Time to Gear Up For Fall Kayak Fishing

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Gear up for fall kayak fishing

September is finally here bringing along with it the start to the fall kayak fishing season. It’s an anglers perfect season with temperate temperatures, quiet lakes, rivers and oceans, and most of all- great fishing. Fall is also the last chance to enjoy the sport for many who will soon have to put their kayaks away until Spring. To help you prepare for this awesome time of year, I have put together three tips on how to gear up for your fall kayak fishing trips!

Layer, Layer, Layer

As we roll into the fall season paddlers will need to be prepared for the steady drop in temperature. The best way to do this is to layer your usual summer angling outfit. I recommend starting with two base layers, one to cover your arms and the other to protect your legs. The Level Six Hot Fuzz Tights are the perfect base to your summer shorts while the Bomber Gear Halo Long Sleeve Top is a great replacement to your warm weather t-shirt.

When fall and winter start intertwining, you are going to want to take extra care to bundle adequately. Splash and dry wear will be your new best friend and will comfortably fit over your base layers to keep you warm and out on the water. Our Cold Weather Paddling Layering Guide has some great tips on how to dress for the season change.

Let There Be Light

With fall comes shorter days and darker evenings. For those who enjoy a post-work paddle this makes extra lighting a necessity. If you plan on enjoying a few evening paddles then a kayak fishing light is the way to go.

Check out our kayak lighting section for a large selection of lighting options that will keep you out on your kayak hours after the sun sets. Anyone night fishing should also take time to review the laws in their area regarding watercraft lighting after dark. Many states require that you have a 360 degree white light like the Railblaza NaviLux 360 Degree LED Light.

The Buff Hoodie Thermal Pro
The Buff Hoodie Thermal Pro

Sun Protection

For those of you who plan on getting out on the water during the weekends, protection from the sun will be an absolute must. Thankfully, covering up for the sun and cold weather go hand in hand.

Shop for apparel with UPF ratings on them like the Columbia PFG Bahama II Long Sleeve Shirt (which also fits great over your base layers) as well as items that will cover your hands and face. A solid hat such as the Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat will protect your face and neck from the sun when you are out on the water for a long day of kayak fishing.

If you are looking for face protection that doubles as protection from the cold Buff is one of the most popular ways to go. Their Buff Thermal Pro Hoodie is a fantastic option that will keep you comfortable, warm, and protected from sun rays while you fish.

Time To Get Outside!

Now that you are prepared with your cold weather gear, kayak fishing lights, and sun protection it is finally time to get out on your yak! Once out there be sure to note how you feel before, during, and after your paddle. Did you need more or less layers? Brighter lights? Make sure to always take care and adjust items to fit you perfectly to ensure you get the most out of your time on the water.

 

Think I missed something? Have some tips and tricks of your own? Comment below and let me know!

-Dayvee @ ACK

The ACK Survival Guide to Winter Kayaking

dec13_coldweatherAs winter sets in and water starts to turn solid, many paddlers will be hanging up their paddling gear until spring. For others, the cold is just another challenge to overcome before getting on the water.

I believe that winter time kayaking can actually be very enjoyable but it does pose some risks that you don’t usually face other times of the year. Before you put the ‘yak into hibernation, take a look at these ideas and tips for winter kayaking and maybe you’ll end up paddling a little more this year.

Start With the Skills

You need to be confident in your paddling ability before your first wintertime outing. The most important thing all winter paddlers need to know is what to do if you fall out of their kayak. The chances of falling out of your kayak during winter is not increased compared to any other time of the year, but the consequences of it are much worse because of the cold.

For sit on top paddlers, this means being confident in your ability to climb back onto your kayak. For sit inside paddlers, this means having good bracing technique to keep from tipping and a reliable roll in case the worst happens. Ideally, you should be practicing these skills during the warmer times of the year when immersion doesn’t pose such a great risk by intentionally jumping overboard, capsizing or rolling. However, if you aren’t 100% confident in your ability, seek out local instructors and educational resources. We have quite a few helpful books and DVDs to get you started.

Invest In Good Winter Gear

Winter kayaking gear should serve one purpose: to keep you warm and dry. This means a new set of winter paddling clothes plus emergency gear.

Clothing for Winter Kayaking

You winter paddling clothing will probably look completely different than the clothes you’re wearing on summer outings. You need to be dressing for immersion and also for staying warm in the chilly winter air. Remember, just because you don’t think you’ll be going for a swim doesn’t mean you won’t be at risk of getting wet from splash or rain. Be prepared and you’ll set yourself up for a more enjoyable outing.

What exactly you need to wear for a wintertime paddle depends on a number of factors like water temperature, personal comfort, water conditions and the type of water you’re paddling on. Remember that layers are a winter paddlers best friend, starting with a waterproof outer layer and warm inner layers.

