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Fishing Safety Tips

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 31 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Fishing Safety Tips

Fishing isn't particularly dangerous but there are still certain safety considerations that you should be aware of.

Fishing Etiquette

There are certain rules that all anglers should stick to:
  • Look over your shoulder before you cast your rod, as you never know what or who might be behind you.
  • Keep an eye on your tackle. It's easy for someone to trip over and injure themselves, if it's left lying around. They can also break your tackle, which could prove expensive.
  • Don't put your hand inside the throat of a fish to remove the hook - it can still do damage! Use a hook remover instead.


If you're a sea angler, you'll know the importance of being a good swimmer. Falling overboard isn't that common, but it's always a possibility. Experts recommend wearing a lifejacket that has been approved by the British Standards Institute. Make sure that children wear lifejackets at all times.

Water currents are another safety consideration to bear in mind. Don't fish in an area of water in which you are likely to be dragged by the current, as you can quickly find yourself in trouble.


Even if it isn't particularly sunny, glare from the sun can bounce off the surface of the water. Wearing sunglasses is the best way to protect your eyes from this. You can take this a step further by wearing polarized glasses. These let you see beneath the surface of the water, so you can gain an advantage over your fellow anglers by spotting the fish before they do.

On a related note, sun cream is also essential. It's easy to neglect your skin if you are immersed in your fishing, but you need to reapply every two hours (or sooner if it rubs off on clothing or washes off). Sun cream with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) above 15 is recommended - the higher, the better. You're can still burn when it's cloudy, so get into the habit of applying sun cream every time you head outside.


Tailoring your clothing to the weather is essential. You need to be prepared for both hot and cold weather. It's better to add lots of layers and take them off if you get too hot. Even if the weather is warm, pack a spare jacket (preferably a waterproof one), as the weather can quickly take a turn for the worse. See our article on 'Fishing Clothing' for more advice on clothing.


Wearing shoes might seem like one of the more obvious safety tips, but many people like to walk barefoot on the beach. This opens up the possibility of cutting your feet on sharp stones or broken glass. Lots of potentially dangerous objects are washed up on beaches, including fishing hooks.

First Aid Kit

A basic first aid kit should contain plasters, bandages, insect repellent and antiseptic. Some basic knowledge of first aid will also come in handy. This can easily be picked up through training courses offered by St John Ambulance or the British Red Cross.

As far as sports go, fishing is one of the least dangerous, but there are still certain safety considerations to bear in mind, especially if you will be accompanied by children.

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