Do you dream about being able to spend hours out on the water as you once did before your spinal cord injury? With a range of adaptive equipment and options for wheelchair users, you can still fish as you once did.
There are a few considerations to make before heading back out on the water. The first being what you are going to use to get back out there. If you are able to perform transfers, you can typically transfer from your wheelchair to one of the seats on the boat. Some boats are built with flat front decks that will help you with your transfer from land to water. If you would like to stay in your chair while on the water, consider using a pontoon boat. Pontoon boats typically allow you to stay in your chair while you are on the water.
If you aren’t able to transfer to a boat or aren’t ready to go out on the water yet, you can search for a public access pier in your area. This allows you to be near the water while fishing without having to leave your wheelchair. Before heading out, consider the width of the dock and make sure that it can accommodate the width of your chair and allows you to maneuver your chair.
Safety is of utmost importance when out on the water. If you opt to go out on a boat, always wear a life jacket. If you are fishing from a dock, it might be a good idea to wear a life jacket as well. Since you will be outdoors, make sure to stay hydrated and take the necessary steps needed to maintain a safe and comfortable body temperature.
If you aren’t able to or are concerned that your mobility challenges won’t allow you to use the fishing equipment you once used, then adaptive fishing equipment may be of help to you. A wide range of adaptive fishing equipment is available to suit your needs.
Some options for adaptive fishing equipment includes:
- Rod mounts, holders, and harnesses: There are multiple options ranging from rod holders that mount to your boat or wheelchair to ones that harness to your chest.
- Electric fishing reels: If you have little or no function in your hands, an electric fishing reel allows you to cast and reel at the touch of a button.
- Knot tyers: A knot tyer can cut lines, tie knots, and thread hooks if you have limited mobility in your hands.
Interested in learning more about adaptive fishing or trying it out for yourself? Visit www.disabledsportsusa.org.