It’s easy to wax philosophical about fishing. Most anglers get it. Fishing is life. Fishing is happiness. Fishing is communing with nature, becoming one with the water and respecting the fish as worthy adversaries. Most of all, fishing is supposed to be a relaxing pastime where you can get with your best friend(s), or go it alone, and spend a nice day not working or worrying about bills or what have you. One thing it’s not supposed to be is dangerous, even life threatening. Some people just don’t buy into that whole relaxation and communing with nature thing when it comes to picking their favorite honey hole. At these places, it’s always Risky Fishin’.
The Red Triangle, California
As you may guess by its name, the Red Triangle has a bloody reputation for grinding up kayak fishers and abalone divers and then spitting them out in pieces. The culprits: great white sharks which puncture thick plastic hulls and toss anglers about like playthings. In 2010, an angler was savagely attacked as a shark swam in vicious circles around his kayak, leaving razor-like cuts down his legs. Outdoor Life gives this place, which ranges from Bodega Bay, north of San Francisco, to Ano Nuevo Island near Santa Cruz, a daunting 5 out of 5 on the danger scale. Only for those with nerves of steel.
Crossing this intimidating stretch of water where the mighty Columbia River washes into the great Pacific Ocean is so dangerous, many ships have to employ the aid of specially trained bar pilots to guide them. With over 2,000 big shipwrecks reported in the vicinity, it’s no wonder the locals call it the graveyard of the Pacific. Still, the salmon fishing at Buoy Ten is world class—when the weather cooperates. When it doesn’t, or if an angler drifts too far, watch out!
You’ve seen “Deadliest Catch” right? The show is infamous for portraying just how life-threatening King Crab fishing can be up in Alaska’s Bearing Sea. However, can you believe that place is only the 4th most dangerous place in the world to fish? The most dangerous, where the most fatalities occur, is in the NE Coast of the US. In the Northeast, there are more people going out for longer periods on bigger ships. And when those ships go down, the devastation is much greater.
Lake Baikal, Russia
Ice fishing comes inherently with its own set of risks. Seasoned ice anglers know those risks, and know how to guard against them. However, even old pros here in the states will have a tough time surviving a day on the ice at Lake Baikal. For one thing, the lake (largest and deepest freshwater lake in the world) is so remote that there are no emergency services nearby. So if you slip into the ice, not only do you have little chance of rescue, getting to a hospital will be nearly impossible. What’s worse is the indigenous tick population, which is infamous for infecting people with encephalitis.
Sources: outdoorlife.com | nytimes.com | outdoorhub.com