Safety first: The water temperatures are hovering around the low 60s and will probably continue to fall. Anglers should not overlook the dangers presented by these conditions.
Hypothermia occurs quickly in 60-degree water, and one can expect to become unconscious in less than two hours if submerged. That being the most extreme, there are other situations that can lead to hypothermia. Wet clothes or not having enough clothing can present problems. Bring spare clothing and blankets in the event someone gets wet. It can become a very long boat ride if you are not prepared.
Tips: The young and elderly are the most susceptible. Make sure all safety gear is in top working order, file an accurate float plan and stick to it. What could just be an inconvenience in our warmer months could turn into a tragedy this time of year.
Capt. Troy P. Sapp with Fins and Tails Guide Service can be reached at (813) 920-6928.