When you are in the water while fishing, it is important to know and practice safe floatting techniques. While conditions differ between stream, river, pond, lake or coastal waters, there is no substitute for experience and careful approach. Always consider depth, water speed, bottom configuration, and whether it is advisable to wade in or through fast or deep areas.
Here are fourteen tips for safe cotton wool techniques.
- Slow down. Make sure your foot is firmly planted and stable before taking the next step. Crab-like steps are much better than long strides. Focus on what is right in front of you.
- Wearing polarized sunglasses makes the underwater terrain more visible. The deeper you wade and the more murky the water, the less this helps. When the water is clear, the right polarized sunglasses are of great help.
- One of the first things anyone with experience will tell you about how to fish in a river with a strong current is to explore an area that you will want to wade over before you begin. Often times, you can find a better, usually flatter route a bit upstream or downstream.
- Don’t throw and wade at the same time. Position and then throw. This is one of the best river fishing tips for beginners who are always eager to keep casting along the way.
- Beware of stones. Do not hop or jump from one large rock to another. Place your feet between rocks instead of on top of them. Avoid wading upstream of a large rock in turbulent water and watch out for deep holes under large rocks.
- Watch out for rising water in river rivers. Dike releases can suddenly raise the water level. In this case, don’t waste time getting ashore.
- Plan each step and move slowly, shuffling along each foot instead of lifting it up.
- In the current, wade your body and feet sideways to the river. Even a slight twist in fast water can spin or knock you over. Wade across at an angle, preferably slightly quartered upstream.
- Using a wading stick or stick is helpful. It acts as a stabilizing third leg and is also valuable for exploring depth and searching for objects. If the current is fast, move personnel upstream.
- Without a stick, you can use your fishing rod to stabilize yourself in a fast current, especially if you are feeling unbalanced or about to trip or fall. Hold the bar in your downstream hand and keep it pointed directly downstream. Place the tip section in the stream to act as a stabilizer. In the worst case scenario, use both a staff in your upstream hand and the perch in your downstream hand.
- Don’t relax if you want to cross a rough spot or get out of the water. Many people fall out of the water along the way, taking their final steps for granted.
- If you go into areas with soft ground, don’t go any further. Your feet may be buried so deep in the dirt that they get caught from the vacuuming. Retreat to firmer ground and find a better route.
- If you catch a strong fish, gradually withdraw from the deep water and go to the shore. They can more easily follow a fish out of the shallows when needed, where you have more maneuverability, and can also produce a higher tail angle.
- When wading in areas where dangerous creatures, especially alligators, are present, always be vigilant and alert as you are in your element and a quick exit is often impossible. Keeping the fish on a stringer while wading may not be a good idea.
Safe cotton wool techniques contribute to a good day fishing. So don’t ignore or overlook them. Before planning your next fishing trip, buy your fishing license.