Category Archives: Safety

Ditch Bag, All you need and everything don’t

Please don’t be confused the Zombie Fish Doomsday scenario  is NOT coming on the next high tide,  this is a different type of Ditch Bag.   That being said If things where to go wrong, it’s would be nice to take solace in a Nature Valley moment watching the Pelagic Dead beach themselves at your feet.

That “Oh Crap” moment

Forgot to pack a lunch, Leaky Boat, Unexpected Squall, Equipment Malfunction, Navigation Error, Unwanted house guest. There are any number of reasons you plan’s for the day may change.

Having a well equipped Ditch Bag will enable you handle the situation.

Rule of 3

If you day turns into the worst-case scenario.   Here are some things to consider from the “Rule of 3” on your odds of Survival and what to include in your Kayak Fishing Ditch Bag

  • 3 minutes without air
  • 3 hours without shelter
  • 3 days without water
  • 3 weeks without food

You may be thinking when would the 1st one happen?  How many of these have you seen?

That last one I hope shouldn’t be an issue.  You are a kayak fisherman, and hopefully not a hermit so somebody is going to come looking for you.

So Let’s Make a Ditch Bag

Yes you need a Bag.  The technical term is Dry Bag and not all are created equally.

Not to be confused with a Compression Sack, even if it says waterproof I highly suggest look for the term Dry Bag.  They come in all shapes sizes and colors.  I like the Clear Dry Bags just a look and know if it’s in there.

Raiding the Medicine Cabinet and Junk Draw looking for extra’s and half rolls of tape, may sound like a good time….yea no it doesn’t. Do it right and buy a kit, these Survival Kits are design by professionals, weight close to nothing, take up little space, and include some hard to find items.  These will give a great base to start with, and now you can fill out your Ditch Bag with some other items from around the house.

Extra Clothes


Forget the cotton and wool, keep the Fleece.

Before the old Fleece goes the way of the rag bin, add it to your Ditch Bag.  I’ve been underdressed for the weather a few times wishing I had another layer to wear, and if I knew was going to spend the night I would have packed some extra clothes anyway.

Where’s  that free hat you got that you wouldn’t dare be seen wearing in public.  Sound like Ditch Bag Material To Me


Some Extra’s


        • Cheap Sunglasses …. oooh yeeah  – ZZ Top singalong



        • Crazy Glue



        • Zip Ties … real ones Thomas and Betts



        • Mult Tool



        • Mosquito Head Net



        • Paracord



        • Sunblock



        • Bug repellant


      Travel Size containers are good enough here.  You don’t need a Ditch Duffel Bag to carry when kayak fishing    

Got Bug’s

Bugs are a real problem, anybody that has beached a kayak to answer the call of nature while Kayak Fishing can probably attest.  Mosquito, Black Fly’s, Horse Fly’s, Gnats they can make an environment inhospitable.  If your kayak fishing in an area where you may encounter biting Fly’s I highly suggest getting a Mosquito Head net or maybe something bigger. Nobody knows your backyard like you do.

Field Repairs

Some Paracord, Zip Ties, and Crazy glue will go a long way.  My Multi tool a Leatherman Surge combined with Bits and extender gets almost daily use.  Sometimes all need is the right tool and you can get back to on your way. A good mult. tool can be worth its weight in gold.

Food & Water

Remember that Nature Valley moment comment? Stale or Fresh who can tell the difference with Granola Bar, 3 or 4 prepacked pairs should hold you over. Water should be the 1st item you bring on any kayak fishing trip. If you don’t normally pack a lunch or always carry your fishing gear. Emergency food rations maybe a good idea for your ditch bag.

Check Your Six

Your Annual Obligatory General Risk-Reduction Warning and Ever-So-Subtle Reminder of Your (ahem) Mortality

from the desk of

T. G. Reaper, Superintendent
Department of Collections

Dear Humans,

You guys are really cards. I love to hang around and listen in (when I’m “off-duty”, so to speak, or as I like to refer to it, “between clients”).

See, you’ve never understood how I work. Hell, I don’t even own a scythe or a hooded cloak. I’m not walking around with some moldy old parchment book with your name and an appointment time in it. God doesn’t send Mandy Patinkin a post-it note at the Waffle House to collect your sorry butt at 4:17 PM. Agent Smith doesn’t put a Lady In Red into the Matrix. No, I just hang out and wait for YOU to put enough “requests” in the hopper at the same time.

I work on a system called the Simultaneous Request Score. The brittle steel and the iceberg alone couldn’t have called me to the Newfoundland Bank in 1912, it was all those White Star officials telling the reporters how “unsinkable” their new ship was. “Ice warnings? Bah! Full speed ahead, we’ve got investors to impress!” Children use the marvelous gesture of holding their thumb to their nose and wiggling their upright fingers while musically yelling, “Nyaaaah-nyah-nyah-nyaaaah-nyah.” When children do it, it’s both cute and highly visible. When you do it, it’s neither — so I come running, stand very near you, and wait for your Simultaneous Request Score to hit a certain critical limit.

