Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine Vol 41; No. 4 - FALL 2017 - Page 8

by Colby Sorrells

Tackle Time

Photo by author .

That Little Edge

You ’ re looking for just a little edge . A little edge to increase your chances of catching fish . Maybe it ’ s a little edge to help catch your biggest fish . Or , maybe a little edge to catch the most fish . But , there ’ s no doubt , you ’ re looking for a little edge .

If a lure with a properly placed splash of red provides the edge in catching fish , you buy it . If a reel or rod provides just a little edge in making longer casts , you buy it . No doubt , lots of folks think 300 horsepower engines give them a little edge getting to their fishing spot quicker . And engines are very expensive !
So , how about a product that gives you a little edge every time you go fishing ? A product that helps ensure you have a successful trip every time you go and provides a little edge to make sure you get to go again ... Sounds like a little edge you would want . That ’ s what personal floatation devices , or PFDs , do . They give you a little edge .
No doubt , almost everyone remembers those clumsy , bright orange , life vests our mother insisted we wear when we were young . We all hated them and little doubt today ’ s kids are not any different . But , also no doubt , those vests saved lives .
I remember seeing a little kid walking the wooden deck of a coastal bait store . The kid was just being a little kid . Not really trying to cause trouble , just walking around looking at the large circular shrimp containers , looking at the boats going up and down the intracoastal . Doing what little kids do .
The little kid got a little too close to the end of the wooden deck and he slipped into the water . His quick acting father soon had him back on the correct side of the dock . He was easily fished out of the water because he was floating , just like a good popping cork , due to the little edge of his PFD . Had he not been wearing the life vest , the rescue would have been much more tenuous and the outcome not nearly as certain . The little guy was quickly back on his feet and investigating one of the shrimp holding tanks no worse for the experience because his dad knew about the little edge .
Anytime someone gets on my boat I ask them a simple question . I don ’ t ask if they can swim or how good of a swimmer they are . I don ’ t ask them if they ’ re comfortable around the water or in a boat . I ask them one question .
“ When was the last time you swam 100 yards ?” Most will say it has been 20 or 30 years since they swam that far . I then explain how a quickly moving current can easily have them 100 yards away from the boat before they could be rescued even under calm conditions . Add some wind , some slightly cool water and we ’ re talking about a real potential problem in a very short period of time . Wearing a PFD gives the wearer just a little edge of safety .
Fortunately for coastal anglers the old , bright orange life vests are not what ’ s required for today ’ s conditions . Modern PFDs come in many varieties and there ’ s one for everyone .
Many of today ’ s PFDs look more like a fishing vest than a life preserver . Many models often include pockets for storing small items . Most models include loops to attach things like line cutters or nippers , a hook and loop flap to hold your fishing rod while you change lures , a large pocket for a bottle of water or a small snack , or even pockets large enough to hold additional soft plastic lure bodies or small tackle boxes .
If you watch any fishing tournament you ’ ll see the participants wearing one of the modern CO2 cartridge-type vests .
When the vest gets wet , a CO2 cartridge is triggered inflating the vest . They work automatically and when worn feel more like a pair of suspenders than a life vest . While the cartridge-type vest will not work for those wade fishing , other models are available for anglers fishing in shallow water .
The PFD can also make a big difference when it comes to fishing in cold water . Hypothermia is a real problem and getting too cold while wading can kill you just as quickly as drowning . The modern PFD adds a warmth-holding layer just like a jacket , again adding just a little edge in your favor .
Another great thing for waders is on those occasions when you get stuck in deep mud while wading you can simply lay forward and float out of the mud . Anglers without a PFD will have to struggle to free themselves . And , in cold weather , the chance of hypothermia increases dramatically .
When the PFD gets some age on it , and you can no longer read the tag inside the vest , it ’ s time to replace the vest with a new one . Technology has probably improved since the old model was sold and a game warden or coast guard patrol will not let you continue to use an old vest . Buy a new one .
In December 2016 , I read an article about a young adult fisherman that died while fishing . He was in his twenties , not an ounce overweight and had quite a bit of experience wade fishing in his home waters . He had numerous years of coastal wade fishing in front of him .
He died while fishing in three feet of water . Three ... Would he have survived his trip if he was wearing a PFD ? No one knows for sure but the little edge a PFD provides might have made the difference . It certainly would not have hurt !
