Fishing Report for the Florida Panhandle
Capt. Alex Crawford
July 31, 2007
Carrabelle - Saltwater Fishing Report
BE SMARTóBE SUN SAFE
August is just a brutal time to be on the water fishing or scalloping on the Forgotten Coast of North Florida. Children are extremely susceptible to the intense sun. Parents must be extra protective when kids are in the out-of-doors. Heat stroke is a dangerous condition for children, as well as adults. Folks with fair complexions are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the sunsí rays especially on the water where sun reflections are common.
Now that scallop season is coming in, watching kids closely is a vital part of the adventure. One of the most important elements of sun safety is to keep children hydrated with lots of cold water or Gatorade. High SPF sun block is equally important. Remember to reapply sun block often and plan time outs when kids sit down out of the direct sun for short periods. Always pay attention to the tops of feet, ears and noses for burning. Second degree sun burns are very painful and generally a big nuisance that can spoil a vacation in a heat beat.
Heat exhaustion or what some call heat stroke can be a life-threatening condition. Some of the more practical on the water remedies include lowering the personís body temperature. Ice water from your cooler can be used. Soak a cotton towel and place it on the person under their arms and around the back of the neck. Get the person in the coolest spot on the boat and out of the sun, even if that is just under the T top. If they can tolerate liquids by mouth, Gatorade is an excellent hydrator. Watch the individual carefully for any signs of a worsening condition like nausea, dizziness, disorientation etc. If the person shows signs of worsening, consider getting back to shore and on to the nearest emergency room ASAP. Call ahead for emergency medical assistance.
Be aware that the hours 11 AM to 2 PM are the most intense for UVA and UVB sun rays and can burn the person who is not cautious. One brand of sunblock that is effective is called Bullfrog, available at most drug stores and Wallmart. It seems to stay on the skin longer even after swimming in salt water.
Covering exposed skin with light clothing is the best protection from the sun. Columbia makes exterior garments specifically designed to ward off the sunís rays. Half Hitch Tackle stores in Port St. Joe, Panama City and Destin offer a complete line of Columbia branded outdoor wear at reasonable prices. This is really nice looking stuff for guys and girls that is high quality and wears forever.
Always use common sense when it comes to outdoors adventures. The Florida sun is warm and beautiful, but must be respected. Using caution will endear you to your friends and crew mates. Its just basically watching out for others. Have fun and be safe!
Til next tide,
Tight lines and solid hookups,
Captain Alex Crawford
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