10 Most Common Dangers Of Kayak Fishing And How To Avoid

Kayaking and fishing sound fun, but you should notice the potential dangers of your excursion. To stay safe, pay close attention to every detail of the trip, from the equipment, weather, and your physical condition.

In this post, we will discuss the dangers of kayak fishing. You can also learn some tips to stay safe. So, let’s dig into the details! 

Dangers Of Kayak Fishing  

The longer your excursion, the more likely the mishaps will happen. Here are some unfortunate cases for kayakers. 


Anyone can capsize, whether professionals or beginners. You must always be ready for kayaking because you cannot avoid it.

Before you head out to the water, practice sinking techniques with your boat and always wear Personal Floatation Device (PFD).

Moreover, only bring items you don’t mind dropping and losing. You should also tie your gear firmly to your boat.

If it flips over, keep calm and make a quick recovery to avoid drowning or any other injury.

Drowning is terrible. Make sure you have spent self-rescue training to save your life first. Also, check that the life jacket fits you nicely for the best floating effect. 

Getting lost

There aren’t many landmarks to track in open water. As a result, you will get lost without realizing how far you have gone. 

You can easily become distracted while catching and reeling in your fish or enjoying the landscape. 

Here are some solutions to this problem: 

  • Always let someone know your plan so they can check up on you if you don’t arrive as planned. 
  • Use finders with GPS. These navigation devices can locate your starting place. 
  • While kayaking, remember recognizable landmarks, such as mountains or hills. Then, use them as a guide to return to the land. 
  • Before launching your kayak, imagine what you can do when getting lost. 

Equipment failure

The most common problems with your equipment are broken paddles, damaged fishing gear, and leakage. It’s such a nightmare if one of them happens when you are in the middle of the water. 

It would be best to maintain your equipment regularly, especially before your excursion. If you are not confident about your technical skills, ask an expert to do it for you. 

Besides, bring some things you may need in case of broken equipment.

If you don’t want to carry too many things, bringing extra paddles will still be necessary. You are still fine with a broken fishing rod, but you can continue kayaking without the paddles. 

Also, pack adhesives too. They don’t take up much space but come in handy when your boat leaks. 

Dangerous creatures

You can encounter dangerous creatures, such as snakes, crocodiles, or beavers. Besides, some small animals, like bugs, will annoy your fishing trip. 

Insect repellent and bug spray can help you deal with bugs. However, you can’t deter other creatures.

The best way is to fish in waters where these animals don’t live. Also, learn how to protect yourself if a disaster comes. 

Large boats

Large boats might be dangerous when kayaking at night because they can’t see your tiny boats. If you hit, your kayak will suffer the full brunt. 

Aside from the collision, the big boat’s speed will cause severe problems too. They can leave big waves and sink your boat. 

So how to cope with the big boat while fishing? The following tips can help:

  • Wear a reflective jacket, attach a bright-colored mark on your boat, and install a beacon light when fishing at night
  • Watch the speeding boat and give way to it. 
  • Lean your kayak into sideways waves and point its nose perpendicular to the approaching waves. 


Weather affects your trip significantly. Even when we know how important it is, kayakers still encounter many weather-related accidents every year. 

Kayaks don’t give much protection from external elements. Hence, it can’t defend you completely from lightning, winds, thunder, or sun. 

Please check these guidelines to fish safely on your kayak: 

  • Cold water shocks and consequent hypothermia can result from abrupt immersion in freezing water. Wearing protective clothes like a dry suit will help you stay safe.
  • Heatstroke and dehydration can all come from extreme heat. So, wear appropriate summer attire, stay hydrated, use sunglasses, and apply sunscreen for the best protection. 
  • Use a properly fitting PFD for kayak fishing, bring extra clothing, and if possible, fish in groups.
  • Act quickly when the weather changes. You can shorten your trip if needed. 


You can become fatigued sooner than you thought after kayaking to the fishing location and pulling in large fish. Getting tired is not rare, but it’s dangerous when you are fishing alone. 

You have traveled a long way and don’t have enough energy to return to shore. Then, you will be miserable in the open water. 

To prevent tragedy, don’t go above your abilities. You can set a time reminder to drink water to avoid dehydration. 

Furthermore, do not wait until you get exhausted to stop paddling. Try to keep everything at ease. Then, you can enjoy your trip. 


Strong waves or currents are as dangerous as big boats. They will crash you and tip your kayak over. Such things happen more frequently in the ocean. 

So, avoid waters with strong currents. You can also paddle in a group and take safety measures together. We recommend sharing the float plan and bringing walkie-talkies with you. 

dangers of kayak fishing
Choose a tranquil place to fish.


Dams are artificial constructions. If they are low-headed, they will pose a threat to river safety.

People build them to control water flows and levels. However, builders often leave them unmarked, making them difficult to locate. 

The damaging hydraulic strain can drag the fishing kayak underwater if you go over it, threatening your life.

There may not be much you can do with your PFD because of the severe turbulence below.

Always check the rivers you plan to kayak on and familiarize yourself with areas with low heads to prevent paddling over them.

Dangerous obstacles 

On-the-water objects can cause disaster when kayaking because you can’t see what is underneath them.

For example, you can see a floating branch, but the entire tree below the water surface stays hidden. 

If you encounter such obstacles, your boat may break. Once you see any of them, avoid them at all costs. If you can’t dodge, recall your self-rescue knowledge. 

How To Stay Safe While Kayak Fishing? 

The best tips for staying safe while kayak fishing is packing safety gear and learning safe practices. Here is what we suggest. 

Safety gear

Safety gear can help you avoid and handle mishaps. Although packing more stuff is inconvenient, do not miss them because it’s worth your life. 

Here is what experienced kayakers pack every time for their fishing trip: 

  • Horn: You will need help when you are in danger. Your chances of being heard will significantly increase if you have a horn.
  • Safety light/flag: Use a brightly colored light or flag; other boats can spot you at night.
  • Walkie-talkies: You can feel more secure knowing you have support if you use a walkie-talkie with another kayaker or someone on land.
  • Knife: This tool comes in handy in many cases, such as fighting dangerous animals or fixing things on your kayak.  

Safe practices

Apart from the gear, you need some skills and knowledge to deal with your accidents. For example:

  • Know your limits: Knowing how long you can kayak and whether you can handle the strong currents is important. 
  • Watch the conditions: Check the weather before heading to the water. Also, always keep an eye on the weather change. 
  • Work out: Strengthening your physical condition can benefit you when you get lost or exhausted from hours of hauling in a large fish.
dangers of kayak fishing
Keep our safety tips in mind for a successful and safe trip.


Dangers may happen at any time, especially when you are too immersed in your fishing and ignoring the surroundings.

Please check our guide whenever you want to go kayak fishing. Thanks to careful preparation, you will know what to do in the event of danger. 

Please let us know if you need any further information about safety kayaking. We will be glad to assist you. Thank you for reading! 

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