Offshore Kayak Fishing — The Complete 2023 Guide

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Offshore kayak fishing is one of the challenging water adventures. It is a fast-growing sport that every angler wishes to try.

Paddling in a kayak while fishing is a unique experience. You must have excellent skills in handling a paddle with one hand while holding a fishing rod. 

So, if you want to take your fishing game to the next level, here are some of the offshore kayak fishing tips to be a pro:

offshore kayak fishing
Offshore Kayak Fishing. Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash

Offshore Kayak Fishing Tips

Listen to more kayak fishing on the Cast & Spear Podcast

Make sure that you can re-enter your kayak from deep waters

Capsizing or falling out is a usual scenario that you need to anticipate while kayaking. It may be because of strong waves or because you are in rapid water. One crucial thing kayakers need to remember when falling out from deep waters is to re-enter the kayak again. 

It is normal to panic when your kayak capsizes. Still, when it happens, the first thing you need to do is stay calm and find a way to get out of it so it would be easier to position your kayak in the correct position again.

When you flip your kayak on the right-side-up, slowly climb back in with your belly button in the center of the kayak so the weight is equally distributed. Pull yourself, placing your weight on your arms until your legs and feet touch the surface of the kayak, and be in the proper sitting position.

Before heading out, do your research and have a plan

Offshore kayak fishing is considered an extreme activity; before heading out on your actual trip, it is essential to know how to navigate the kayak. When you engage in offshore fishing, you are most likely all alone, so you need to be comfortable with it. 

If you are to catch a fish using your kayak in a new environment, you need to familiarize yourself with it. Know the weather conditions and weather patterns in the area and the usual current of the waters. In case of an emergency, be aware of escape plans as the most accessible route to the shoreline.

When you have researched the things to anticipate and have planned well what you want to do, you can be sure of a safe and fun adventure. Another vital thing to consider if you are new to the kayak fishing area is to always abide by their rules and regulations as a sign of respect for the place.

Always wear a life jacket

A Personal Flotation Device (PFD), known as a life jacket, is one of the essential safety gear that you must have. Aside from your swimming skills, your life jacket will be the one to save you during emergencies. In choosing a life jacket, choose the one that fits you well.

It must also have adjustable straps for comfortable use. It is also ideal to have pockets where you can place essential devices such as VHF radios and cellphones.

There are different kinds of flotation devices, so make sure it has the Coast Guard Approved label because it guarantees safety features.

Remember that even though you have it, it is not worn correctly, there is a possibility that it will not serve its purpose well. Make sure that it is always snug, fit tight, but comfortable to wear.

Bring emergency communication devices

Aside from your safety gear, communication devices such as your cell phone and VHF radio are a must to bring during your kayak fishing adventure. These two devices should come hand-in-hand to ensure that you can easily ask for help during an emergency situation if needed. 

Some anglers only use their cell phones as their communication device. Still, experts suggest also bring a VHF radio. Suppose you don’t have a cellular signal. In that case, the two-way radio will allow you to contact boats nearby or the coast guard to respond immediately.

Protect yourself from the elements

During your offshore kayaking, there are different elements that you need to protect yourself from, like the heat of the sun, rain, and cool breeze. Even with a nice weather forecast, you should always be prepared. Always bring water, sunscreen, a jacket, and the best fishing sunglasses.

It is also ideal to wear reflectors and bring flares or strobes, especially if you plan to fish at dawn or dusk. Together with a marine whistle, these accessories will help you get other people’s attention in an emergency situation.

Aside from outside elements, you need to make sure that you are full of energy while fishing, so bring some snacks.

Listen to more kayak fishing on the Cast & Spear Podcast

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best offshore fishing kayak?

In choosing the best ocean kayaks, select the suitable one for open-water fishing because it is designed for wavy and windy conditions. These kayaks are also good as ocean kayaks that can catch big fish and other pelagic species.
Paddling can be risky. That is why you need to choose kayak fishing made from high-quality materials and built to withstand the harshest weather and water current conditions.

How do you fish offshore on a kayak?

Before heading out for your kayak fishing activity, the first thing that you need to consider is to familiarize yourself and be comfortable with how to navigate your kayak. This is one of the most important kayak fishing 101 tips to know.
Be prepared with a life vest and other safety gear that will protect you against different kinds of elements. Since you are fishing, you must have at least basic to advanced angler skills to catch any type of fish. 

Is offshore kayak fishing safe?

According to professionals, offshore kayak fishing is unsafe unless you wear safety gear such as a life vest. Equip yourself with the knowledge of how to paddle in a kayak.   

What do you need for offshore kayak fishing?

Offshore kayakers need to have a durable and coast guard-approved kayak, the best saltwater fishing rods with rod holders, safety fishing gear equipment, and communication devices. You must also be aware of the fishing environment where you plan to paddle.

What about sharks?

Aside from environmental elements like the sun, rain, wind, and heavy current, anglers must also be cautious with species on the beach like big sharks. Before fishing, make sure to coordinate with local authorities to check safe areas to catch fish to have an enjoyable paddling experience.

What are the best baits for offshore kayak fishing?

To easily catch a fish, it is best to use live bait because fish of different species are attracted. You may also get live baits in different sizes depending on the fish that you are targeting.

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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