6 Safety Tips For Fishing
It’s a fun spring and summer outing, but getting out on the water for a day of fishing can also be a risky activity if you’re not educated and prepared ahead of time. With just a little planning, you can make the most of a day on the lakes or at the beach to cast a line and hang out in the South Carolina sunshine.
Here are our 6 best tips to stay safe:
Wear a life jacket
Wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when you are on or near the water is the best choice for preventing accidents on your fishing trip. You won’t be able to reach it if the life jacket is on the boat when you fall in, and it’s incredibly difficult to put on while you’re in the water. Be prepared and do this step for prevention first. Children, especially, should always wear life jackets.
Protect yourself from the sun
Sun damage to your skin can happen in as little as 15 minutes, only being amplified by the sand and water reflection from your fishing location. Apply SPF 15 at minimum (but 50 is ideal) before your fishing trip, and set a timer to reapply every two hours, or more frequently if you’re sweating or getting wet. You can also wear a sun-blocking hat, long-sleeve shirts, pants and sunglasses to protect your body from the sun’s damaging rays.
Understand safe boating practices
Boating safety is one of the most important skills to master when you’re on the water. Not only will you protect yourself from mishaps or miscommunications, but when you’re safe on the water, you’re protecting other fishing mates on your boat as well as nearby people in or on the water.
Use fishhooks carefully
It’s not unheard of for a fishhook to go rogue and snag something (like a nearby object or body part) that it wasn’t intended for. While you’re having fun reeling in the fish, stay mindful of how you’re handling your equipment so you don’t hurt someone nearby. Two big things to note: Always look around before you cast to make sure no one is near you, and always wear shoes while you’re fishing to avoid discarded hooks, rocks and objects that could injure your feet.
If you are hooked and it's deep, in your face or if you’re excessively bleeding, seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
Carry a first aid kit
Ideally, you’ll pack a first aid kit that you won’t have to use, but first aid kits are a must-have, just in case. Choosing a first aid kit will depend on the environment where you intend to fish, but there are a variety on the market to meet your fishing injury needs. At the least, you should carry gauze, cleaning pads, alcohol cleaning pads, aspirin or other medication, tape and scissors. Remember to check your supplies often and replace any out of date products.
Follow park regulations
Finally, following park regulations and adhering to fishing location restrictions will protect you from harming yourself, your boat or getting caught in a hazardous area. The park’s website can help you determine where is safe to fish so that you can research and plan your excursion ahead of time.
It’s looking to be a great spring and summer fishing season at Lakes Marion and Moultrie, but we ask that you be safe around the water and fishing gear for yourself and for others. As stewards of the Santee Cooper Lakes, we’re in charge of maintaining the freshwater resources, and also sharing them with you. For us, protecting and improving our community is equally important as providing affordable electricity.