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Wednesday, 28 June 2017 09:34

Night Kayak Angling Safety Tips

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There is no way to be completely safe when out fishing on the water, but there are a couple of things that can be done to decrease the risk.

These range from always going out with the proper gear to following all the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your gear out of harms way. Safety is even more important for the adventurous souls who like to do their angling at night or in the early hours of the morning when it is still dark. It is definitely more peaceful and you might have better luck with certain fish, but the risk factor also increases drastically. Stick to the following safety tips for your nocturnal kayak angling trips and you should be fine. 

Take Along Adequate Light Sources

One of the most important ways you can safeguard yourself out on the water in the dark is by bringing along adequate lights. Without a proper light source you will be left fumbling around in the dark when setting up your equip-ment and, even worse, you’ll have no way to signal your presence to other boats that might be heading in your direction. At the very least, a small headlamp is a necessity, as it can illuminate the interior of your kayak while still leaving both hands free to work with. This will also make it easier to de-hook fish without ending up with a hook in your hands. 
If your kayak is less than 16 feet you are required by law in many areas to shine a white light, either flashlight or lantern, at all times if you are out on the water between sunset and sunrise. For kayaks over this length you must have a white light shining in 360 degrees. In addition, motor powered kayaks are required by law to have red and green navigation lights visible at all times. 

Keep Everything Tidy

Keeping your surroundings neat and tidy is always a good idea, but even more so in the dark. It is easy to knock something overboard or get tangled up hooks and lines if you are not careful in low visibility. This is especially important for sit-on-top kayaks where anything left laying on the deck can be tripped over. 

Don’t Forget Your Navigation Tools

Even if you are fully confident in your abilities to navigate any body of water using only the stars as your guide, it won’t hurt to bring along some navigation tools for just in case. A GPS is great, but even just a compass can help you to get back your bearings if you get too caught up in what is on your line instead of what is happening around you. After all, it’s better to have something and not need it than to need it and not have it. 

Proper Eye-Wear Is Still Important

Sunglasses don’t just keep the sun out of your eyes, but also stray hooks that could come flying in your direction. Of course, unless you are one of the Blues Brothers, wearing sunglasses in the dark is not a good idea. Instead, take along some clear glasses that won’t impede your vision, but will help prevent hooks (and any insects that take an interest in your headlamp) from getting in your eyes. 

Reflective Clothing Is Essential

Wearing bright clothing helps out during the day, but what about at night? Your best bet to ensure that other boaters don’t bump into you in the water is a bright light, but reflective materials are also a good idea. Look for PFD’s that include reflective material in their designs to increase your visibility. Reflective tape is another useful tool you can use as it can be attached to anything from your kayak to your paddle. Another good idea is to take along some spare clothes in a dry bag. If you do somehow manage to fall in the water your PFD can save you, but the cold can be just as dangerous as drowning, so a spare set of clothes can get you warmed up back on dry land. 

Don’t Do It Alone

For safety reasons, it is a good idea to take along a buddy for any of your after dark angling trips. Having someone else out on the water with you is not only very comforting if you are not used to fishing in the dark, but will also ensure that there is always someone to watch your back and provide assistance if anything goes wrong. 

Communicate And Keep Your Fishing Spots Familiar

If nobody else shares your passion for angling or all your friends prefer the warmth of their beds to the chilly winds at night, you can still take some precautions. First is letting people know exactly where you will be. Don’t go exploring some brand new, off the beaten track fishing spot in the middle of the night and certainly don’t go anywhere without telling friends and family members where you’ll be. In fact, instead of simply telling them, write down the information, such as your location, how much time you’ll be spending there and so on. Secondly, take along a mobile phone and make sure that it is in a waterproof case or bag, should you have to make any emergency calls. Hand-held VHF radios, particularly the submersible kind, are also a good option.
Read 5824 times Last modified on Wednesday, 28 June 2017 10:49
Naomi Bolton

Yakangler's Community Manager and Editor - in charge of sourcing news and articles for the website. ┬áIf you have any ideas for new content, please do get in touch with me at: naomi.[email protected]

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