether it be sand or muddy waters.
This is one of the most popular anchors when it comes to Jet Skis due to it being lighter and cheaper than most other anchors. Just as the name suggests it is a bag filled with sand used as an anchor
As the name suggests the anchor resembles a corkscrew. The anchor works just in shallow water as it needs to be manually screwed into the ground. It keeps your Jet Ski firmly steady while you fish. It is easy-to-store and lightweight. As long as you do not mind manually screwing it in, it is a great option.
This anchor is usually used for silt and sand bottom, the anchor itself will submerge into the sand or silt until it displaces its whole weight. It looks similar to an upside-down mushroom and has a tight hold on the seabed. As a result, keeping your Jet Ski tightly in place.
Folding anchors are collapsible and come in small sizes making them easy to store. They can be used in every type of sea bottom and have impressive gripping power. And the anchor will add very little weight to your water vessel.
Now that you are aware of all the tools that you need for your Jet Ski you might need some useful tips and tricks. These tips and tricks will help you get the most out of your fishing trip on your Jet Ski. These tips are mentioned below
- If you’re going offshore for the first time, I recommend having an experienced Jet skier tag along. Make sure your GPS equipment is working properly and that you are familiar with the waterway.
- According to experts the minimum water depth you can safely operate a Jet Ski at is 3 feet. Driving it in more shallow waters will damage it. So, keep your vessel to at least waist-deep water.
- Learn using the fish finder for a more rewarding fishing trip. As fellow anglers for the best fishing spots.
- You need to bring a good amount of bait with you and remember to fill your cooler with ice to keep your fish fresh.
- Always check the weather forecast before heading out onto the water. Never put yourself at risk by riding in bad weather.
At first fishing on a Jet Ski may seem a bit daunting and difficult but with all the information I have provided you with you will find it to be very easy.
After you get the proper gears and accessories, it’s just a matter of driving to your desired spot and casting your fishing rod.
Jet Ski fishing may not be for everyone but if you have a Jet Ski and have a love for fishing then you might as well give it a try. So, grab all your gear, set up your Jet Ski, and head out onto the water to fish.