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Month: October 2015

5 Boater Safety Courses That Prevent Common Accidents

5 Boater Safety Courses That Prevent Common Accidents

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP Sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter with interesting blogs about fishing and boating. Get fishing tips and tricks and read personal stories from anglers who live and breathe fishing and boating. Learn new fishing skills, boating resources, fishing etiquette, conservation and more. Please […]

How to Improve Fish Hook Safety When Using Multi Hook Rigs

How to Improve Fish Hook Safety When Using Multi Hook Rigs

Andy Whitcomb 10/26/2015 Depending on the regulations in your state, you may be able to fish with rigs that have multiple hooks. Under the right conditions this can be a great way to catch fish. But more hooks mean more chances of snagging your sweatshirt, […]

Fishing First Aid Kit Essentials

Fishing First Aid Kit Essentials

By applying safe boating and fishing practices, you can prevent most injuries while enjoying your time on the water without incident. However, the unexpected can happen, so it’s best to be prepared by making sure that you have a properly stocked fishing first aid kit on all your trips.

Preparing a fishing first aid kit is easy. You can simply purchase a standard first aid kit at your local pharmacy, and then add items that are geared towards the outdoors, or you can purchase a ready-made kit that has been designed specifically for outdoor activity at your local sporting goods store. Whichever way you purchase and prepare your first aid kit, just be sure that all of the contents are stored in a durable waterproof case.

Examples of items that can be added to a standard first aid kit are items such as vinegar (if you do any saltwater fishing, vinegar provides relief from jellyfish stings), motion sickness medication, and wire cutters to cut through fishing hooks if necessary.

Here is a checklist of essential items that should be included in your fishing first aid kit:

 

  • Antiseptic towelettes
  • Non-latex disposable gloves
  • Antimicrobial towelettes
  • Ibuprofen tablets
  • Acetaminophen tablets
  • Decongestant tablets
  • Motion sickness tablets (such as Dramamine or Bonine)
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Tincture of benzoin (applied to the skin to help kill germs and reduce swelling)
  • Adhesive bandages 1″ x 3″
  • Knuckle bandages
  • 2″ x 3″ non-stick pads
  • 3″ x 3″ gauze pads
  • Sterile wound closures
  • Elastic bandage 3″
  • Oval Patches 2″ x 4″
  • Adhesive tape 1/2″
  • Pressure wrap
  • Triangle bandage
  • Sterile pad 5″ x 9″
  • Gauze rolls 2″
  • Moleskin 2″ x 3″
  • Vial
  • Tweezers
  • Safety Pins
  • Irrigation syringe
  • Resealable plastic bag
  • Shears
  • Wire cutters (for cutting through fishing hooks)
  • Cold pack
  • Cotton balls
  • Vinegar (small plastic bottle or container in the event of a jellyfish sting)
  • Electrolyte replacement drinks (in case of dehydration)
  • Blanket

Aside from ensuring that you have all of the fishing first aid kit essentials, it’s also a good idea to take an outdoors first aid course. You can check with your state agency to see if there is an upcoming course offered in your area. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, for example, offers a wilderness first aid course as part of the “Becoming An Outdoors-Woman” program.


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Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.

10 Safety Tips for Fishing with Kids

10 Safety Tips for Fishing with Kids

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP Sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter with interesting blogs about fishing and boating. Get fishing tips and tricks and read personal stories from anglers who live and breathe fishing and boating. Learn new fishing skills, boating resources, fishing etiquette, conservation and more. Please […]

Boat Show or No?

Boat Show or No?

Andy Whitcomb 10/19/2015 A boat show can be a great source of information if you are in the market for a boat. For example I recently noticed that there is a power and sailboat show on December 3-6 in St. Petersburg. It will have a […]

7 Clues That It’s Time to Take a Boater Safety Course

7 Clues That It’s Time to Take a Boater Safety Course

When you sign up for a boater safety course, you’re taking an important step toward being a responsible boater. It doesn’t matter if you have been a boater for years or if you are new to boating, you can brush up on your existing knowledge and learn the current rules on how to practice safe boating.

Think that you or someone you know might need to sign up for a boater safety course? Perhaps one or two of the below clues sound familiar to you.

 

  1. If you think that the red and green lateral markers on the waterways are there to mark good fishing spots, then it is time to take a boater safety course. The red and green lateral markers are part of the U.S. Aids to Navigation System (ATON) and help boaters navigate the waterways safely.

  2. If you ever wondered if water wings could be used as a personal flotation device. No, water wings don’t meet U.S. Coast Guard safety standards. This is your second clue that it’s time to take a boater safety course. You need to know which personal flotation devices are U.S. Coast Guard approved, and be sure that you have the proper number of PFD’s (personal flotation devices) on board for each passenger.

  3. If the only time you have ever used the terms “port” or “starboard” was in reference to a scene from one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. To learn these boating terms and more, take a boater safety course.

  4. If your concept of a float plan involves a lounge chair and a pool in your backyard on the weekends, then you definitely need to take a boating safety class. A float plan contains pertinent information about your boat trip, such as where you intend to go and how long you plan to be out on the water. The float plan is then provided to friends, relatives or a marina. The float plan allows them to contact the local marine police or U.S. Coast Guard with necessary details in the event of an emergency.

  5. The last time someone asked for directions to the nearest launch, you gave them directions to the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL. Nope, they meant boat launch. There are boat launches in your area, just check the places to boat and fish map.

