Fishing in Australia is the number one recreational activity enjoyed by more people than any other sport. There are a variety of ways to stay safe whilst fishing, the list of safety tips will vary slightly depending on the type of fishing you are going to be participating in and the location of your fishing adventure.
Below is a basic list of general ways to stay safe while fishing however you must ALWAYS check with your local state and/or government bodies for rules, regulations and safety tips that are applicable to you and your location as they can vary a great deal.
1. Wherever humanly possible, fish with a friend. The old adage of safety in numbers applies to fishing. I was once on a fishing trip where a mate hooked both his thumbs accidently and needed the emergency room. Unexpected things can happen and if you get into trouble your going to need help. So it’s best to drag along a mate or relative wherever possible. ALWAYS Let somebody know the location of your fishing trip, who you are going with, and an approximate time you will be back.
2. Carry essentials with you and use them including; sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, first aid kit, life jacket, mobile phone, appropriate clothing and footwear as well as water. Most fishing injuries are cuts and piercings, so you need a first aid kit to be kept close by at all times. Layering clothing may also help you to stay dry and warm, with a wind and waterproof layer on the outside.
3. Lifejackets will need to be worn in a lot of fishing situations, especially important when fishing from boats, kayaks and rocks. Anytime you are entering the water or are at risk of entering the water a lifejacket MUST be worn.
4. Always check local fishing rules and regulations. Bag limits, Exclusion zones, unsafe species etc before heading out. Follow the Rules! Don't fish in areas where it is not permitted. These areas have been declared “off limits” to protect wildlife or for your safety.
5. Always check the safety of the location including expected conditions with local authorities & government groups. This includes Always checking expected weather conditions prior to heading out, if a storm is coming, stay safe and stay at home. High tide & wind conditions can also be dangerous when rock fishing. Don’t risk your safety and do not go fishing or near waterways in bad weather or a storm. It’s also a good idea to check with locals in regards to local conditions if you’re fishing somewhere new, the locals can sometimes give you some heads up about conditions you may not have predicted or expected yourself.
7. Always learn how to unhook a fish safely before going fishing. If your lucky enough to catch something, your going to need to unhook it safely and learning the best practices to keep both you and fish safe is essential. Learning safe ways of unhooking fish is essential in reducing your risks of cuts and piercings.
8. Handle and store fishing equipment safely, prior to fishing to prevent injuries and avoiding a visit to the hospital room. Just to a few include, learning safe handling of hooks, safe methods of storing hooks, knives and storing fishing rods safely.
9. Be kids safe. Reading up on safe ways of fishing with kids is also a must! Keeping them safe from hooking themselves and safe around waterways is essential. Kids must always wear lifejackets both in and around the water.
10. It’s a good idea to Do a first aid and CPR course prior to fishing, to best know how to keep you and the others around you safe. Learning both practical first aid methods and CPR can get you or a loved one out of a very prickly situations effectively and ensure optimal safety is maintained in any situation.
You will find a lot of these general safety tips expanded on in our other articles. Always check your government bodies and their rules and regulations before fishing.