Whether you are a diver or fisher looking into adding kayaking to your routine, or if you are a kayaker looking into adding diving or fishing to your kayaking, there are a couple considerations before you load up your boat with your gear and go.
Adding a second routine to your pastime will take some practice and getting used to. The acrobats at the circus who walk the tight rope and juggle at the same time did not learn it all at once. They practiced the two disciplines independently and then when they had mastered both did they combine the juggling and the tight rope walking into one act.
For Divers who wish to become kayak divers: get some plain paddling experience before you incorporate the two disciplines. Take a kayak lesson, and inform yourself with a couple kayak books.
The most practical and simple classic book of instruction dealing exclusively with the type of kayak designed for diving is Sit-on-top Kayaking, A Beginner's Guide. Then practice a bit with your kayak using just the basic kayaking gear. Once you have mastered the kayak in the conditions and locations you plan to dive in, then ease into it carefully. Before taking the scuba unit, lights, cameras, spear guns, slurp tubes and all the dive toys, go for a simple snorkel trip. Bring your dive flag (mandatory) and anchor to practice with too. (Don't forget the bilge pump!) Then when you are ready, ad the rest of the scuba gear, a bit at a time, so you can learn how to secure, load and unload it with out losing stuff. It is best to dive with a buddy and have a solid plan for each dive.
Kayakers who wish to become kayak divers should be certified by PADI or NAUI dive classes and instructors first. Certification from an authorized diving school is the only safe way to learn diving skills. You can start out by snorkeling from your kayak before during or after your open water certification. Bring along an anchor and dive flag (mandatory) to learn how to use them. When you have become skilled with scuba gear and comfortable snorkeling, then you can start scuba adventures from your kayak. Start out with modest goals and minimal equipment, and then work your way up. It is best to dive with a buddy and have solid plan for each dive.
Any time you go on a kayak diving trip, extended fishing excursion or kayak for kayak touring, tell some one who cares where you are going, where parked, who is along, color of kayaks and gear and when you will be back, then check in with them when you are done. If you are over due they can notify the proper authorities of the situation.
Fishermen/women who wish to use a kayak to enhance their fishing can also benefit from getting a simple start with kayaking. They too can benefit from a lesson and utilize some kayak books to fortify their knowledge.
The most practical and simple classic book of instruction dealing exclusively with the type of kayak most popular for fishing is Sit-on-top Kayaking, A Beginner's Guide. Practice with your kayak and basic kayak gear on your fishing waters will help you gain paddling experience. Once you have become proficient in paddling, then bring along a minimal fishing tackle assortment. Your focus at this point should be learning how to handle the fishing gear and the kayak at the same time. Then as you develop the skills and habits to handle your tackle, while on a kayak and not have it fall over board, you can get more serious about fishing and bring along the full assemblage of your kayak fishing gear.
If you are already an experienced kayaker who wants to become a kayak fisher, learn something about fishing first. A fishing guide, or buddy can help, and there are countless books on the subject. Get yourself some basic fishing tackle, not too much or too costly, you will not know exactly what you need for kayak fishing until you try it, and the possibility of "deep sixing" is there. Learn how to cast and reel in your line, tie knots, bait hooks and handle fish while on land, or possibly a larger vessel. Once you have got a firm grasp of fishing and the gear, then go out on the kayak with the basics. Then as you gain experience you will be able to handle more than one pole, add pieces to your fishing tackle and know exactly what you need and want in you gear.
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