It is always nice to escape the hush and rush of the busy life and enjoy some chill time in nature. Fishing, as a hobby as well as a good sport, has always been a popular choice, and kayak-fishing has been rising in popularity recently.
But there are a handful of things that might go wrong on such a trip. So, how dangerous is kayak fishing in reality?
Amongst the dangers involved in kayak-fishing, the most common and least problematic one is capsizing. A slightly more annoying and very common issue would be bugs.
Attention from unwanted wildlife is a lot less common but can be very dangerous. Getting lost, dehydration, losing tools are more of a personal fault than anything but can happen.
And that’s not even all of it. There are a lot more to talk about. The idea of kayak-fishing is pretty simple and fun, but it is not the safest thing to do. However, keep in mind, none of the problems are particularly unavoidable, other than capsizing.
But with preparation, the risk involved can be trimmed down into nonexistent. Anyway, here are some of the reasons why you should never let your guard down.
The Risks Involving Kayak-Fishing
For ease of explanation and understanding, I will be dividing the catastrophes into three main sections. Which will help you to classify the situation you might find yourself in much faster.
1. The Cautionary Dangers
Here are some of the problems that may occur during a kayak-fishing session almost anytime around the year.
These problems are not necessarily lethal but can prove to be a big deal unless handled properly. For the most part, having a plan and executing it is enough to deter the issue.
As I mentioned before, capsizing is an issue that cannot be completely avoided. If you kayak, you will capsize. It’s like the ground rule of kayaking. But as long as you can swim, it is not a big deal unless you are kayaking in a river with piranhas.
Even the most experienced kayakers do capsize occasionally. So, trying to recover fast and efficiently rather than preventing it is the key. Be sure to tie or strap down your belongings with the hull, and only bring the items you are ready to lose.
- Bug Attacks
Bugs are very common in the wild. You can expect to encounter at least a dozen species in almost every expedition. It is another issue that cannot be completely avoided. Expecting to face it and taking countermeasure is the way to go. But in all honesty, a bite mark or two is not that bad.
But since the bugs are living in the wild, they do carry numerous germs that have a chance to be catastrophic. That is the bad part of bug bites. However, a bottle of bug repellent spray or cream is all it takes to keep the bugs at bay.
Rub the cream on the exposed skin before setting out and be sure to reapply the cream after 6 hours if you stay out that long. The best idea would be to avoid places that have an extensive number of bugs, like swamp or marsh if possible.
Beavers are not all that common, but if you have a habit of testing different water out, you can occasionally come across a beaver family, especially if you venture into slow-moving rivers.
Beavers are not deadly; they are simply curious for the most part. But they can bite if they feel endangered, and let me tell you, the bite hurts, like a lot.
When they have kits (babies), they are the most aggressive toward any intruders, including humans. The most effective way to avoid beaver problems is to avoid them as soon as you see them.
They often warn before engaging by slapping their tails. Just leave the area to them, and there will be no casualties. If they do approach you, anyway, slap your oar against the water hard. That should stall them long enough and make your escape in the meantime.
2. The Problematics Dangers
These are some of the issues that have a real potential of being lethal. They are a lot less common, but when they do occur, if they do, watch your back.
- Stingray Attack
Stingrays are kind of common in inland freshwater and brackish bodies. You can encounter a stingray in one of the two ways when kayak-fishing.
The stingrays can either bite your fishing hook, forcing you to pull it up and release it, or you may accidentally step on a resting stingray while mounting, dismounting, or leaving the kayak by any other means.
The latter is the most dangerous one. If you catch a stingray on the hook, pull it up as you’d normally do, put it on the kayak upside down and release the hook using a long hook remover. Watch out for the tails the whole time you are in its reach.
Stingrays do not bite. They have a barb on their tail, and the barb is serrated as well as venomous. Putting it upside down helps a lot in keeping it calm. Avoid stepping in low water if possible. Otherwise, wear wading boots with ray guards, and be sure to watch before you step.
- Crocodile Encounter
Crocodiles are not all that uncommon, but crocodile attack on a human is. They mostly live in saltwater or brackish water and are nocturnal predators. They spend most of the day sleeping or lazing.
They know they are big and strong, and there’s no need to be afraid of an average human. So, they don’t care much about humans or kayaks. Keeping calm is vital when passing a croc. No sudden movements when passing them is often enough.
However, they do become territorial and aggressive when they have young. Avoiding them and maintaining distance is the best way regardless.
Snakes are a lot more common than stingrays and crocs. Some of the species are extremely venomous, where most aren’t. Regardless, keeping calm and avoiding them is the best solution.
If you notice a snake approaching, a few slaps on the water with the paddle is usually sufficient to discourage them. Remember, sudden movements may make them feel threatened and provoke an attack.
Watch out for the low-hanging tree branches when paddling through marshes or other similar areas.
So, you may ask – is it worth buying a kayak for fishing? Those are some of the common threats you can expect to face when you are out on a typical kayak-fishing expedition. It is easy to see that most of the problems can be avoided simply by keeping calm and slowly paddling away, except capsizing. Knowing to recover quickly and efficiently is the key to avoid any damage.
Other potential problems include getting lost, dehydration, losing tools, or tool dysfunction. Those are more of a personal mistake than anything else. Maintaining the tools properly, preparing, and planning ahead of time will minimize that sort of issue drastically. Other than that, there is not much to it.
Kayak-fishing is not an extremely dangerous sport. The accidents surrounding the sport are mostly due to the lack of knowledge and carelessness. Be mindful of the season, time, and location you are traveling to, as well as the wildlife of the particular area. That should make the travels safe.