Ten tips for safe winter fishing
1. Check the bellies of fish you bring up and if you find silt, that’s an indication that the fish has been glued to the bottom. Find the deepest water close to shore and fish more vertically than horizontally.
2. With the pleasure boating season over there are fewer potential rescuers to assist you in an emergency, so never fish alone. Leave a float plan behind with your spouse, friend, or anyone else who is willing to call authorities if you haven’t checked back in at a predetermined time.
3. A spray of line conditioner, will help keep your lines ice-free. Low stretch line is best in the winter as well.
4. Wear layers of clothing – preferably synthetic or wool – but never cotton. It’s a poor insulator when wet.
5. Use attractants such as Jack’s Juice, which can sprayed on a soft plastic lures. Fish are sluggish and attractants encourage them to hold on longer.
6. Bring along high-energy foods such as granola bars and warm drinks.
7. Cold water drains energy and body heat rapidly. If you fall overboard, a life jacket can give you the time you need to pull yourself back in the boat before the effects of hypothermia set in.
8. According to US Coast Guard boating fatality statistics, January’s and February’s cold weather represent the greatest fatality risk.
9. Now is the time to disconnect water pressure and speed hoses behind the helm gauges to prevent freeze damage.
10. When you’re done fishing and before you leave the launch ramp, trim the outboard motor all the way down, remove the kill switch and turn the engine over for a just a second to pump out any water that may still be inside
Visit www.boatus.com for more information.
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