GilV

Saftey in the surf, wading and jetty fishing?

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The Graveyard Shift started a great thread in the Fly Fishing Forum. In it he mentioned some safety gear he uses. When I was younger I thought I was Superman and nothing could hurt me. I was knocked off a jetty twice when I was younger by some rogue waves. Fell in the water wading and it never was a problem getting out. Two years ago I fell on the jetty tore my rotator cuff and couldn't move my left arm (saved my rod and reel though). I wound up in a hole in the rocks. It must have looked bad, since everybody ran over to me, even though I said I was OK (hard getting out of the hole with one arm and making sure I saved my gear).

 

Now I am 65. My wife and friends keep telling me I am nuts, since I fly fish and fish many times by myself. Two Falls ago there was a bass blitz on IBSP. An old timer was wading and stepped off the lip at the wash edge and went down with waders. He was toast. He couldn't get up and was heading out to sea. My friend jumped in and saved his life, literally. If no one was there he would have been a statistic. He saw us again on the beach with his son and both thanked him for saving his life. 

 

At 65 I still intend to do what I always did. I have the attitude but probably not the aptitude to come out OK if things go south.

 

What do you guys use for safety in the surf, wading and jetty fishing? I use a surf belt around my waders and creepers on the jetty. After I fell on the jetty I decided I would use an inflatable PDF that automatically inflates at 4', in case I wind up in the drink (haven't used it yet). I have never been accused of being the sharpest knife in the draw, but at least now I am finally thinking about it. 

 

Let me know what you what you use.

 

Thanks

Gil

 

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Keep your korkers fresh, trust your korkers, and use the butt of your rod as a walking stick.

 

This may seem counterintuitive, but try to use as little light as possible on the jetty and cup the lense with your hands to avoid any glare. That glare will kill your peripheral vision, which puts you at risk for getting hit by rogue waves from the pocket side. If you cannot handle using little to no light on the jetty at night than you simply should not be out there.

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The jetty I mainly fish I could run up down many years ago. I fished it every night after work, since I worked close to it. I used to use a small mag light and let it dangle down around my neck. Many nights I could do it without a light. That jetty changed a lot from the hurricane and it isn't as easy as it used to be. Until I am more comfortable on that jetty again during the day, I won't be going at night until I get my jetty legs back. I will be back on it though.

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By me, I’ve had more success fishing jetty pockets than off the tip. Unless I see fish/birds working, I’m not even getting on an ocean jetty and even if there is action, I’m not going on in rough conditions. 

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As an aging surfcaster "Wisdom" is your greatest attribute.  I'm also into my 60s.  Sense of balance isn't what it was, that said I am starting exercises (yoga) to help maintain balance.  At night I use my light more often (but still discreetly) - better to be safe than worry that others will see you.  I've always said the most important piece of safety equipment is your own head, use it. 

Stay safe.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I am guessing by some of the responses, that you don't take any safety precautions other than common sense and luck if something unexpected happens. That is what I used to do. I guess The Graveyard Shift is the only person taking precautions and hopefully me. Taking precautions is also common sense.

Edited by GilV
mis spelled

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5 mins ago, GilV said:

I am guessing by some of the responses, that you don't take any safety precautions other than common sense and luck if something unexpected happens. That is what I used to do. I guess The Graveyard Shift is the only person taking precautions and hopefully me. Taking precautions is also common sense.

I'll add a couple that I've adopted as I got older. 

Always have a bottle or two of drinking water.  I also bring a some sort of snack food, granola bar, etc.  in the case of that "low blood sugar" feeling.  

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If you don’t know the spot, watch for a while before climbing out. 

 

Always know your escape route back up or off the rocks, your landing rock and most likely oh shat situation. 

 

I actually had had my first washed-off-the-rocks experience last season. Thankfully, I practice what I preach ( and that my plug hooked my boot so I was able to get my rod and reel back). 

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The "oh shat" rock is a great point. Its good to visit the jetty at high water during a moon tide and take note of where the taller portions of the jetty are. When I see a swell doubling up in front of me, Ill jump back 3 rocks and dig my korkers in.

 

My landing rock was washed away this past Fall... time to find a new one. Lost a good sized weakfish because I looked down and my landing rock was under water.

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DZ since you are around my age you may relate to this. I intend to do what I enjoy until the end. I would rather go out like rocket than a candle waiting for a light wind to blow out the flame. If we are lucky we may get another 10 good years.

 

My wife and I took care of two mothers, 2 fathers and her aunt. We watched them linger and suffer in old age - cancer, dementia, bed ridden, morphine drips ect.. My first heart attack was in my fifties. It happened dragging out a nice 8 pointer. I wound up in the hospital over night. While there, there was a old timer in pain, tubes coming out of his nose and stomach, suffering. I decided not me! I was released the next day and went right up in my tree stand and shot a nice fat doe.

 

Six months later, my best friend wound up in the same room in the old timers bed that was next to mine. He had lyme disease so bad, they thought he had brain cancer. They finally figured out it was lyme disease by doing a spinal tap. In my bed was another old timer, strapped to the bed, completely out of it. I told my friend not us and we planned a DIY elk hunt in Colorado. That September, we back packed in 11 miles to 11,200' and stayed for two weeks. We had a blast and did the same thing several years later. We figure we have one more in us. 

 

If we went out doing what we enjoy, well the coyotes and bears have to eat too - same as the sharks. Was that Common Sense - nah, but I am not going to sit around waiting for death, I am going to challenge it!

 

You young bucks may not realize this yet, but when you do get older and watch death's slow oncoming to those you love - you will say common sense my a$$ too, at least I hope you do!

 

 

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GilV,

         I can relate.  So far I've not had any "real" serious health issues (knock on wood).  Still fairly active but obviously slowing down - stamina/balance not what they once were but I still get after it.

Everyone has someone in their life that influences their future decisions.  In my case it was my best friend who was also the best man at my wedding. He was a maybe 10 years older than me.  He finally retired hoping to do all the things he loved. Then he got real sick, was terminal and gone after 2-3 years.  In his last few months before he passed he told me; "When you have a chance to retire. DO IT!  Because you never know what will happen!"   I'm going to listen to my best friend... I'm retiring this May.

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DZ, that is what I did too. I worked for 52 years straight, never without a job. I had a high stress job. I put 3 kids through catholic grammar school, high school and college. I gave them all starts in life now, when they need it, instead of them waiting for any help after I die. I didn't want to see Medicaid getting everything I worked for my whole life, if I got in that position. When I turned 62 I went out on SSI. If you wait until full SSI the break even point is about 80. I figure those 5 years, were years I would still have good health and can enjoy them.  

 

These days I am being more careful, since I want to make sure it is I that takes care of my wife. We have been together for over 45 years and nobody is going to put their hands on my wife. After that I probably won't be as careful. She is the reason I posted this thread. I am going to do what I want to do, but I am finally being more careful so I make sure I come back.

 

I got this thread off track, sorry. I am still looking for ideas for safety aides/techniques, if anybody is using them.  

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