Entries Tagged as 'Safety'

What NOT to do on a fishing trip

A great day on the water can be ruined by one thing going wrong.
Whether you’re fishing alone or in a group it’s best to remember what to do and what not to do. Below are some tips on what not to do based on either personal experience or hearing other people’s stories. Some of these may seem like common sense but sometimes the excitement of a fishing trip could make a person forget something simple.

Don’t forget to scope a new spot. Make sure you know about the lake or fishing hole you’re going to before getting out there. The last thing you want to do is bring the wrong equipment to fish with.

Don’t forget to tell someone where you’re going. This is especially important if you’re going alone. Someone has to know where you are and around what time you’ll be back in case something happens. They should be able to contact you (just like you should be able to contact them) if there is an emergency. This means either putting your cell in a sealable plastic bag or getting a junky cell to use on the water.

Don’t forget to check weather reports. You need to know if it’s going to be raining or clear and from which direction the wind is blowing if you want a successful trip. If it’s supposed to rain, bring your rain gear. It’s better to have extra stuff just in case than to be caught out in the rain with no rain jacket. It’s also good to know how strong the winds are so you know what you’ll be dealing with on your boat or on the dock.

Don’t try to catch bigger than your boat. If you’re in a 10 foot boot don’t try catching a shark or tuna (if you live in an area with these massive fish). A fish bigger than your boat might make you capsize and put you in a lot of danger.

Don’t forget to pack snacks. This is especially important if you know you’re going out all day. Bring a lunch as well as other things to munch on during the day. Even though fishing is considered by some to be a leisure activity we know it’s more than just sitting in a boat. You need to keep your energy level up in order to reel in the big one.

Don’t ignore warning signs of bad weather. If it looks like there’s going to be a big storm coming in don’t ignore the visible signs. Get off the water if you hear thunder, see lightening, or experience high winds and high waves. Always take into consideration what your boat can handle and what you can handle in bad weather.

Don’t fish when injured or sick. When you’re dealing with a cold or an injury while fishing, it will put a damper on any fishing trip. This is especially true if that injury is a cut on your hands or painful blisters on your feet. You definitely don’t want to be drowsy from cold medicines when you’re fishing because you could make a mistake that costs you a trophy fish.

Don’t forget to take stock of your gear. Make sure you’ve got all the tackle you may need, your rods, nets, bait, other tools, and either a compass or GPS in case you get lost as well as anything else you’ll need. Even if you don’t burn easily take along sunscreen and wear sunglasses. A good day fishing can turn miserable if you can’t see what you’re doing or are too sunburned to move the next day. Remember to bring pliers for helping to release the fish. You don’t want to use bare hands when dealing with a wiggling fish that has a sharp hook that needs to come out.

Don’t fish to drink. It’s all right to have a beer (depending on state laws about operating a boat with alcohol in your system as well as age restrictions) but don’t drink enough to become impaired. You might cause damage to your boat or self which may result in you not being able to fish again.

Fishing is about going out and having fun but you have to be safe on the water. The best fishing trips can turn sour if you’re forgotten something important. What are your worst experiences on the water and what tips would you give to prevent it?

Don’t Wade out without proper gear

Proper clothing and wading gear is extremely important to successful fishing. Without the proper clothes and gear, a fishing trip can be made less successful or you may become injured during the trip. Here are a few basic tips on what to wear when you go out wade fishing.
1) Species of fish like trout or muskies flee at the slightest movement or flash of color. When wading for these fish, the best thing to do is to blend in with your surroundings by wearing drab colors like blue or light brown.
2) Always remember to dress for the weather. In cold weather dress in synthetic materials or wool. In hot weather wear thin light clothes and bring sunscreen.
3) Polarized sunglasses are a must. Not only do they protect your eyes from the sun and the glare of the water, but they also protect your eyes from lose hooks. For an overcast day or later on in the day it is best to use sunglasses with an amber tint. Make sure they also block UV rays so your eyes are extra protected.
4) Make sure you also wear a hat. The most popular are baseball hats but these have no back flap. A back flap will protect your neck from sun and hooks. A full brimmed hat will also protect you from the rain. Having a hat reduces glare and makes it easier to spot fish.
5) Always make sure you carry rain gear on you, especially if the local weather reports are calling for rain. The best materials are lightweight and breathable but are quite expensive. Even rubber rain is suitable enough; it will keep you warm and dry and is inexpensive.
6) A good fishing vest is a must have. Make sure it is lightweight, yet large enough to fit over a sweater and carry an assortment of small gear. Make sure the vest comes with a lot of pockets in small sizes and that these pockets either zip up (preferable) or have Velcro.
Wading Gear tips:
Your actual choice of wading gear depends on how deep you are planning to fish and the temperature of the water you are going to be fishing in. Also, wading gear is dependent on how much traction you need. What ever gear you end up choosing, make sure it fits well, keeps dry and allows you to move comfortably.
Wading gear comes in two basic types: hip boots and chest waders. Hip boots are best for shallow water fishing, anywhere where the water will not reach your mid-thigh. Chest waders are best for deep water fishing where the water will go past your hips. Both come in boot-foot and stocking-foot styles and are available in many different materials.

Safety First

Are you a safe fisher?
Even if you answered yes, there may be a few things you are missing. Sometimes the most experienced anglers can make a mistake. You never know what might happen as you fish. Even though fishing is not a particularly dangerous spot compared to other sports out there, it does have its hazards.
Here are some basic tips that you should know:
•Prepare for the unexpected: bad weather, too much sun, bugs and stray hooks.
•Try to foresee the unexpected by watching weather reports, bringing sunscreen bug spray and a first aid kit.
•Stay with your rod or pole at all times.
•Always wear shoes even when wade fishing.
•Always test your footing before moving forward, be wary of rocks and loose sand.
•Stay away from overhanging power lines (if any).
•Always watch for clearance on your backswing when casting.
•Always wear a life jacket in a boat, especially if you are a weak swimmer.
•When baiting your line, always keep a firm grip on the bait.
•When you land a fish, ease it out of the water slowly. Jerking it out of the water could result in flying hooks if your fish comes loose.
•When fishing with children, always keep an eye on them.

Being prepared for the unexpected means taking a few extra items along with you, besides your gear. These items include: sunscreen, insect repellent, sunglasses, soap, a first aid kit, food and water for longer trips and life jackets for boat outings. Always be prepared for anything that may come your way. A safe fisher is a happy fisher.