Take a Kid Fishing—Safely
June 20th, 2019 by Curtis Condon

Childhood fishing trips make memories that will last a lifetime. Ensure they are good memories by being safety conscious, prepared and child-focused.
© iStock/auldist

The Hole. The nickname always sent shivers down my spine when Dad said that’s where we were going.

The Hole was a prime fishing spot, but was treacherous to get to. Anglers had to scramble down a steep, precarious, 300-foot ravine to get to the water.

For an 8-year-old first-timer, it was the thing of nightmares—even after the first few trips.

Dad loved to take his kids fishing, but safety wasn’t always part of the equation.

Safety should be a priority.

Here are tips to help keep kids safe while fishing.

  • Wear a life vest. In a boat, children must wear life vests. They should also wear them while fishing from shore.
  • Use barbless hooks—at least to start. They are easier to remove if a child accidentally hooks themselves or someone else.
  • Consider using barb tip covers. They protect from accidental pokes. They sell for $10 to $15 per hundred.
  • Wear protective eyewear. Sunglasses will suffice. Not only will they shield young eyes from harmful UV rays, but they protect against errant lures and branches.
  • Prepare in advance. Make sure the fishing spot is kid friendly. Teach kids to swim. Practice casting in the backyard. Pack a first-aid kit, just in case.

‘Bee’ Aware Outdoors
Often when people think of dangerous animal encounters, they think of bears, mountain lions and venomous snakes. Think again. Bees and wasps injure and kill far more people each year than those other three animals combined.

Stay alert and pay attention to the signs. Buzzing is a signal to be careful. Bees bouncing off your head or body is a warning to get away—quickly.

Bees and wasps can be relentless, so if attacked by a swarm, run away and keep running. Run through brush to confuse and disorient them. Don’t seek refuge in water. They likely will wait for you to resurface.

Hot Weather Bike Tire Tip
Tire pressure will increases as air temperature rises, and as friction between tires and road surfaces increases.

Extreme heat can lead to air loss in tires. In rare cases, it may also cause blowouts.

Check tire pressure before each ride. In hot weather, keep tires inflated at the low end of the manufacturer’s recommended pressure range.

Notable Days in July
July 5, National Bikini Day.
July 14, Shark Awareness Day.
July 16, World Snake Day.
July 22, Hammock Day.

Catch of the Month
Here are prime fishing opportunities in July.
The Keys: barracuda, bonito, marlin, shark, snapper, snook, swordfish and wahoo.
Central: bluegill and sunfish.
Northwest: amberjack, barracuda, bluefish, bluegill, bonito, catfish, drum, jack, mackerel, marlin, pompano, sailfish, seatrout, shark, sheepshead, snapper, sunfish, tarpon, triggerfish, tuna and wahoo.
Central West: amberjack, bass, barracuda, bluefish, bluegill, drum, flounder, grouper, grunt, ladyfish, mackerel, permit, pompano, porgy, seatrout, shark, sunfish, snapper and tarpon.
Southwest: barracuda, bass, bluegill, grouper, jack, ladyfish, permit, shark, snapper, snook, sunfish and tarpon.

Got a Tip or a Whopper?
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Many of Curtis Condon’s fondest memories involve outdoor adventures with friends and family—whether fishing with school buddies, backpacking in the mountains of the Northwest with his sons, or bird watching along the Gulf Coast with his wife. He feels fortunate to have written about the outdoors and other subjects for more than 30 years.