Ready to take your kayak fishing beyond the breakers (slang for offshore)?

If you’re planning your first offshore kayak fishing trip, you probably know to bring the typical gear essentials (a PFD, a paddle, a signaling device and a rod). After all, most anglers don’t go offshore for their first kayak fishing experience.

But there are specific considerations to consider when making the leap to offshore fishing, which offers completely different terrain and fish species.

Here are 4 types of accessories you’ll want to have on an offshore kayak fishing trip:

1. Leashes + Floats

“It’s not a matter of if, but when.”

That’s the common saying when it comes to flipping your yak offshore. Hopefully this doesn’t happen your first time, but there are no guarantees. And if you go often enough, you will at some point. But it’s not a big deal if you’re properly prepared! First things first: Your own safety is the main focus when you flip.

Accessories like the NRS Sea Kayak Paddle Float offers aid in re-entering your kayak, especially if you lack upper body strength.

In the case of a capsize, your next concern is making sure that your gear – most importantly your paddle – stays secure. A paddle leash like Sea to Summit Paddle Leash or the Harmony Paddle Leash is a good investment to make to keep your paddle from going anywhere.

Consider getting a Hobie Rod Leash as well. The biggest takeaway: Everything should float or be tethered.

2. Gaff  

Promar Floating Telescopic Gaff

The likelihood of larger species snapping your line increases when you go offshore, so having a sharp hook on a gaff can aid when bringing a fish onboard your yak, especially in the commotion of high wind and intense waves.

3. Hawg Trough 

Hawg Trough Fish Measuring Device

Keep in mind that length regulations vary depending on where you’re fishing, so knowing the rules in your area is essential to being a conscious angler. And assuming you can’t eyeball the length, you’re going to need a hawk trough to measure your catch!

For Texas kayak anglers, here’s a state-specific saltwater bag and length limits guide valid until August 2017.

4. Handheld VHF Radio

While we don’t sell these radios, we thought they were important to include on a list of must-have offshore accessories, especially if you’re planning on traveling more than a few miles offshore. A method of communicating with the Coast Guard (Channel 16) can be a life-saver in an emergency situation.

Need some inspiration to plan an offshore trip?

We have you covered: