A day of fishing can provide hours of family fun and plenty of physical activity too. To make the most of your fishing hours (and perhaps to make a few more catches too), pay attention to nutrition and safety before you start and once you’re on the water. The Scout motto of “Be Prepared” is always a good one to keep in mind (as my brother, nephew, and friend are here on east Rosebud Lake).
1. Eat breakfast.
Even when you are eager to start casting, a balanced breakfast is worth the time it takes. For maximum mental focus, enjoy a morning meal with a mix of carbohydrate and protein. A hearty bowl of oatmeal with raisins and nuts will stick with you for several hours. A breakfast sandwich, wrap, or burrito with eggs and some lean meat will also do the trick.
2. Carry smart snacks.
If you’re walking a stream or hiking to a mountain lake, you’ll need snacks that are big on nutrients and energy, but easy to carry. Cheese, nuts, and jerky as well as fresh and dried fruit are great choices. If you’re packing a cooler for a drift boat or canoe, pack it with cut-up veggies, fresh fruit, and sandwiches on whole grain breads, along with a few chips or sweets.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Even a little dehydration can spoil an otherwise wonderful day of fishing. Avoid headaches and crankiness by drinking plenty of refreshing fluids. Frozen water bottles are the perfect choice for hot days, since they keep food safe and then provide an ice cold beverage. Save any alcoholic beverages for the end of the trip; they dehydrate when you need fluids most.
4. Practice sun protection.
Hot summer sun and the glare from the water can be very hard on skin and eyes, even on seemingly cloudy days. Keep covered with a hat or visor and a light, long-sleeved shirt and pants. Apply sunscreen before you dress (to cover hard to reach areas) and every 2 to 3 hours throughout the day. A good pair of sunglasses is also essential.
5. Be water safe.
Since bad weather or an accident can happen anytime, always practice water safety. Make sure that everyone has a properly-fitted life vest and that they wear it at all times. Choose snug fitting water shoes; bare feet get banged up easily and make it difficult to get around on slippery rocks. Be aware of lightning; get off the water and get fishing poles on the ground.