For ideas on what to wear, read about apparel options for cold weather paddling or check out our Cold Weather Paddling Apparel Layering Guide.

Emergency Preparedness Gear

Having some emergency gear is always a good idea when going kayaking. It’s even more important during the winter. How extensive you prepare is up to you, but consider bringing along the following items:

Give our Rescue & Safety gear a look for more ideas on what to bring along so you can be as prepared as you want.

Paddle Smart & Think Safety First

The final thing to remember about winter kayaking is to approach it with the right attitude. Don’t take risks you don’t need to and take extra precautions before you go. Paddling during the winter means there will be fewer people on the water, so you need to be able to rely on yourself and your paddling partner should something go awry. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Paddle with at least one partner
  • Make sure someone on dry land knows when you’re going out
  • Watch weather forecasts for bad weather and unexpected warm days
  • Pick spots that are close to home – you don’t want to take a long road trip somewhere and then feel like you have to paddle should bad weather arise
  • While you’re on the water, try to stay near the shoreline to minimize the distance you need to swim should it come to it
  • Always, ALWAYS, wear your Life Jacket

Winter paddling shouldn’t be something you just jump into but it is something you can take on with the appropriate preparation. If you don’t think you’re ready for it this year, keep this article in mind for when it gets warmer and start practicing and getting ready early for the next winter.

As always, if you think I missed something or just have something to add, leave a comment below!

ACK Austin Paddling Seminars Revamped for Fall

Join our next ACK Austin Paddling seminar!
Join our next ACK Austin Paddling seminar!

Got cold weather blues? ACK Austin Paddling Seminars are just what you need!

With the Winter season slowly approaching the ACK Austin Store will be looking to take every one’s mind off of the rainy cold weather that would keep them off the water by holding several informative and fun paddling seminars. Here’s what you can expect to see coming to our Austin store location:

  • Kayak Fly Fishing Seminar w/ Thomas Flemmons of Diablo Paddlesports, 11/9
  • Hunting from a Kayak, 11/16 & 11/17
  • Cold Weather Kayaking, 11/23 & 11/24
  • Fishing Beyond the Breakers with Jerron Wosel (ACK Merchandising Team & BTB Expert), 12/5

So what are these Austin paddling seminars all about?

Thomas showing off a fly fishing catch.
Thomas showing off a fly fishing catch.

The first on the list is the Fly Fishing Seminar with guest speaker Thomas Flemmons of Diablo Paddlesports. Thomas is the owner of Diablo Paddlesports, a local Austin kayak manufacturer, and is an avid fly fisherman. He has fished some of the most popular bodies of water across the country. The seminar will focus on casting techniques, choosing the right flies, gear, and fly fishing techniques from a kayak. As an added bonus the first 15 people that sign up at the seminar will be entered in a raffle for a half day kayaking/fishing outing down a local central Texas river with Thomas and Justin Fees (ACK Austin store manager). The seminar will be held Nov. 9th, 2013 at 1pm at the ACK Austin Store. Sign up for the seminar (and raffle) will start at 12:30 pm the day of the seminar at the check out in the store.

The next seminar, Hunting from a Kayak, will be held Nov 16th and 17th at 1pm. It will be offered both days so you wont have to cancel your other plans. The seminar will focus on choosing the right gear, hunting from a kayak techniques and safety.

The third big seminar, Cold Weather Kayaking, will be held Nov. 23rd and 24th at 1pm. This will also be the same seminar offered both days. In it, our store experts will go over how to select the right clothing, choosing the right gear, safety and places to paddle. This will be a great seminar for those of you who don’t want the let the winter season keep you off the water.

Jerron landing a shark offshore the Texas coast.
Jerron landing a shark offshore the Texas coast.

Our 4th seminar for the Fall season BTB or Beyond the Breaker Fishing will be given by Jerron Wosel. Jerron has spent years fishing offshore off the Texas coast, Florida Coast, as well as of the Coast of Baja California and serves as the buyer for ACK’s kayak fishing gear (plus a whole lot more). With his knowledge and experience he will be discussing techniques, gear, where to fish and safety. This will be held on Thursday Dec. 5th at 6:30 pm at the Austin store. Store hours will be extended until 8 pm for the event. There will be pizza, drinks, and raffle prizes for everyone that signs up (rsvp) and attends the seminar.

Where to learn more:

Find one you like? See details about each of the events on our ACK Austin calendar of events. To RSVP, call or email the store to RSVP at (512) 719-4386 or austin_store@austinkayak.com. Keep an eye on the Austin store event calendar for any other Seminars and events that will be added in the near future. See you there!