Fishing Safety Tips for Beginners

Fishing is an ancient art and science that is gaining in popularity today. That’s because fishing gets you outdoors into beautiful environments, involves a certain amount of strategizing and skill, as well as inviting you to sit back and relax in an increasingly hectic world. Here are a few tips to ensure that your fishing excursion is a safe and enjoyable one.

Research Your Fishing License Requirements

You can stay in compliance with local fishing regulations by researching these in advance of your fishing trip. Areas often require different licenses for freshwater and saltwater fishing. In addition, there may be special stamps to catch certain species of fish, restrictions on when you can fish for certain types of fish, as well as what size fish you can keep.

Keep Your Equipment Organized

Many fishing injuries occur when equipment, such as hooks or tools, are left lying around when they can accidentally pierce the skin or cause a fall. If you are not using a piece of equipment, place it back into your fishing box.

Take Care When Casting

You should always look behind you before casting to ensure you will not be catching someone with a hook or tangling your line into a tree or electrical line. Be familiar with the operation of your equipment ahead of time to avoid problems.

Be Aware of Fish Handling Hazards

Use a tool to remove hooks from a fish’s mouth. Be aware that some fish have sharp teeth or stinging whiskers that can cause injuries to the hands. Also, you should keep your hands clean by rinsing frequently or using hand sanitizer to avoid bacteria that contaminate some fish.

Keep An Eye on the Weather

While you are out fishing, keep an eye out for changing weather. Avoid being out in a lightning storm, and be ready to take shelter in your vehicle or a nearby structure, if needed.

Watch Your Footing

Rocky areas along shorelines can be covered with moss and other growth that can offer slippery footing. If you don’t want to land in the water, make sure you test your footing carefully when you first arrive. Wear rubber-soled shoes you don’t mind getting wet and fishy. If you plan on wading into the water, invest in a good pair of waders, which will protect feet and legs from underwater hazards.

When Using A Boat, Wear A Life Preserver

Many anglers enjoy fishing in deeper water from a boat. Whether the craft is large or small, you should always wear a personal flotation device to ensure you will be safe in case you fall or are pulled overboard. The PVD should be of adequate size and should be properly fastened for best results, in case of an accident.

Stay Hydrated

Just because you are close to the water doesn’t mean you should neglect good hydration. Being in the hot sunlight for several hours can lead to heatstroke, which can have serious consequences to health. Bring plenty of water and other liquids to sip throughout the day.

Wear A Hat, Sunglasses and Sunscreen

You should always bring a hat for protection against the sun or rain, and sunglasses to protect eyes against the glare of sunlight on the water. In bright sunlight, apply sunscreen to exposed areas of the body liberally to avoid uncomfortable sunburn and skin damage from UV rays.

Bring a Small First Aid Kit

Minor injuries can occur when handling equipment or walking over uneven surfaces. You should also pack a small first aid kit that contains bandages, antiseptic ointment, tweezers and a product to soothe insect bites.

A little planning and preparation can help you to enjoy a safe and productive day of angling. However, you should always be ready for changes in weather or conditions that may require you to take shelter or change your fishing plans to another day. If you keep these tips in mind, you will be prepared for any eventuality.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.