A cold front is forecast to dominate the fishing scene this weekend, with gusty winds from the south before the front and the same from the north as it passes through. It looks as if it will be sometime after the front moves through those conditions will favor fishing.

This could be the shot in the arm needed by flounder fishermen to get the big fish moving.

While we wait for better conditions to take over, I want to address one of the big dangers that exists in this time of year and continues into the winter. That is the suddenness in which vicious colds fronts can appear and the dangers of getting caught being away from shore as they hit.

Each year boaters, most of whom while out fishing, get caught in sudden blasts of cold air that are just too much for their small boats to handle. Inland lakes as well as coastal bays are where most of the tragedies occur.

Calm conditions before the arrival of a frontal system can lure anglers to the areas where they have to cross open bodies of water to get to their fishing holes. Those that survive these surprise attacks by Mother Nature all say they would never take such chances again.

The problem is complicated by several factors. One is that there are less boaters on the water during colder weather and that makes rescues less likely. While personal flotation devices (life jackets) can keep people floating, water temperatures below 60 degrees, which are common, can cause shock to set in early.

For that reason Type 1 PFDs are a must if on the water in cold weather. Type 1s will keep an unconscious person’s head afloat and can mean the difference between surviving and not.

The best advice is to not venture out if a cold front is approaching; however, if you do go out, wear a Type 1 PFD.

Capt. Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. Report your catch to reel.report@galvnews.com or call 409-683-5273.

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