biegoe

Kayak Limits - Saltwater

11 posts in this topic

I've been fishing saltwater from boats since I was born essentially, but haven't been able to afford one yet as an adult. I purchased a Perception Striker 11.5 last year and started doing some freshwater fishing, love it. This year I am planning on getting out from some saltwater action (CT based). I am looking to launch around New Haven or Bridgeport. 

 

What are some limits in terms of where you will and won't go in a kayak? Obviously, high traffic channels are no goes, but how far do you guys push it off the shore? How do you set limits?

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In my opinion, this question(s), need to be answered by other questions.

 

What is your level of experience? Which relates to how comfortable you feel in your kayak. Obviously some guys have been doing it for years, so they will feel more comfortable in rough water, current, etc...

 

The big factor, water & wind conditions. If its a nice slick day, small swell and little surf, heading out a few miles,3-5, doesn't seem like a big deal. With the proper safety gear, a friend, etc.

 

I typically fish the northern NJ area, crowded. Launching out front is not bad, in some select locations where the surf is broken up. But honestly I prefer fishing the back bays, channels, etc. Getting away from the crowds, finding some peace and quiet. Just always error on the side of caution, as it relates to conditions. If you don't feel comfortable, don't push the limits. Don't want to be a story and the evening news!

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I will not kayak if:

  1. Consistent wind over 10 knots.
  2. Waves above 3'
  3. Any type of fog.
  4. Areas with high boat traffic.
  5. Any chance of significant weather change.
  6. Ocean - 1 mile out; bay no limit.
  7. East wind where I go usually makes things miserable; most times I will pass.
  8. Water temperature below 54°
  9. Any situation that I feel uncomfortable in.

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Don't go out if the wind is over 15 MPH

Don't go out if their is even a chance of lightning, you could be the first lightning touch down.  Hearing thunder or seeing lightning while on the water means you messed up big time.

Always ask yourself "Can I get back to where I started?"

 

 

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All the above, but I must point out you are in an area of terrific close inshore fishing for basically all our local species. No need to head far offshore, they love the rocky coast!  Just know the wind and tide for the day, and head into it, so you're not struggling to get back.  Many of us have made the mistake of seeing boats or birds downwind, and then having a bear of a time getting back to our launch!

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13 mins ago, gellfex said:

All the above, but I must point out you are in an area of terrific close inshore fishing for basically all our local species. No need to head far offshore, they love the rocky coast!  

That's what many kayakers don't get when they buy one.  In New England, what are you going to catch offshore?  Why do you need to go way out, most of the best fisheries are within a mile of shore--many are only accessible by boat or kayak which is why we do it.  Even when it was legal to fish cod here, I did it less than a mile from shore 90% of the time.

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Swift changes in weather can happen, I got caught in it last weekend. Clear gorgeous still-water morning on the Long Island sound.  I launched at 5:30, by 8 the wind changed direction against the current. That combined with boat wakes (albeit they were still pretty dang far) had my yak up and down between 2-3 feet. That was fun paddling back in (sarcasm). I don't go more than 1 mile off the beach, nor do I have to. Head on a swivel.

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7 hours ago, YakDawg said:

Safety in pairs find a partner if possible.  

Additionally, if you don't have/can't find someone to paddle with ALWAYS leave a paddling plan on your dash, and/or with someone (wife, girlfriend, whatever). Time leaving, expected route, expected time back etc.

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I have a Perception Search 13 and I use it to get to my boat when the launch is cancelled due to bad weather and when it's too rough to use a skiff.   Kayaks do extremely well in rough seas.  If the conditions are bad, I wear a life vest with a VHF on the front.  Try a Mae West type 1 because it's a type 1 and it gives your arms a lot of freedom.  And don't get boat envy.  Boats eat time and money, kayaks don't. 

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Even though fishing within a mile of the beach sounds relatively harmless & safe on paper it can also give many a false sense of security to fish the window before the bad weather arrives & beat it back to shore...... hell, I've done it many times...

 

When all is said & done, even the best laid plans have holes, once you get caught in some unexpected nasty weather, even being that close to shore can immediately make you feel 5 miles away when you're trying to get back to shore, let it happen & you'll see what i mean...... could turn life threatening....... know your weather & don't take chances!

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