Tips for Safer Fishing on a Boat

SAFER FISHING

Fishing is a great way to relax and have fun! Fishing is also a great way to experience the great outdoors. You can do this by staying on the shore or a combination with boating, picnicking, camping, hiking, and viewing wildlife. It can be a great way to connect with nature and catch up with your loved ones. Fishing isn’t necessarily a dangerous activity, but there are some safety tips which should be followed.

Using Tackle Safely

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Always handle fishing tackle responsibly! Make sure to look behind you before casting so that your hook will not catch a power line, tree, or another person. Do not leave your tackle lying on the ground as someone may trip and fall on it, step on a hook, or even break your tackle. If a hook is deep inside of a fish’s mouth, don’t put your hand inside. Instead, use a hook remover to carefully remove the hook. If this doesn’t work, cut the line as far back as you safely can to release the fish. Always remove hooks and lures from your line and store them in your tackle box when moving your equipment.

Dress for The Occasion 

Children and adults should wear properly fitted Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices (PFD) whenever they are around water. Always wear sunscreen on exposed areas like your face, neck, and hands. The sun’s rays can give you a painful burn that damages your skin and could cause long term effects. We also recommend that you wear a hat to keep your head cool in the summer and warm in the winter while also protecting you from damaging UV rays. Sunglasses protect your eyes from hooks and the sun’s harmful rays. Polarized sunglasses can also help you see below the surface of the water to see fish and other objects. Shoes should always be worn whether you are fishing on the shore, in a boat, or wading in the water. Stray hooks, glass, sharp rocks, and other objects on the shore and in the water can cut your bare feet and cause serious injuries. Shoes designed to keep your feet from slipping in a wet boat could help prevent you from taking an unexpected dip into the water. Always dress for the weather and be prepared for sudden changes.

 

Basic Boating Safety:

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Make sure all of the required equipment as well as a first-aid box are on the boat before going fishing. When an emergency happens, you may not be able to go back to shore to get what you forgot. Know how to properly use your rescue devices prior to leaving the shore. Stay seated as much as possible while in a boat. Never overload a boat. Know how much weight your boat can safely carry and always evenly distribute your load. Do not use drugs or drink alcohol when boating. Over half of all drowning victims were using alcohol or drugs. Remain a safe distance from low water dams and other restricted areas. Keep your eyes on the weather. Leave the water before storms arrive. If on the water and caught in a storm, make sure your life jacket is on and cautiously travel to shore and beach the boat. Travel slowly in shallow areas and areas of flooded trees. When traveling at night, be sure your running lights are on so others can see you.

 

Safety in numbers

Take a friend or two fishing!! Having someone with you not only makes it more fun but also increases the safety for everyone. If something were to go awry, there would be someone to administer the help that is necessary or get you back to safety. Additionally, always tell someone where you will be fishing and when. Boating in itself could be very dangerous, so it is important to let someone know where you will be in case something happens. 

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