Minnesota Fishing Opener: How to Stay Safe on Leech Lake
This weekend marks the 2016 Minnesota Fishing Opener! What a better place to celebrate than fishing on Leech Lake? Leech Lake is the third largest lake in Minnesota and is home to some of the best walleye fishing in the Midwest. Lakes can get busy, especially during fishing opener. While you’re out catching fish – remember to be careful! Here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe while out fishing.
1. Life Jacket: If you are going to be on a boat while fishing, be sure that everyone on board has a life jacket. Chances are you won’t need it, but it’s always best to be safe. Even if you are a great swimmer, emergencies cause anxiety levels escalate which could cause you to not swim as well as you normally would. Spring weather in Minnesota can be fickle, but life jackets can serve as an extra layer to help keep you warm. Life jackets can also be quite comfortable – giving you extra cushion for your back!
2. Safety Kit: From a first aid kit to map – make sure you have everything you need on your boat. According to the Red Cross, a good first aid kit should have the following:
- Absorbent Compress Dressings
- Adhesive Cloth Tape
- Antiseptic Wipes
- Antibiotic Ointment
Leech Lake is huge, and it’s easy to get lost or turned around while out on the water – especially if it’s your first time here or are exploring a new section of the lake. We recommend bringing a map of the lake out with you, or a GPS, in case you do get turned around while out on the lake. With 160 Square miles of lake getting lost can be easier than you may think on Leech Lake. A map of Leech Lake can not only help you figure out your direction, but can give you insight on the topography surrounding the lake. This will give you warning of the depth and if you may run in to any unexpected shallow areas.
3. Appropriate Footwear: This the arrival of spring and warm weather, it’s tempting to throw your tennis shoes and boots aside and opt for flip flops and sandals. However, many hooks and other sharp objects are used while fishing and may find their way to the floor of the boat. Avoid accidental injury and stepping on these objects by wearing shoes that cover and protect your feet.
4. Dress Appropriately: We’ve already mentioned that spring weather in Minnesota can be fickle and unpredictable. Making sure you’re prepared with the proper clothing can be the difference between a great and miserable day out on the lake. We recommend dressing in layers, that way you can be prepared for a hot – or frigid – day. Be sure to pack a rain jacket and pants in case the weather starts to get wet above the boat as well.
5. Keep Knives and Hooks Covered: To avoid injury, keep knives and hooks covered and stored away when not in use. Picking out a great tackle box can help keep your fishing life organized and safe. Many tackle boxes are available with multiple trays and different sizes. These are great to keep your larger tools (like knives and scissors) on the larger shelves, while keeping your smaller hooks and jigs organized on the top shelves.
Have a great fishing opener and season! We look forward to seeing you on Leech Lake soon.