Anglers obsess with catching fish. In all the excitement, they forget safety. A checklist of safety tips for freshwater anglers should be part of the tackle. An angler needs to review the list as part of fishing responsibly. Accidents will happen. But using a few safety measures makes accidents less likely to occur. Take the time to learn waterway and fishing safety.
Fishing without safety in mind leads to hooks in the body, drownings, and other injuries. Almost all fishing injuries or deaths are preventable. The practices needed usually do not take time away from the sport. In many instances following the rules. Plus having basic equipment is all you need.
I do not have experience in saltwater or ice fishing. The topics are not in the article. Some information will cross over. Look up specific safety for the type of fishing.
General Safety Tips for Freshwater Anglers
There are tips that apply to all angling situations. Some are basic but forgotten by some anglers. Some anglers do think about it. Until an accident occurs.
- Safe casting area
- Keep deck or shore are clear of obstacles
- Store tackle properly
- Use a landing net and release tools
- Do not wrap line or ropes around hands or body parts
- Maintain all the equipment
- Obey all signs including no fishing
General Safety Tips Explained
The common accident in fishing is a hook into someone’s body. This happens often when a person does not have a clear casting area. When casting look for others in the way. Also do not walk into another fisherman’s area without letting him know. Anglers swing back to load the rod then throw the rod forward with force. If the hooks land on someone. It will penetrate into the person’s body.
Items laying on the deck or grounds are going to trip or make you fall in some way. Have a place for everything. It will end falling from slipping or tripping.
A tackle box needs organizing. Lures and hooks must have compartments holding them to prevent accidental hooking. Throwing a bunch of lures into one compartment makes a mess with the potential of hooking a finger.
A net holds fish safely for unhooking. A thrashing fish will drive hooks into hands and fingers fast. Properly net or hold the fish and use a tool to remove the hooks. You do not know when the fish will struggle to get free.
Wrapping lines around the hands or fingers will cut. The newer lines are hard to break and thinner diameters. Braided line is very dangerous is this aspect. Use a solid object to wrap the line around. Then pull the line to get out of snags.
An anchor rope wrapped around any part of the body is stupid. You will be pulled out of the boat and underwater.
Equipment must be in proper working conditions. A leaky fuel line is a fire hazard. Old worn life preservers will likely not hold someone up in the water. Inspect all equipment and replace or repair as needed.
Signs are posted for a reason. There are hazards in some areas. The fish may be diseased or contain toxins. A no-fishing sign means off-limits for some reason.
Safety Tips for Boats and Kayaks
Since the equipment has been covered. What other things do boaters need to be aware of on the water? Knowing the water is crucial. Underwater hazards exist and cause boating accidents. Large rocks, logs, and other obstructions will flip or stop a boat immediately. Everyone will end up in the water.
Beware of the surroundings when on the water. Other boaters can be careless and ram into your boat. Spending a lot of the time on the water you will have a close call or two. Kayak fishing needs more attention. Kayaking has its own safety needs. You are lower to the water and less visible. Use a flag and have a horn. They make compressed air horns that are handheld.
Regardless of boat, canoe, or kayak, a safety course is the best idea. Some areas make the courses mandatory while others it is optional. The courses are low cost or free in some instances. A safety course will teach the most about safety on the water.
Kayaks are ideal for many anglers. The lower cost and ability to get into areas others cannot is popular. Care must be taken to use tackle storage and other equipment. Designed and suitable for kayaks. The room is at a premium and overloading is dangerous. Use less tackle and smaller storage boxes.
Anchoring a kayak does not take much weight. The concern is over line laying loose making entanglement a problem. This system is available on Amazon and keeps the rope spooled and safely out of the way. If capsized the rope is contained or limited to how much is in the water. An anchor and rope are hazards when out of the boat or kayak.
Safety tips for freshwater anglers cover a few basics. Take time to learn waterway safety. The courses offer guidance from professionals for anglers using boats, canoes, or kayaks. Take advantage of the courses. The links in the article lead to other sites. Those sites have detailed information for kayak use or general boating safety. Keep safety first to enjoy more days on the water and fishing.