15 tips for kayak fishing safety

Kayak fishing is one of my true passions, its an amazing sport which is rapidly growing in popularity. There is however some dangerous elements to kayak fishing, If you have recently purchased a fishing kayak, or thinking of taking up this sport take please take some time to consider these basic safety tips. It will ensure that you kayak fishing adventures are fun and safe. Here are 15 Kayak fishing safety tips to get you started.

Kayak fishing safety tip 1

When first starting your kayaking adventures make sure you go out with other experienced kayak anglers. This is the best way to learn, and fast track your skills. If you don’t have any friends with their own kayak then look to social media fishing or kayaking groups. You’re not alone, there are lots of other people in your area who are also just starting their kayak fishing journey as well. Use social media as a mechanism to connect with other kayak anglers in your area.

Kayak fishing safety tip 2

Use some common sense and know when not to launch. If you turn up to your destination and the conditions look unsafe then don’t go out in the water. You will learn this more with experience but never take unnecessary risks.

Kayak fishing safety tip 3

Always wear a life jacket regardless of what system your fishing. If you purchase an inflatable life jacket then remember to have it serviced or replaced as per manufacturers instructions.

Kayak fishing safety tip 4

Be organised on the water. Don’t take too many rods, and have a secure spot for knives, scissors, tackle boxes.

Kayak fishing safety tip 5

Using a paddle leash and a rod leash is a must. Going out into the bay and losing your paddle isn’t a good situation to be found in so 

Kayak fishing safety tip 6

Buy a walkie talkie and communicate with your buddies frequently. They are very affordable and can also be a lot of fun. But there a great way to let others know that you need assistance. 

Kayak Safety
Kayak fishing safety tip 7

Never go out in poor weather conditions!!. Download weather apps and carefully study the weather forecast before planning your trip. Learn to read wind and swell patterns and how it impacts the area your fishing. Apps such as Meteye, and willysweather are good starting spots. 

Kayak fishing safety tip 8

When fishing with bait keep the drag on your fishing reels set nice and loose. We have seen kayakers go overboard after landing a stingray, banjo or large fish and not having enough time to react and loosen the drag.  

Kayak fishing safety tip 9

UV rays reflect strongly of the water and its easy to get sunburnt, so be sun smart. Start with a couple UV shields for your face and neck, UV gloves, sunscreen, and a bottle of water. Keep as much of your skin covered as possible. Often Kayakers go out and forget to cover there legs and end up very sunburnt. 

Kayak fishing safety tip 11

When beginning start slow to build up your confidence and skillsets. Perhaps start in lakes, rivers and estuaries on calm days. Then build up towards the bay.

Kayak fishing safety tip 11

Always let others know where you’re going. Make sure they know where your launching from, who your going with and what time your expected back.

Kayak fishing safety tip 12

Keep space between you and others. Especially boats and powered vessel which will give you time to react and ensure your not placed in unnecessary dangerous situations.

Kayak fishing safety tip 13

Wear high visibility clothing and if possible a flag mounted on your kayak. This will help others know where you are on the water.

Kayak fishing safety tip 14

Practice getting back on your kayak. Even putting aside a few days in the shallows in a safe spot to pretend you have accidently fallen off so you can practice getting yourself back on the kayak. This is a skill that takes practice., but may save your life if you capsize in cold or deep conditions.

Kayak fishing safety tip 15

Know your own physical limitations. There is no use paddle way out if you don’t have the stamina to come back in, this is just putting yourself at risk.  Always make sure your not to exhausted to get back to your original location or that you cant paddle through currents and tidal flows.


There are more key safety ideas that you can look into, these 15 tips will get you started. Your skills and awareness will improve with experience, so get out there, stay safe and learn of others.