  6. You mistakenly think that channel 16 on your marine radio is for asking your fishing buddies where they had the most luck catching fish. Wrong again, better sign up for that boater safety course. Channel 16 on your marine radio is the channel that is used for communicating emergency information to the U.S. Coast Guard.

  7. You check the marine forecast a day or two before your boat trip and assume that the weather will be fine. This is yet another clue that it’s time for you to take a boater safety course. Weather conditions can change abruptly when on the water. Check your local weather and marine forecast frequently before you go, and be sure to have a radio on board so that you can receive weather updates while you are out. Always keep an eye on the weather conditions, know what to do in case you get caught in bad weather, and be sure to bring protective gear (including waterproof jackets and pants) along with you.

Now that you know a few of the clues that it might be time for you to take a boater safety course, check to see when the next course starts in your state.

Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard


Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.

5 Online Boating Safety Courses You Can Take Right Now

5 Online Boating Safety Courses You Can Take Right Now

Tom Keer 10/14/2015 Taking an online boating safety course is an easy way to pass time the non-boating time of year while getting ready for the upcoming season. Some of the classes are free while others cost a short amount of money. And while many […]

Keeping it Creel: A Conservation and Management Tool

Keeping it Creel: A Conservation and Management Tool

Andy Whitcomb 10/12/2015 To help conserve and manage a fishery, biologists use a variety of scientific sampling methods to collect data such as seines, trap nets, and electrofishing. Angler effort and catch rate is another important aspect of fish conservation and fisheries management and a […]

Fishing Safety Rules for Kids that Every Parent Should Know

Fishing Safety Rules for Kids that Every Parent Should Know

The best fishing days are safe fishing days. With all of the excitement that often surrounds an upcoming fishing trip, don’t forget to run through a list of fishing safety rules for kids beforehand. Parents and fishing mentors need to remember that proper preparation, guidance and constant adult supervision are requirements when taking kids fishing.

Below is a list of fishing safety rules for kids that parents can use as an easy reference:

 

  • Assemble a fishing first aid and safety kit. Put together a fishing safety kit and bring it along on all of your fishing trips. Include items such as antibiotic ointment, bandages, insect repellent, pain reliever, anti-inflammatory medicine, extra water, flashlights, maps, and a cell phone or marine radio.

  • Make sure kids have a properly fitting life jacket that has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Always make sure each child has a properly fitting life jacket or personal flotation device that is U.S. Coast Guard approved. Watch a video on how to select the best life jacket.

  • Choose fishing spots carefully when kids are involved and check to be sure that fishing is allowed in the area where you intend to fish. Look for any potential safety hazards such as loose boards on a fishing pier or pieces of glass on a shoreline.

  • Protect kids from the elements. Even when it’s cool and cloudy outside, kids are still exposed to the sun’s strong rays. Always apply waterproof sunscreen on kids before a fishing trip and re-apply often. It’s also a good idea to dress kids in several thin layers of clothing since mornings and evenings can be especially damp and chilly on the water. Include a waterproof and windproof jacket as the outer layer.

  • Keep kids indoors and away from the water if there is lightning. If there is lighting, keep kids indoors. Period.

  • Make sure kids wear a pair of sunglasses. Be sure kids wear polarized sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun’s rays as they reflect off the water and to help them fish and other objects. Sunglasses are also worn while fishing to protect eyes from errant casts with hooks.

  • Have kids wear a hat. Hats keep the sun out of your eyes while fishing. They also keep your head cool in the summer and warm in the winter as well as protecting your head from stray cast with hooks.

  • Take the time to explain to kids how sharp fishing hooks are and why they need to be handled with care. Show kids how to handle tackle (particularly sharp fishing hooks and line cutters) responsibly.

  • Teach kids to be aware of other anglers and where they are casting. Remind kids to look around them and behind them before they cast. If there are other anglers in the area, tell them to give the other anglers enough room and not stand too close to where they are casting.

  • If on a boat, remind kids to stay seated when the boat is in motion. Boat wakes and waves can come up unexpectedly. Remind kids to stay seated and explain to them why it’s important.

  • Educate kids on how to identify different fish species and which ones may have sharp barbs, teeth or spines. Some fish species, such as saltwater catfish, have sharp barbs or spines that can cause injury. Teach kids which species are safe to handle and which ones aren’t. It’s also important that kids know how to identify the various fish species so that they understand how to follow the fishing regulations.

  • If fishing with kids from shore, remind them to stay close. Make sure they are always within sight and let them know not to wade into water that may have undercurrents or unknown structure.

  • Keep kids hydrated while fishing. Dehydration can be a major concern for all anglers and boaters, but particularly for kids. Water is the best choice to keep them hydrated. If fishing on a particularly hot day, sports drinks can help replenish lost electrolytes. Remind them to drink plenty of water before, during and after the fishing trip.

  • Parents and fishing mentors, feel free to print this list of fishing safety rules for kids and check to be sure you have each point covered before your next trip. Also, if you are looking for a fun and safe spot to take the kids fishing, don’t forget to check the list of America’s Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots. Chances are, there’s a spot in your area that’s perfect for a family fishing trip!

    Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard (girl with fishing rod and lure)

    5 Injuries Requiring a Fishing First Aid Kit

    5 Injuries Requiring a Fishing First Aid Kit

    Tom Keer 10/7/2015 Most of us never need a fishing first aid kit, but when we do it’s usually for good reason. Normal ailments like sunburn, dehydration, nausea or sea sickness are relatively easy to overcome with aloe, water, and Dramamine. Still, accidents can happen, […]