July 5 marks the start of National Fishing Week

ONTARIO–July 5 to 13 marks National Fishing Week in Canada. The Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) want to remind anglers that wearing your lifejacket is even more important than wearing your ‘lucky fishing hat.’ But they do share one trait. They both have to be worn to be effective!

Many of those who don’t wear their lifejackets or PFDs believe that, since they are good swimmers, having them onboard and within easy reach is good enough. But a lifejacket stored under a seat or up in the bow will be of no help should the unexpected happen, like falling overboard while trying to net the catch.

“More than half the recreational boats sold in Canada are used for fishing,” says Jean Murray, chair of the Canadian Safe Boating Council. “And during National Fishing Week, the Canadian Safe Boating Council would like to urge all anglers not only to have their lifejacket onboard their boat, but to wear it.  Wearing a lifejacket also provides a great example to children who look to their parents for guidance!”

Many of today’s anglers are delighted with the models that are designed especially to suit their needs. They’re rugged, allow for full freedom of movement to cast and are constructed with lots of pockets for gear. Some even come equipped with an attachment from which to hang a landing net. When choosing their lifejacket, anglers should also check the label to make sure it is Transport Canada approved, is the correct size and fits snugly.

“Fishing is part of our outdoor heritage and Ontario offers so much in the way of great fishing opportunities,” said OFAH Executive Director Angelo Lombardo. “The OFAH encourages everyone to wet a line this summer, whether it’s at a provincial park taking advantage of the OFAH TackleShare program, spending quality time at the cottage or at that favourite fishing spot with family and friends. Please make safety a priority.”

At this important time of year, the CSBC and OFAH are asking those who fish to ‘get hooked on lifejackets.’

This initiative is made possible through support of Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety.