July is here and so are warm summer nights. As the evening weather has taken a turn for the better, so has the traffic on North Carolina’s lakes. If you plan on fishing at night, or even just taking part in some recreational boating, there are some things to keep in mind.
Operating your boat at dusk and in the dark is different than moving it along the water when the sun is shining. It can be more difficult to navigate correctly, tying knots can be difficult, and seeing what you need on your boat can be downright impossible.
Before you head out on the water at night, make sure that your boat is stocked with the essentials. Organize those essentials in a way that will make it easy for you to see what you need without the help of the sun’s rays. Many experienced fishermen suggest rigging your gear before heading out so it is ready to go.
Once you pull away from the dock, make sure that you have your life vest on. While it is important, and even the law, that you wear it during the day, it can be even more important at night. Strap your vest on and leave it on. If you fall overboard or your vessel capsizes, it will be more difficult for a rescue party to see you at night. A life vest could very well mean that you go home again.
If you are going to be fishing or moving in unfamiliar waters, take a tour during the day. You don’t have to spend hours on the lake, but spend enough time to get a decent sense of the new territory. You may be surprised at how much this can help you should an emergency situation arise.
Remember that lighting is your friend. Make sure that your boat’s navigation lights are in operating order. Check the batteries and make sure they are fully charged. Keep a set of jumper cable on board, and stock the boat with flashlights, lanterns, and headlamps. It may be a bit of overkill, but having extra light bulbs for your equipment on board is never a bad idea.
Fishing at night, and boating in general, can be exciting. It can also be dangerous. When you are well prepared, you have little to worry about. Follow the tips above to make sure that your night trip is as successful as all of your day trips have been.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, our attorneys are here to help you. Call us today for a free initial consultation.