Kayak Fishing Safety

Kayak fishing is becoming increasingly popular as new technology provides kayaks that are easily paddled (or peddled) and are capable of fishing in areas that would not have traditionally been access using this method. As well as traditional calm water fishing, fishers are now using kayaks to head offshore in pursuit of large gamefish and bottom fish usually targeted from a boat.

Stay safe while kayak fishing by wearing a Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

Know the conditions

Make sure you are aware of local weather, swell and tidal conditions before going fishing. Once at a fishing location take time to observe the current conditions, they may be different to those predicted or may be changing.

For more on conditions, see bom.gov.au

Wear a personal floatation device

For the past 24 months Recfishwest has been running the Free Loan Life Jacket Scheme, where local outlets loan Life Jackets free of charge to the public. There are currently 17 locations around WA ranging from Esperance to Carnarvon.

Compact and comfortable to wear, the Crewsaver Crewfit 165 Sport Lifejacket is our recommendation for boat fishers.

A list of Lifejacket loan locations can be found in the footer of our website.


Try to wear light clothing; this will make it easier to swim if you are washed in. Jumpers and thick cotton clothing become very heavy when wet, impeding swimming and can be difficult to take off quickly.

Know how to swim

There are many situations where as a fisher you might be required to swim during the course of your fishing activities; either for recreation or in an emergency. If you fish, you should know how to swim for your own safety. If you are a poor swimmer it is best to wear a Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) and have an experienced swimmer with you at all times.

For more on learn how to swim, see royallifesaving.com.au

Float plan

Tell someone where you’re going and what time you will be home.

Shark sightings

Please report all shark sightings directly to the Water Police on 9442 8600. This number is staffed 24 hours, seven days a week and will activate any required response.

Keep informed of the latest reported sighting and tagged shark detection information by checking the Shark Activity Map or follow the Surf Life Saving WA twitter feed @SLSWA. The Shark Activity Map provides beach users with ‘real time’ information on reported sightings and tagged shark detections, as well as access to Surf Life Saving WA’s twitter feed and current alerts and warnings issued by the Department of Fisheries. Remember the map shows available information – not all sharks are tagged, or sightings reported, so be Sharksmart when using the water.

People are asked to refrain from phoning rangers direct for updates as these phone lines need to be available to coordinate shark sighting response activities.

For more information about shark sighting response plans and procedures as well as shark safety tips visit the Sharksmart website.