Whether you are ice fishing in the winter, or fishing along a river in the summer months, fishing is a great Scouting activity that youth of all ages can enjoy year-round. Check out the tips below to learn how you can stay safe the next time you head out to land a big one!
Beware the Blood Zone!
Knives are an important tool when fishing that can be used to cut a tangled line, or to kill a landed fish that you plan to eat. Follow the safe practices you would use in the kitchen and stay clear of fellow Scouts who are handling knives.
When casting, you are responsible for the hooks on the end of your line. Always look around before casting, and communicate with others so that you have space to safely cast.
Crimp your Barbs
Fish hooks come in a variety of styles and sizes. Hooks with barbs set firmly in a fish it strikes, but the same is true if you catch a fellow Scout. Consider using a barbless hook. Barbless hooks can be pulled from your skin easier than a barbed hook. If your hooks have barbs, you can pinch them down with pliers before use. This will also make the hooks easier to remove from fish. I am sure the fish you are throwing back will appreciate a barbless hook.
Wear Closed-Toe Footwear
While it’s nice to be barefoot in a boat or near the water, closed-toe footwear offers important protection from knives and fish hooks.
Dress for the Weather
Fishing is a sport that rewards patience so you might have to spend a lot of time on the water, or in winter, on the ice. This could put you at risk for weather-related injuries such as sunburn and hypothermia. Whatever the conditions, be prepared! Wearing a hat and sunscreen is always a good idea.
Remember – Fishing is a Water-Based Activity
It is important to remember that fishing is an activity that takes place on or near water. Always fish with a buddy and use best water safety practices.
Be Careful when Handling Fish
Fish have sharp teeth, fins and scales that can cut you, so be careful when handling your catch. Always wear gloves and use tools like fishing nets and pliers to control a fish when bringing it out of the water and removing the hook. Watch out for a thrashing fish – it can be a danger to the person holding the rod and to others nearby.