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By: Adrianna Noton
Fishing is one of the predominant water activities that take place in the waters of Canada, with anglers from all around the world visiting every year to take part. Fishing boats can range from smaller aluminum vessels with outboard motors to big, elaborate cruisers with powerful motors. One thing that's the same for all motorized vessels used for fishing is that the operator must have a valid boating license in order to be in control of the boat. It's the law to have a boating license in Ontario after having passed the necessary boat exam. Just because your boat is being used for fishing doesn't mean you're exempt if you are operating the boat. The boat exam you take will also get you up to speed on all of the important safety tips to follow when you're fishing and just boating in general.

One of the first things you'll learn about boating in any boat exam is to always make sure everyone on your boat is wearing a lifejacket. This is true for cruising around the lake, water skiing or fishing. It might feel uncomfortable for some anglers to maneuver the rod with a lifejacket on, but it's the law and it may save your life someday. The common sense rule of boating while sober also applies to fishing boats, too. Just as it is quite dangerous to boat while drinking when you're just out on the water, it's equally as dangerous if you're fishing. Bringing alcohol into a fishing boat may be even more dangerous, because of the likelihood of people on the boat standing up to land fish or cast out the line.

While fishing from your boat, some elements of etiquette and safety that weren't covered on your boat exam to get your boating license in Ontario will also come into play. Casting is one part of fishing that carries with it an element of danger when fishing in a boat. Since there are likely other fishermen in your boat, it's important to know who is behind you when it's time to cast. Catching a hook onto a friend's clothing or in his skin isn't going to make the experience more enjoyable for anyone.

Your boat exam probably won't teach you about the ins and outs of trolling, either. When you're trolling, it's important to remain in control of the boat if that's your job at the time. Try to avoid doing both at the same time, or at least make sure the boat control take precedence over landing a fish. Maintain a slow but steady speed when trolling and cut the engine if you land a fish and are operating the vessel.

Common courtesy while out on the water, especially in busy areas, will make all your fishing trips safe and enjoyable. And don't forget to carry your boating license with you while you're out on the water fishing. Law enforcement has the right to ask you for it, and it's your obligation to have it with you on the boat at all times.


Stay safe on the water with BoatSmart 632 The Kingsway, Peterborough, ON K9J 7C8 (705) 745-2878 (416) 524-8943. Get your boating course and learn what you need to know.
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