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what exactly do you need to fish at night in the ocean from a kayak?

some of us have been having questions about equipment regulations for fishing in the open ocean from a kayak at night. from my understanding you have to have an electronic signal torch at the very least. do you have to have a 360 degree white light? are running lights mandatory? i dont think so but want to clarify. and no, just dont go out there in a kayak, is not the answer.

im wondering what the actual laws are, not what the coast guard prefers so they dont get calls. also is there someone we can contact to let them know in advance we will be out there to avoid them going out on a call?


  • Roc N RolRoc N Rol Posts: 1,352 Officer
    You should have nav lights and anchor light. If you are out there with no lights there is a good chance you are going to get run over, and the anchor light should be taller than you are.I see boat's bay and flats boats out at night with a light on top of there motor and when there is 2 or 3 people standing in the boat fishing the light cant be seen when they are blocking it from view. Have been right on top of boats like this before making it out.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,453 AG
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Holmes BeachHolmes Beach Posts: 966 Officer
    a brain transplant
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,892 Captain
    Everything you need to know can be found here. http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/workflow_staging/publications/420.pdf

    All vessels even manually powered when operated in the ocean must have visual distress signals aboard. If at night, they must be a type approved for nighttime use (flares). Navigation lights are suggested and preferred even for rowboats, but the minimum requirement is a white light (flashlight etc.) that you can wave at other boaters in time to let your presence be known in order to avoid a collision.
  • Bite 1Bite 1 Posts: 489 Deckhand
    Used to nite kingfish in the '70's believe me when I say light up. Also watch out for tugs pulling barges, The barge may be 1600 yds away. Found this out the hard way one nite in a Tuppen's torrino. Glad we we all lived through our stupidity. and yes. a set of BALLS in your case is highly recommended. Just sayin' from old man.
  • Mako254Mako254 Posts: 64 Deckhand
    Bumpkin's post covers the legal MINIMUM requirements. Some other equipment that may save your life: A VHF radio and a GPS (Better yet and EPIRB), a whistle and a light (both of which are attached to your PFD), and a detailed float plan that you leave with someone you trust.
  • GroundsPounderGroundsPounder Posts: 51 Deckhand
    From the USCG Navigational Rules ; http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=navRulesContent#rule20

    Rule 25 - Sailing Vessels Underway and Vessels Under Oars Return to the top of the page

    (a) A sailing vessel underway shall exhibit: Sailing Vessel Underway

    (i) sidelights;
    (ii) a sternlight.

    (b) In a sailing vessel of less than 20 meters in length the lights prescribed in Rule 25(a) may be combined in one lantern carried at or near the top of the mast where it can best be seen.Sailing Vessel Underway

    (c) A sailing vessel underway may, in addition to the lights prescribed in Rule 25(a), exhibit at or near the top of the mast, where they can best be seen, two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being red and the lower Green, but these lights shall not be exhibited in conjunction with the combined lantern permitted by Rule 25(b).Sailing Vessel Underway

    (d) (i) A sailing vessel of less than 7 meter in length shall, if practicable, exhibit the lights prescribed in Rule 25(a) or (b), but if she does not, she shall exhibit an all around white light or have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision. Sailing Vessel Underway less than 7meters

    (ii) A vessel under oars may exhibit the lights prescribed in this rule for sailing vessels, but if she does not, she shall exhibit an all around white light or have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.Vessel Under Oars
  • ReddsharkkReddsharkk Posts: 37 Deckhand
    thanks for the responses. was unaware of the flare requirement. are you sure thats required?

    i dont plan on going out with the bare minimum, just wondering what the law is. as you can see there is some debate already in 6 responses as to the exact requirements. as far as i have been able to tell, the electronic signal torch in addition to a whistle and vest seem to be the only requisites.

    btw, i emailed the coast guard directly on their site and so far have recieved ZERO response. I would think its easier to respond to an email rather a call from the water.
  • ReddsharkkReddsharkk Posts: 37 Deckhand
    nvm, just read its required in open water.
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,604 Captain
    One more thing you might want to do before departing the beach, is to write your Social Security number somewhere on your body (NOT on your arms or legs) with a permanent marker.
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