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> Boating Safety
Delta winds can be annoying and in some cases dangerous.
Winds can kick up very suddenly and catch you off guard.
Don't get trapped! Always have a
plan to get back to the boat ramp safely. When fishing in
a small boat, I usually head
into the wind on the way out so that I can ride with the waves
on the way back to the ramp. When winds kick up, head into
safer water along protected levees and into sloughs. Spring
and summer is the worst time for wind in Northern California, while winter and fall are
Fog can be a dangerous element in the winter time.
Unless you have radar, be very cautious while navigating in the
fog. Always use your running lights in the fog or during
low light conditions.
Currents can become very swift in the delta and river systems. Remember
that current is always stronger in deep water and along the
outside of bends. Shallow water and the insides of bends
have slower currents.
When navigating unfamiliar waters in the
bay or delta, stick to the shipping
channels when possible. Always use a map to scout out the
area prior to hitting the water. There are sand bars,
rocks and submerged pilings and farm equipment that can get you in trouble. You
might want to cruise an area during the low tide to see items
that will be under water at high tide.
Use common sense. Get out of the water when you think
unsafe conditions are present or ominous.
Wear a personal floatation device (PFD) whenever
possible. I have a Stearns coat that has a built-in life
jacket. I wear it at all times during the winter
months. During the summer I use a life jacket that has tank
top style shoulder straps. It's small and light enough so
that it doesn't really bother me while fishing. The river
looks calm and peaceful, but anybody who has ever watched the news
knows that people drown in our waterways all the time. Even
when it's hot outside, the water may be freezing cold.
Remember - most of our waterways are fed by snow melt. Be safe!