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Bankside Safety for Carp Anglers

Carp fishing, a beloved freshwater angling pursuit in the UK, offers a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in nature. However, like any outdoor activity, it comes with its own risks. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, prioritising safety while on the bank is paramount.

Safety Near Water Bodies

When you’re fishing near water bodies, such as lakes, rivers, or ponds, it’s crucial to be mindful of potential hazards:

Ground Awareness: Before setting up your fishing spot, assess the characteristics of the bank. Is it muddy, slippery, or steep? Ensure you have stable footing to prevent accidents.

Life Jacket: If you’re planning to fish from a boat or in areas with deep or fast-moving water, always wear a life jacket to safeguard against unexpected mishaps.

Children’s Safety: If you’re accompanied by children, provide continuous supervision, and ensure they wear appropriate life jackets or flotation devices for their safety.

Using Bite Alarms Safely

Bite alarms are invaluable tools for carp anglers, but it’s essential to use them responsibly:

Volume Control: Keep the volume of your bite alarms at a level where you can hear them without causing disturbances to fellow anglers and wildlife. Excessively loud alarms can be disruptive. 

Secure Rod Placement: Ensure your fishing rods are firmly secured in rod rests or holders. A vigorous take from a fish can result in your rod being pulled into the water if it’s not sufficiently anchored.

Safe Fish Handling

Handling carp, particularly larger ones, requires care to ensure both your safety and the fish’s well-being:

Wet Your Hands: Before handling a carp, always wet your hands. This minimises the risk of removing the fish’s protective slime, which is vital for its health.

Use a Landing Mat: Employ a padded landing mat to protect the fish from injury, especially if you’re on a hard or rocky bank.

Proper Support: When lifting a carp for a photograph, make sure to support its weight with both hands – one beneath the pectoral fins and the other near the tail. This reduces the risk of causing internal injury to the fish.

Quick Release: Limit the amount of time the fish spends out of the water. Prepare your weighing and photography equipment in advance to minimise stress on the fish.

Barbless Hooks: Using barbless hooks or flattening the barb will facilitate safer and more straightforward unhooking, benefiting both you and the fish.

General Safety Tips

In addition to specific safety guidelines, there are some general safety tips to keep in mind while carp fishing:

First Aid Kit: Always have a basic first aid kit on hand. Accidents can occur, and being prepared can make a significant difference in an emergency.

Communication: Ensure that someone is aware of your fishing location and your expected return time. In areas with limited phone signal, consider carrying a whistle to attract attention in case of emergencies.

Weather Preparation: Dress appropriately for the weather and regularly check the forecast. Weather conditions can change rapidly, and being well-prepared can help you stay safe and comfortable.

Hydration and Nutrition: Carp fishing often involves long periods of waiting. Ensure you have an ample supply of water and food to keep yourself hydrated and energised throughout your fishing session.

Carp fishing offers a remarkable connection to nature and the great outdoors. By following these safety guidelines, you can ensure that your time on the bank is as safe as it is rewarding. Tight lines!