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How to safely be prepared for your big fishing day

Rules. Rules. Rules. We have them for a reason right? Today I am going to talk about some of the most important rules that help contribute to a fun and safe fishing excursion.

  • Always wear your USCG approved life jacket when you are on, in or near the water.

- If you forget your life jacket and end up needing it, you're out of luck. Likewise, if you can reach a life jacket, it will be nearly impossible in an emergent or life threatening situation to safely secure it to your body. Don't take the chance, wear your vest!

  • Designate a "water watcher"

- A "Water Watcher" is exactly what it sounds like. Designate someone to keep an extra watchful eye on everyone, but mostly children or those who are weaker swimmers. While it is important for everyone to keep their wits about them when on, in or around water, it never hurts to designate extra eyes.

  • Wear sunscreen!

- Listen, we all have different skin and some of us are luckier than others when it comes to the term "sun kissed". Its a good idea to always apply some sunscreen to avoid burns or heat stroke. A burn (UV damage) can occur in as little as 15 minutes on the water, and hopefully you will be fighting' a big fish off the deck and won't notice, but you sure will that evening!

  • Don't get hooked

- Have you ever seen those crazy videos of people getting hooked in the face or arm? Ya, that's real. There are a few things you can do to avoid getting hooked, some are commons sense so just keep your wits about you and you'll be fine.

  1. Always be mindful when you cast. Look around to make sure no one is in the way or could be.

  2. Always wear shoes - listen, its not always a casters fault if you end up stepping on a discard hook. While they shouldn't be laying around, it's possible.

  3. Handle the hook careful while baiting and also removing fish from the hook.

An additional piece of advice would be learn the proper first aid techniques needed to de-hook if an accident does occur. Sometimes you can incur more damage when removing a hook than when it actually went in, so this is really important.

  • Always check current water conditions

- and by current, I mean CURRENTS. Also tidal changes and shallow water locations. Too many people get stuck on rocks, both in or out of their boat, and have to deal with both sides of the tide. Don't be these people.

These are only a few but very important tips on how to have a successful and safe fishing outing. We wanted everyone to stay safe and have fun, and getting a hook in a face or stuck on rocks wearing the "cone of shame" is not fun for anybody.

Be safe and happy fishing!

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