A clear spring weekend morning spent fishing is pure bliss.
Throw in a jet ski, and you’ve now taken the sport to a whole new level!
Offshore fishing on a jet ski? Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
Why Fish from a Jet Ski?
Jet ski fishing, a relatively new trend, began in South Africa and quickly caught on in Australia, New Zealand, and now in the United States.
Fishing from a personal watercraft (PWC) is becoming popular for many a good reason.
- Jet skis, while not cheap by any means, are practically a bargain compared to buying a boat.
- They’re so much easier to transport than a boat.
- Jet skis are much smaller and a lot simpler to store than a boat. Even if you don’t have a garage or storage space in your home, it will cost you a lot less to keep it in a marina than a boat would.
- You can ride them to areas that might be difficult for a boat to access.
- They’re more fuel-efficient.
- They’re faster than a boat.
- Jet skis hold you lower to the water’s surface than a boat, which gives you better access and visibility for fishing.
- Lastly, and most importantly, is the thrill factor of reeling in a fish while balancing on a jet ski!
Are Jet Skis Good for Fishing?
Newer jet ski models have bigger hulls than the earlier versions and are more stable in the water than older models.
The bigger hulls make them better candidates to use for fishing.
The advantage of jet ski fishing is that the jet skis are small and easy to maneuver, which is perfect for drift and troll fishing.
However, there are some disadvantages to jet ski fishing too:
- You’re fishing on your own. Although most PWCs can fit three people, if you’re fishing from a jet ski, you’re usually doing it solo.
- There’s limited storage space. Some jet skis come with a cooler, but you’ll still have much less storage space than on a boat.
- Sun and weather exposure. Jet skis leave you vulnerable to the elements, so take precautions if you’ll be out on the water all day.
Do Jet Skis Scare Fish?
A common concern is that a jet ski will scare off fish.
While outside noises in the air won’t be heard well under the water, sounds on and in the water travel very well and scare marine life.
The sounds of your watercraft can frighten fish and keep them from biting.
To overcome this, once you’ve found the ideal fishing spot, cut your engine, and drop anchor.
You’ll need one.
When your jet ski is quiet, you should be able to fish just as if you were on a boat.
Finding The Best Fishing Jet Skis
Are you ready to give jet ski fishing a shot?
When shopping for a jet ski, compare the following:
- Hull size – for jet ski fishing, you want a model with a big, deep, stable hull. This will keep you steady when reeling them in.
- Engines – look for models that have a minimum (or close to) 180 HP. It’ll get you where you want to be in the water quickly and efficiently.
- Fuel efficiency – you want a model with excellent gas mileage and fuel efficiency. No one wants to be stranded 10 miles from shore!
- Jet ski accessories and equipment – check what extra accessories come with the jet ski. You will likely have to buy a lot of the fishing gear separately.
- Price – there’s a wide range of prices for jet skis, so if budget is a concern, do your research to find the models that fit into your price point.
The most popular and best jet skis for fishing are:
1. Sea-Doo fishing jet ski
The only one designed solely for the job.
Sea-Doo has been manufacturing and improving its line of PWC for over 25 years.
In addition to their regular line of jet skis, Sea-Doo came out with a specialized fishing PWC, the Sea-Doo Fish Pro.
It comes with bonus features for your fishing trip, including:
- Front storage area for easy access to your water, snacks, sunscreen, and tackle.
- Watertight phone area to keep your phone safe during rides.
- 170 horsepower aspirated engine for the best performance, fuel usage, and reliability
- Two sets of attachment areas to mount your cooler and fishing accessories
- A wide and stable hull designed to let you stand and fish.
- Larger rear platform to store all of your fishing gear.
Sea-Doo also carries a full line of accessories for all of your fishing needs, including rod holders, coolers, watertight boxes, and fuel caddies.
2. Yamaha fishing jet ski
Yamaha’s lineup of jet skis is built for water sports and fun.
They have a line of top-quality PWCs.
Yamaha’s VX Deluxe is a great option to use for fishing.
Its rear platform is large enough to fit a rod holder and cooler, and it has a wide base allowing for a multitude of fishing positions.
The downside is you’ll have to outfit all of your fishing equipment yourself.
3. Kawasaki fishing jet ski
Kawasaki has the smallest line of jet skis out of the top three jet ski manufacturers.
But that doesn’t exclude them from the fishing game.
Their Ultra LX model is decent enough for fishing.
It has a good storage capacity, enough for all of your fishing gear, and a deep hull that will help keep you from bobbing when you’re on your feet.
Kawasaki released the Kawasaki Ultra LX-F, based on their Ultra LX model and specifically designed for fishing, in 2018, but it’s not currently part of their PWC line.
For now, the Ultra LX is your best option from Kawasaki and you’ll have to add all of your fishing gear and any extra storage on your own.
Must-Have Jet Ski Fishing Accessories
If you are fishing from a jet ski, you’ll want to consider these accessories to make the experience as hassle-free as possible:
- Jet ski rod holder – in order to drive a jet ski safely, you’ll need a pole holder to secure your fishing rod while you’re riding the jet ski. There are several types of jet ski fishing pole holders – dash mount, rear seat, footwell – with different ways to mount them to your PWC.
- Jet ski fishing rack – if you have a lot of gear or are bringing more than one fishing rod, you’ll want to consider getting a jetski fishing rack. These metal frames go on the back deck of your jet ski and can hold up to six fishing rods, a tackle box, a cooler, and other equipment.
- Cooler – You’ll want a cooler to store the fish you catch, or for any drinks or refreshments. A cooler with a fishing rack will make your cooler dual-purpose and is ideal for fishing on a jet ski.
- Anchor – Unless you want to drift, you’ll need an anchor to keep your jet ski in place once you’ve settled into a fishing spot. This is especially true in the ocean or waters with currents.
- GPS and Fish Finder – A GPS and Fish Finder combo is an essential tool if you’ll be heading out into open waters to go fishing. There are several good options for GPS/fish finder combos, including Garmin and Raymarine brands.
- Canopy – Some jet ski manufacturers offer a canopy as an add-on accessory that can offer protection from sitting out for hours in the sun. There are also third-party models. A must for fishing on a jet ski without getting scorched.
Is Jet Ski Fishing for You?
Are you ready to head out for some jet ski fishing?
If you already own a PWC, all you need is a fishing pole holder, rack, and cooler to be on your way.
If you’re considering buying a jet ski expressly for fishing, take your time researching and testing different models to ensure you’ve got the right fit before making the investment.
Remember, you can always rent a jet ski to try it out first.
Once you get a feel for it, you may never go back to fishing from the shoreline or off a boat again!