-- Last Updated: Jun-22-12 1:47 PM EST --
Usually lakers/any trout will seek the colder, usually deeper, water and bass can take just about anything. You'll have more action with bass tackle/lures...but one can have a great time paddling....with a little time devoted towards the fishing part, so don't think you have to do the "expert"-thing to have fun on the water.
Might want to concentrate on getting your paddling cockpit/seating comfy...with a well matched paddle for you...so at least you'll enjoy the paddling.
First things first = If you can swim, get yourself a PFD. If you can't...don't go.