Fishing is a popular American pastime. Approximately 95% of the U.S. population lives within an hour’s drive of a navigable body of water, meaning nearly all of us are capable of getting out on a boat and discovering how wonderful a day on the water can be.
Floridian’s are particularly lucky; with dozens of fishing spots and over 1,000 miles of coastline, anglers are able to go wherever they please! If you’re a fishing aficionado, here are some tips that will ensure you get the most out of your trip.
Think About The Weather
Florida is known as the Sunshine State, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t experience its fair share of not-so-fair weather. Although you’ll rarely have to consider bringing extra layers for chilly days, you might need to cope with rain and potential storms. If you’re expecting this weather, it becomes easy to tolerate; if you’re caught with your pants down, what was supposed to be a fun day out can quickly turn into a nightmare.
When the forecast reads full sun and blue skies, you’ll only need the basics. Your fishing gear, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Investing in polarized lenses may be worthwhile for such occasions as the glare from the water can be quite blinding; if you’re shopping for a new pair, remember that cosmetic lenses block 70% of UVB rays, general-purpose lenses block 95% of UVB and most UVA light, but only special-purpose block 99% of UVB.
Research Your Spot Before You Leave
In today’s age of water pollution and contamination, it’s always a good idea to go the extra mile and find out if your favorite fishing spot is still safe to fish from — especially if you plan on serving your catch for dinner.
Approximately 16,000 chemical spills occur from trucks, trains, and storage tanks each year in the U.S., causing chemicals such as mercury, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), dioxins, and DDT to enter the water supply that your fish are living in. By ingesting those fish, you’re ingesting those chemicals.
Though you might not have to worry about radioactive contamination (such as that caused by tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen), every single state in the U.S. has dozens — sometimes hundreds — of spots that are rated as impaired.
Fortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a National List of Advisories to keep the public informed on the most dangerous regions. As long as you take a peek at this list before heading out the door, you can eat your day’s catch with pride and without worry.
When you’re well prepared for a perfect fishing trip, you will have a perfect fishing trip! Take the time to do your research, figure out what you need to bring and where you need to go, and you’ll be able to discover just why 35.8 million people in this country like to indulge in the popular pastime.