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Why I Always Pack A Knife On Every Kayak Fishing Trip

Best Kayak Fishing Safety Knife

Best Kayak Fishing Safety Knife

Updated on 5/20/2024
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail 👋 Since embarking on my kayaking and boarding adventures in 2010, I've navigated rivers and lakes across North America and beyond. With over a decade of experience and countless waterways explored, I'm here to help enthusiasts like you embark on unforgettable water adventures!
Learn More about Abigail Scott

There is a list that I always run through in my head when I pack for a kayak trip so that I am sure not to forget anything important. I am talking about lifejackets, paddles, water, seats, whistles, sunglasses, etc. When I'm packing my kayak for a fishing trip, that list gets even longer, and I add a few items to my fishing kits, such as fishing poles, light lures, fishing licenses, nets, and rod holders. 

But let me tell you a story about why carrying a knife is now at the top of my list whenever I travel. But first, I'll begin at the very beginning.

A Tale Of Two Brothers

I have been fishing with my brother for the past few years since we were kids of about four years of age. Our grandfather first introduced us to this hobby by taking us off a dock to catch little bluegills and the occasional catfish with some bread. Together they enjoyed fishing for the rest of their lives. They started a fishing website and took annual trips fishing and camping by kayak. 

Because my sister and I have grown up and do not live in the same city anymore, we make an effort once a year to get away and go kayak fishing. Our goal is to go to a different place each year and mainly stick to inshore saltwater fishing on the east coast of the United States. Fishing for redfish, trout, snook, and flounder are some of our favorite activities. During this particular year, we stayed in our home state and went to one of our favorite spots Mosquito Lagoon, one of our favorite places.

Due to the lack of large tide movements, the mosquito lagoon is known worldwide for sight fishing big redfish and is an excellent place for kayakers. It is a saltwater lake with a fantastic variety of fish that you are fishing in. It even has designated "no motor zone" zones, which is something that we all here can be thankful for. 

kayak fishing and camping

kayak fishing and camping

Not Scared Of No Gators

Our day began as most anglers started their day by getting up early in the morning, hitting the bait shop, and trying to be the first ones on the water to find the perfect spot for our fishing trip. On the other hand, when we woke up, the weather had changed a little, and the forecast predicted winds of up to 15-20mph. We were already there, so it would not stop us from going since it was our only day, and we were already there. Our thought was that we could find some coves where we would be protected from the wind. 

Just like that, the day you got off to a great start. A bit of a breeze was blowing on a beautiful morning when we hit the water and started paddling. After a few hours of fishing, we managed to catch our first redfish at one of our favorite places. You might not know this, but I have a quick tip for you if you have never gone fishing in Florida before. If you go fishing in Florida, you will undoubtedly have to deal with alligators. I guess that's pretty much what life is like there. Kayaks have the advantage in that most of the time, you can slap the water with your paddle, and they will move out of your way.

In Florida, we learned to have a healthy respect for alligators. They leave you alone and are more afraid of you than you are most of the time. But that does not make it any less nerve-racking to be reeling in your first fish only to find out that an 8-foot gator is trying to grab your trophy before getting it back into the boat. Mosquito Lagoon is no different from the rest of Florida when it comes to alligators, even though its waters are brackish. After catching our first few redfish on this particular day, we moved spots because we saw three alligators watching us from a distance after we caught our first few redfish. That was the beginning of our problems. 

A Windy Day Leads To Trouble

As we paddled to a new area, we found that we had been protected by the wind when we were in a remote part of the area. As soon as we got to open water, it was as if we were being blown around like sailboats. We went to the Redfish school to feed the redfish; however, what we saw was not expected. A group of about 15 fish were going after mullet but hadn't noticed us paddling up to them. Now it was time to get a double hook up. 

In response to my brother staying back to take care of the front of the school, I started paddling around to hit them from the side they weren't facing. I cannot explain how I got there. As I paddled slowly and quietly around the school of fish, I was so focused on paddling that I didn't even think about the wind. As soon as I reached the point where I wanted to be in my kayak, I threw out my anchor and picked up my fishing pole. 

I had not even had a chance to make my first cast when the wind blew my kayak over the anchor and tipped me overboard. My brother was not close enough to help me because I was underwater with an anchor line to wrap around my body as it wiggled itself around me. I distinctly remember the unusual number of alligators I had seen in the area, and I quickly panicked as soon as I realized how many there were. 

Thanks to my kayak fishing knife hooked onto my life jacket, I quickly grabbed it, cut the anchor line, and freed myself from the entanglement. While I was still feeling dizzy and disorientated, I swam over to my kayak and got in faster than I ever had before. Additionally, my lures, dignity, and fishing pliers were stolen along with my fishing pliers. Consequently, I was able to return to the safety of my kayak without suffering any injuries. But who knows what might have happened if I had not had my knife with me that day. He was able to paddle over to me pretty quickly and help me get settled in, but he was able to laugh as soon as he realized I was okay and safe. Upon returning to our new home, we were surprised to see that the redfish school had moved on, and something about a big commotion in the water seemed to have scared them off strangely. 

Two Lessons I Learned That Day

We ended the day by returning to another cove, where we had lunch and tried to catch a few more fish before it got too hot. Overall, I would say that it was a great day on the water. Even though I learned two things from experience, I hope everyone will be able to apply them:

  1. Bring a knife with you when you go kayak fishing and keep it with you. You will be glad you did.
  2. Plan kayaking trips with your brother, your friends, or your family. Usually, they end in great stories that you will be able to tell for the rest of your life.