As we mentioned last week, most of us are going through some tough times. Assuming you’re doing your best to practice social distancing during this current COVID-19 pandemic, you may be looking for some entertainment right about now. For this reason, it’s time to talk about basic fishing safety.
As long as you’re keeping your safe distance from others, fishing can be an incredible way to enjoy some solitude and relieve some stress. It’s a good idea to get some fresh air, as long as you’re doing so safely. That said, water safety comes in many shapes and sizes. Besides, while social distancing won’t last forever, these basic fishing safety tips can always help to prevent injury or loss of life.
Before You Fish – Be Prepared
If you’re going near the water, it pays to be prepared. First of all, becoming a strong swimmer is an excellent precaution. You never know how or when disaster may strike. If you are suddenly plunged into the water, swimming is a great skill to have up your sleeve. Fortunately, swimming lessons are available for people of all ages.
If you’re heading out on a boat, you should wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket. An unapproved floatation device may not be able to save your life. For kids, an adult should always make sure life jackets are worn properly. It should fit snugly, as a loose life jacket could slip off in the water. Obvious, that could easily turn a fun day of fishing into tragedy. For folks who live in colder areas, we also offered an article about basic fishing safety tips for ice fishers. Take a look!
In addition, it’s always a good idea to wear sunscreen on exposed areas of the body, like your face, neck, and hands. Otherwise, the sun’s rays can damage your skin and give you a painful burn.
Last, wear a hat. Hats keep your head cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They also can help to keep the sun out of your eyes and protect your head from hooks during a stray cast.
Tackling Basic Fishing Tips
Now that you’re ready to head to the water, let’s tackle your tackle box. Fishing tackle can provide you with all the gear you’ll need to start catching some beauties. It can include any number of hooks, lines, sinkers, rods, reels and even bait. There are so many different varieties of gear to choose from, but today, let’s explore how to use your tackle safely:
First of all, tackle can be sharp. Knowing this, the best basic fishing safety tip is to treat it with care and responsibility. Look before you reach into your tackle box. Don’t leave your gear carelessly strewn about. If you get a bite, you could easily trip over your tackle box and expose yourself to hooks and other sharp objects. To that point, don’t fish barefoot. Wearing shoes will protect you just in case you accidentally step on a razor sharp hook.
Once you get a bite, you’ll want to reel in that fish. Now, removing a hook from a wriggling fish’s mouth can be tricky. If the hook is very deep in the fish’s mouth, don’t put your fingers all the way in.
That’s an easy way to get bitten. Instead, try using a hook remover to carefully remove the hook. If that’s still not working, it may be time to cut your line and let the poor creature go.
Look Before You Cast
When casting your line, make absolutely sure you are not fishing near anything that can be hazardous to your health. Most of us know to look out for other people, but you should also be wary about casting near dangerous things like power lines. Remember: always look around before you cast your line.
Otherwise, that’s about it for basic fishing tips. Enjoy the solitude of one of the oldest forms of meditation. Just be careful and you’ll have a great time… even if you don’t catch a big one!