Water Safety – Fall & Cold Weather
Fall is in full swing, and while temperatures are cooling, the angling action is heating up!
With the cooling temperatures come great opportunities for walleye and musky fishing across the state, with both species bulking up before the winter. Many of the biggest fish caught each year are taken during this period.
Before you grab your gear and head to your favorite boat launch, remember to keep these safety tips in mind to help ensure a safe and enjoyable time on the water this fall.
- Wear your life jacket at all times! Water temperatures are rapidly cooling at this time of year. A fall overboard can turn dangerous quickly as hypothermia sets in. Wearing a life jacket can keep individuals on the surface and allow their energy to be used to keep warm rather than to stay above the water.
- Leave the alcohol on shore. Never use drugs or alcohol before or during boat operation. Alcohol’s effects are greatly exaggerated by exposure to sun, glare, wind, noise, and vibration.
- The days aren’t just getting colder; they’re getting shorter too. Plan accordingly. If you’re planning to fish into the evening, bring (and use) your lights – it’s the law.
- Bringing a furry friend? Canine companions need life jackets, too.
- Know the limits of your boat. If you’re planning to fish a large river or lake, use a boat that is big enough to handle rough water and accommodate you, your group and all of your gear.
- Balance the boat evenly and keep weight low for stability.
- Be on the lookout for elements outside of your control, such as changing weather or a slightly submerged stump, rock, sandbar or floating debris.
- Always carry a cell phone so communication can happen in case of an emergency.