You’ve already loaded your “SRS meter” with brilliant thoughts like “Nah, It’s flat out there today, I can just stow my PFD!” or “Hey, it’s not THAT cold, cotton’ll do just fine!” or “Spare paddle? Nah!”. Sissy crap like a float plan? No-o-o-o-o, not for a rugged he-man like you, bub. But the best part — the part that keeps us rolling on the floor down here in the Collection Department — is that your “nyah-nyah” — the thing that is going to kick YOUR Simultaneous Request Score into the red zone — is almost certain to be ……. (Darwinian drum roll, please) ……. plain old I-N-A-T-T-E-N-T-I-O-N.

I’ve heard a lot of fishing-related close-call stories over the years, and the most glaring common denominator — in the ones that didn’t involve alcohol, anyway — is that they usually began with something like, “Wow, they were really biting and I got distracted and wasn’t really paying attention to my surroundings….” (or to the weather, or to nearby watercraft, or to whatever). Well, I’m sorry, but what I hear there is: “I’m a total nimrod and have no business whatsoever being in a potentially lethal outdoor environment anywhere on the planet. Please come and pick me up just as soon as possible. Please! Kill me now!”

Well…….if you absolutely insist…….

You have voluntarily placed your absolutely and unequivocally mortal keister into the rotomolded equivalent of a stretched-out bathtub, and paddled out on top of a one-molecule-thin barrier that separates you from an environment in which you cannot possibly breathe, and where Gravity still applies, and which is populated by a variety of organisms which will cheerfully and enthusiastically feast upon your flesh! Your head needs to be swiveling like a turret at all times. Your eyes need to be on articulated stalks. And you need to be in the habit of staying that way — because, yes, I am out there actually stalking you —yes, you — and I’m not carrying a scythe or wearing a hooded cloak. I may not be that psycho trying to make an airboat actually fly. I often wear much subtler little disguises: that sick, yellow-green look the sunlight gets before the bolts come; those short little intermittent “puffs” of humid breeze that disturb the dead morning air before I make my devastating landfall; the utter silence as my massive, sunken limbs tumble downcurrent toward your improperly-trolleyed anchor rope; that knife that’s just a teensy-weensy smidge too far away from an easy reach; those batteries you didn’t rotate.

Yeah, I’m there all the time. And your meter is already in the red zone. And all I’m waiting for……. is for you to not notice, comprende?

Better check six, pal.


The Grim Reaper
Yourspot, Yourstatehere 98765-4321

Kayak Fishing: Keep It Simple!

Take a look at this kayak that’s “fully rigged” for kayak fishing.  What’s your initial response?


Some might say “Awesome, everything you could possibly need.”  Fair enough.  But to me, this looks like utter chaos, stress, and an OCD nightmare.  This is called a “garbage barge”.  Not only is it anxiety-inducing, but what happens when you fall in and need to remount?  Good luck with that.

Personally, I first got into kayak fishing for the simplicity.  After owning a fishing boat for many years, constantly fretting over maintenance, and always having-to-have the latest gadgets and toys, the whole setup became extremely distracting.  It nearly ruined what should be the primary focuses: fishing, enjoying the outdoors, relaxing, and camaraderie.  And early on, the community was full of just that: guys/gals that simply wanted to enjoy the sport and each other’s company, ignoring the pull of commercialism and materialism that had long since invaded fishing.

Of course, that still exists to a certain degree.  Kayak and canoe fishing’s benefits remain, and its participants tend to be the polar opposites of our glitter-boat brethren.  However, I’d argue that the commercialism has started to take over some kayak anglers’ mindsets.  We’re bombarded with ICAST this and YakAngler-says-I-can’t-fish-without-it that.  Rigs start looking like the above photo, drowning the owner in gadgets.  Further, some anglers will only fish with their prostaff teammates or owners of the same brand of equipment.  Someone fishing from a simplistic kayak, bought from a big-box store, with a minimal amount of gear can be looked down upon as inferior.  Absurd.

In the end, I guess it doesn’t really affect each of us — personally, we can still enjoy the sport however we want.  However, I can’t help but feel somewhat disappointed and sad that others can’t simply enjoy the sport for what it is.

Any thoughts?  Comment below!


How to Get Back/Self Rescue Kayak in Deep Water

Getting back into a kayak “aka” self rescue kayak technique, after falling in or tipping over, it can be a pain in the rear if you’re out deep.  There’s definitely more than one way to do it, but we recently stumbled across this video that presents a couple effective techniques.

Getting Turtled is something that is probably going to happen to everybody at some point. It comes down to risk management. In other circles

ATGATT: All the gear, all the time

is the saying.

You can’t plan accidents, they just happen. What you can do is be prepared for one, and have the right safety gear, and test your safety skills.

  • VHF Radio
  • Whistle
  • Signal Mirror
  • PFD
  • Pump
  • Ditch Bag

During the summer months, we’d highly recommend going out and practicing this at least a few times.  You don’t want to waste time figuring it out in freezing temps, when each minute counts…

How to Self Rescue in Deep Water

(Thanks to Spencer Jones @ for the video!)

I carry a Rescue Stirrup exactly for this situation. Its a continuous loop sling that you use as a step.

And please be careful, carry the required safety equipment.