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.  

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