Fishing From Boats
Fishing from a boat allows you to cover a larger part of a body of water than shore fishing. In their simplest form, boats can be nothing more than a platform that you sit or stand on. Some boats are made for rivers and streams, for small lakes, or for large bodies of water. Oars or paddles, electric motors, or gasoline motors move them through the water. Boats are made of wood, metal, fiberglass, rubber, and other materials.
Some boats used for fishing include canoes, skiffs, jonboats, V-hull boats, "cathedral" hull boats, and specialty boats. If you decide to try fishing from a boat, there is a lot to know before you go. You need to know about:
- The boat and how it handles.
- The equipment on the boat and how it works.
- The waters you will be boating on and any hazards such as submerged trees and rocks.
- The weather conditions and emergency procedures.
- The safety devices on the boat and how they work.
- Your own personal abilities-how much you can do before you become too tired.
As the operator of a boat you are legally responsible for the boat and the safety of those on board. You must also understand the rules of navigation and the courtesies of safe boating. Always complete a boater safety course prior to operating a boat for the first time.
Boating during a storm can be dangerous, especially when there is lightning, strong wind or high waves. The first thing to do is make sure everyone is wearing a PFD. Put all fishing rods in the bottom of the boat. Stay low or lie down in the boat to reduce the risk of capsizing. Get off the water as soon as you can.
Don't fish during an electrical storm. Anglers are killed every year when their rods or boats are hit by lightning.
If you can't get off the water, try to prevent waves from coming in over the stern or striking the boat on its side. The best way is to keep the boat moving at a slight angle into the waves. Moving with the waves can be dangerous. They can come in over the transom and fill the boat with water. This could sink the boat.
If you have no choice and must ride out a storm on the water, use a heavy anchor with a long line attached to the bow of the boat. The anchor line needs to be at least seven times the depth of the water so that the anchor can hold to the bottom. If the anchor drags, make sure that the boat is not pulled into rocks, shallow water, or rougher water.