Am I the only one that who worries about what could happen when I am fishing from my tube. I mean it does not stop me but I often think of the possibilities. I did have a mishap once and I thought "this is it I am going down" Turns out the rip I head while on the water was a bladder pocket flipping open and the bladder came out. I thought I was going down at first and all I could think was at least I have my PFD as I started to kick like mad.
I started asking around what kind of mishaps have you had while on your tube, the response was overwhelming. I think I quickly learned we all are in the same boat, our sport is safe but all sports have their dangers. Let's talk saltwater tubing first. So might think no way but I can tell as being one of those that did not want to jump and dangle my feet in the so-called Shark Doughnut, it is not as bad as you think, in fact, I prefer it now. So where are the issues, well the current for most has to be the biggest issue. It is important that if you are new to saltwater tubing be sure to not go alone. Come to the forum and post up your plans I am sure someone in your area with experience will offer to float along for your first trip. Another area of concern the spinny fish that you can catch. I have heard tails of fishermen landing quality Scuplin online you get pricked by there spin and have a very uncomfortable rest of there trip because of it. And finally, a concern in the saltwater is NO not sharks its Seals and Sealions. These dogs of the harbor are territorial and relentless. Stories I have heard range from popping up out of no ware and scaring the you know what out of you. With seals grabbing at your fins and pulling them off. Someone even mentioned a sea lion pup trying to bight the side of there tube. That would keep me from going back. My run-in with these saltwater creatures have been few and none aggressive, but I have found myself nose to nose with a sleeping 500+ lb. seal on the back of a docked boat, so not cool. Just very happy he was too tired to care.
Freshwater tends to be much safer or so we think, remember we are float tubing on air-filled boats on a body of water, what could go wrong they ask. One of the stories I got was a first-time pontooner using a friends boat. While on shore they filler there boats with that much-needed air and decided the air is cold and so is the water. Think about it we have all done this because it is cold we should add a little more air as we know the cold water will deplete the air pressure over time. So in 25 feet of 40-degree water the overtaxed bladder finally pops and in the drink, they go. Once again thank goodness for the PFD, are you getting the picture yet. I got stories of people reaching for dropped nets and rods in front of them and almost flipping the float tube, and you know that it has happened that people have flipped before. Another story is told of a bladder folded over in the shell while in the heat it all expands and then pops and he goes over, only 3 feet of water, lucky duck. Reports of hooks in the tube and dive-bombing birds stilling bluegill off stringer tied to your tube. Year the freshwater is so much safer right.
Stories of mishaps have been coming in like crazy, and they all pretty much end the same I should have known better or been better prepared. We cannot deny that our sport has its dangers weather fishing in freshwater or saltwater mishaps can happen. If you are not thinking of safety then you need to start thinking of it. Let's finish with this stories, I pulled it right from the forum "Whale of an Encounter" SP Dan a member of our forum had this happen to him while float tubing in Newport this is a scary but pleasant store that I think most of us would enjoy to share.
while float tube fishing Newport Harbor at the moth of the harbor about 0620 I heard an air blow from what I thought was a seal but ended up being two dolphins that were cruising next to the jetty about 150 feet away from me .... so I continue to fish along the jetty and at about 0640; and just before I get to the end of the jetty, I hear another air blow back behind me along the jetty where I had already been fishing; I suspected it to be the dolphins again from earlier, so I watched for them to come up and breach for air and this time it wasn't a dolphin Shocked .... it was much longer and massive!! It was a 25' to 30' whale. I was in approx 15' of water and I could see that it was heading straight towards me.
I was approx 50-ft away from the jetty and I could see the 8' dia water disturbances rings every 25'; caused by it's tail movement,
coming right at me!!! Shocked Oh Crap!! The last disturbance ring stopped approx 20' from me and I was in it's collision course ... I raise my fins (like that really would help and the way I figure it for 15' of water, the whale was maybe 2' to 3' beneath my fins) and I could see and could have almost touched it's massive body as it slides directly beneath me and then I saw another 8' dia water disturbance ring approx 20' to my other side! Phewwwwww!!! Once it reached the main channel (approx 150' from me) it came up and breached for air one more time in the main channel and that was it. What a whale of an encounter!!
Our sport is safe, but like all sports there are dangers. We should always expect the unexpected, be prepared for the worst. You really never know what could go wrong on your next trip out. The more you prepare and plan for possible dangerous situations the better you will be able to handle them when you come. And once again we are back to PFD's wear them as you can see from above when the worst happens it happens quick, sometimes really no way to react. Enjoy your time on the water, think safety first and always.