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Just a reminder to those that fish the kayak in the winter. If you take a dip it can be extremely dangerous. Have some way to start a fire it may just save your life.
 

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IMO, the most important thing to have is a plan and stick to it. I stick mostly to near shore fishing where I could wade to shore (with maybe a very short swim if there is a dropoff; always within casting distance of shore) and walk back to the car. I wear "warm while wet" stuff and my plan is to get out and go back to the vehicle and probably home if I get wet. This limits where I can fish pretty dramatically. I will sometimes make a different plan and venture out a little further, the important thing being that I am aware it is different. You have to weight the risk/reward of getting away from shore if you aren't dressed to be able to stand being in the water a few minutes.

EDIT - Kind of wandered from my point, getting into what I will do. The main point is plan and prepare then don't deviate from doing what you are prepared to recover from.
 

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I use dryer lint....

I pack it into a cardboard egg carton, filling the slots where the eggs would go.

Then I get an old candle and melt it, pouring the wax all over the lint.

Cutting the egg carton with scissors, I get 12 fantastic fire starters. Used this in scouts and keep 2 in my kayak with a lighter.
 

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A few things to think about with respect to fires...

On public land (Game Lands, state/county/city parks, etc) open fires are generally restricted to purpose made fire rings. They will likely let you slide in the case of a bonafide emergency where you are using it to survive, but in most places you can't just pull over and start one if you are a little chilled. Don't expect the FD to be very understanding if you light one 50' from a bike path a half mile from your car (describes one of my most likely cold weather paddling locations).

If you start a fire, don't leave it smoldering or with hot coals. You will need to douse it and bury it when you leave.

If building a fire is a potential recovery option, I would think long and hard about whether the trip was a good idea for winter paddling. It may be, but I am unlikely to paddle anywhere that it is in the winter. I will generally choose trips where getting back to the truck is likely to be the most reasonable recovery option.
 

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That's something I've been thinking about

I've been wondering what gear/outerwear/innerware I could buy that would keep me warm but wouldn't weigh a ton or immediately drag me to the bottom if I turned over and if filled with water. I just started kayaking this past summer. Where I most often kayak the water isn't deep enough to worry about, but frequently enough I do like to venture into deeper waters. One day this fall I dropped my anchor and it never touched bottom. It's on a 25-foot line.



I wear chest waders with a tight life vest over it. Layer up in non cotton layers. I was out this morning for an hour before work.
 

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I've been wondering what gear/outerwear/innerware I could buy that would keep me warm but wouldn't weigh a ton or immediately drag me to the bottom if I turned over and if filled with water. I just started kayaking this past summer. Where I most often kayak the water isn't deep enough to worry about, but frequently enough I do like to venture into deeper waters. One day this fall I dropped my anchor and it never touched bottom. It's on a 25-foot line.
When it gets cold this is what I wear:

Merino Wool Socks
Merino Wool Baselayer Top/Bottom
Cabelas brand Fleece Wader Pants
Heavy fleece pullover top
Breathable Chest Waders
A jacket with wind blocking properties
Inflatable life jacket
Polar buff pulled up over my hat to keep my face and ears warm

I'm comfortable all day long in temps down into the 20's. If it gets colder than that I add a layer of polypro's over the merino wool.
 

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I've been wondering what gear/outerwear/innerware I could buy that would keep me warm but wouldn't weigh a ton or immediately drag me to the bottom if I turned over and if filled with water. I just started kayaking this past summer. Where I most often kayak the water isn't deep enough to worry about, but frequently enough I do like to venture into deeper waters. One day this fall I dropped my anchor and it never touched bottom. It's on a 25-foot line.
Do a little Googling. There have been lots of videos made of people testing various outerware. If the water isn't flowing, filled waders don't drag you under; they only have neutral buoyancy for the water and whatever negative buoyancy the waders have purely from their materials. But it does make your movements sluggish and can increase time to shore. If you go in deep water, you want to be able to get to shore quickly and when that isn't possible have a plan to get back on your boat that you practiced (and around Raleigh, it isn't too late; some city pools have kayak nights. PM me if you can't find info and are interested). My plan is always about getting to shore, getting to my truck and probably going home. When I was younger I had a dry suit and kayaked in remote canyons in cold weather. Not anymore. Decide what you are comfortable with, make a plan that will keep you reasonably safe and stick to it.
 

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Let's be honest. It's pretty hard to flip a fishing kayak. But it happens. Don't try uneccessarry "hero maneuvers" that will get you a polar bear award. Just because you saw Chad Hoover standing up in his yak on Okeechobee does not mean it is going to work in your icey backwater trout hole. Stay put.. because you just might have to make a snap decision when billy bob blows by you at 40 mph in a 100 foot wide creek. And keep your head level when you move around to get things from behind you, like rods, tackle, coolers, etc. And with all the boat traffic around, be careful with the boat wakes. Many kayak fishermen set up on the bank and cast out, and the bank is where the wake turns into waves. I've already had several close calls this fall with billy bob and his twin 250 HP yamahas.. careening around corners from way back in the cut. Be ready to paddle directly INTO the wake to break it, and not side-to.
 

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Let's be honest. It's pretty hard to flip a fishing kayak. But it happens. Don't try uneccessarry "hero maneuvers" that will get you a polar bear award. Just because you saw Chad Hoover standing up in his yak on Okeechobee does not mean it is going to work in your icey backwater trout hole. Stay put.. because you just might have to make a snap decision when billy bob blows by you at 40 mph in a 100 foot wide creek. And keep your head level when you move around to get things from behind you, like rods, tackle, coolers, etc. And with all the boat traffic around, be careful with the boat wakes. Many kayak fishermen set up on the bank and cast out, and the bank is where the wake turns into waves. I've already had several close calls this fall with billy bob and his twin 250 HP yamahas.. careening around corners from way back in the cut. Be ready to paddle directly INTO the wake to break it, and not side-to.
Billy Bob came by me this morning on plane,,,,with about 40 foot visibility due to fog. Luckily I could hear him coming and had time to dodge him. This was at the RR trestle at Stella
 

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I wear a Kokatat moisture wicking layer against the skin a Kokatat polartec outer core layer then either my Kokatat two piece suit or my Immersion Research Dry Suit. I enjoy fishing in colder weather however, cold water is something you have to respect.
 

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I spend 90% of my time time at work in the outdoors regardless of the weather. I learned a very long time ago that it pays to invest in quality clothing as it will enhance your outdoor adventures by allowing you to be comfortable so you can stay longer.
 

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These days it falls more into the necessary evil category for me. Is it really necessary to fish that often? Yes, it is. I would rather go where it's warm but that just isn't practical often enough and I get cabin fever if I try to wait until Spring.
 

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Billy Bob came by me this morning on plane,,,,with about 40 foot visibility due to fog. Luckily I could hear him coming and had time to dodge him. This was at the RR trestle at Stella
Yeah Billy Bob and his goon platoon frequent that area. It's extra nice when someone actually slows down when they see you. The most generous folks have actually been the commercial guys, believe it or not. Trout fisherman are always "on a mission" and are not slowing down for anyone.
 
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