Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fitting Your Child for a Life Jacket

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Do you know how to properly fit your child for a life jacket? Unfortunately, life jackets are not one size fits all. When it comes to purchasing one for children it must fit properly. If a life jacket does not fit them properly, it can put them in harm’s way. If it’s too small, it will not be able to keep them afloat; if it’s too big, it can easily slip off. There are however steps and procedures for ensuring the right fit when choosing a life jacket for children.

First off, life jackets come in four sizes which are categorized by weight range. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s label inside the life jacket to determine the size.
  • Infant – under 30 pounds
  • Child – 30-50 pounds
  • Youth – 50-90 pounds
  • Adult – 90 pounds and over
Body proportions vary by individual so make sure you follow the next steps to help determine a proper fit.

  • Make sure all zippers and buckles can be closed and fastened properly. The life jacket should be snug, but comfortable.
  • Have the child hold their arms straight up overhead. Pull the life jacket upwards by the arm openings. If you can slip the fastened jacket over the body, the jacket is too big. Also, make sure there is no excess room above the openings and the life jacket does not ride up over the chin, ears or face.

Please do not be tempted to buy children a life jacket that they can grow into. Children should have the best fitting life jacket for their age. If your child happens to be in between sizes; go with the smaller size to avoid the risk of it slipping off.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fishing Tackle Loaner Program

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Do you want to try your hand at fishing but don't have the necessary equipment to do so? Maybe you'd like to take the kids fishing too but that would require additional gear. Well, fortunately for us, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has a Fishing Tackle Loaner Program which lets you borrow fishing equipment for free. The program provides fishing poles and stocked tackle boxes. Did we mention it's FREE!?
Children under 16 do not need a fishing license but older anglers will need to purchase a license. There are over 25 State Parks and Historic Sites that are active in the program. We're pretty sure you'll find a great fishing spot close to home. You can find participating parks by clicking here.

Are you ready to go fishing? What type of fish would you like to catch?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tips For Boating With Dogs

Have you thought about taking your dog boating? If so, check out the tips below to help you keep your dog safe and happy while out enjoying time on your boat. 
Doggy Life Jackets
Life jackets can be a lifesaver in case of an accident. Dog’s simply doggy paddle. If their body is made up of mostly muscle, they can quickly get tired. They will not be able to float easily and keep their head above water. Make sure your pups life jacket fits properly. Introduce the life jacket to them before taking them out so they can become familiar with it. 
Take plenty of fresh drinking water. Helpful tip: Take water in a sports bottle to make it easier for your dog to drink. Your dog can quickly become dehydrated being outside in the sun. They tend to lose dehydration quicker due to panting. Do not let your dog drink directly from the lake or river, there could be potentially dangerous algae, pollutants, and parasites that may make them very sick.
Sun Awareness
Protect your dog’s skin with sunscreen (especially if they have short or light colored hair). Keep an eye out for sunstroke, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion. Have your dog take an occasional swim in the water to cool off. If your dog happens to become extremely lethargic, starts to gag or vomit, get them out of the sun right away and call your vet.
Bathroom Breaks
Give your pup plenty of opportunities to take bathroom breaks and pack baggies to dispose of their waste properly.
Good Behavior
Keep an eye on your dog at all times and make sure they are respectful to others while on the boat, on the water, and on the docks. Be sure to reward them for good behavior.
We recommend taking your pup out on a few short trips to see how they do (especially if it's their first time). If your dog does not enjoy boating after a few times out, it might be better to leave them at home.
Are you ready to take your dog out on the water? For those who do take their dog out often, what other tips could you recommend?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Do You Know Matt?

Meet your guideMatt Henry. He's been bass fishing competitively since 1999, when he was just 11 years old.  Fishing has been a part of his life since he was a young boy learning techniques used by his father.  Matt joined the Junior Bass Busters, the first youth bass club established in Georgia, based out of Conyers in 1999.  He fished with the youth club until he graduated high school in 2006.  In that time frame he won (3) Georgia Junior State Championships, and fished in (3) Junior World Championships where he represented the State of Georgia.  
After high school, Matt went on to college at Georgia College & State University where he founded the Georgia College Bass Fishing Team.  He served as team president for multiple years and had many great tournament finishes throughout his college career.  Matt’s childhood dream was to become a full time pro fisherman one day and he is currently making those dreams come true.  He is now fishing the pro side of the FLW Outdoors BFL (Bass Fishing League) and many other local and regional tournaments.   When Matt is not fishing a tournament or out on the lake guiding, he likes to volunteer his time by giving back to youth fishing programs.
Tournament Highlights:
1st Place HD Marine Trail March 2009 Lake Sinclair, GA
1st Place Georgia Southern Collegiate Trail March 2010 Lake Sinclair, GA
8th Place Boat U. S. Collegiate Nationals May 2010 Lake Lewisville, TX
1st Place BFL Bulldog Super Tournament August 2010 Lake Oconee, GA
1st Place BFL Bulldog Division May 2011 Lake Eufaula, AL
1st Place Berry’s Trail December 2011 Lake Sinclair, GA
1st Place Georgia Southern Collegiate Trail April 2012 West Point Lake, GA
1st Place Berry’s Trail May 2012 Lake Oconee, GA
1st Place Berry’s Trail Angler of the Year (2011-2012 Season) Points Champion
Are you ready to go out on the lake?