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How Much Wind Is Too Much For Kayak Fishing?

It’s no secret that wind can make kayak fishing difficult.

But how much wind is too much for kayak fishing?

This blog post will discuss some tips to keep you safe on the water when the wind starts to pick up.

We’ll also share a few of our favorite kayak fishing tips for dealing with challenging weather conditions.

How Much Wind Is Too Much For Kayak Fishing?

Generally, kayak fishing in wind speeds up to about 15 MPH (~13 knots) on open water is doable. However, the waves created by the wind can make it hard to keep your kayak in one place, and higher winds can create dangerous conditions on the water. Factors like your experience level, the body of water you are on, and the fishing kayak you are paddling play a role in how much wind you can tolerate.

The Problem With Fishing Kayaks

The problem with fishing kayaks in the wind is that the angler sits higher than you would on other kayaks.

Sitting higher gives you better sight lines, but you get blown around more.

There are a few things that you can do to make sure that you don’t get blown around too much in the wind on a fishing kayak. 

Tips For Kayak Fishing In The Wind

You want to go fishing, but the wind isn’t cooperating; what can you do?

Get Out Early

Getting an early start when planning to go kayak fishing is important, so you can get out on the water before the wind picks up.

Additionally, you’ll likely have the lake or river to yourself for at least a little while, which can be a nice change of pace.

So, to enjoy a peaceful morning on the water, set your alarm and start early.

Fish An Area Protected From The Wind

One of the best kayak fishing spots on windy days is in an area protected from the wind.

Inlets, bays, and marshy areas are all great places to fish because they provide natural windbreaks.  

The wind can create conditions that make it challenging to fish, so being in a protected area can help you avoid these pitfalls.

Check The Forecast (NOAA)

If you’re planning to go kayak fishing on a windy day, it’s essential to check the weather before heading out.

On windy days, waves can quickly build up, making it difficult or dangerous to paddle and fish simultaneously.

That’s why checking the weather conditions before you head out on your kayak is so important. 

An excellent way to do this is to use a kayaking app that will give you up-to-date wind speeds and direction information.

You can also check the NOAA website for wind speed and direction forecasts for the area you’ll be fishing in.

Knowing the conditions before you head out will help you plan your trip and ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time.

Stay Close To Shore

One of the best things to do if you are kayak fishing in windy conditions is to stay close to shore.

If the wind picks up, you can quickly get back to shore. Also, the wind might not be as bad as it is further out in open water.

By staying close to shore, you can also keep an eye on the weather and head back to shore if necessary.

Drop An Anchor

An anchor can keep your kayak from blowing away if you’re kayak fishing in windy conditions.

There are several different kayak anchors, but the most important thing is that it’s heavy enough to hold your kayak in place.

You’ll also want to consider the bottom where you’re anchored – mud, sand, or rock – and choose an anchor accordingly. A grapnel anchor kit works well for various conditions.

Once you’ve selected the right anchor, properly secure it to your kayak, so it doesn’t come loose.

If your kayak doesn’t have an anchor trolley system, now might be a good time to install one yourself.

With some preparation, you can stay safe and enjoy kayak fishing even when the wind blows.

Choose The Right Kayak

Fishing kayaks are generally bigger and heavier than most recreational kayaks, and that extra weight can be an asset when the wind blows.

The extra weight will help keep your kayak from being blown around too much.

In addition, a pedal drive fishing kayak is also a good choice because you have your hands free to hold your fishing rod or set up your anchor instead of holding a paddle.

The ability to pedal will allow you to make minor adjustments to your position and keep your kayak pointed in the right direction when the wind blows.

Other Points To Consider

One recommendation is to find secluded wind-protected areas to avoid windy kayak fishing conditions.

Finding a spot that isn’t windy is great, but one thing you have to be mindful of is your launch point.

If you launch from a spot and have to paddle a long way to get out of the wind, you must paddle back through the wind to return to your launch spot.

As conditions change or worsen, you can be in a heap of trouble if the wind picks up.

Another good point to consider is to keep an eye on the weather conditions and have a plan B in mind, like fishing from shore.

If you’re kayak fishing and the wind picks up, you might have to cut your trip short or change your plans.

Conclusion

It’s always a good idea to be prepared for anything when kayak fishing, especially in windy conditions. Fishing in winds in the 10-15 MPH range is not unreasonable, depending on the circumstances.

With a little preparation and knowledge, you can safely enjoy kayak fishing, even on windy days.

Stay safe and have fun!

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About the author
Steve
Steve is the owner of Paddle About, a blog that's all about helping people get out and enjoy nature. He loves to kayak, camp, hike and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not out exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.