You must have a 360 degree light to be legal!
As kayak anglers, we naturally end up being on the water very early and very late. For this reason, the second thing you should purchase is a good 360-degree Kayak Fishing Light (and a whistle).
The Texas Parks and Wildlife has this to say about lighting for kayaks:
“Paddling at night: Remember that you must carry one bright white light that can be exhibited in time to prevent a collision. It is recommended that you carry a lantern, flashlight, or other attached white light that will be visible from 360 degrees. Regulations state that canoes, kayaks, and all other manually driven vessels shall exhibit sidelights and a stern light, and shall exhibit at least one bright light, lantern, or flashlight from sunset to sunrise when not at the dock.”
It is recommended that you carry a lantern, flashlight, or other attached white light that will be visible from 360 degrees. Regulations state that canoes, kayaks, and all other manually driven vessels shall exhibit sidelights and a stern light, and shall exhibit at least one bright light, lantern, or flashlight from sunset to sunrise when not at the dock.”
To me, that seems a rather complicated way to say, you need a white light that can be seen from 360 degrees. It is expected that you display this light from an hour prior to sunset until an hour after sunrise.
While there all manner of DIY lights available, they are typically cumbersome and hard to power. I recommend you go with a proven, reliable light instead of trying to rig one yourself. Because let’s face it. If this thing fails, it could cost you your life.
Which Kayak Fishing Light do we suggest?
RailBlaza Visibility / Light Kit
This light is highly versatile and very compact. At 41 inches high, it’s tall enough to easily be seen over a seated kayaker, but when compressed to 25″ it’s short enough to be stored easily at the end of the trip.
Included in this kit is the StarPort Mount, which mounts easily to any flat surface (mounting hardware included), the RailBlaza TelePole, which displays the safety flag during the day, and the NaviLux 360 Degree Light (110 lumens).
The light is waterproof up to 15 feet and runs on 3 AA batteries for roughly 20 hours.
When the 360 light is removed the Telepole also supports a variety of other RailBlaza accessories, making it even more versatile.
“The Railblaza Visibility Package is a kayakers dream. It is a Three-in-one package that has endless things you can do with it. The light is very bright and simple to use. It is a great tool to let people know you are on the water. The Extension pole is perfect, it goes form 25″ to 41″ in a second. It is capable of mounting all Railblaza products directly to the top of it and is great for mounting cameras to get that once in a lifetime shot. This Package also comes with a standard Railblaza Starport mount which is completely universal and simple to use with all Railblaza products. All in all, This package offers everything you need to be visible on the water as well as a few extra options for rigging. It is a must have product for kayakers!”
“Comes with everything you need. the light is great and can been seen from a long distance a way.”