Is It Safe To Fish From A Kayak? (Safety Tips To Follow)

Both fishing and kayaking are fun, but can they go hand in hand?

Many people are afraid of fishing from a kayak. The way they see it, many things can go wrong. For example, the kayak may flip, or a fish may attack the kayak if it’s large and mighty. 

Is It Safe to Fish From a Kayak?

The answer is yes; it’s safe to fish from a kayak if you follow the safety precautions. In addition, many people are starting to use kayaks because they’re cheaper than regular boats as they don’t require expensive gas and are less expensive. 

Many factors also play into how dangerous fishing from a kayak is. For example, the risk is higher in cold water and high waves.

You may also come across many fish breeds in the water, which could flip the kayak. And yes, we’re not just talking about the types of fish you’ll be catching.

Safety Tips to Follow Before Fishing From a Kayak

Because planning is key to everything, we’ve compiled a list of tips for you to follow before you set off on your kayaking fishing trip.

Check the Weather

Weather conditions are essential to consider if you want to prepare accordingly. Given the water body you’ll be fishing in, the weather contributes directly to your safety.

Rough waters, in general, are hard to kayak in, so make sure the weather is okay on your fishing day.

Pack the Right Gear

Here’s a rundown of everything you need to pack on your fishing trip:

Personal Floating Device (PFD)

Besides the fact that it’ll help you float, the PFD will also carry the handy gear you may need while fishing. For example, you can use it to keep a pocket knife.

Phones, GPS devices, etc

Ensure you have all the equipment to help you navigate your trip and get back on track if something goes sideways and you get off your original route. You’ll also need to ensure these devices are safe from any water and dry at all times.

An Extra Paddle

Make sure you have an extra paddle other than the one you’re using. It may slip or get lost while you’re on your trip.

Fishing Rods and Bait

Choosing suitable fishing rods and bait is essential for a fruitful fishing trip. Make sure you’ve packed the appropriate gear for the body of water and area you’re fishing in.

Duct Tape

Many kayakers have duct tape on hand if there is a crack in their kayak. This is not a permanent or even viable temporary fix, but it’ll hold up until you get somewhere safe to fix it.

Wear the Right Attire

Make sure you choose immersion clothing like a dry or wet suit. You need to make sure your clothing protects your skin from the sun. You may also choose to pack an extra set of dry clothing in case something happens to your clothing, and you need to change.

Practice Getting on the Kayak

Kayak flipping is a common occurrence while fishing, so you need to ensure you can get back on the kayak if that happens. This is especially important if you go fishing alone. 

Let People Know Where You Are

It’s crucial to notify your family and friends about your whereabouts, whether you’re going there alone or not. This is to make sure that in the case something happens, the right people can reach you.

Safety Tips to Follow During the Fishing Trip

Now that you know what to do before the trip, here’s how you can ensure your safety during it.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

Keep an eye on the waters around you, and pay attention to any changes that happen, like a stronger tide than you planned. Sometimes, there is drifting wood, seaweed, and other things that may come in your path. 

Drifting wood or waste of any kind may damage your kayak, so be sure to steer away from them.

Watch Out for Fish

Depending on the water body you’re in, you need to be aware of the fish you may come across during your trip. For example, sea fish kayaking may lead to encounters with sharks, snakes, and stingrays. 

On the other hand, freshwater predators include alligators, which you may encounter.

Watch Out for Big Boats

Ensure you are at a reasonable distance from other boats and ships around you. Ships and big boats tend to create big waves and ripples. At worst, these will flip your kayak over. So keep at a safe distance away to ensure you keep your balance.

Move With the Kayak

Make sure you use the appropriate paddling techniques depending on the condition of the waters you’re in. For example, if the tides are strong or there are strong waves, make sure you prioritize your balance and not fight against it, or you’ll risk flipping your kayak over.

Stay Calm if You Get Lost

In case you get lost, try not to panic. Kayaks don’t move fast, so chances are you’re still close to your group.

Follow up on the maps and GPS to ensure you get back on the right path as soon as possible. If you’re still lost, you can always call for help.

Pay Attention to Your Physical Well-Being and Limits

Don’t push yourself too hard. This will only cause you to lose focus. Instead, make sure you take it slowly and give your body enough breaks for it to be able to function for longer distances. Keep in mind the amount of effort and energy needed for your way back.

Be Prepared for Equipment Failure

If there’s a snag in one of your rods or something hiccups, make sure you don’t panic and use the alternatives or backups you packed earlier.

Master Flipping the Kayak

This is when all that practice you’ve gone through before the trip kicks in. Something as small as being unbalanced while taking out your fishing rod or simply rough waves can lead to the kayak flipping over. 

When this happens, try to collect yourself and get back on the kayak calmly. It’d help if you’d already practiced this before the fishing trip.

Take Care of the Insects

If your trip is around freshwater or goes into the evening a bit, you’re most likely going to be exposed to some pesky bugs and insects that fly around the surface of the water. 

If you are allergic or have sensitive skin, ensure you have bug spray on hand to help fend off these buggers.

Key Points to Remember for Fishing From a Kayak

  • It’s preferable to go out in a group and not alone.
  • Choose a place you’re familiar with.
  • There are specific designs of PFDs that you can choose from. One is specifically designed for fishing because it provides more mobility around the arms and several pockets and attachments for your gear.
  • Hypothermia/hyperthermia are common symptoms that kayakers might face due to paddling and exerting effort in the sun on the kayak. Make sure you have the appropriate supplements and clothing to help maintain your body’s temperature.


Remember that kayaking generally comes with its risks, so it’s only logical that fishing from a kayak will also be risky. So is it safe to fish from a kayak? Well, it is if you follow the right tips.

We’ve given you all the details and tips that can help make sure your trip is as safe as possible.

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