Safety is always the number one priority while out on the water (or on the edge of the water). It is vital to have a safety plan before heading out to go fishing. Follow these tips to ensure your next fishing experience is safe and worry-free!
Make a Plan
Planning your fishing excursion will save you time and keep you safe. It is important to research the area you will be fishing, as well as any park restrictions. You can typically find this information online through a government website. Also, the air and water temperature of where you will be fishing is important to know so that you can pack accordingly.
Without exception, make sure at least one person knows where and when you will be fishing. Bring a fishing buddy if possible! Doing anything alone outdoors could be a potential danger. If you are taking a boat, make sure the boat has been serviced regularly and that whoever is operating the boat has the proper license.
Safety Gear Prep
If going out on a boat to do your fishing, the most important safety gear item is a USCG-approved life jacket. Life jacket rules and regulations vary by state and area, so make sure that you look up the restrictions of where you plan to fish. In the US, a USCG-approved life jacket must be available for each passenger on the boat. Keeping other flotation devices, including a throwable ring buoy on a boat is also a great safety precaution.
UV-protective clothing and sunscreen should be worn on any fishing excursion. Even if it isn’t visibly sunny, you are at risk of sunburn. And don’t forget protective non-slip shoes. While those summer flip-flops are convenient, they’re unsafe to worn while fishing.
You may not need to bring ALL of these items on every fishing excursion, but it is important to go through this checklist before heading out:
o Maps or GPS
o Cell Phone
o Wireless Cell Phone Charger
o First Aid Kit
o Bug Repellent
o Drinking Water
o Non-perishable food
o Emergency Rescue Blanket
o Fire Extinguisher
o Flare Gun
Additional Safety Tips
Be aware of your surroundings, environment, and wildlife when fishing. Weather conditions are ever-changing, so always be observant. Also, it is important to not go anywhere that is marked “off limits” or “do not enter”. Hooks, rods, tackle, and fish should all be handled with care to prevent injury.
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