As humans, we possess the intrinsic desire to engage in activities from which we derive fun and excitement.
Coincidentally, nature has been so kind to provide us with numerous activities and attractions for relaxation and entertainment, fishing being one.
However, fishing – as fun as it is – can pose a challenge for someone living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). Not too worry though, you can still go fishing as you once did before your spinal cord injury, and happily too (before going to fish, always consult your doctor). Thanks to a range of adaptive fishing equipment and techniques for wheelchair users, you needn’t have to give up fishing because of your SCI.
You might be unable to use some of the fishing equipment you were once accustomed to prior to your SCI. Nonetheless, this is where adaptive fishing equipment can be of help. There is quite a wide range of adaptive fishing equipment available out there to suit your needs irrespective of the degree of disability caused by your SCI.
Some adaptive fishing equipment:
- Strong arm fishing support: This is an excellent adaptive fishing equipment worn on the forearm by people with limited or no grip. It can be worn over or under your clothing and is adjustable to fit all hand sizes.
- Electric fishing reels: Designed to make fishing an easy task, electric fishing reels allow you to cast and reel at the touch of a button. The reel mechanism is powered by electric motors which means you expend little energy while fishing.
- Rod holders: This adaptive equipment assists by ‘holding’ the fishing pole thereby making it suitable for one hand operation. They can be mounted on the boat or attached to your wheelchair.
Be that as it may, there are quite a few things to consider before heading back out on the waters, primarily, your choice of equipment. If you can perform transfers, then you can simply move from your wheelchair onto a seat on the boat. There are boats with flat front decks that help you transfer from land to water easily. This can give you a better feel and make your fishing experience more interesting. Alternatively, if you choose to stay in your chair while on the water, a pontoon boat is ideal in this instance. Typically, pontoon boats have large decks that allow you stay in your chair and move around comfortably while fishing.
On the other hand, if you aren’t able to transfer to a boat or just aren’t ready to go out on the water yet, you can consider a public access pier within your locality. A pier allows you to fish near the water without having to leave your wheelchair.
Do note that as with all other outdoor activities, safety is of paramount importance when going fishing. Always wear a life jacket either you are out on a boat or fishing from the dock. Don’t fish in non-permitted areas. Usually, these areas are declared “off limits” for your safety. Depending on the weather, wear appropriate clothing to prevent conditions that could adversely affect your health. Lastly, evaluate safety factors that are specific to the fishing site and keep to them.
So, don’t let your SCI prevent you from catching all the fun you used to. Get your gears, hit the waters and leave us a comment about your adaptive fishing experience.