I know what you’re thinking, “Why would anyone want to catch a rock?” Well, I have to admit that the sudden, solid connection of an immobile force makes the heart beat faster after countless tosses of nothingness. But that’s not the type of rock fishing I’m talking about here. I am addressing fishing safety when throwing off or around rocks.
Perhaps the best safety tip for rock fishing is being aware of or lacking traction. Exposed rocks on or near the coast are tempting platforms for anglers to cast better or to reach greater distances. However, these rocks are often wet, rounded, and covered in algae, which makes them smooth. This is obviously such a worthy concern on my neck of the woods that a small university in western Pennsylvania even bears the name of the warning: Slippery Rock.
Rock fishing shoes are chosen for their grip, which is important as a slip allows you to dive into the drink and quickly end a fishing trip. In fact, a life jacket would be smart for rock fishing, especially if you are fishing alone. There are a variety of suitable hiking / wading / climbing crossover shoes on the market, but I can usually get by with reused old sneakers. If achieving your throwing goals requires wading over smooth rocks in cool streams, several types of wader soles are also available. However, when renewing your fishing license, be sure to follow the rules for felt soles, as there is some debate about the possible transfer of invasive microscopic organisms from one water source to another.
The rocks vary greatly depending on location, water and weather conditions. Relatively “new” rocks like the hardened lava flows from Hawaii are sharp and crush thin soles. Rocks that were easy to hop on during the last trip to the river can turn into cubes with a quick shower. Even perfectly dry, flat slate can be greasy. Small cautious steps need to be included in any list of rock fishing safety tips.
And polarized sunglasses are a must. Not only will they help you see fish in the water, but if that big old stone bites but the hook loosens and shoots back at your face, the eyes have some protection for your rock fishing safety. Find out more fishing safety tips and save time with your family.
Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fishery research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and in the US state of Michigan.