Kayaks are small and lightweight watercraft, and they are mostly designated to be used in lakes and rivers. Thrill-seekers love to break the boundary and venture into the ocean with it.
Even though there are sport, recreational, and even fishing kayaks designed and made to tackle the sea, it is still dangerous. How so? Let’s find out. When kayak fishing in the open ocean, the danger may come from any direction, expected or not.
Weather conditions, Capsizing, Getting lost in the sea, Dangerous creatures, large boats or ships, failure of equipment, exhaustion, and much more. Any game regarding deep water is dangerous by nature.
So, yes. Kayak fishing in the ocean is dangerous. But can be avoided with preparation.
Kayaking in the ocean is dangerous in general, including kayak fishing. I found it out the hard way—some of my friends like kayaking. I joined them once or twice, but I’m not a big fan.
One of my friends had an incident the other day. I was shocked when I heard that he capsized about five miles off the shore. They had a boat, and they could help him in time.
Before the incident, I knew kayak-fishing in the ocean has some associated risks, but just like them, I kind of ignored it. They still don’t care enough, but I do. Me, being the geekiest in the group, did some research on it.
I am still working on convincing them, but I thought to take the time to write it down. Here’s what I found out.
What To Be Wary Of When Kayak Fishing In The Ocean?
Ocean kayak fishing can be life-threatening if you are not prepared enough. You are in the middle of the sea, and the sea is never forgiving. Among the things that can go wrong –
Weather does not change in the blink of an eye outside of a cartoon. But when you are miles away from the nearest land, even the slightest gradual change can catch up to you before you can return to the safe zone.
You must have good knowledge about the ideal weather condition for kayak fishing. Strong wind, tide, stormy weather are always dangerous for kayak fishing.
Always check the weather forecast before planning the trip and check a second time before leaving home for the trip. And a third time before departure. Be prepared to bail any time the weather starts going bad.
Just remember, you will be miles away from the shore, and there is no fast way for you to power through the weather and reach shore super-fast.
Kayaks capsize all the time. Not a big deal usually. But capsizing in the middle of the ocean can be a real danger. If you do fancy capsizing, there are a lot of options like leaning to a side too much, hooking a big fish that decides to pull you like crazy, passing a big vessel, waves, and what not.
If you capsize, your kayak can get far away from you with the current. It may become hard to catch; you may hit something submerged, get tangled with the cast line badly, basically, it may turn into a real mess. You will need lady luck with you to get everything back under control.
Getting Lost In The Sea
When fishing in the open water with a kayak, it’s possible to get lost. In the middle of the watery wasteland, there is no landmark to keep track of. You won’t even know it until it’s too late.
Having a GPS to track your location can come in handy in this type of situation. Most fish finders have built-in GPS. If yours does not, then you might want to invest in one. The Humminbird 410230-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2 or the Lowrance HOOK2 5 – 5-inch Fish Finder can be a good choice.
The ocean is full of life, vitality, and beauty. Its beauty comes with a danger, though. You are more likely to face dangerous creatures than not when offshore kayak fishing. Dangerous creatures like sharks, sea snakes, jellyfishes, Other fishes, and many more can threaten life. As you are reeling your catch in, it may attract sharks.
Humans aren’t on the shark’s menu, but they can still launch aiming for the fish you just caught and end up landing it on you, or they can bite willingly to examine and see what you are or mistake you for something else.
Either way, getting attacked by sharks, snakes, or anything else basically can turn into a lethal situation when you are that far away from land.
Large Boats Or Ships
It’s hard to locate a small kayak in the middle of the sea for large boats or ships. Kayaks don’t have radars or other means of radio communication either. Those boats or ships can directly hit you if you are not paying attention, and the consequences will be heavy.
Even if they don’t run over you, the massive waves that follow the large vessels can sweep you off. So, to keep yourself safe, attach a bright flag to your kayak. Still, you will need to be vigilant about your surroundings. If any speedy boat or large ship comes close to you, change position fast and brace for impact.
Failure Of Equipment
You’ll find yourself in a dangerous situation if your kayak paddle breaks or your boat is leaked. There’s also the possibility of GPS or fish finder failure or other equipment choosing not to function out of nowhere. It’s a kayak, and there’s not enough room to carry a backup for everything.
Frankly, you can’t cover for all the possible failures, but thinking ahead of time and smart packaging will assist you in many awkward situations. Be sure to check and double-check your gears before setting them out every time.
Is It Worth Going Kayak Fishing In The Ocean?
Despite all the risks associated, Ocean kayak fishing is a sport and a half. The ecosystem there is far different and diverse than any other inland marine habitat. Venturing in the ocean, you can hunt different and, more often than not, larger prey. So, I’d say it’s worth it, but be sure to prepare for the worst.
If you are an adventure lover, Ocean kayak fishing can give you the thrill that you seek. The catch you can expect there is almost always unparalleled to any inland fishing trip. But big catches come with big risks for the small kayaks.
Ocean kayak fishing comes with certain dangers, and you got an idea of what they can be. Amongst the pre-cautions, you should dress properly, never ever leave without a PFD, master a couple of paddling techniques, and be physically fit enough before going to sea.
Bring a fast aid box, GPS, life jacket, whistle or air horn, flag, light, walkie-talkies, knife, hat, sunscreen as a safety measure. Fast aid will help you in case you are bleeding or feeling unwell.
Hat and sunscreen will give protection from sunlight. Water will keep you hydrated. A personal floatation device or life jacket will keep you alive if your kayak capsizes. Everything here has a role to play in a time of need.
In my friend’s case, he wasn’t careful enough and couldn’t handle the waves. He saw the large ship from miles away but zoned out about the following wave. Fortunately, there were no sharks nearby to try out human taste. And they had a boat to assist them. You might not be as lucky, and I hope you won’t need to be. Have a good one.