Fishing and Safety

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Remind Yourself to Be Safe While Fishing

Even the most seasoned veterans can use the occasional reminder about fishing safety. It’s only natural that, as you start to get more comfortable and things fall into a routine, you relax your vigilance. Before you go out for another trip, however, take a moment to review your habits and make sure you’re still practicing safety diligence.

Wear a life vest

Any time you’re on a boat, in deep water or in water with a current, make sure you wear your portable flotation device. This one seems so obvious, but forgetfulness, overconfidence and negligence can mean the difference between dampness and drowning, even for strong swimmers.


Bring a first-aid kit

Even lightweight backpackers should take on the slight extra weight that’s added to bring a small first-aid kit. Bandages, antiseptic, pain reliever and a bee-sting kit are enough, although a more thorough kit in your car is always helpful.

Look before you cast

Check behind you. Check all around you. Remember that the hook you’re casting into the water is meant to pierce and stick into the flesh of a fish; it will do that to a person, too, so be sure you’re aware of your surroundings before you cast.

Wear sunscreen

Most people should be doing this on a daily basis, but take the extra time to be sure that you apply sunscreen when you’re fishing. Even if the day is cloudy or you anticipate sitting in the shade, you can still be exposed to skin-damaging ultraviolet rays. Insect repellant is also a good idea. Remember, the fewer the bugs bother you, the more comfortable you’ll be, and the longer you’ll be able to fish.

Stay hydrated

While this is typically more of a concern during the summer than in the cooler months, hydration is always important. Even mild dehydration can lead to headaches and dizziness, which is going to make your fishing trip less enjoyable. Get in the habit of sipping water routinely instead of waiting until you feel thirsty.

While some of these tips may seem like common sense, it never hurts to have a reminder. Make yourself a checklist and put it with your tackle so that, every time you head out to fish, you have to glance at your safety list. Develop good habits for your own safety and for the safety of others so you can enjoy your time fishing without having to worry about injuries and discomfort.

Consider your surroundings

Give some thought to where you’ll be fishing. If fishing from land, find a stable place to stand or sit. If on the water, make sure you are dressed appropriately to repel water and have a life preserver for deep water or strong current. If fishing on the ice, make sure the ice is thick enough to ice fish safely.

Be careful when eating your catch

Don’t automatically assume anything you catch can be eaten. Find tips on staying safe when eating the fish you catch here.

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