Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 15:07

Protecting Yourself From Wildlife

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When you are out on the water with your sleek kayak, sophisticated gear, state of the art rods and high-tech gadgets, it’s easy to feel like an apex predator stalking your prey. This makes it easy to forget that, depending on where you do your angling, there might be other predators lurking about.

Nature is beautiful, but it can also be dangerous, so don’t put yourself in harm’s way if it can be avoided. From sharks and crocodiles to snakes and even a few less obvious critters, kayak angling can be  hazardous if you are not prepared. To minimize the danger of harm to yourself and your kayak be sure to keep the following safety tips in mind.

Don’t Fall Foul of Waterfowl

While the odds of getting maimed by a goose are probably very low, these waterfowl are not completely harmless as pro kayak angler, Drew Gregory, can attest. If at all possible, try not to get too close to geese, or any other waterfowl for that matter, especially if you spot them with goslings. By remaining at a safe distance you can avoid appearing like a threat and provoking an attack. While their bites are obviously not fatal, they can cause serious bruising and knock you out of your kayak if you are not careful. For anyone underestimating these birds, keep in mind that they are used instead of guard dogs by many people!

Don’t Annoy Alligators And Their Ilk

If you do your kayak angling in places like Florida during warm weather then it is worth keeping an eye open for crocodilians. Before going angling in unfamiliar spots that might be inhabited by these reptiles, it is worth contacting the local fish and game department first to find out more about the area. They’ll be able to tell you about any risks in the area as well as what the mating or nesting seasons are. If you do encounter crocodiles or alligators while angling don’t panic and do something rash. Keep your distance and when going around creek bends try not to cut too close to the shore where they might be lurking. Since crocodilians are sensitive to sound you can use your PFD whistle to try and scare them off should they become too interested in you and your kayak.

Keep an Eye Out For Sharks

Kayak angling in the ocean is a whole different ballgame than rivers or lakes, so extra caution is required. In addition to the myriad of dangers out in the ocean, it is also a good idea to avoid the attention of sharks. There are plenty of horror stories about kayak anglers getting killed or maimed by these predators, such as a kayaker who lost his life in a shark attack off Maui who died after a shark bit off his foot. To avoid suffering a similar fate keep your feet inside the kayak when fishing in the ocean and make sure you know the areas where you are fishing. For example, the so called “Red Triangle” in California is notorious for great white attacks, especially against kayak anglers. The good news is that unlike surfboards, kayaks tend to offer a lot more protection against sharks, but it still important to be cautious. If you accidentally cut yourself and start bleeding while fishing in water where sharks are present, it is best to get out of there and don’t leave bait scattered around your kayak either as this could also attract predators.

Don’t Get Too Comfortable Around Seals

There’s no denying that seals are adorable animals and, compared to other predators lurking in the water, they don’t seem like much of a danger. However, bear in mind that they are still wild animals and while most encounters with seals are positive there is still a risk involved. It is not uncommon for seals to follow kayakers or even climb into the kayak, as this couple from Scotland discovered. As adorable as they are, it is not a good idea to touch a seal or attempt to feed them. Not only can they become aggressive if they feel threatened, but you can end up with a serious infection if bitten by one of them. Feeding seals will also make them more likely to approach boats and people, which is harmful to them and kayakers. In addition, seals attempting to climb aboard a kayak can cause it to capsize, which poses a danger to you and your gear.


Read 5927 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 September 2017 05:08
Naomi Bolton

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


# perchjerker 2017-11-12 22:07
I fish brackish and freshwaters. I've often wondered if pepper spray rather than bullets would be a good deterrent with gators. You never can account for what a wild animal is going to go. I've had gators charge my bassboat. I don't know if my heart could handle that., in my yak. I've seen too many videos of sharks attacking kayaks to evden consider that.

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