Rumor has it that during mating season they are particularly aggressive towards green or brown kayaks, the same general color as other gators.
I say rumor, because I will do my best to not be in any stretch of water that has alligators in it.
Sharks are one thing... But alligators have evolved specifically to eat mammals on the shore.
After all is said and done.... A heck of a lot more will be said than done
Red X Angler
"Sublime" - 2013 NuCanoe Frontier in lime green
I grew up in South West Florida. Never had an issue. Since I started Kayaking I've run into them a few times. Most of the time they stay on the bank or slip into the water and pop up a good distance away from me. I did how ever have a 7ft gator I felt was more aggressive. She got closer than any had before on my way up the creek. Then on my way back she met me head on for a stare off. We sat there until I turned broadside to get to the other bank to give a wide berth. She submerged and that was all. Not much to the encounter but she did give the go away or else vibe.
I've encountered them quite a bit when fishing Santee Cooper in SC. My experience mirrors what has been said in that they seemed extremely wary of boats to the point of acting afraid. Admittedly I was in a bass boat not a kayak but they wouldn't let you get within 20 yards of them. I recall one afternoon my friend and I spotted a large gator in the back of a pocket. I wanted some photos so we trolled in closer. There wasn't really any room to swim around us so I though I had it trapped enough to get some decent photos but it actually swam under our boat in about 2-3 FOW to get away. (I wouldn't have tried that move in a kayak)
The one and only thing that made me turn around when jacob and I ran into one was not just that the creek was only 25 ft wide, but that it was only about a foot deep. Way to shallow to pass by the gator without spooking in and possibly making it feel cornered
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Matt ~ 15' 6" Gheenoe Classic, Olive Green
Red X Angler
Started Fishing 8-26-2015 (33 Trips) :: 6 Bluegill, 2 Pinfish, 3 Turtles, 1 Largemouth Bass
Last year (late spring/early summer) a small-ish gator swam between my wife and I while we were in a local creek. We were probably less than 30 yards apart, too far to whisper but no need to yell. The lizard didn't seem to mind our presence, I floated by peacefully, and the wife never even noticed. I can't say what other gators might do, but they usually try to vanish before being spotted.
Use this information at your own risk. The author is not responsible for missed fish, lost gear, personal injury, or sunken boats as a result of your decision to follow his advice.
Stopped at a flat on the New River and saw a gator about 100' away. Within 30 seconds he went under the 4' deep water and swam directly to and under our boat and layed on the bottom and stared up at us. He was not afraid and laid there on the bottom in 3-4' of water directly under the boat and stared at us. After a minute or two he swan off. I would have been terrified had I been in a yak.
Alligators are the most docile of the crocodile family, not nearly so dangerous as Nile crocodiles and saltwater crocs. But they are unpredictable, and best left to their own devices. In a kayak I would say you're probably safe, but people swimming or walking near the water's edge can be at risk. They are dangerous animals, and as such, should be respected and given a wide berth.