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09. Kayaking

As this book is titled “Surf Fishing Basics” kayaking will be included as an option to the surf angler. Kayaking allows anglers more access to coastal waters and as an afterthought, a way to even run surf baits out into deeper waters. Fishing in the surf on a beautiful calm day offers a surf angler a way to get off the beach and on the water and opens up a whole new opportunity to catch fish as well as offer peace and solitude. Fishing in the bays allows the surf angler more opportunities to target flounder, slot reds, trout and other species that migrate from the Gulf.

There are numerous kayaks available to suit every taste. If you already own a kayak, you already know the fun, solitude and the fishing opportunities they can bring, If, you are planning on purchasing a kayak in the near future, it is strongly suggested that you research them thoroughly, test several to see what is best suited for you and talk to people about them.

Once you have made your choice of kayak, there are various options such as seats, paddles, rod holders and safety equipment as well as rigging your kayak for what you intend to use it for. Some anglers rig milk crates on them to carry extra gear. Some mount a cooler on them to carry drinks and snacks. Most kayaks also have storage to carry smaller thing such as tackle bags and maybe a jacket or rain suit. There are limitless possibilities on how to rig your kayak.

Let discuss safety on a kayak. NO ONE should ever attempt to use a kayak without a life jacket. It is strongly urged that you buy one that fits well and will not slide off. A life jacket should have at least two pockets with flaps that close. This will allow you carry two essential tools, a knife and a pair of small wire cutters and/or pliers. In the event you should flip over into the water and become entangled in you rigging or fishing line, you have a way to cut yourself loose. Do not tether your kayak to your body. It is recommended that you tether your paddle and use it to pull yourself back to the kayak. If you are kayaking at night, it is highly encouraged that you have some type of light on you. Headband lights are a good way to give you light at night and be seen. If you use your kayak to take baits out deeper, situate your weight, leader and hook in such a way that should you flip over, you do not become entangled or injured by a hook. If you have rods in a rod holder on the kayak, ensure that all hooks and weights are secured to the rod to prevent injury. Your experience level should be your guide when attempting to go out in rough surf. If you don’t feel comfortable kayaking in rough seas, don’t do it. While on the bays, keep an eye to sky for any bad weather. Getting caught in the bay during a bad storm is no fun and can quickly turn disastrous.

One final word, when bringing your kayak back to shore, pull it far enough up on the beach to prevent it being swept away