Fishing Alone...Fish Safely

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Lone Canoe Fishing

Nothing can be more relaxing and satisfying than being alone on a secluded body of warer enjoying
the pristine atmosphere, scenery and of course the fish. It is not uncommon in Ontario with its
thousands of smaller lakes to see anglers on the water or on shore alone enjoying the solitude
and excitement of fishing solo. Don't get me wrong, I love to fish with my pals in the same boat
or on shore but there is something to be said about the peacefulness and gratifying feeling you
get by yourself on a lake, river, shore, dock or boat.

For me personally there are a few important safety tips I follow when fishing alone. These suggestions are merely common sense and good habit forming procedures for the future.

1. If your outing takes you to an unpopluated area, lake or river always notify someone of your
general whereabout and how long you plan to be gone. This will help if you are overdue in your return
and will give a search party a general location to go by. It can be a simple as telling your spouse,
kids, pals, cottage or lodge owners.

2. Plan your outing according to the daily weather conditions and forecasts. Take extra precautions
if inclement weather is on the horizon and plan a quick route to safety if the weather turns sour.

3. When boating alone make it a standard procedure to wear a PFD (personal floation device). Weather and water conditions can change in a moments notice and even the 10 seconds it takes to put on a PFD can be the difference in averting disaster. If you are fishing from shore or wading it is also safe practice to wear a PFD. New lightweight PFD are more comfortable than those of the past and can really save you if you slip on a rock or become submerged in a river for whatever reason.

4. Invest in a compass or GPS unit. Even if you have good local knowledge of the area it is always
advisable to have at least a basic navigation aid to assist you in the event you get lost or become

5. Minimize your gear and tackle. Lugging large amounts of tackle can seriously hinder your movement in a small boat or canoe and even on shore. Take lures that are versatile for a couple of fish species as opposed to lots of lures for one type of fish.

6. Have the proper tools handy for unhooking fish and take extra care not to hook yourself. You might even consider barbless hooks for a small variety of lures to aid in the quick and easy release of your catch.

7. Dress appropriately and plan for emergencies. Have an extra set of clothes in your backpack. Take extra water and some food just in case.

Planning accordingly and using a little common sense can ensure your time alone on or near the water is enjoyable and safe.


This article was written by the
contributing staff of OFT and its
group of amateur and pro Ontario anglers.

Copyright 2007. Ontario Fish Trips .

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