Fishing from a boat provides a great opportunity to catch a great number of fishes. However, it can also make room for some life-threatening mistakes which can only ruin your experience. In this article, we will have a look at some common tips that you should know before you set out on your adventure.
Be familiar with the regulations of the road
Before sailing in the waves in the ocean, go through some important guidelines like visit the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Navigation Center website to see the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS). The site also offers precautionary measures when you encounter another boat, like which boat is the “stand-on” vessel and is the “right of way” and which is the give-way vessel and is “burdened” in the situation. You can also have a look at the Boating Safety Courses offered on the USCG site.
Prepare a Float Plan
Devise a Float Plan that highlights your fishing location and make sure to share this plan with someone you trust with your life. Who can immediately report to the authorities if by any chance your boat goes missing. Preparing a plan and sharing it is an effective move that helps the authorities to find your location. If you are new and not familiar with developing a float plan then we recommend you download the template of the plan from the USCG site.
Inspect your safety gear
Carefully inspect your safety gear and make sure that it works properly. It is a common practice for small boats to have one life jacket that is approved by USCG and it should be the size for the people on board. Your vessel should also have a fire extinguisher, a cushion-style float or a ring buoy and at least one signaling device like whistles, horns or flares. You should also download the Boating Safety application, the official phone app of USGC where you can find float plans, navigation rules, safety regulations and more.
Have knowledge of weather forecast
Be aware of the forecasts, weather conditions and sea state. It is not a surprise that the weather changes drastically over a very small time period. Mother Nature can sometimes be very cruel and you are exposed to some of the cruelest conditions when being on the boat. We recommend you to use the NOAA’s National Weather Service since it is highly accurate in providing frequent weather updates.
Don’t test your limits
Hypothermia and fatigue can be quite dangerous. The U.S. Corp of Engineers and USCG have stated that excessive exposure to glare, wind, vibration, and noise has an identical effect on a person as drugs or alcohol. One should not hesitate to share the operation duties with the other members on the boat, and just take a break every once a while.
It should be a well-known fact that boating under the influence of drugs and alcohol can be quite risky. USCG has declared that the senses of the person operating a boat can impair more quickly compared to a drunk driver in an automobile. Kindly advocate yourself from boat safety platforms like Safety Resource Center and USCG Boating.