Often the best fishing locations are those that are hard to get to, that is very true when it comes to rock fishing.
Rock fishing is great way to catch a wide range of fish species including your bread and butter fish such as bream and also fish that live and feed around rocks such as luderick. Large pelagics will also cruise the rocky headlands looking for bait and it’s not uncommon for fisherman to land huge cobia, mackeral, tuna and even billfish from rocky headlands. Rock fishing does come with its dangers, and many people die every year after getting into danger fishing from rocks. To avoid running into trouble when rock fishing here are some tips to keep you safe.
Never fish alone
Safety in numbers is always a good policy to adopt especially when fishing. Whether you are out in a boat or fishing from rocks, it always helps to have another set of eyes and hands to help you in case of danger. The surf is always unpredictable and you never know when a freak wave might crash ashore potentially washing you off the rocks, so it pays to have a friend to assist in case or call for help.
Always tell people where you are going
It is good practise to tell someone where you are going fishing and when you are expecting to be home. When you are going offshore fishing in a boat it is recommended you call the Coastguard and advise them of your trip, the same should apply when fishing from dangerous rocks that are unattended by lifeguards or less frequently visited by people.
Never turn your back
This can be a hard one at times, but get in the habit of always keeping your eyes on the surf. Like mentioned earlier, the ocean can be very unpredictable and at any time a large wave could wash you off the rocks. When rigging your line, or landing a fish, try your best to face the ocean and be conscious of the waves. Take your time and don’t rush things, no fish is worth your life for.
Wear appropriate footwear
It goes without saying that rocks and water can create a slippery situation. It is always best to wear quality footwear with good grip when fishing from rocks. There are specially made rock fishing shoes with small spikes available for those looking for greater grip when fishing from rocks. Never fish barefoot or in flip flops, the rocks can have oysters and other shellfish which can cause extensive damage should you slip or stand on them.
Wear a lifejacket
You can never be too prepared, and wearing a lifejacket is the best form of safety when fishing from rocks. Lifejackets are not the clunky, big, uncomfortable items they used to be. Todays lifejackets are small, convenient and comfortable and there are a huge range available. Consult your local fishing, camping or watersports shop for the latest lifejackets.
Carry a floatation device
A good initiative of recent years is the installation of safety rings at popular remote rock fishing locations. This is a great idea in the case of an emergency as fisherman are able to throw the floatation devices to the person in danger and ensure their safety first before then calling emergency services. If not floatation device is available at your fishing location then considering bringing your own with you next time you are fishing. It might just save a life.
Additional safety equipment
It never hurts to take too much safety equipment. Consider taking additional items such as flares, v sheet and some form of GPS. All these items will help emergency services locate you in the case of an emergency. Of course, leave non-essentials like your top fish finders behind.
Food, drink and warm clothing
If you run into trouble when rock fishing you never know how long you might be stuck at your fishing location. For this reason it is best to always carry some food and water for at least 24 hours. Small high protein items that can fit easily into your bag are ideal such as beef jerky and always ensure you have a water bottle available. If the weather turns bad it can get quite cold on the rocks, and if you have to spend the night isolated it’s best to have warm clothing to avoid the risk of hypothermia. A waterproof jacket is also ideal as being cold and wet is never a good combination.
So next time you are going rock fishing, please take care and hopefully the information above will assist in a safe and productive rocking fishing adventure.