If this article causes just one of you to rethink your decision not to wear a PFD then it will be worth more than the effort . Hopefully , it will cause many of you to not only think about a PFD , but go out , buy one , and WEAR IT ! You can never tell when that little edge will make all the difference .
GCF
8 G U L F C O A S T F I S H E R M A N W W W . G U L F F I S H I N G . C O M
by Colby Sorrells Photo by author. Tackle Time That Little Edge Y ou’re looking for just a little edge. A little edge to increase your chances of catching fish. Maybe it’s a little edge to help catch your biggest fish. Or, maybe a little edge to catch the most fish. But, there’s no doubt, you’re looking for a little edge. If a lure with a properly placed splash of red provides the edge in catching fish, you buy it. If a reel or rod provides just a little edge in making longer casts, you buy it. No doubt, lots of folks think 300 horsepower engines give them a little edge getting to their fishing spot quicker. And engines are very expensive! So, how about a product that gives you a little edge every time you go fishing? A product that helps ensure you have a successful trip every time you go and provides a little edge to make sure you get to go again... Sounds like a little edge you would want. That’s what personal floatation devices, or PFDs, do. They give you a little edge. No doubt, almost everyone remembers those clumsy, bright orange, life vests our mother insisted we wear when we were young. We all hated them and little doubt today’s kids are not any different. But, also no doubt, those vests saved lives. I remember seeing a little kid walking the wooden deck of a coastal bait store. The kid was just being a little kid. Not really trying to cause trouble, just walking around looking at the large circular shrimp containers, looking at the boats going up and down the intracoastal. Doing what little kids do. The little kid got a little too close to the end of the wooden deck and he slipped into the water. His quick acting father soon had him back on the correct side of the dock. He was easily fished out of the water because he was floating, just like a good popping cork, due to the little edge of his PFD. Had he not been wearing the life vest, the rescue would have been much more tenuous and the outcome not nearly as certain. The little guy was quickly back on his feet and investigating one of the shrimp holding tanks no worse for the experience because his dad knew about the little edge. 8 G U L F C O A S T F I S H E R M A N Anytime someone gets on my boat I ask them a simple question. I don’t ask if they can swim or how good of a swimmer they are. I don’t ask them if they’re comfortable around the water or in a boat. I ask them one question. “When was the last time you swam 100 yards?” Most will say it has been 20 or 30 years since they swam that far. I then explain how a quickly moving current can easily have them 100 yards away from the boat before they could be rescued even under calm conditions. Add some wind, some slightly cool water and we’re talking about a real potential problem in a very short period of time. Wearing a PFD gives the wearer just a little edge of safety. Fortunately for coastal anglers the old, bright orange life vests are not what’s required for today’s conditions. Modern PFDs come in many varieties and there’s one for everyone. Many of today’s PFDs look more like a fishing vest than a life preserver. Many models often include pockets for storing small items. Most models include loops to attach things like line cutters or nippers, a hook and loop flap to hold your fishing rod while you change lures, a large pocket for a bottle of water or a small snack, or even pockets large enough to hold additional soft plastic lure bodies or small tackle boxes. If you watch any fishing tournament you’ll see the participants wearing one of the modern CO2 cartridge-type vests. When the vest gets wet, a CO2 cartridge is triggered inflating the vest. They work automatically and when worn feel more like a pair of suspenders than a life vest. While the cartridge-type vest will not work for those wade fishing, other models are available for anglers fishing in shallow water. The PFD can also make a big difference when it comes to fishing in cold water. Hypothermia is a real problem and getting too cold while wading can kill you just as quickly as drowning. The modern PFD adds a warmth-holding layer just like a jacket, again adding just a little edge in your favor. Another great thing for waders is on those occasions when you get stuck in deep mud while wading you can simply lay forward and float out of the m VBvW'2vFWBdBvfRF7G'VvvRFg&VRFV6VfW2B6BvVFW"FR66R`FW&֖7&V6W2G&F6ǒvVFRdBvWG26RvRগBBR6vW"&VBFRFp6FRFRfW7BN( 2FRF&W6RFPfW7BvFWrRFV6w0&&&ǒ&fVB66RFRBFVv26BBvRv&FV"67@wV&BG&vBWBR6FVPFW6RBfW7B'WWrRखFV6V&W"#b&VB'F6P&WBVrGVBf6W&FBFV@vRf6rRv22GvVFW2BV6RfW'vVvBBBVFR&BbWW&V6RvFRf6r0RvFW'2RBVW&W2V'2`67FvFRf6rg&BbआRFVBvRf6rF&VRfVW@bvFW"F&VRvVBRfP7W'ffVB2G&bRv2vV&rdCRw2f"7W&R'WBFRƗGFPVFvRdB&fFW2֖vBfRFPFRFffW&V6RB6W'FǒvVB@fRW'BbF2'F6R6W6W2W7BRbPF&WFW"FV66BFvV"dBFVBv&Rv'F&RFFPVff'BVgVǒBv6W6R`RFBǒF&WBdB'W@vWB'WRBtT"BR6WfW"FVvVFBƗGFRVFvRvPFRFffW&V6Rr2`rrrrRbb2r2