Ultimate Guide to Jetski Fishing

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Jetski fishing is an increasingly popular fishing activity. It combines the fun of fishing and riding a jetski. More and more jetski owners have caught on to the trend. In this article, I’ll show you the things to start you with jetski fishing. 

Ultimate Guide to Jetski Fishing

Unsure of where to start with jetski fishing? I’ll help you get some useful information like what jetski to get, the fishing gear you need, and some tips for jetski fishing. 

Jetski is a great alternative if you can’t afford a boat. It’s also better if you start practicing near the shores first before you go in deeper. With some accessories, you can make your jetski capable of fishing even big fish. 

Jetskis lined up for jetski fishing

Modifying your jetski for fishing is a hobby in itself and you will find a lot of people in the jetski fishing community willing to help and give advice. 

History of Jetski Fishing

Fishing has since been a traditional activity that I do in the water. My ancestors did it for food and now I do it as a hobby, sport, or a job. Fishing has expanded since then and thanks to technology, I combined riding jetskis with fishing. 

It started with some jetski owners in South Africa who decided to go fishing using their jetskis. The experience was fun and it started to spread by word. Jetski fishing soon spread to Australia and New Zealand and found its way to the United States. 

Jetskis were suitable for fishing since the hull size was increased. It made room for fishing gear and storage. Today, some jetski models have become bigger to accommodate the needs of jetski fishing. 

Is Jetski Fishing Right for You?

There are many pros and cons for jetski fishing and I will weigh them and decide for yourself if this fishing hobby is suitable for you. The obvious advantage of fishing on a jetski rather than inland is that you can catch fish only found in deeper parts of the water. 

Here are some more advantages and disadvantages of jetski fishing.

Advantages of Jetski Fishing

  • Cheaper alternative for boats – jetskis are significantly more affordable than boats. Hence it’s a great alternative for cheap offshore fishing. 
  • Lower upkeep – the maintenance and repair costs of jetskis are much lower compared to boats. 
  • Storage – since jetskis are much smaller than boats, they can be stored easily inside the garage. Even if you store it in a marina, it will still cost you less compared to a boat. 
  • Less time for maintenance – compared to a boat, trailering,  launching, and cleaning PWC is easier and faster. 
  • Easier operation – with jetski’s smaller size, it is much easier to navigate the water. Jetskis are also great for certain types of fishing like jig, drift, and troll fishing. 
  • Fuel efficiency – jetskis consume less fuel compared to large boats. With fuel prices surging, it’s probably the right time to turn to jetski fishing than buying a boat. 
  • Better speed – with jetskis, you are more comfortable running at high speed. They are also generally faster than a boat. This means you will spend less time traveling and more time fishing. 
  • Better access to water – unlike fishing from land, you get to have more freedom in where you want to fish. This means you can reach fish easily. 
  • Accessories – since jetski fishing is growing in popularity, accessories have become abundant for jetski fishing. You can check a variety of accessories that will help you with jetski fishing. 
  • Excitement – fishing on a jetski compared to a boat is more daring and gets your adrenaline pumping. Jetski fishing is for people who also seek adventure while fishing. 
Man using a fishing rod

Disadvantages of Jetski Fishing

  • No extra room for passengers  – While some models jetski can accommodate 3 people, jetski fishing is better with one person on the jetski. It will be a solo activity unless there are other people with a jetski accompanying you. 
  • Storage for fish and gear – because of their small build, jetskis have a limited storage capacity which can be problematic if you want to fish a lot of fish. Hence you need to be meticulous on what gears you bring and how much space you should allocate for your catch. 
  • Comfort – since jetskis have limited space, it might be uncomfortable for you to fish especially if you have back problems. Boats have a lot of space and even have comfortable seats for fishing. 
  • Protection against natural elements – jetskis aren’t good at protecting you from harsh weather like rain or intense sun. There are various custom-made jetskis and accessories like windshields and roofing. However, it is still not enough compared to the protection a boat offers. 
  • Safety – Around 18% of recreational boating accidents are attributed to personal watercraft (jetskis), which is the second most common type of vessel. Most accidents are caused by collision with another recreational boat. Hence it’s important to prioritize safety when out fishing on a jetski. 

What Jetski Is Best for Fishing?

If you are still planning to buy a jetski for fishing, then here are some features and qualities that you may want to know and prioritize. In the end, it’s all about your personal preference and how much you are willing to spend. 

