A kayak angler cannot be proud. Sometimes, getting to the fish means flopping in the slop like an Arkansas hog. Don’t let mucking become a marathon of misery. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the gloop and keep you safe when you find yourself and your kayak in the mud.

How to Safely Step Into Mud

All fun aside, swamp mud can be dangerous. Not only can you get stuck, but the mud can hide sharp shells or even cause broken bones and torn muscles.

a heron stands in muddy water
We lack some of the heron’s advantages for standing in muddy water. | Photo: James Wheeler/Pexels

Before stepping onto uncertain ground, test firmness with the end of your paddle blade. Then, put a foot out and test some of your body weight. Gradually transfer weight from the kayak to the mud. Be sure to wear footwear that won’t get sucked off your foot.

3 Easy Moves to Kayak Through Muck

THE FRED FLINSTONE | Photo: Jeff Herman

1 The Fred Flintstone

This maneuver starts with a healthy string of curse words. Then, kick your feet overboard on either side of the boat and kick along like a dog with worms. This works better if you skooch towards the bow, which is narrower so your feet get more purchase on the bottom. Your paddle can provide extra leverage to propel yourself forward.

THE SHOVEL | Photo: Jeff Herman

2 The Shovel

Part of the challenge to shallow-water kayak fishing is seeing how far you can go before you get dirty. In a few inches of water, you can shift your weight towards the bow to lift the heavier stern. Then, use the paddle to dig in the mud and push the kayak along. Be careful when using your paddle like a shovel; too much leverage can snap a paddle shaft.

THE PEG-LEGGED PIRATE | Photo: Jeff Herman

3 The Peg-Legged Pirate

Kneel in the kayak and swing one leg over the side. Then push with your foot like propelling a scooter. If your foot gets stuck in the mud, lean forward and transfer the weight to your knee resting on the kayak while bringing the heel of your foot up through the hole. It’s dirty work, but you’ll love it.

The Peg-Legged Pirate will get you through the grabby marsh muck to your spot faster. | Feature photo: Jeff Herman

 

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