This Article is About
fishing
first aid kit
rough waters
harms way
lake erie
wear and tear
Fishing Safety
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Fishing Safety

All the fishermen are excited by the great weather we have been having here on the shores of Lake Erie. They are busy cleaning, repairing and putting new line on their reels. They are buying new lures or cleaning and repairing the old ones. The boats have been cleaned and maybe painted. Tuned and made ready.

The problem with all this excitement is that we forget what is probably the most important item on that checklist. That item is safety. So what constitutes a safe fisherman and or boater. For this article I will concentrate on fishermen that use a boat.

If you are going to fish Lake Erie you have to make sure you have a boat that is capable of handling the unpredictable weather and wave conditions you might face. In my opinion short boats (under 18’) and those with shallow drafts are not safe on Lake Erie.

The next thing in order of importance is a working marine radio. After you have a good marine radio make sure you know what channels to use. The Coast Guard calling/distress channel is channel 16. The Coast Guard also monitors channels 21,22 and 23 for non distress calls. Check with your local bait store to see what channel the fishermen are using

Make sure you have plenty of life jackets. Adults and children jackets are a must. Don’t just have the life jackets on board, make sure they are in working order. Life jackets that are ripped, torn, show abrasion or are oil covered should be replaced with new ones. Store the jackets where they will be safe from wear and tear but easily accessible.

A good first aid kit is also a necessity. I’m not talking about a $10.99 kit from the big box store. Get a kit that has a trauma package included with it. It’s not hard to sustain a major cut in rough waters. Again store it out of harms way but know where it is when you need it.

All the items mentioned are just things. Yes they will help you be safe on Lake Erie however the most important things are attitude and awareness. By attitude I mean you have to think safety. Consciously make an effort to think about safety on every outing. Have a checklist even if it’s in your head and go over it before you leave the dock.

Awareness can save your life on any body of water but it is especially important on Lake Erie. Keep alert to what is going on around you. Watch the weather. Watch what the other boaters are doing. If you see a lot of boats heading for shore or hear a lot of radio chatter about impending weather be prepared too head for shore. Being the last to leave is most often not a good idea. If you have ever had to ride out one of Lake Erie’s fast moving weather fronts you know what I mean.

Last but not least. Let your family know which area you plan to fish and the approximate time you will return to port. If you are going to be a lot later than you thought, give the family a call. It will mean a lot less worry on their part.


Street Talk

In reading your article I could almost hear the bustle of the docks when they come alive in the spring. Thanks for the good tips.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks for the comment Shawn.I was on the waterfront today and yes it is starting to come alive

Reply
  about 8 years ago

I've seen life jackets that had no visual damage get thrown in the water and plummet. Very important to make sure that everything words, just like you said.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks for the comment Cynthia. I agree about the life jackets. The Coast Guard and auxiliary do a great job of inspecting which catches a lot of bad gear.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

John, Thanks! Good contribution. I'm one who generally wears a life vest rather than store it. blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks for the reply Cynthia

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Good advice and well written. My wife is from Superior, WI and loves the lake. I myself am not that thrilled with boats.I would want everything involving safety to be available.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks for the comment. the Great Lakes can be daunting

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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