With Maryland being right on the water, many Marylanders are boat lovers and avid fishermen(women). Many individuals do it for fun, and some make a career out of it. Although most people see fishing as a relaxing recreational activity, the sport of fishing is actually very physically demanding and injuries are quite common.
See below to learn more about the most common fishing injuries and what you can do to keep yourself safe.
Slips and Falls
Wet docks, boat decks, or any surface near the water can be very slippery. If you start to fall and can’t catch yourself, you could slip and trip and fall pretty hard. Depending on how you land, a hard fall may lead to a number of other injuries like concussions, stress fractures, cuts and scrapes, etc.
Injuries from Fishing Equipment
Fishhooks are definitely a common source of injury while fishing, as are propellers while boating. It’s best to ensure you are using the equipment properly and avoid swinging your fishing pole or fishing line near anyone or anything.
Overuse injuries like tendinitis or ligament tears are known to be common among many athletes, although they are also common among occupational and avid recreational fishers as well. These injuries typically occur due to repetitive motions made while fishing by your arms while casting or reeling in a fish. Because they occur from overuse, this sort of injury is much more common in someone who fishes regularly rather than occasionally.
Sprains and Strains
Many sprains and strains occur while fishing. The sport is more physically demanding than most would assume. Therefore, if someone isn’t in the best shape or simply overdoes it, these injuries can and will happen.
Here is how you prevent some of these injuries:
- Make sure you exercise to stay in share and stretch before you go. Certain exercises can strengthen the muscles in your shoulders and forearms to help with overuse injuries and help you avoid strains and sprains.
- Be sure to wear the right clothes. Your shoes should be non-slip shoes to minimize potential slipping. Sunglasses or protective eyewear will protect your eyes fishhook accidents, and a life preserver in case you fall into the water.
- Use caution around fishing equipment and boat propellers. Stay away from your boat propeller, especially while it is running. Be cautious when casting and watch where your hook is at all times. Be sure to not leave sharp objects like knives, fishhooks, or your tackle lying around, these are dangerous and could cause someone to trip or cut themselves easily.
- Always have a way to get help. Accidents and injuries happen. So it’s important to always have a way to call for help. Make sure you have a cell phone and/or working radio available, so you can contact emergency help if needed. Whenever possible, bring one or more friends along that can help in emergent situations.