Well with spring fishing in full swing lots of people are hitting some pretty cold water. I stumbled upon this old video that goes over some of the dangers of cold water immersion and how the body reacts. This is old news for a lot of kayak anglers but good to know for people who may be venturing out into water colder than they are used to, as their confidence with their kayak increases. The most important thing to note in my opinion, is that while it may take 30 minutes or longer to actually become hypothermic, drowning can occur almost instantly due to shock, this is why PFDs and immersion protection are two of the most important pieces of kit a kayak angler can have.
There are a number of options for immersion protection during the colder months of the season. For those who fish smaller lakes and rivers, often a pair of breathable waders and a dry top are more than adequate, so long as you cinch your wading beltvery tight. For short plunges in the water many people don’t get much more than a damp spot with this setup, the issue is when you are stuck in the water for extended periods, or too far from shore to swim back if you lose your kayak. When fishing in large lakes or the open ocean in cold water, you really should consider a Dry Suit. These are a major investment but can quite literally save your life if you get in a situation on big water where you can’t reach your kayak to perform a self rescue. They also allow you to continue fishing after taking a prolonged spill, where with other setups you may be headed back to the car to dry off.
Posted by Jeremy Hockin