With the month of May being Boaters Safety Month, Yak Outlaws was asked to offer a kayak safety seminar at a local Academy Sports store boating safety event. The purpose of the event was to promote boating safety, which included power boats as well as kayaks. There were several seminars given and vendors in attendance to showcase a variety of products available to anglers, as well as fishing tactics, both inshore and offshore. We focused on kayak safety to help teach a group of newcomers to our sport how to be better prepared the next time they head out on a kayak fishing trip.
The kayak fishing and safety seminar started around 11:30a.m. and we were first up on the board. While there wasn’t an immense crowd available to attend the seminar, the few who attended came ready and eager to learn. I’m constantly amazed at how much our sport has grown and how many people are realizing the joys of kayak fishing. The attendees all had a ton of great questions, and even more surprising is they came equipped with notepads and pens to take notes, along with snapping quick photos of the different gear showcased on the Old Town Predator MX, which was on display.
The seminar started off with a quick introduction of ourselves and we quickly dove into kayak fishing safety. During the seminar we preached the importance of always wearing your PFD while on the water, as well as carrying some important equipment along with you on each kayak fishing trip. These items included a communication device, signaling device, first aid kit, lights, and bright clothing. The main significance of the first segment to our group of new kayak anglers was to spend the money to purchase a quality PFD, one that fits correctly and offers the largest amount of comfort for all day kayak fishing trips. Several types of PFD’s were shown, as well as the differences amongst them. The second segment of the seminar revolved around maintaining yourself on those hot summer days. In this segment, we talked about the varying types of fishing apparel available and the technology involved including the Omni Freeze Zero line from Columbia Sportswear. Other apparel items included face shields, gloves, hats, and the Cool Towel from Salt Life. We also talked about carrying a cooler on board your kayak, whether it be a soft sided or hard sided cooler to carry fluids. We reiterated the importance of staying hydrated and taking care of your body during the dog days of summer. Staying hydrated with water or a sports drink is the best way to ensure you’re taking care of yourself during the intense heat of summer.
Other topics covered included the importance of safety classes, float plans, learning how to re-enter your kayak in case of falling out, tide awareness for those areas with great tide fluctuations, sunscreen to protect against the sun’s harmful UV rays, and having a fishing partner so you can watch over each other. The seminar was a major success, and several newcomers to our sport walked away with a lot of great information. Several questions were asked, which showed that our sport is growing and will continue to grow with more well-informed kayak anglers.
Before we knew it, the seminar time frame had elapsed and we were running over our time slot. The next presenter quickly took our place, and we moved away from the seminar area so we could field more questions. I was amazed at the amount of people I had the pleasure of speaking with, sharing our passions and knowledge about the sport of kayak fishing. Questions ranged from safety equipment to fishing tactics to simply how to correctly choose a first time kayak. We even ventured into rigging tips with how to rig a popping cork, types of fishing line to use, and how to rig a lure with a jighead. It was a very rewarding experience, and I truly believe we were able to support and guide some fellow kayak anglers in the right direction. Even more amazing is we ourselves are always constantly learning and growing in the sport of kayak fishing, and we even picked up some new pointers and information, but that’s for another story.