Venturing outdoors to a lake or stream for recreational fishing promises an enjoyable time filled with good memories. People of all ages can enjoy this sport. Ensure everyone’s safety by observing the following guidelines, as equipment and tackle used can be dangerous when not used correctly.
Recreational fishing involves the use of equipment known as “tackle.” Tackle includes a rod and reel, bobbers, hooks, bait, and tools. Some implements such as the hooks are very sharp because they are designed to penetrate the fish to catch them on the line. Therefore, take extreme caution while handling tackle to prevent injury. Although there are many types of bobbers available, the plain red ones work well for novice fishers. These brightly colored bobbers will rest on the surface of the water until a fish comes along to jerk on the line. The rod and reel used by each angler should fit his or her individual size. Children should use rods that are small enough for them to hold and manipulate in their hands independently. It’s also best to use short rods that are less than five feet in length for small kids to ensure that they can cast and reel without adult help.
Strong debates wage regarding the use of live or artificial bait. Those who prefer artificial bait may have a tackle box filled with many different options to enable them to catch whatever is swimming in the waters. While there are many advantages to this approach, beginning anglers might prefer something simpler. Earthworms dug up from one’s own backyard can be extremely effective, not to mention very affordable, for an afternoon of angling. Even kids should be able to successfully put a worm on a hook before casting the line into a lake.
Pack sunscreen to protect skin from harsh midday rays. It’s also helpful to bring along food and water to keep everyone happy and healthy. For people who plan to take their catch home with them, a cooler and ice will be a necessity. Bring a first-aid kit to enable swift treatment of minor injuries such as cuts or scrapes.
Catch and Keep or Release
Anglers must decide whether their recreational fishing pursuits involve catch and keep or catch and release. When the goal is to keep a catch, it’s necessary to follow local guidelines about the size of the fish pulled from the water. Any specimens that are smaller must be released. Do not keep more fish than can reasonably be used. For catch and release, anglers must handle the fish carefully to avoid injuring them. Return them to the water as soon as possible to minimize their stress. Remove the hook from the mouth gently to prevent damaging it.
By following safety guidelines, it’s likely that an excursion will be enjoyable for the entire group. Even though lines may tangle and baits will need to be replaced, the memories will stay with everyone for a lifetime. Someone might even land “the big one” that goes down in the record books!