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Fishing spots near you in the time of social distancing

Going outside to relax is always a good idea, but especially during this time of prolonged indoor restrictions due to COVID-19 concerns and local or state socially distant mandates. Sport fishing is one of those activities that is allowed in most locations or easily accessible due to restrictions. Find out information about your state here as things change often.

For obvious reasons, it is most responsible to go to fishing spots near you rather than going on a distant trip. It’s what I do to stay in my state and mostly my county. This is generally easier to achieve in rural areas than in some suburban and most urban areas.

While the full range of places to fish in a general sense can be – i.e. beaches, coastal coves, lakes, ponds, rivers, and creeks – it depends on where you are and what is open to the public at the time. In some areas, public ramps are closed, in others local, regional, or state parks are closed, so your options may be limited for at least a while.

However, you may already know what fishing opportunities there are in your area. If not, a search on your county government’s website (see Parks and Recreation) or a local / regional tourism website may be helpful, including directions. Also, check with the state fisheries department for a list of fishing and boating access points in the county and public fishing spots.

If no one is around at a place you’re going to, feel safe to fish from the shore or launch a boat or kayak to get out on the water and follow social distancing guidelines . If other people are already around and you can spread yourself out appropriately, you are in good shape. However, if there are many other people in the location (which is likely to be the case in popular locations) and it is difficult to maintain social distance, consider moving elsewhere if such an option exists. Otherwise, plan to return to this place at a time when it is less crowded (early and late in the day are more likely) if you can.

If you know of some hidden fishing spots or have permission to fish a private pond, be sure to go to such fishing spots near you as the crowds are less likely and social distancing is less of a problem. Because kayak anglers can moor in many places that people with boats cannot or places where nearby ramps are closed, they have an advantage in accessing local fishing waters. Make sure that you do not enter while doing this.

It seems reasonable to me to fish with another family member or members who live with you, especially when you take out your boat. Consider whether taking someone else with you guarantees the correct safety measures. At the moment, as a precaution, I mostly fish alone, with boats and kayaks, and don’t take anyone with me who doesn’t live in my household. Hopefully that will change soon.

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