Now that spring is officially upon us, it’s time to brush the dirt off your fishing rods and get ready to hit the water. If your skills feel as dusty as your equipment, however, it’s essential you brush up on the necessary safety tips.
Whether you’re a new angler or fishing aficionado, consider these tips before hitting the water again this year.
Don’t stray too far from home
It’s not uncommon for the experienced angler to travel great distances for the perfect cast. Unfortunately, a new fisherman might face a number of risks during their first time sinking a line.
Between boat safety, the threat of drowning, and fears over getting lost, you should always travel with a buddy and the proper safety equipment. This includes a first-aid kit, plenty of snacks for long hours spent on the water, and a multi-tool.
In the event that you do travel for great distances, don’t hesitate to stay in a cabin overnight. Filling out a simple rental application is much better than getting frostbite out in the woods because you forgot a blanket with your limited camping supplies. Only when you feel comfortable fishing and traveling should you start planning for longer excursions away from home.
Watch out while wading
If you’re not a fan of boating, you might want to try your hand (or foot) at wading into bodies of water before casting your line. This is a common practice among river fisherman who want to catch large fish at the start of spring.
But just like sitting on a boat, wading into foreign bodies of water comes with a number of potential risks. Slips, vicious water conditions, and sudden drop offs in the river bed can result in a nasty fall. If you’re not careful, you might find yourself swept up in the current.
Deck yourself out in the proper gear, including coveralls, waterproof boots, fishing nets, and a hip strap for your bait. Using these safety precautions will ensure that you’re prepared for a day spent wading in the open water.
This is why you should only fish in designated wading areas. If you happen to notice the water getting faster, you should always look for easy wading spots from the shore.
Be careful boating
The number one most important product on your boat should be your life jacket. Before you do anything else, be sure to check the quality of your life jackets and ensure you have enough for each person on your boat.
It might make it a little harder to move while fishing, but this is essential if you ever fall out of the boat. Water currents can change quickly and it might be hard to keep your head above water. It’s because of the life jacket that you’ll be able to stay afloat.
On top of that, you should always check your local weather app to determine any inclement changes that might cause a shift in the water. If you’re met with a sudden cold front, this can impact the health of your passengers on board and potentially damage your ship, especially if you meet a changing waterfront.
Protect yourself from the sun
Even if you don’t cool off with a dip at the end of your fishing trip, using sunscreen and sunglasses are essential components for a successful fishing trip.
It’s easy to forget about UV light in the excitement of fishing with your friends, but you need to protect all exposed skin from the sun. Glaring light from the water can also promote eye damage. And be sure to wear sunglasses for the best in sun protection.