Fishing is a fun activity! And if you’re reading this now, you’re probably part of the population who agrees with that sentiment. Despite all the excitement, though, it’s best not to get carried away and still make sure that your fishing trips go smoothly, and more importantly, without any injuries.
Veteran anglers already know the ins and outs of fishing safety by heart. But if you’re only starting out or could use a refresher, you’re in the right place.
Plan your itinerary ahead
Even just one trip is enough to teach any beginner angler that there are many things to consider before fishing. You can start by knowing the best places to fish or boat in the first place using this tool by Take Me Fishing. It can give you a lot of what you need to know about various spots in the US; all the way from weather conditions and the best times to try and snag the different fishes available in certain areas.
If you’re looking to catch certain species of fish, you’d have to have the right bait to attract them, too, be it live bait or artificial lure. And if you end up needing live bait, different states have different rules when it comes to using them.
Beyond fish, some areas even have vehicle requirements, especially for areas with rocky or frozen terrain. Check if you currently violate any of these regulations for a hassle-free trip.
Know how to deal with wildlife
Potentially aggressive animals such as bears and alligators could be near your fishing spot. While there are ways to keep you and your fishing buddies safe in encounters with them, prevention is still better than cure.
Before bringing out your tackle box and casting your rod, be aware of how you can properly dispose of fish guts and other remains. Most parks have dedicated fish cleaning stations for this very purpose, because disposing of remains in random places can and will draw attention from local wildlife. Remember: a lot of animals have stronger senses of smell than we do, so what’s ignorable to us could unknowingly alert them to your location.
More than just animals, however, wildlife includes poisonous plants, too, so make sure to have at least some general knowledge about the most common kinds.
Keep your skin protected
Don’t get me wrong, going out in the sun does give you that healthy dose of Vitamin D! But there are scientifically proven limits to that exposure. As a rule of thumb, ten to thirty minutes of midday sunlight daily should be enough, but every person’s sensitivity to sunlight also varies, so if you’re looking to experiment with your own tolerance, wear sunscreen (with at least 30 Sun Protection Factor or SPF) before going out.
Too much sunlight isn’t your skin’s only enemy during fishing trips, though. Insects can also become troublesome in the long run. Luckily, you can also grab some insect repellents to spray for your clothes. But watch out for chemicals such as DEET that can affect your clothing, and possibly your reels.
For more peace of mind, you could simply dress for the occasion and wear long sleeves with high Ultraviolet Protection Factor or UPF, like the ones we have here at Baitium! They’re high quality, breathable, made from recycled materials, and most importantly, easy on the pocket.
Use and organize equipment properly
Naturally, you’d want to snag fish—not your fishing buddy or yourself. Make sure to operate sharp equipment such as fish hooks with care. A lot of hooks are already equipped with safeguards these days. But if you still use the good old traditional hooks, perhaps wearing gloves or simply storing them neatly in your tackle box would do. Don’t forget to look around you first, too, before casting your rod.
As much as possible, use pliers when removing hooks from fishes as well. And as an extra layer of protection, wear protective eyewear such as goggles. You never know how squirmy fish can get, so prepare for the worst!
In case of an emergency, however, you should always have a first aid kit at your disposal. The basics, such as bandages, gauze rolls or pads, scissors, tweezers, ointments, alcohol, and the like, will probably work wonders. Just like fish hooks, make sure to store items such as scissors carefully so that they don’t hurt anyone.
Small prices to pay for safety
From this article alone, you already know that it doesn’t take much to stay safe. In fact, most of these tips revolve around mere knowledge of fishing spots and the usual equipment to bring on a fishing trip. With America having recently made a new record for fishing participation rate in 2020, safety should be a number one priority for all anglers.
If you could use more of these fishing tips, make sure to check out our blog!