Overconfidence Can Kill, a Dry Suit Can Save

Complacency and overconfidence can kill anglers in cold water and a dry suit is a must for Great Lakes anglers, who face some of the coldest water around. No one dies in this video that friend Richard Ofner of Windsor, Ontario, shared with us. Which is always a good thing, especially since Rich is the one who went in the water.

Rich is a veteran kayak angler who likes to throw big baits for musky from sunup to sundown. His Hobie Pro Angler 14 makes the perfect launching pad for his kayak fishing casting agenda.

Like most, Rich dumped his kayak a couple of times when he first got into the sport seven years ago, but had stayed upright and out of the water for five years — until one day a couple of weeks ago.


One of three camera angles of Rich Ofner taking an unexpected dip into icy cold Great Lakes waters. Photo Rich Ofner

Along the way for those seven “dry” years, Rich’s confidence grew and so did the quality of his equipment and his preparedness. His video, graciously shared with KayakFishMag.com, helps drive both those points home.

His video cameras catch all the action as Ofner shows how stable his Hobie Pro Angler is — as long as he stands in it correctly.

The cameras also offer three angles on what can happen when an angler throwing heavy lures gets overconfident and gets dumped in the water by his own casting motion.

Finally, Rich was fully protected by a Kokatat dry suit and and his PFD and able to swim to nearby rocks and await help from boaters before he retrieved his rig.

We’re glad he shared his story. It might help someone else avoid the situation, or at least be prepared for a cold-water accident in a kayak.