Night Bass Fishing Safety


Boring? Not if It Keeps You Alive

Why is Night Bass Fishing Safety Important?

Consider the Following:

80% of People Who Drown In the U.S. Annually Are Males

One-Third of All Boating Fatalities Are Fishermen


Night bass fishing safety is first and foremost preparation and it's smart. It's making sure you have all you might need if the night doesn't go as you planned. You may never need the things you find in this article. But I guarantee, if you find yourself needing any of them but once you will be very glad you had them close at hand.

Number 1: Prepare A What-If List

Your what-if list should consider all possibilities involving areas such as mobility, electronic failure, visibility, communication, injury, thirst/hunger and bodily warmth or heat depending on the season. The following are items you should include in your preparations for a trip where you'll be fishing in the dark. Not a bad habit to have them handy all the time, daylight or dark. Some may seem redundant but the best way to avoid problems is to have backups to your backups.

What-If List That Prepares You For Most Any Emergency

  • Make sure someone knows you're going, where you're planning to fish and when you plan on returning.
  • It should go without saying that an essential item is your PFD. And wear it!
  • Know where you're going before launching and make sure you have paper maps even if you have a GPS combined with your depth finder. I always have a compass on board as well.
  • Have at least two ways to communicate to the outside world. Cell phones are great, sometimes. Sometimes they just don't work. Hand held VHF radios are handy backups, especially if there are other boats on the lake with people you know.
  • Lighting sources to include small flashlights, spotlights, headlamps and of course your boat running lights. Remember extra batteries.
  • Make sure your motor and trolling batteries are charged and take a pair of jumper cables. I take a spare battery.
  • Have spare spark plugs and the tools to remove them. One without the other is just junk.
  • Spare props, outboard and trolling motor, plus the necessary pins and cables.
  • Appropriate clothing for the season that will help keep you cool, warm and protect you from mosquitoes.
  • Anchors, that's right, two. Two makes it much easier to "fix" yourself to spot so you can effectively cast your to your target.
  • A good first aid survival kit is one of those things you don't need all the time but when you do need one you usually need it bad.
  • Check the weather forecast before going out but it won't hurt to also have a portable weather radio that can give advance warning of an unfriendly local weather system sneaking up on you.
  • A boat horn or hand held air horn should be on your list.
  • Have water, cold drinks, stay away from beer, and food.
  • Depending on the season bug repellant is a must. Also important is a way to keep the repellant off your lures and line.
  • Paddles always work. They don't need gas or electricity. Have two in the boat.

Does the list seem excessive? When it comes to safeguarding your life, night bass fishing safety means it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.



Here are some examples of the things I include in my night bass fishing safety "What-If" preparations.

Mustang PFD


Personal Floatation Device

Besides being required by law this item is one of the most important night bass fishing safety devices. Virtually nobody drowns when wearing a life jacket of some sort.

You can't go wrong with this USCG-approved Type II automatic inflation vest.




Coleman LED Lantern


Lantern

A battery powered lantern like this one provides more than ample hands-free lighting for movement around your boat. There may be times when you want both hands free rather having one tied up holding a flashlight. This type lantern is inexpensive and effective.




Headlamp for Night Bass Fishing



Headlamp

These little lights are incredibly handy. They are available in a wide range of lighting powers and in addition to enhancing your fishing safety they're invaluable for tying knots at night.

They also have a fairly broad range of price points so you can choose one that fits your needs and price range.


Weather Alert Device- Hand Held


Hand Held Weather Alert Device

In addition to checking the weather forecast before launching it's a good idea to have this little devices with you. There are times when an unexpected bit of "local" nasty weather pops up. This can give you fair warning in time to head for cover.






Night Bass Fishing Safety - Pocket Flashlight


Flashlights

Important tools in your night bass fishing safety toolbox are flashlights. The one in the picture is a small one that can be kept close at hand by hooking it to your belt. I do so with a plastic tie. It's also a good practice to have a regular size as well.

These are in addition to your boat running lights and a spotlight.


Midland VHF Hand Held Radio Set


VHF Shortwave Radio Set

You may think this is overkill, especially in the days of cell phones. But if you don't already know, there are many areas on a large lake where cell phones can't grab a signal.

This little set will reach out and touch someone 15 miles away. Of course this range can be diminished in highland reservoirs like those found in the South.





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