Too many times we take things for granted. As I write this article my right arm is still sore from the 33 stitches that were used to close the cut on my forearm. The cause of this was wanting to move my boat back three feet with my hands rather than hooking up the rig to the car. The tandem rigs are a lot harder to get to roll than a single axle rig. I went to push and my hand slipped off the boat and I fell over the trailer tongue catching my arm on the latch for the winch. I was lucky I didn’t have more sever injuries.
How many times do we push or pull our boats around which could lead to back problems or other problems. This would have been avoided with a little thought. Many accidents can be avoided with a little thought.
How many times while fishing have you reached over to pick up a bait with two treble hooks only to have one catch in the carpet and the other hook in your finger. Sometimes you get the hook deep, sometimes you only get a small prick. The best way to stop this is to put all baits up each time and this will keep the hooks out of the carpet. Think about how many of us wear sandals and our toes are exposed to any thing in the carpet.
As a guide I am constantly watching my clients helping them to keep the hooks out of each other and especially me. When the fish are schooling everyone wants to get back to the action. We don’t pay attention to where our lure is behind us. Almost everyone today is using six foot six rods. Think about this. Six and a half foot rod, arm two and a half feet long, and line out about one foot to a little more, my addition adds this up to almost ten feet. Now the boat is twenty feet except that is from tip to tail, not the inside. Usually the inside is only sixteen feet, the point is that your lure is always in a catching zone for your partner along with his tackle. Be more conscience of your surroundings.
Think about how you get into your boat as you are taking it off the trailer. You back down and unhook the winch cable and then climb up on the nose off the trailer tongue. Some non-slip added to the trailer tongue will keep your foot from slipping. This can be found in auto parts and the hardware stores. How many times have you had friend pull you out at the ramp and you jump out of the boat which is about five feet. Most of the time no problem but just once you land on an object and twist your ankle or worse. I had a friend pull his boat out and tie it down, when he got into the truck he hollered at his buddy if he wanted to ride up to the parking area and the friend answered no and the friend took off. At the last minute, the friend decided to jump up on the boat only to miss and land on the side of the trailer and was drug up to the restaurant as the driver was un aware. Luckily he only had a short distance to go or very serious injuries would have occurred.
There are so many things we do with out thinking and just that one time there it is. Get into a habit or routine and stay with it. This is why I tell my clients I don’t need help getting the boat off the trailer or putting it on the trailer. You change your routine and you forget something. The same goes for tackle. How many times do we have four or five crank baits or spinner baits laying on the boat deck. These are looking for a foot or finger to get hooked into.
This also goes for when you get home. If you have a cat they will get into your boat and start playing with them on the deck and the next time thing you know they are hooked. I had a client who fished about once a month in his boat and stored it in a barn on his property. He had put up his rods and on one of them he had left a long A . His cat got into the boat and with cats being curios it got into the rod locker and became hooked on the long A. I won’t go into details, but about a month later he went to hook up the boat to go fishing and smelled something. You can guess the rest.
These are only little things if you put your mind to it and I bet you can think of other areas. Just a few minutes thought and taking a little time will most often keep an accident from happening. I hope this will put a thought into your day that will keep you safe and having an accident free fishing trip.
Good Luck and be Safe!