These are the factors that you will commonly weigh your decision on what jetski you should choose for fishing. 

Two jetski resting on the shallow waters
  • Price – jetskis have continued to increase in price yearly. You will want a jetski that will be for the long investment while still on the cheaper side. 
  • Maintenance cost –  different models vary in terms of upkeep and maintenance. Hence, it’s important to do your own research on what models have little to no problem and are low-cost maintenance. 
  • Hull dimensions – you will want a large, deep, and stable hull for fishing. These are commonly found on more powerful PWC models designed with bigger hulls. Try to avoid buying rec-lite or jetskis built for recreation since they have small hulls. 
  • Seat capacity – bigger seats mean you have more space for storage. So you may want to get a 3-seater jetski for that extra storage. Also, make sure that the model has seats comfortable for storage placement. 
  • Weight capacity – jetskis have weight limits too. Make sure you check in on this. Ideally, you want one with the largest weight limit. You never know when you want to increase your gear weight and storage capacity.
  • Reliability – you want your jetski to be always working and reliable especially if you’re gonna be fishing alone in the open sea. Choose jetskis with non-supercharged engines since they generally require less maintenance and are less likely to break down. 
  • Performance – PWC fishing requires some power so you need a jetski with at least 150-180 HP engines for your jetski fishing. These engines are generally non-supercharged so you get reliability and performance in one. 
  • Fuel efficiency – you need to ride your jetski to certain fishing spots if you want to make a catch. Hence, you will consume fuel and you want a model that consumes less if possible. Try to get a jetski with the best gas mileage and has a large fuel capacity if you want to save fuel cost. 
  • Maneuverability – a jetski that allows you to brake and reverse is extremely helpful. It will be easier for you to dock the jetski, getting it on and off the trailer, or maneuvering when you reel in a big fish. It’s also a lot safer. 
  • Equipment – it’s also important that your chosen jetski will be compatible with jetski accessories you are planning to buy. There are some jetskis that can be sold with attached fishing accessories. Make sure to talk with the dealer about what accessories you can use on the model before making a purchase. 

How to Maintain Your Jetski

No doubt, there is a lot of responsibility involved in owning a jetski. These personal watercraft, whether they are new or have been owned for a while, require frequent attention and care to keep them performing optimally.

When maintaining your jetski, it is important to always refer to the User’s Manual. This will provide you with the necessary information, such as procedures to follow and the dangers of doing things wrongly. To keep things simple, jetski maintenance can be categorized into two:

  • Post-ride jetski maintenance 
  • Occasional jetski maintenance 

Post-Ride jetski Maintenance

Post-ride maintenance typically follows after your ski has been in commission for a while. The following maintenance procedures are to be carried out when you are done fishing with your jetski:

Wash Your Jetski

This may sound counterintuitive, considering your jetski has been in the water all day. However, the truth is that saltwater doesn’t do much when it comes to cleaning, and neither does moving around in freshwater. To maintain the longevity of your jetski, you should wash it regularly and thoroughly.

After washing your jetski’s exterior and interior with soap and clean water, dry it off with a microfiber cloth to avoid scratches. If there is any water left inside the craft, remove it with a pump. Remember also to consult your User’s Manual for complete cleaning instructions.

Flush Your Jetski

Although flushing might be similar to washing, it is an entirely different but essential process to maintain your jetski’s functionality. Flushing involves using water to remove traces of salt, sand, and algae from your jetski’s intake and cooling systems. Neglecting this maintenance procedure can cause your jetski’s internal systems to rust and eventually break down.

Check for Damages

Chances that your jetski will develop faults if properly and consistently taken care of are little. However, checking for damages on your watercraft after going jetski fishing is a habit that should be cultivated. This typically means giving your jetski a thorough look for anything out-of-place, like leaks, broken or missing pieces, and exposed wires.

You can also check for these damages before heading out to fish to ensure your safety while out on water. 

Use a Personal Watercraft (PWC) Lift

One thing you never want to do when storing your jetski is to leave it in the water for long periods. This causes hull delamination and intake fouling. It would be wise to take precautions to prevent such damage by investing in a Personal Watercraft (PWC) lift. 

Apart from preventing these problems, a PWC lift makes it easier to move around when cleaning your jetski, boarding it, or exiting it. 

Use a Jetski Cover

If you are storing your jetski outdoors, you should consider putting a cover over it. By doing this, you protect your watercraft from damage that can be caused by natural elements. 

