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Night Fishing Safety Tips

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/26/2006 | Fishing and Boating

In the summer, nothing seems as inviting as nighttime fishing. The weather is, unlike the rest of the hot and sultry summer day, inviting and you really feel like spending a lot of time in the moonlight in your boat with your tackles and lines and fishing rod.

However, the prospect of night fishing is, if you consider safety, much more risky than fishing in daylight. Your local lake or pond, so familiar during the day, can seem completely alien after dark. Though it is enjoyable, you should make it a point to always follow a few basic ground rules before embarking on a night fishing trip.

Get to know the safety requirements of the US coastguards and follow them to perfection. Get your boat fitted with proper safety measures. Make sure that you are properly fitted with flotation devices of some kind. Maybe a flotation suit or a life jacket. Even if you are a nice swimmer, do not take any risks during the night. You never know if the water is as safe as it looks. And if, suppose, the boat capsizes (let us hope it never does!), without any light you never know where you are going. Light is most essential. The dark always looks, and at times is hostile. Make sure that you also have a throwable flotation device handy. Its absolutely imperative that you have one.

Remember that your boat should be fitted with lights both at the bow and at the stern. Switch them on as soon as visibility is reduced. You might be tempted to venture in the complete dark, but that would be a very foolhardy decision on your part to take. Especially, since most of the nighttime accidents reported are results of boats striking something made invisible by the darkness. Also, remember that nighttime boating without any lights on board is a thoroughly illegal activity in most states in the US.

In case of distress, it always shows that being prepared pays. Carry a horn in your vessel. This serves twin purposes. One, in case of danger, you may send a distress signal. Second, an approaching vehicle might be warned of your position by a horn. Carry with you flares and a flare gun. A most handy gadget when it comes to sending distress calls. Do not forget to carry a fire extinguisher that conforms to safety standards.

Do not go out without an anchoring device. Since, the first thing that you should do in case of danger is, anchor your boat. Carry a two way radio in your vessel. This makes it easy for you to keep contact with the shore. In case you need help, the radio is one of the most important equipment that you can have at hand.

Do not forget to bring with you a flashlight. You never know when the lights on your boat are going to fail you.  Keep spare batteries on board too.

Navigation tools are an absolute must when you go fishing in the dark. During the day, navigation is not much of a problem. But you will never understand the importance of even a mere compass unless you go out after nightfall in the lake. If you feel like it, go for a GPS system. There is nothing better for navigation in the dark.