Charter fishing offers many opportunities to get out on the water and fish. Many services across the country are more than willing to get anyone with a disability out on the water. I’m trying my first fishing service in July, and this one I’m really looking forward to. A boat takes you out to a barge on the Mississippi River, and the barge has bait on it, an air conditioned room if you need to get out of the sun and plenty of space to fish. Perfect for me, families or anyone with a disability who just wants to give it a try. Just check online for a fishing boat, call and see if a service can accommodate your needs. When you’re looking remember to ask if there is ramp to get to the boat or if they have any adaptive equipment on board. Also remember to consider safety. I know how to swim, but do not have the physical strength to do so, so I wear a life preserver. Make sure whatever boat you’re on has enough life preservers, and if you use a wheelchair, make sure it’s secure.

Additionally, there is adaptive fishing equipment to make fishing more accessible. After doing some research, I learned that fishing can be one of the easiest sports to adapt. And, if you can find a boat, you can fish thanks to this adaptable equipment. Some examples are: clamps for fishing poles to attach to a wheelchair, modified fishing reels or rods, electric reels and more. It’s all out there. I currently don’t use any specialized equipment to fish, but I always take someone with me.

cabelas adaptive gear

So, the next question is where to find this equipment? Try Cabela’s to find ideas about adaptive fishing equipment, and see what might work for you. A lot of the equipment may be expensive, but if it helps get someone back outside, it might be worth the investment.  The outdoors are for everyone, so together, let’s learn how to best use them.

Authored by Susanna Carlson