Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Friday, 30 November 2018 10:45

The Environmental Responsibility of Kayak Angling

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Kayak angling is not only great because of thrills involved, but also for the tranquility of the experience. Part of the appeal is the beautiful surroundings that can be found at many of the best fishing spots. Unfortunately, as with any hobby that involves nature and people, a lot of great fishing spots end up tarnished due to the negligence of those who frequent them. 
Littering can become a big problem if care is not taken to preserve these natural environments and keep them in pristine condition for other people to enjoy. Kayak fishing typically doesn't involve as much trash as other marine activities, but there are still a couple of things that you can do to minimize your impact on the environment.

Treat The Hobby With Respect

This goes without saying, but catching fish from a kayak comes with a lot of responsibilities. Improper handling of fish is something that can give the hobby a bad name, so avoid irresponsible actions, such as disposing of unwanted catches in a cruel or wasteful manner. Ensure that, when handling a fish that you plan on releasing, that you do so in a manner that doesn't cause any harm. If you do end up with dead fish that you have no desire to keep, dispose of it properly. Remember, that it is illegal in many states to toss dead fish back into the water, so make sure you are familiar with the law in your area. Under no circumstances should you toss out fish remains on the shore, especially in areas like the loading ramps, landing areas or docks. 

Avoid The Use of Yo-Yo Rigs

Some anglers prefer the use of so called "yo-yo" rigs as they can have the same benefits as using live bait, but without having to make use of a live well. The process typically involves using dead bait-fish that then filling them with lead weight and other objects in order to mimic the appearance of a live bait-fish in distress. The problem is that since the lead and other hardware used in the process are usually not attached directly to the fishing line, it is easy for these to get lost and end up in the water. Needless to say, these bait rigs can then end up being consumed by other birds or animals in the area and cause lead poisoning. This is also why it is important for all your tackle to be attached to your main line to minimize the risk. If at all possible, opt for non-toxic jigs and sinkers to prevent the accidental death of waterbirds or other animals if you lose these items.

Dispose Of Your Fishing Gear Properly

Monofilament lines are very popular amongst anglers, but can pose a serious threat to wildlife in the area if you don't dispose of any excess line properly. Because it can take a  long time for these lines to degrade if carelessly tossed away, it can result in animals either ingesting the line or becoming entangled in them. If, for any reason, you end up with excess monofilament line while angling, keep it in your kayak and dispose of it properly, so that it doesn't end up in the water. There are products on the market to store unwanted fishing line until proper disposal, but it is also easy to make your own. Make sure to regularly inspect your line, so you can identify when a line that is in danger of breaking should be replaced. Also exercise caution when casting near objects like trees in the water to avoid accidental snags. It is not just fishing lines that can be an issue either, the same goes for lures and hooks that you no longer need. Most of these can be fatal to wildlife in the area if ingested by accident, so dispose of them properly. 

Be Responsible With Your Trash

Nobody is going to hold it against you if you pack a lunch, some snacks and a few beverages for your kayak fishing, provided you dispose of all the cans, wrapping or other litter properly. Simply tossing all the rubbish overboard is very irresponsible and should be avoided. If there was enough space in the kayak for you to bring everything with you, then there is definitely enough space to take it back as well and throw it in a rubbish bin. Plan ahead, so that you don't bring more food than what you will need and avoid the temptation to feed wildlife as this can have a harmful impact.

Be Mindful of Aquatic Invaders

If you are fortunate enough that you are able to go kayak fishing in spots all over the country, then you have the extra responsibility of ensuring that you do not introduce any non-native plants to these areas. Aquatic species that are not native to an area can wreak havoc with the ecosystem, so make sure that your kayak as well as all your gear is cleaned properly to avoid spreading anything unwanted. 


There is more to keeping the environment clean than just preserving the natural beauty of course. Pollution and rubbish can also have a harmful impact on the ecosystem and fish populations as well, which is obviously not good news for anglers. Thankfully, most kayak anglers love the hobby and have respect for the environment, so most of the tips here should be common sense. Let us know on the forum or in the comments below what your personal guidelines are for preserving your favorite fishing spots. 
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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: [email protected]

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+1 # basscatlildave 2018-11-30 12:14
Great article.
# Bluestew 2018-12-02 15:07
If there's enough room to bring it, there's enough room to take it out. A thought many(but not enough)of us were brought up with. Excellent.

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