Required Kayak Safety Equipment

The Gulf Coast Kayak Fishing Association would like to inform our fellow kayak anglers of the required safety requipment when fishing inshore, coastal waters, or offshore in Federal waters. Remembers information bullets indicate the minimum saftey equipment required by law. We often recommend additional equipment, along with fishing in groups to increase your kayaking safety.

 
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Tournament Captains Meeting

The Gulf Coast Kayak Fishing Association holds the annual Spring Tournament Captains Meeting at Hooters on Pensacola Beach, Friday night before the Saturday tournament.

The Captains meeting is a great way to meet your fellow anglers, learn about last minute rule changes and recieve door prizes.

In 2010 we started giving away the "Best Dang Tackle Box". This is a raffle to those who participate by donating a new packaged lure, you will recive a chance to win and a ticket. A ticket will be drawn and the overflowing five gallon bucket of lures could be yours! In 2012 the "Best Dang Tackle Box" had grown into two five gallon buckets full of tackle

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Grassy Point Campout

The club is planning an overnight fishing trip to the Grassy Point Wildlife Management Area near the Yellow River delta. Grassy Point is located west of Choctaw NOLF off of Hwy 87 in Santa Rosa County.

The primitive campsites provides ready access to the fishing area of Little Catfish and Catfish basins. Redfish,Trout, and Flounder can be found in the marshes, bayous and shallow waters.

We decided to make this event occur on the time change weekends (simi-annual). NOTE: Due to scheduling issues the fall event will not take place on the time change weekend, please note the new date.

  • October 25th - 27th, 2013

Hope to see you there!

Click Here for more information.

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Rigging Clinic

19 Jan 2013

Each January we hold our annual rigging clinic to help new kayak anglers add, modify, or remove items to/from their kayaks to aid them in the pursuit of the perfect fishing kayak.

Bring your yaks and any rigging projects you have. Take advantage of the experience of others.

If your yak is fully rigged, bring it to show off. Seeing how others have rigged their yaks is half the fun.

Also, if you have yak gear to sell or swap, bring it and we can set up a barter station.

This years event was held at Hot Spots Bait and Tackle in Gulf Breeze, FL.

 

 

Kayak Safety Equipment

Minimum Requirements for State and Federal waters

Federal Safety Equipment for Kayaks (less than 16 feet in length)

  • PFD - All recreational boats must carry one Type I, II, III or V (wearable) PFD for each person on board. For Type V PFDs to be counted they must be used according to their label requirements. Any boat 16 feet or over (except canoes and kayaks) must also carry one Type IV (throw-able) PFD.
  • Navigation Lights - Sailing vessels less than 23 feet may carry an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light that should be displayed in sufficient time to prevent collision. If practicable, the lights prescribed for sailing vessels under 65 feet should be displayed. Vessels under oars may display the lights prescribed for sailing vessels, otherwise they must have ready at hand an electric or lighted lantern showing a white light to be displayed in sufficient time to prevent collision.
  • Sound producing device - Vessels under 39.4 feet are required to carry an efficient sound signaling device, such as a whistle, horn or other means, and to use that device to signal their intentions and/or position in periods of reduced visibility. (Athletic whistles are acceptable.)
  • Visual Distress -  Recreational boats 16 feet and over used on coast waters or the Great Lakes are required to carry a minimum of either 1) three day and three night pyrotechnic devices, 2) one day non-pyrotechnic device (flag) and one night non-pyrotechnic device (auto SOS light) or 3) a combination of 1) and 2). Recreational boats less than 16 feet on coastal waters or the Great Lakes need only carry night visual distress signals when operating from sunset to sunrise. It is recommended, but not required, that boats operating on inland waters should have some means of making a suitable day and night distress signal. The number and type of signals is best judged by considering conditions under which the boat will be operating.