Occasional Jetski Maintenance

Carrying out the following maintenance procedures once a year, either at the beginning or the end, will suffice in maintaining the functionality of your jetski:

Change the Engine Oil

Although it is recommended that you make an oil change at least once a year, this timeframe may differ depending on how frequently you make use of your jetski. Whatever the case may be, ensure to change both the engine oil and pump oil when due.

Winterize Your Jetski

Winterize your jetski if you are planning on storing it for the winter or won’t be going jetski fishing for a while. This requires you to drain all the water, clean it thoroughly, lubricate the moving parts, fill it with fuel and add a fuel stabilizer before covering it up and storing it for its next use.

Before using your jetski again, dispose of any fuel that has been left in the tank and refill it with new fuel. Consult your User’s Manual, as fueling may differ depending on your jetski make or model.

Common Accessories Used in Jetski Fishing

Speaking of accessories, let’s discuss the common accessories that are used for jetski fishing. This is one of the biggest challenges in jetski fishing. You need to transport all of your gear safely to the spot you want to fish.

This means you might want to leave some accessories behind to get your ideal weight capacity (with how much weight of fish you want to catch in mind). I’ve compiled some of the most important accessories for you so you won’t have to be confused.

Fishing Rod Holder

For most types of fishing, such as bait fishing and tenkara fishing, you will definitely need a fishing rod. Fishing rods can be quite lengthy and it might be hard for you to maneuver around while holding it in a jetski. Therefore, there are fishing rod holders that help you.

They are attachable accessories on the jetski that can contain multiple fishing rods securely. There are different types for you to choose from and it’s one of the must-have accessories you should get.

Jetski Fishing Rack

If you don’t like the fishing rod holder, you can use a jetski fishing rack. These racks are commonly added to the back of a jetski and can hold up to 6 fishing rods. They are a much better option than a fishing rod holder.

The fishing rack can also hold a cooler, a tackle box, and some extra cans of gans in case of emergency. The rack will ensure your gear is safe and secure so you can focus on driving the jetski and fishing.

Pile of fish


A cooler is really important if you want to store your fish and some refreshments as you relax and fish on your jetski. Coolers generally pair with fishing racks and have a capacity of about 50 quartz. 

Make sure to fill it up with ice. It will last you throughout a day of fishing out on the water. If you want you can get a special cooler with drain plugs for a convenient way of draining the cooler. 

Fishfinder/GPS Combo

Sometimes curiosity gets the best of me and I tend to explore areas of the water that I haven’t discovered. Hence, it’s important that you have a GPS with you. Look for a GPS that also has a fishfinder to make fishing easier for you. 

Dry Bag

If you plan on taking valuables with you like I.Ds, licenses (some states require a fishing license), and gadgets (cameras, smartphones, and radios), a dry bag comes in handy. Dry bags are waterproof and will protect anything inside from getting wet. 

Life Vest

Wearing a life vest can sometimes be the difference between life and death. Make sure you pick a reliable life vest that will keep you afloat when you get into an accident. The life vest is also helpful should you encounter a castaway or drowning person in the open water. 

What Jetski Anchor to Choose for Fishing?

If you found a great spot for fishing, you want your jetski to be anchored in place so you won’t have to get moved around by the waves. Hence, you need an anchor that will keep your boat in place. 

Do note that some jetski fishermen don’t use an anchor because it compromises the weight and extra space. Hence, decide if you should be using it or not.

  • Fluke anchor – a commonly used anchor which is a bit bulky and heavy for most jetskis. However, jetskis are great for fishing, as it will do a good job of holding up against strong currents. 
  • Sandbag anchor – an anchor filled with sand and a popular choice for jetski fishing because it is light and cheap. It’s only useful in calm waters. 
  • Screw anchor – an anchor that looks like a giant corkscrew. It’s only useful in shallow waters where you need to manually screw it into the ground. 
  • Mushroom anchor – your ideal anchor for sand or silt bottom. Despite it being lightweight, it can take up space on your storage so most often prefer using sandbag anchors. 
  • Folding  Anchor – a folding anchor can be used in all types of sea bottom. It’s lightweight and easy to store because it’s collapsible and generally comes in a small size.


Jetski fishing is growing in popularity. If you want to fish out in the open sea and can’t afford to keep a boat. Then going jetski fishing is your best option. You only need to invest in a jetski and some fishing gear accessories for a jetski.