Kayak Fishing and Safety E-mail
Written by Mike Zilkowsky   
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 17:38


pfds As a Safety Professional in Alberta’s oil field I am constantly mentoring fellow workers on the need for safety equipment and using it correctly. My job is to ensure that everyone works safely so that they can get home to see their families and participate in the hobbies they love, which for me is fishing!!!! Here is a list of what I believe we should all have and carry with us out fishing to ensure we make it back home from our fishing adventures.

PFD
Every year we hear of people that have lost their lives due to not wearing a Personal Flotation Device. With PFDs designed for kayak fishing addressing comfort and versatility, there is no reason to not wear one. The first thing to do is to try it on and be comfortable wearing it prior to being on the water. Try different types, different makes and different styles until you find the one that fits you best. Just be sure it has the proper rating and approvals for its intended use.

828 UprightSeaLight

Lights
Even though kayaks are not required to run the red, green and white lights, we should still take the time to think about our visibility in low light conditions. Many of us paddle around bright orange or yellow kayaks, but many of us also paddle the darker green, brown or camouflage models as well. Scotty Fishing & Outdoor Products has developed the SEA-light and it is perfect for kayaks. Whether you purchase the 825 SEA-light with the suction cup base or the 828 SEA-light with the 42” adjustable pole, with a two-mile visibility you will not regret your purchase.

I bought myself the 823 SEA-light last year with a 20” pole and love it. I have been on very large lakes with tons of motorboat traffic and paddling in at dark would have been a lot more dangerous if the other boats were not able to see me.

knife Knife
Preferably a knife designed to attach to your PFD, but any sharp knife will do. Whether you need the knife to cut bait, cut your line or cut the anchor rope, be sure the knife is sharp and easily accessible. The biggest mistake a lot of kayakers and fishermen make is not having their knife within reach. Things can go sideways in a real hurry, and sometimes the difference between paddling and swimming can be having your knife within reach.

safety 1

Safety Kit
Depending on the type of kayak you have you will either be required to have a bilge pump or bailer on board. Scotty® has some great kits available that contain everything you need to comply with the Canadian Coast Guard Regulations, and those items are needed for any body of water you are paddling on. Keep a whistle attached to your P.F.D., keep a buoyant heaving line accessible as well as you bilge pump or bailer. Add a few items to your kit as well. First aid supplies are a must! Bandages and disinfectant are the most important.

I speak from experience after having a Northern Pike decide to hook me through the finger with the same treble hook that was in its mouth. Which brings me to another item…. Good pliers or side cutters. Make sure you have something to be able to cut through any hook you have to remove it, should you happen to find yourself hooked!

Paddle Leash
There is nothing worse that losing your paddle. Remember the old adage “Up a certain creek without a paddle”? Imagine being out on a big body of water and not being able to paddle back. Ensuring your paddle is attached to your boat with a leash will definitely prevent this predicament. I use the Scotty® Paddle leash and absolutely love it. No matter what leash you use, just use it. Either that or bring another paddle along for the ride.

Paddle Plan
Most of all, let someone know where you are planning to go and if possible the time you are expecting to be back. Things happen and if someone knows where you plan to be, it is a lot easier for them to find you. That being said most areas we fish have some sort of cellular coverage now, so if you are on a hot spot and going to run late make sure you pass that along so you don’t become the focus of a search party.

cell phone Communication
As I just mentioned, another item that I won’t be without on the water is a way of communicating with family on shore or at home. I have an iPhone and the obvious choice for me was a Lifeproof case. Just remember to tie it to you or your boat because losing your phone will not make for an enjoyable paddle. There are many times when trying to text or call just doesn’t work out on the water so I pack a waterproof, buoyant GMRS 2 way radio with me and leave another on shore to be able to keep in contact with my loved ones. For anyone out on the salt I strongly suggest a VHF radio and that you learn how to properly use it and how to radio for assistance.

Water Re-Entry
And last but not least, find open water and flip your kayak. Learning how to right your kayak and re-enter it could save you. I find the easiest way to right a sit-on-top kayak, is to have a short rope to help out. I have a small rope with a carabineer at each end, probably 4.5 feet long. I attach the rope to the handle of the kayak then toss the line over the kayak hull. Swim around to the other side and create a loop to stand in. Stand up in the loop, reach across the kayak, grab the handle and tug back. You should be able to right your kayak in a few tries and hopefully you had everything tied down and didn’t lose anything.

To get back on it now I find the easiest way for me is to pull myself up the bow and slide on. Regardless of how you do it, just practice it a few times and you should hopefully not have any issues should this arise while out on the water.

Hope this helps everyone looking for a few safety tips for kayak fishing.

Tight lines and see you at the launch.

MZ

bioz

 

 

 

 

 

You must be registered to post a comment.


Login

Newsletter

Subscribe here to receive FREE email issues of Kayak Fishing Magazine.

Most Popular

Hobie Introduces the Pro Angler 12
Hobie Cat® Introduces the Hobie® Mirage® Pro Angler 12 Their Most Versatile Fishing Boat Ever Oceanside, California, April 15, 2012 – Advancing its vision for new heights in...
Hobie eVolve powered by Torqeedo
HOBIE eVolve powered by Torqeedo (Estimated availability - early November 2009)72021030 EVOLVE TORQEEDO MOTOR KIT                Navigating a current-ripped bay… A...
New Native Ultimate Kayaks
 The popular Ultimate fishing kayaks has received a facelift in both its 12 and 14.5 models. The Groove accessory mounting system that was launched last year on the Manta Ray...

Random

Emotion Kayaks Stealth Angler
Our dealers have been asking us for a new short recreational sit-on-top kayak with the perfect combination of speed and stability. From the moment we paddled the prototype we knew...
Hobie® Introduces Inflatable Collection for 2016
Hobie® Introduces Inflatable Collection for 2016 Including New Hobie Mirage® i11S Kayak   Oceanside, California – September 9, 2015 - Hobie introduces their collection of...
Wilderness Systems Offshore Kayak: Interview with CJ Siebler
The Wilderness Systems design team sat down with Pro Staffer CJ Siebler after testing the new offshore fishing kayak prototype to discuss his first impressions. How did you get...

Latest Kayak Reviews

Lifetime Sport Fisher
 
5.0
Cobra Kayaks Tandem
 
3.0
Perception Sport Pescador 10.0 Angler
 
4.0
Hobie Mirage Outback
 
4.0
Current Designs Tailfin
 
5.0
Hobie Mirage Outback
 
2.0
NuCanoe Frontier 12
 
5.0
Native Watercraft Mariner 12.5 Propel Anglers
 
4.0
Hobie Mirage Outback
 
5.0
Pelican Castaway 100
 
2.0
Stealth Pro Fisha 575
 
3.0
Field and Stream Eagle Talon
 
5.0

Latest Equipment Reviews

Body Glove 3T Barefoot Max
 
5.0
Body Glove 3T Barefoot Warrior
 
5.0
Body Glove 3T Barefoot Warrior
 
3.0
Columbia Drainmaker
 
5.0
Sperry SON-R Sounder Shandal
 
4.0
Garmin VIRB Elite
 
4.0
Polaroid XS100
 
4.0
Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle
 
5.0
Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle
 
5.0
Stohlquist Piseas
 
4.0
Wheeleez Tuff Tire Kayak Cart
 
5.0
Boga Grip
 
4.0