Chapter 6: Enjoying Water Sports With Your Boat
Fishing is the most popular activity among boaters. Anglers using vessels can be at risk. Unfortunately, anglers capsizing or falling overboard– Over the side or out of the vessel are common fatal boating accidents.
Anglers who use vessels to fish need to think of themselves first as vessel operators. If you fish and boat, you should:
- Know and follow all safe boating laws and requirements.
- Pay attention to the capacity plate and not overload your vessel.
- Wear a life jacket (PFD) especially when the water is cold or when fishing alone or in remote areas. (A PFD is required in most competitive fishing tournaments.)
- Recycle or toss used fishing line into receptacles on shore and not into the water or onto shorelines. Fishing line is not biodegradable and is dangerous to wildlife and propellers.
- Take care of your fishing boat just like you do your fishing equipment.
Vessel operators who are boating in the vicinity of fishing boats should:
- Slow down when approaching fishing boats or give them a wide berth.
- Never run over anglers' lines. Be aware anglers may have lines out to the sides of their boats or trolling behind them.
- Never disturb fishing boats by making a large wake. An angler at anchor could be swamped by another vessel's cruising wake.
It is very important that you get in the habit of wearing a life jacket while fishing or hunting, especially in smaller boats and those with low gunwales. One simple mistake without a life jacket on could ruin a good day of fishing, not to mention ruin your life. Try out an inflatable life jacket to maximize comfort. And don't forget to wear your ignition safety switch lanyard whenever the motor is running!