This week’s Angler’s Mail HQ blog is by assistant editor (production) Richard Holroyd.
Share the blog by clicking the Facebook and Twitter icons above.
SAFETY TIPS FOR KAYAK FISHING
EVERY summer I see increasing numbers of anglers along the coastline where I live trying to catch fish from kayaks. It’s not only seas where kayak fishing is being partaken but also on rivers and stillwaters where permitted.
I recently came across another kayak angler whilst paddling out to sea and was surprised to see him afloat without a lifejacket and without a leash to attach his paddle to the kayak. Should he have capsized or lost his paddle whilst fishing he would have put himself in life-threatening danger. This has prompted me to write this blog to pass on some of my knowledge of fishing safely from kayaks which I have been doing over the past couple of years and also as a teenager, some 20 years ago.
It is vital that you are equipped with the correct life-saving equipment and you take the correct measures before, during and after fishing from a kayak. Here are a few key pieces of advice.
1 A buoyancy aid should always be worn when afloat, even if you are a strong swimmer.
2 Use a leash to connect your paddle to your kayak. The last thing you want is to lose it whilst fishing.
3 Always take a moblile phone in a waterproof casing with you, just in case you need to contact emergency services should you get into trouble. Should you lose your mobile or the phone battery dies on you and you are in trouble, you’ll need some form of back-up. Take a whistle and/or a flare so someone can either hear or see your distress signal. VHF radios are advisable if fishing on the sea.
4 Check the sea and weather forecast. The last thing you want to be doing is getting caught in strong winds with a big swell.
5 When fishing tidal rivers bear in mind that it’s easy paddling with an incoming tide but nigh on impossible paddling against it, especially when it’s flooding at its strongest. The best thing to do is wait until the tide turns before trying to paddle back to where you launched.
6 The flow on rivers is strongest in the middle but generally slower nearer the banks. Plan your route beforehand and be mindful of obstacles, especially weirs, which can be extremely dangerous.
7 If you are planning on fishing after dark at sea call your local coastguard to inform them where you are likely to be, what time you are going out and what time you are going to be back. It’s also a good idea to call them when you are back ashore. This is not only for your own safety, but saves them time should a member of the public spot you from ashore and call emergency services, thinking you are in trouble and in need of rescue.
8 Always take a headtorch and spare batteries when fishing after dark.
9 If you get caught in a strong current/rip at sea don’t panic. Sometimes you can paddle like fury and barely gain an inch against a strong current, so try paddling across the current (usually further out to sea) until you come out of it.
10 Make sure you have a good backrest for your kayak. Having back pain can be troublesome when afloat and, because you are restricted to a sitting position, you are unable to stretch out.
11 If you are starting out try and get involved with a club or go out with friends for extra security. If you are struggling, it’s a good idea to have a tow rope, so someone else can assist you with paddling.
12 Put on suntan lotion and wear a hat, especially in summer, to avoid getting sunburn. It’s also advisable to wear sunglasses, not only to protect your eyes from the sun, but also to prevent water splashing into your eyes. Take a bottle of drinking water too.
13 I just wear shorts, my lifejacket and beach shoes in the summer, but even during summer nights it can get chilly. Invest in a wetsuit, vests and cagoules, and even thermals during colder times of the year.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Here’s a video preview of Steve Collett explaining how to use next week’s Angler’s Mail brilliant free gift – a rod rest.
ANGLER’S MAIL HQ BLOG RETURNS NEXT WEDNESDAY.
A NEW BLOG APPEARS HERE EVERY DAY.
Like us on Facebook >> AnglersMailMagazine
Follow us on Twitter >> @AnglersMail
Watch Angler’s Mail TV >> AMTV