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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


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By Wag
#2281258
Just quickly questioning, I am inland and fish on my own as often as I can. Always solo. How much kayak fishing is done solo?
By fred
#2281263
Not the best idea but I do it 3 or 4 times a week; inland; never with threatening weather.
Always alert multiple people when and where I launch and tell them when I'm off the water.
Always have a PDF handy.
BE SAFE and good fishing.
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By TexasJim
#2281270
I fish coastal inshore in my kayak, probably solo 80% of the time. Except for crossing navigable channels, I'm rarely in water over 4 feet. I tell my wife where I'm launching from. I told a friend yesterday, she only wants to know where to find the truck! TexasJim
By ben_beyer
#2281274
I've always fished solo just because I have to travel for vacation with family to go in the salt. That being said I research where I plan to fish and let my wife and my mother know where I'll be with the locations on Google maps marked. When I decide where to fish, I text both and if I change my mind I text them again to let them know.

If you cannot find information on some areas or want more, never be afraid to get on here and on the Facebook groups (assuming you are on there) to ask about what to expect and what to watch out for.
By Wag
#2281275
Thanks for the feedback. I'm wanting to try wading with my kayak and know that I'm increasing risk (rays, unfamiliar water, etc.) going solo. Just wondering how far off I am.
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By karstopo
#2281285
Most of my kayak fishing is solo. I stay mainly in marshes, relatively narrow channels, and secondary bays. I don’t hit the big open and deeper bays in the kayak and haven’t gone BTB in years. I mostly stay in the kayak and avoid wading for the most part, especially solo. I did know of a couple of folks that got tagged by stingrays and they ended up in no condition to self-rescue. One person lost consciousness, the pain was so intense. Others have been hit and it wasn’t too bad. Depends on where you get hit I suppose, but you can’t call that shot and even old salts that do the right things can be hit by a ray. I’ve heard the Horse**it that rays disappear from the bays in the winter, but there hasn’t been a winter month in any bay I’ve been to that doesn’t still have stingrays visible if the water is clear enough to see them.

I knew of another guy that sliced open his leg something terrible wading in an area with shell. Required a trip to the ER and he had to be driven as bad as his leg was. Still someone else sliced up his foot badly on shell and he had some sort of boot on.

I stuck a VMC size 2 heavy treble through my thumb and into the muscle with a slot red still attached. I was able to self-rescue to a degree and luckily I was maybe 100 yards from the launch because paddling with a treble hook embedded right where you grip a paddle isn’t the easiest thing. One small reason I fly fish now is because the little light wire fly hooks aren’t nearly as menacing as the bigger and heavier wire jig head and lure hooks.

Just play the “what if” game when you go out and think about how you might make it back alive if something happens like you fell out of your kayak or you got hit by a ray. The “what if” game is just habit for me now and I play it continuously, but I take it seriously and will abort a trip if I can’t come up with a solid plan or two to escape mortal danger.
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By Cityfisher
#2281296
karstopo wrote:
Just play the “what if” game when you go out and think about how you might make it back alive if something happens like you fell out of your kayak or you got hit by a ray. The “what if” game is just habit for me now and I play it continuously, but I take it seriously and will abort a trip if I can’t come up with a solid plan or two to escape mortal danger.


Very good advice. My main concern most of the time is the weather. I don't get out of my yak either.
I will stay close to the launch if it is looking scary. I saw a storm coming across the bay one day and instead of hurrying up and getting back to the launch I stayed out just a little to long. I got to about 50 yards from my truck when it hit and it was easily 35 - 45 mph winds blowing the rain sideways. I would go backwards 10 yards in between each paddle stroke. Luckily I was over hard sand in 2' of water and was able to get out and drag my kayak the rest of the way in.
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By DelSol
#2281307
I go solo 99% of the time in freshwater, inshore and offshore. I've hooked myself, turtled in the surf, turtled 2.5 miles offshore, ran from thunderstorms, been harassed by power boaters, had my car stuck in sand and many other fun adventures. There's always a risk no matter if your solo, with someone else or a group of people. Know your limits and capabilities. 8)
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By Cityfisher
#2281309
DelSol wrote:I go solo 99% of the time in freshwater, inshore and offshore. I've hooked myself, turtled in the surf, turtled 2.5 miles offshore, ran from thunderstorms, been harassed by power boaters, had my car stuck in sand and many other fun adventures. There's always a risk no matter if your solo, with someone else or a group of people. Know your limits and capabilities. 8)


Exactly!!
I do love the adventure!!
By ben_beyer
#2281323
To add to the comments about rays and shell hazards, look in to buying ray guards and proper wading boots.

I have only fished one area that is all mud/sand with some rock and I almost lost my crocs in the mud. I also turtled the first time I went out but it was in waste deep water so I threw everything back in and got myself in. It had been years since I had done a water reentry from Boy Scouts but I still had the mechanics down and it wasn't an issue. Make sure you go to a pool or to a lake first and practice getting back in.

