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Last Updated: Aug 16th, 2007 - 19:28:08 

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Fishtales

Safety Tips to Observe During Hurricane Season
By Jonie Maschek
Aug 16, 2007, 11:26

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How many anglers with boats ó small, large, motor, canoe, commercial or pleasure ≠ó can handle them in abnormal weather at sea?
Florida is in the middle of hurricane season and I know there is always a calm before a storm.

People are always grumbling about the weather, but man has yet to conquer it.  There are weather reports to guide us, but we need to use plain ole horse sense on  how to react in a serious bad weather situation.

Not many anglers study the mechanism of the weather. So they must rely on radio or television for weather  forecasts. But the forecasts may not be for the area where your boat is located. So nowit is up to your own survival capabilities.

You may be in a hurricane, cyclone, typhoon or a tropical storm. They are choosey about which areas they hit and in Florida storms are seasonal.
The more curvaceous your boat, the more sea worthy it will be. It is said that you should avoid flat boats in a storm.

Common sense ó if your boat fills with water ó pump it out. If your boat falls to pieces, you have to swim. Donít forget life jackets. Know where everything is on the boat and what its function is ans be sure you know how to use it. Share your knowledge with others aboard.

A  catastrophe may strike in fair weather as well as foul, so keep your life jackets on.  Always keep them handy in case of a storm.
I will share some hurricane warning for boaters:
Watch for a unaccountable swell in the water.
Sudden puffs of hot and cold wind.
Weather reports TV and radio.
Unusual panicky sea birds.
A brassy appearing sky.
Big wind velocity and lighting over the horizon.

I have been talking with captains of large boats who have weathered the sea. They say it depends on the winds, if  you sit still and weather it out or plow on. Do not race your motor, and try to travel fast, as you will soon be in big trouble. Being adrift at sea is an unhappy subject. But survival is phenomenal luck. Lady luck is out there so never give up, she just might be on your side.
Letís face it!

You will need FAITH
You will need FOOD
You will need WATER
You will need RESCUE

Anglers fish in the rain. Fish will bite in the rain. If you are determined to fish regardless of the weather, dress for it.

If there is a strong wind, I suggest fishing from shore. Donít take a boat out. It will be difficult to cast into the wind, but I know there are those out there, that have mastered this.

Again on a hot sunny day, be sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. Light color clothes do deflect the sun. If you sunburn, donít forget the sunburn lotion or cream.

Mosquitoes go along with rain and storms so take repellent along. I have been told not to eat bananas while at sea because this causes mosquitoes to swarm around you. How true this is I do not know.

Another bit of advice that has been given to me by angers is:  ďIf cows are lying down, a storm is brewing.Ē

Another warning I received from readers was , ďIf birds are not flying across the waterways and not dividing for bait fish, a storm is around.Ē
I have seen anglers in boats with some good catches coming in this week.
Anyone who catches a snook has to release it as snook season is still closed. Anglers are telling me they have caught some big ones and had to release them.

Redfish are still the top catch this week. Many insist that they never leave Simmons Park. Drop a line and you will get a redfish each time.
The usual sheepshead catches are being made around the piers. This is an ugly fish but a good white lean meat table fare.
Rains have brought drum to the local waterways. I eat the smaller drum  but not the large drum as they just might have worms. So  check them carefully while cleaning.

There have been a few stingrays venturing into the rivers. Donít swim around them and if just walking in the water be sure to shuffle your feet to scare them away.
Fish together, be ever mindful of the weather.


© Copyright 2007 by The Observer News Publications and M&M Printing Company, Inc.

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