3 Tales Of Terror From Fishing Trips | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
A kayaker on the ocean on a stormy day. Photo: Jose Chavez

Three tales of terror on the water and the lessons learned

The sun is shining, the fish are biting and life is good, until the unexpected happens. Bad weather, breakdowns, injuries and emergencies can turn a fish story into a survival story. These three tales of close calls carry valuable lessons.

About six years ago, I took my girlfriend Mary (now my wife) on a mid- summer river trip. Halfway through the day, we noticed storm clouds gathering to the south. Before we could return to the launch, the wind ahead of the front gusted so strongly it picked up Mary’s kayak and flipped it into the air. I rushed towards her, but another gust of wind pushed me into the water. Unable to re-enter, we swam 75 yards to shore dragging the boats behind us. We waited for the storm to pass and limped home minus some gear but adding a valuable experience. As soon as storm clouds approach, paddle to shore and wait out the worst. I rig the boat to flip and dress to swim. Most important, I always wear my PFD.

In January 2012, Patrick Lail, from North Carolina, was fishing Lake Norman with other experienced kayakers. The temperature at launch was 30 degrees with snow and sleet forecast for the day. While trolling across open water, a wave flipped his kayak and dumped Lail in 40-degree water. Since Lail wasn't wearing a PFD, he had to fight to the surface, then began screaming for help. Unable to get back in his sit-inside kayak, Lail held on while...




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