I haven't purchased ray guards and wading boots yet because I have no plans of wading. But I was standing up on my last time out to try and sight for redfish. I saw something I initially had thought and hoped was a flounder but it was a stingray. I have seen the large hognose rays and big sea turtles.

If I ever decide to wade or in my research decide to try an area with a lot of shell, I will probably invest in appropriate wading boots and if I ever plan to wade then I will for sure buy ray guards.

I haven't purchased waders yet but I plan to eventually get some. Right now all of my fishing is relatively warm weather so I just wear swim trunks and put on my rain pants if it's a little cool. Long sleeve technical shirts, sun gloves, and a sun mask are also a part of what I wear. I take sunscreen and something I can use to remove it from my hands to avoid getting on my lures of course.
By Kayak Kid
#2281327
I fished much of the time kayak fishing on PACK excursions, usually in close proximity to my friends. But, I admit that I enjoyed the many solo excursions I also spent on the water. When my family had a place on Lake Como, I often fished the area solo for two weeks at a time.

As a certified Red Cross small craft instructor, as having proudly served my military time in the U.S. Coast Guard, as one who has spent butt time in kayaks and canoes for over 50 years, I felt confident and safe in solo fishing the inshore waters of the Gulf Coast. Yet, I never lost respect for the dangers inherent in both the water and the weather. Either can bite you in the butt quicker than most imagine.

As such, and not one that enjoys pain or discomfort, I was always prepared for the worst. I never got out of my kayak on my solo adventures (I have suffered the debilitating results of a sting ray hit). I never took a chance of getting caught in some backwater mud bottomed marsh in a falling tide. My trips were always planned to travel against the wind when traveling to my fishing location and with the wind coming home. I never sat my butt into a kayak without having my life vest on, the pockets of which contained both a vhf radio and a cell phone. And, I always left a map in my car or on the bay house counter top of my approximate fishing location.

During the past 15 years of having traded work for kayak fishing, I have had many wonderful solo adventures on the water. My only misadventure was being caught in a vicious Summer storm in Dana's cove. Spent an hour laying on a muddy bank with my kayak turned over on top of me.
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By JW FunGuy
#2281328
I wade a lot, I like to wade and sight fish, primarily because I fly fish as much as I can. One time I was out by myself, saw a group of reds in water too shallow to paddle into. Quickly but stealthfully got out of my yak and couldn’t move! Both feet were stuck and when I tried to pull one out the other sunk that much more. I was way back in some marsh and I thought “ no one will ever find me back here!”
After that the guy I usually fish with and I started a game “100 ways to die kayak fishing”. It started on the usual 3 hour drive down but continued via emails when one of us would think of another after we got back. I don’t think we ever got to 100 but it does make you think AND plan on how you can avoid the majority of the ways. :)
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By Crusader
#2281335
I slowed down quite a bit last year, so now I go alone only about 50-60% of the time (was about 90% before that). I don't go BtB -- it requires much more serious preparations/equipment and I am too lazy, I get enough kicks from inshore and occasional tuna trip.
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By karstopo
#2281350
I always carry some good wading boots in the kayak, mine are Patagonia, just in case I have to wade or walk out of someplace. I fish barefoot, but bare feet are pretty useless and a liability around sharp shell.
By Wag
#2281351
Great information here, everyone. Thanks. Sorry to be so without information...I do have wading boots and ray guards, I carry both a cell phone and a vhf radio, but never had to use them... just wondering if phone/radio would be effective if I were solo and needed help. Anyone have experience with phone/radio in such situations?
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By YakRunabout
#2281354
I go out solo just occasionally but have both my marine radio and cell phone with me and on. I use the radio all the time when out with others to keep tabs on folks. When solo I also have the radio on in case someone calls out, though have not had a need for it yet.
I also have the cell phone on at all times. The radio has a restricted range, but my understanding is the cell signal has a 10 mile range, or so. I was out on the Fence Lake PACK trip, 5 miles across the bay from Rockport and had 4G service! You would have to be pretty remote to be out of cell range. I still get robocalls when out fishing - yippee!
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By JW FunGuy
#2281367
I have been out of cell range (AT&T) But also not by any real city. I carry my cell and a marine radio. But from what I understand the Coast Guard does not condone cell phone emergency calls because it turns into a 3 ring circus between you, the operator, and them. Plus apparently with a marine radio they can pin point your position.
But, thank God, like all the precaution items I use ( Ray Guards, first aid kit etc) I have not had to use them.
By Ciguatera
#2281375
I posted this in another thread but I'll repost here:

"One of the things that I've done to minimize some of the risk of kayaking solo is that I always carry a PLB with me (in addition to a cell phone, radio, and other safety equipment). There are a few brands out there but this is the one I have:

https://www.acrartex.com/products/resqlink-plb

I bought mine for around 200 bucks when it was on sale and had a rebate and I think it is cheap insurance should something unfortunate happen."

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