Its best to FISH with a friend, not just because you have someone there to witness you catch that fish of a lifetime but also if you fall into the water or hook both your thumbs together (like I did), it's handy to have a friend to help.
If you find yourself fishing solo because your best mate bails during your session or you simply desire some man space. You need to know some basic tips to help keep you safe and avoid harm. ALWAYS CHECK your local and state authorities for rules, regulations and safety tips for your area before attempting to go fishing solo anywhere.
1. ALWAYS tell someone the location of your solo fishing trip and your expected arrival home. This will help give a search party a general idea of location to work off to find you. Its also a good idea to carry a compass or gps in the event you get lost.
2. Always carry a fully charged mobile. ALWAYS let people know if you change location or times. Your family will more then likely worry if your going solo so put them at ease and keep yourself safe by checking in regularily.
3. WEAR A PFD. When fishing from the water ie, boat or kayak or in a location where you may be pushed unexpectedly into the water, you must always be wearing and appropriate PFD. You may not always have the time to put on a PFD if trouble strikes so you must be WEARING It at all times.
4. Plan your outing based on current weather conditions and forcasts. Have an escape plan, how you will act or where you can go if the weather turns bad.
5. Never consume alcohol or Drugs whilst fishing alone, this is simply a bad idea. You’re going to need your wits about you whilst fishing alone.
6. Always know the applicable laws for your location. The laws are there to keep you safe. So get informed before you head out! You need to learn unsafe fish species for your area and there may be prohibited fishing zones. Always clarify the rules and regulations for your area with your local government and fisheries bodies. Talking to the locals will also help.
7. Always dress appropriately - As for the clothes on your back, wearing layers usually helps with a wind and water protective layer on top. It’s a good idea to stay dry and warm and planning will be required for this. Also plan for emergencies by keeping an extra set of clothes in your backpack, car or boat.
8. Carry a first aid kit. The most common fishing injuries are cuts and pirceings, you need a carry a small first aid kit with you at all times, minor mishaps can turn into tragedies if fishing alone. If you get hurt in anyway stop fishing immediately and seek prompt medical treatment. Even if it’s a minor injury its best to stop fishing, go home recover and start again. Even being slightly hurt could lead to more injuries.
9. Never try to fish for fish bigger then you can handle or your boat can handle. Remember to opt on the side of safety when fishing alone and don’t get too carried away. Use your common sense and good judgement at all times. If the fish is bigger then your boat then your going to potientially put yourself in harms way trying to bring it in.
10. Don’t carry too much. Minimize your gear and tackle. You need to be able to move easily and quickly if required. Lugging large amounts of tackle can seriously hinder your movements in a small boat or canoe and even on the rocks or shoreline. It’s a good idea to Take lures that are versatile for a couple of fish species as opposed to a heaps of lures for one certain type of fish.
Lastly its best to always Carry Food and Water with you, plan to Stay hydrated most importantly. And take some extra in case of an emergency. Fishing also requires a lot of energy, so some power snacks will definitely help you out.