• Safety First with Boating & Fishing

    As we approach the busy time of year that loads the lakes up with pleasure boaters, jet skis, kayaks, fisherman and more; its time to revisit some of the common practices of safety. Itís hard to believe that a lake of 69,000 acres can get so busy that it presents a safety issue, but it does and understanding how to maneuver the lake and how to pass each other can make you a lot safer trying to enjoy the water.

    The first and most important issue is wearing a life jacket, as someone who was in a boat accident and had a life jacket save my life, I can attest to how important it is; when the motor is on put your life jacket on. If you have a child of 8 years of age or younger in Alabama itís the law, they must wear a life jacket while in the boat, at-all-times. I often get questions from customers as to what the red and green buoys mean: its simple they mark the deep water the paths that you can navigate safely without the chance of hitting a shallow part of the lake. You must stay between them, itís that simple unless your familiar with the lake stay in-between the markers while running.

    The most common mistake is how to navigate on-coming boats. The navigation rules are very simple when approaching an on-coming boat keep them on your left; ití referred to as passing port to port. If you do this your ability to safely get around on-coming boats is simple and safe. The tough maneuver is how to cross perpendicular boat traffic who has the right of way, and just because youíre in a main part of the channel does not mean your in the right of way. This explanation requires some detail of port and starboard side rules the easiest way is assume nothing slow down be cautious and if youíre not sure give up the right of way; itís a little safer that way. Most people without training have no idea how to determine the right-of-way in this situation and thereís no need to get in an accident just to prove your right of way!

    Lastly be aware, alert and never take your eyes off the water; there are too many boats, and too much traffic to not pay attention.

    Fish Lake Guntersville Guide Service
    Email: bassguide@comcast.net
    Call: 256 759 2270
    Capt. Mike Gerry