It’s also the time when hundreds of other boaters have the same idea that you do. Summer boating is great fun at a hot time of the year, but there are some things you’ll nee to take into consideration before you get your boat on the water. So here are a few tips as well as some of the tops spots around the state to put that boat in.
First, remember there are a lot of boaters on the water this time of year. Brush up on the rules of the “road” and pay special attention to those around you. Remember when it’s safe to pass, how close you are allowed to get to another boat, and be courteous to others.
Summer is hot and when you are boating, you are in the sun most of the time. To avoid a nasty sunburn, use plenty of sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 if not higher. Children should especially be protected with a good sunscreen as their delicate skin can burn quite easily.
Make sure that you stay well hydrated. During hot weather, you lose fluids quickly. Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive amounts of alcohol. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect and will deplete the fluids from your body more quickly than naturally.
The weather can change in an instant here in Alabama, so when boating in the summer, be sure to pay close attention to the weather forecast. You don't want to be stuck four miles off shore when that freak summer thunderstorm hits. Don’t play games with the weather – especially in the summer. Your safety depends on it! Remember that lightning is a killer and you should not be on the water when it begins to strike. Also pay close attention to severe weather forecasts like tornadoes.
Pay special attention to your boat in the hot summer months. It’s hot outside and the engine is hot. Check the boat’s fluids often so you don’t run the risk of the engine overheating leaving you stranded in the middle of the lake.
Even though it’s hot, you still need to wear your life jacket. This is especially true with children. Almost all drownings that occur become fatal because a person is thrown overboard and is not wearing a life jacket. Almost every summer there is one or more drowning deaths in Alabama. A little discomfort wearing a life jacket is well worth paying the price when you consider you could be compromising your life.
Summer is definitely the best time of the year to go boating. Summer boating is also a great time to get your family together and enjoy a day on the water. What a way to beat the heat! And for those cooler months of autumn, winter and spring, Alabama offers up some mighty good fishing spots and if you dress appropriately and have the proper gear you might bring back a large string of your favorite fish.
The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, manages 23 public lakes in 20 counties throughout the state. They include Fayette, Lamar, Madison, Marion, Walker and Bankhead, Clay, DeKalb, Bibb, Dallas, Chambers, Lee, Cherokee, Escambia, Monroe, Washington, Barbour, Coffee, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva and Pike. Check these counties for more detailed information and locations.
Other public lakes include: Lake Eufala, Gantt Lake. Lake Guntersville ( largest lake in Alabama), Lake Harding, Holt Lake, Inland Lake, Lake Jackson, Lay Lake, Little Bear Creek Reservoir, Logan-Martin Lake, Lake Lurleen, Martin Lake , Neely Henry Lake, Lake Pickwick, Lake Purdy, Ski Lake, Smith Lake, Lake Tholocco, Lake Tuscaloosa, Upper Bear Creek Reservoir, Lake Wedowee and the William Bill Danelly Reservoir. Mobile County alone has 14.
Alabama has 49 reservoirs maintained mostly by the Tennessee Valley Authority, Alabama Power or Army Corp of Engineers.
All these bodies of water offer a wide variety of watersports, fishing, swimming and water fun for tourists, visitors or residents of the state.
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