May 29, 2012

Adaptive Fishing Tips & Strategies

Written by Andrew Dadd, WBRC Visual Skills Instructor
Andrew Dadd coaches a veteran on a WBRC fishing trip

Fishing for a person with a visual impairment can be more fun and productive with the incorporation of adaptive strategies and devices.  If you have been to the WBRC or another blind rehabilitation program, use the skills that you learned. These might include incorporation of visual aids and techniques, orientation and mobility skills, and your ability to use your sense of touch. These skills can be used at home during preparation for fishing and also when you have arrived at your fishing spot.

At Home:
  • Familiarize yourself with the equipment you will be using.
  • Tie set-ups that you will be using in advance.
  • Practice putting on the bait that you will be using.
  • Keep the tackle for your trip minimal and well organized. 
  • Pack devices such as your magnification and your glare control.

At Your Fishing Spot:
  • Pick a spot that has lighting that is best for you.
  • Wear a hat and the proper eyewear and sunglasses
  • Assess the environment and plan how to move about safely.
  • Keep gear organized in a central location at the fishing spot.
  • Use a low vision or audible bite indicator.
  • When casting your line ask others for information if necessary, so you can cast to the correct location.
  • Take your time getting to your rod when you hook a fish.
  • Be careful when handling fish with spines. Use gloves or a fish gripper.
  • Use adaptive devices and techniques as needed.
  • Always know where your hook is.

If you are a person who is legally blind, you are entitled to a free fishing  license. This will take some time and is not available ‘on-the-spot’ at stores that sell fishing licenses.  You may request an application through the Department of Fish and Game which will require a signature from your eye doctor.  

May 1, 2012

May VIST Group Meetings Scheduled for Palo Alto and Stockton

Image: VIST Logo
The Visual Impairment Services Team (VIST) group is open to all veterans, Active-Duty Service Members, family members and those interested in promoting the community of B/VI veterans in the region are welcome. Meetings have varying presentations and discussions of new technology, special training and many subjects relevant to B/VI persons.

The next Palo Alto VIST group meeting will be held on Thursday May 17th from 11 am to 12 pm at the address below:
VAPAHCS Palo Alto Hospital
Building 100, 3rd Floor, Room B3-136
3801 Miranda Ave
Palo Alto, CA 93401

The next Stockton VIST group meeting will be held on Thursday May 24th from 10:30 am to 11:30 am at the address below:
Stockton Community Center for the Blind
Conference Room
130 W Flora St
Stockton, CA 95202
(209) 466-3836