The quick answer is: Yes, you can probably go fishing in your area. But, there may be some guidelines – and there are certainly necessary precautions to take.
Read on to learn some general, good-sense tips for navigating the waters during this pandemic and quarantine. We’ve also included some state-specific advice and references.
General Coronavirus Guidelines
On the water, in the parking lot, or at the bait shop… there are plenty of things you can do to slow the spread of this virus AND protect yourself and the people you love. We’ve put together a number of handy tips for you all to peruse prior to heading out to snag some bass. Remember, these are all crucial toward maintaining a healthy environment and body.
- Don’t go out if you’re sick or feel like you could be coming down with something – or have symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, and/or fever. It simply isn’t worth the risk. Wait a few days, and monitor your well-being. Only plan for a little field trip if you’ve been feeling healthy for several days to a week, just to be sure.
- Follow the CDC’s social distancing and mask-wearing! A fun tip is to measure the recommended six feet of distance by sticking your fishing pole in front of your belly (facing outward) and turn in a circle. Keep the area clear!
- Develop the habits of avoiding touching your nose, eyes, and mouth, as well as coughing or sneezing into the crook of your elbow. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, scrubbing vigorously for thirty seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based cleanser with at least 70% alcohol.
- Drive to the ol’ fishing hole ONLY with people you are isolating with. This is not the time for a packed car on a road trip.
- Keep your gear to yourself. Fishing is generally more of a community sport, but avoid the temptation of sharing for now (unless you have alcohol pads or an effective spritz, of course). Every member of the party should have their own rod, reel, tackle box, lures, line, hooks, and pliers – at the very minimum.
What About My Area Specifically?
You should most definitely check with your local sources to see what the specific parameters are for fishing in your area. Things are changing rapidly at the moment, and a lot of it is being handled and decided on at the community level.
A good place to start is by checking out your state or county’s .gov website, as well as any Chamber of Commerce or tourism boards. They should have the guidelines very clearly marked so that everybody’s on the same page regarding our safety.
Be sure to check with your particular state for the specific guidelines for getting out on the water in today’s climate. While it might seem intuitive that this could be a safe and restorative activity, it’s always “safety first” when it comes to our health and wellness. Be careful out there, folks, and happy fishing!