 

Florida Safety Equipment for Kayaks (less than 16 feet in length)

  • PFD - All vessels are required to have onboard a wearable USCG-approved personal flotation device (PFD) for each person. The PFDs must be of the appropriate size for the intended wearer, be in serviceable condition, and within easy access. 
  • Sound producing device - All vessels are required to carry an efficient sound-producing device, such as a referee's whistle.
  • Navigation Lights - Watercraft under oars (such as a canoe or kayak) may display the lights prescribed for sailboats (less than 7 meters), but if not, must have ready at hand an electric torch or lighting lantern (flashlight) showing a white light to be displayed in sufficient time to prevent collision.
  • Visual Distress - Vessels less than 16 feet in length are required to carry at least 3 visual distress signals approved for nighttime use when on coastal waters from sunset to sunrise.  Vessels 16 feet or longer must carry at least 3 daytime and three nighttime visual distress signals (or 3 combination daytime/nighttime signals) at all times when on coastal waters.
  •  NOTE:Coastal waters means the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and all bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, etc. where any entrance is over two (2) miles wide to the first point where the distance between shorelines narrows to 2 miles. 

 

Alabama Safety Equipment for Kayaks (less than 16 feet in length)

  • PFD - Every vessel operated on the waters of this state is required to have on board at least one U. S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) for each occupant aboard the vessel as specified below: Class I - Less than 4.9 meters (16 feet): a Type I, II, or III.
  • Sound producing device - All vessels as hereinafter designated shall be equipped with signal
    devices for use during night-time operation (sunset to sunrise) and during inclement
    weather where visibility is greatly reduced.
    • All vessels 4.9 meters [(16) feet] in length but less than 8 meters [(26) feet] are required to be equipped with an efficient whistle or other sound producing mechanical device, whether operated by hand or power, capable of producing a blast of two seconds or more duration and audible for at least .8 kilometers (one-half mile).
  • Navigation lights - Manually propelled vessels less than 7 meters [(23) feet] in length shall have readily at hand a lantern or flashlight showing a white light which shall be temporarily exhibited by the operator in sufficient time to prevent collision.
  • NOTE: Alabama law does not require visual distress equipment, but "Costal Waters" of Alabama fall under Federal Regulations and laws.

 

 

Mississippi Safety Equipment for Kayaks (less than 16 feet in length)

 

  • PFD - All recreational boats must carry one Type I, II, III or V (wearable) PFD for each person on board. For Type V PFDs to be counted they must be used according to their label requirements. Any boat 16 feet or over (except canoes and kayaks) must also carry one Type IV (throw-able) PFD.
  • Navigation Lights - Sailing vessels less than 23 feet may carry an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light that should be displayed in sufficient time to prevent collision. If practicable, the lights prescribed for sailing vessels under 65 feet should be displayed. Vessels under oars may display the lights prescribed for sailing vessels, otherwise they must have ready at hand an electric or lighted lantern showing a white light to be displayed in sufficient time to prevent collision.
  • Sound producing device - Vessels under 39.4 feet are required to carry an efficient sound signaling device, such as a whistle, horn or other means, and to use that device to signal their intentions and/or position in periods of reduced visibility. (Athletic whistles are acceptable.)
  • Visual Distress - Vessels less than 16 feet in length are required to carry at least 3 visual distress signals approved for nighttime use when on coastal waters from sunset to sunrise.  Vessels 16 feet or longer must carry at least 3 daytime and three nighttime visual distress signals (or 3 combination daytime/nighttime signals) at all times when on coastal waters.
  •  NOTE: Coastal waters means the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and all bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, etc. where any entrance is over two (2) miles wide to the first point where the distance between shorelines narrows to 2 miles. 

 

 

Louisiana Safety Equipment for Kayaks (less than 16 feet in length (Class A))

 

