4 Essential Kayak Fishing Safety Tips For Newbies.

By: Luke Simonds on August 4, 2016
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Tony Acevedo Redfish Kayak

Last week, Salt Strong Ambassador Tony Acevedo posted some extremely helpful kayak fishing tips in the private Salt Strong Fishing Tribe group on Facebook.

So we reached out to him to get an extended version of his tips so that we could turn them into an article that we could share in the Fishing Tips section of Salt Strong.

He graciously created the great article that will enable those who are getting starting with kayak fishing stay safe and out of trouble while out on the water.

Note: To learn more about Tony, click here to see his Ambassador page which explains his amazing story of how he went from being brand new to saltwater fishing to consistently catching inshore slams on both coasts of FL in under 1 year.

Important Kayak Fishing Safety Tips

By Tony Acevedo

Tony Acevedo Trout

For my fellow kayak anglers and anyone who may be interested in pursuing kayak fishing:

I ran into an FWC officer (Florida Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Officer) at the launch last time I was out and we spoke for a few minutes. She was super thankful that I had my required gear and even happier to see that I had a VHF radio with me.

Apparently, they get multiple calls daily for people getting stranded out in their kayaks. The majority of these calls are from people that just don’t feel like paddling back to their launch sites because they are too tired and don’t feel like making the effort to get back and they exceed their limits.

Please be aware that kayak angling is a very physical activity. You are up against the elements at all times and a beautiful day can turn into a nightmare at any moment.

big waves kayaking

The weather in Florida can change in the blink of an eye. I myself have been in some sticky situations but have made it back safely on my own.

So here are some essential items that kayakers need to keep in mind when planning their next fishing excursion:

1. Know Your Limits & The Laws

kayak fishing safety tips

Before you start kayak fishing, make sure you know how to kayak first. Most kayak fishermen are anglers before they are kayakers, so here’s a quick list of limits/laws you need to consider:

  • Know how to re-enter your kayak if you fall out
  • Know how far you can safely go:
    • It may be easy to paddle 2 miles, but that can quickly turn into 5 if you don’t pay attention. And that number doubles for the paddle back to your launch
    • Tip: Take your kayak out to a local lake or river and just paddle to build up your stamina
  • Know what gear is required in your state (life jacket, whistle, etc.)

2. Double (if not Triple) Check The Weather Before You Head Out

lightning storm kayak

Angler Erik Walasek trying to beat a nasty storm in his yak

You may check the weather the night before, and it’ll look perfect.

But from my experience, that can completely change the very next morning.

Make sure to always bring rain gear and have an anchor in case the weather creeps up on you… and if that happens, be quick to seek cover (nearby parks, under bridges, etc).

3. Have A Float Plan

kayak fishing safety tips

Make a plan before you go, and make sure someone knows where you are going.

And if you decide to go somewhere else after fishing that area, call someone to let them know.

Also, it also helps to have a buddy with you.

Worst case if no one is around, then leave a note with your spouse, best friend, or roommate.

Note: Do not go out alone on your first trip. If you prefer to be alone, invest in a radio for emergency situations.

4. Bring Enough Food & Drink For The Day

kayak fishing safety tips

This is your fuel!You need to stay hydrated and keep food in your stomach to give you the energy you need out there.

You need to stay hydrated and keep food in your stomach to give you the energy you need out there.

And keep in mind that you are what you eat. This is the personal trainer in me talking, but if you eat garbage you will feel like garbage, and that can hinder you when paddling.

Also make sure to have enough sunscreen and sun protection fishing gear while out kayak fishing. Protecting your skin is a must.


I just thought I would share this since kayak & paddle board fishing has become very popular. Many people don’t realize how physical and dangerous it can be.

And as obvious as some of these tips may seem, they certainly aren’t being considered by many kayakers given that so many distress calls get reported.

Feel free to share my friends. Fish On!

Note: Click here to see Florida regulations on kayaks and their requirements.

Related Posts:

How To Get Back Into Your Kayak If You Flip Over In Deep Water

11 Essential Saltwater Kayak Fishing Tips For Newbies


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Chip RaynoLuke SimondsMorris WetheringtonErnest LondonTyler Meredith Recent comment authors
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Michael Rayno

Great information…I am thinking about jumping into the “Yak World”; however, I was looking into the Blue Sky 360 Angler. Have you had a chance to test one out? If so, what are your thoughts on it? Thanks a million and Tight Lines my friends!

Morris Wetherington

All sound advice, there is a lot of good information on kayaking and equipment that you will need on the internet. The most important though is know your limits as Tony has stated. I just got into Kayaking a couple of months ago and was all excited, but I found out on my first trip out how physically demanding it can be. Take it from me a 67 you can find yourself physically drained in a couple of miles. I also tried out my reentry after flipping the kayak. I have 12.5 perception pilot and believe me its no easy task at my age getting back into that thing. I was so spent i laid across the deck like a beach seal for about 15 minutes recovering.

Ernest London
Ernest London

I appreciate what you said about checking the weather more than once before you head out on a kayak. Knowing what kind of weather you will run into can ensure you are prepared. I am going to start kayaking this summer, and I want to make sure I can stay safe. I will definitely keep these tips in mind.

Tyler Meredith
Tyler Meredith

I really like what you recommend about having a float plan to ensure you’re prepared for if anything happens. It makes sense that being out on the water can be risky without somebody on shore ready to get you if you’re not back within the specified time. I’ll have to remember this for when I go fishing with my brother because along with proper equipment and supplies, I also think it’s important to have safety plans.

Gorillaguys8 Dillard

Tony is the man, I have said several times that I want to get a kayak and float around in almost a perfectly stealth mode! Tony’s record and pics are proof that kayak fishing in backcountry or along the hundreds of miles of ICW’s in Florida are the dreams that come true for Anglers of all ages, sex or race in the world! PA POW Salt Strong Forever!!