Kayak fishing gives a wonderful opportunity to explore the backwaters, rivers, and small ponds that aren’t accessible to larger motor boats.
Many of the body’s of water are great fishing spots, especially those that connect to a larger river or lake.
Before heading out on a kayak fishing trip make sure to research the potential fishing waters to determine that they are a prime spot for catching fish.
Here are twelve safety tips for kayak fishing:
- A PFD (personal floatation device) or life vest should be in place on ALL kayak trips – this even applies to the strong swimmers.
- Apply a paddle leash to ensure this essential piece of equipment isn’t able to float off while concentrating on fishing.
- Pack a VHF radio, whistle, cell phone, flare, or similar to use in the event of needing to send a distress signal. A cell phone or similar water sensitive device should be kept in a waterproof bag or box. Plus, for extra safety, pack items like a whistle or flare as a backup for the phone which might have issues with a signal or the battery dies.
- For the complete beginner to kayaking it benefits to go out with a companion for the first few trips until familiar with what is expected.
- Get weather and sea reports before heading out which are especially important if planning to kayak in the more exposed waters.
- Paddling in tidal waters can be difficult at times, especially when attempting to paddle against the incoming tide. It helps to wait unit the tidal waters are more favorable before using up the energy to get back to base.
- Let others know your whereabouts if planning the kayak fishing trip in the more remote regions or intended to stay out after dark. Let a trusted friend have an outline of the planned trip, including the intended location, details of other party members, and likely time of returning to base.
- Pack a torch or headlight (with spare batteries) for the kayak fishing outing that will continue into the evening.
- Plan the most efficient route to arrive at the fishing spot. The river flow is gentle near the banks while it can be much stronger in the middle. Research the river and make sure no obstructions are in the way while paddling in the rivers and streams.
- Avoid panicking in the event of difficulties with strong currents. If the current is too strong to paddle through, you might want to paddle further out or across the current to find the most acceptable waters.
- Install a model-specific backrest for the paddling machine to avoid issues with back ache or pain after sitting in the same position for a length of time. Sitting in a kayak will restrict the movement and make it difficult to stretch out.
- If paddling on hot, sunny days make sure to have the proper sun protection in place which includes sunscreen and sunglasses. The sunglasses have the added benefit of stopping water splashing in the eyes. Plus, pack enough water to stay hydrated for the duration of the kayak fishing session.