  • PFD - All vessels must be equipped with U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets, called personal flotation devices (PFDs). The quantity and type depend on the length of your vessel and the number of people on board and/or being towed. Each PFD must be in good condition, be of proper size for the intended wearer, and very importantly, be readily accessible! Readily accessible means you must be able to put the PFD on in a reasonable amount of time in an emergency (vessel sinking, on fire, etc.). PFDs should not be stowed in plastic bags or in locked or closed compartments and they should not have other gear showed on top of them. Children 16 years of age and young are required to wear the PFD while underway.
  • Navigation lights - Motorboats and vessels of Classes A and 1 when propelled by sail alone shall carry the combined lanterns but not the white light aft prescribed by this Section. Motorboats and vessels of Classes 2 and 3 when so propelled shall carry the suitably screened colored side lights, but not the white light prescribed by this Section. Motorboats and vessels of all classes when underway shall carry ready at hand a lantern or flashlight showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to avert collision.
  • Visual distress - All recreational boats, when used on coastal waters and the territorial seas, up to a point where a body of water is less than two miles wide must be equipped with visual distress signals. Boats owned in the United States operating on the high seas must be equipped with visual distress signals. The following are excepted from the requirements for day signals and only need carry night signals when operating at night
    - Recreational boats less than 16 feet in length.
    - Boats participating in organized events such as races, regattas, or marine parades.
    - Open sailboats less than 26 feet in length not equipped with propulsion machinery.
    - Manually propelled boats.
    Pyrotechnic visual distress signals must be Coast Guard approved, in serviceable condition and stowed to be readily accessible. They are marked with a date showing the serviceable life and this date must not have passed. Launchers produced before January 1, 1981, intended for use with approved signals are not required to be Coast Guard approved.

 

 

Texas Safety Equipment for Kayaks (All Vessels)

 

  • PFD - All Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) must be U.S. Coast Guard approved, in serviceable condition, readily accessible, and of the appropriate size for intended user. See Life Jackets for more details on PFD types. All vessels, including canoes and kayaks, must be equipped with one Type I, II, III or V wearable PFD for each person on board. A Type V PFD is acceptable only if used in accordance with the specific instructions on the label of the device
  • Sound producing device - Any vessel less than 12 meters in length (39.4 ft.) is required to carry a whistle or horn, or some other means to make an efficient sound to signal intentions and position in periods of reduced visibility.
  • Lights Required - All vessels including motorboats, sailboats, canoes, kayaks, punts, rowboats, rubber rafts, or other vessels when not at dock must have and exhibit at least one bright light, lantern or flashlight visible all around the horizon from sunset to sunrise in all weather and during restricted visibility.
  • Navigation lights -All other manually driven vessels may exhibit sidelights and a sternlight, or shall exhibit at least one bright light, lantern, or flashlight from sunset to sunrise when not at dock. In vessels of less than 12 meters (39.4 feet), white lights shall be visible at a distance of at least two (2) miles. Colored lights shall be visible at a distance of at least one (1) mile. "Visible" when applied to lights, means visible on dark nights with clear atmosphere.

 

 

 

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Logo

Image of the Gulf Coast Kayak Fishing Associations color logo.

Sunset on Pensacola Bay

This is an example of some of the spectacular sunsets, with the colors reflecting in the catch and release bull red.

Bayou Landing

An image of the primative boat ramp area of the bayou campsite at Grassy Point. This image captured the refective light of the SOLAS tape on the kayaks. - Fall 2011

Surf Launch

An early morning surf launch in Destin Florida, heading out to do some offshore fishing.

Sailfish

Barrett Fine is a GCKFA master angler, he caught this sailfish off the coast of Destin Florida during a GCKFA spring tournament.

Wahoo

Garett Fifer caught this once in a life time wahoo, off of his kayak near Navarre, FL.

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Latest News

  • August edition of the FWCC Marine Fisheries Hot Sheet.
  • Congratulations to Eric Kaiser our newest GCKFA Master Angler.
  • GCKFA Social - Wednesday, September 18th, 6pm, Hooters on the Beach.
  • BOONDOGGLE Oct 11th - 14th Big Lagoon State Park, Perdido Key.
  • GCKFA Social - Wednesday, October 16th, 6pm, Hopjacks on Nine Mile Road.
  • GCKFA Campout - Fishing Adventure Oct 25th - 27th at Grassy Point.
  • GCKFA Social - Wednesday, November 20th, 6pm, Ollie's in Milton.
  • GCKFA Social - Wednesday, December 18th, 6pm, Oar House, Pensacola.
  • GCKFA Social - Wednesday, January 15th, 2014, 6pm, Hooters on the Beach.
  • GCKFA Social - Wednesday, February 19th, 2014, 6pm, Hopjacks on Nine Mile Road.
  • GCKFA Social - Wednesday, March 19th, 2014, 6pm, Ollie's in Milton.
  • GCKFA Social - Wednesday, April 16th, 2014, 6pm, Oar House, Pensacola.
  • GCKFA Social - Wednesday, May 21st, 2014, 6pm, Hooters on the Beach.
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