Drinking Water on the Water
‘We might not always remember, but staying hydrated while fishing is incredibly important. Sun or rain learn why you should always be drinking water.’
My wife always used to get on me when I returned home from a day of fishing. Whether it was a guide trip, fun fish day, or a tournament, I would come home put my boat away, grab a bite to eat, then get to the couch and collapse. All in about 10 minutes. Here I would be until I dragged myself upstairs to go to bed for the rest of the night.
She would question my tiredness as I was, “just fishing.” I would reply something along the lines about ‘the intensity of fishing’. The elements are hard on a person, the sun drains you, and the cold takes it out of you. But all in all, these were just some of the excuses I used. The fact remained, I was exhausted and sore to the point where even my eyes hurt.
Finding the Source of my Grumpiness
I know many of you have been there as well. Being in the fishing tackle business I get to talk to a ton of fisherman, so I started telling my story and through that interaction I found that most people were like me at the end of a long fishing day. But a few I spoke with didn’t feel as grumpy or worn out when they returned home. I asked what was up with that? What are you doing differently?
The only thing consistent I could find was water. And drinking lots of it.
Hydration kept popping up through my research. When our bodies are made up of 55% water I realized we need a lot more of it to survive than I thought. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate joints. Water is needed for good health. So if you don’t have enough of it things start breaking down.
One of the touring pro’s from FLW Scott Martin, said that if you are dehydrated it will affect the way you think and make decisions. And in the world of fishing, it’s all about thinking and decision making.
The Right Amount of Hydration
So how much water do we need?
The right amount of water is figured out by dividing the total body weight by 2 to come up with the number of ounces you’d need to drink each day. One adjustment is that if the total divided out to more than 128 ounces, then all that is required to drink was the gallon of water a day to efficiently operate the body’s systems and keep it hydrated.
It’s important to note however, that this is the amount we need if we are just sitting at a desk. If we are active, or the environmental conditions are extreme, your water consumption should rise. We have to over-hydrate and stay that way.
I’ve talked with guys who changed their routines by drinking water all day during especially hot days. 2 bottles in the morning, 2 at the dock, and so on until they had drank 10 total by the time weigh-in hit. At the end of the day they only felt normal which is good when you have work that needs to be done.
Water even has healing benefits to assist our bodies with normal activities including increasing the absorption and utilization of nutrients as well as oxygen available to cells. It can help detoxify your body and allow for more perfect cell replication.
How to Recognise Dehydration
Knowing how much water you need to stay hydrated is good. But knowing when you haven’t had enough is equally important. Symptoms of dehydration include little or no urine, dark urine, dry mouth, sleepiness, extreme thirst, headache, confusion, and dizziness. So immediately wanting to sleep after a long day on the water is a clear symptom for me.
Knowing how your body reacts to a lack of hydration can help you fix the problem before it’s the end of the day.
Drinking the Right Drinks
Be careful of what you drink, a lot of sports drinks have sugar and sodium and other bad things in them. In our Western society people have adapted to drinking coffee, fruit drinks, soft drinks and other such products as a means of satisfying our thirst. What many people do not realize is that many of these drinks in fact dehydrate our bodies of water and are of no assistance to us at all. Everyone needs to intake a minimum amount of water each day to at least maintain the level of water in our cells.
Good hydration is as important as good eating.
There are a ton of products specifically made for staying hydrated on the market that you can add to your water to help with this process. I’ve tried a few and now when I get home from a long day of fishing I no longer am grumpy to my wife and instead have energy to clean-up my tackle box and maybe even wash the boat.
Mike Acord is part owner of Susquehanna Fishing Tackle Inc. and SFTtackle.com. He has been selling and talking tackle for 28 years and has been a licensed guide on the famous Susquehanna River for the last 25 years. Mike has competed in countless fishing tournaments and belongs to the PA Bass Federation. Some of his personal highlights are placing 5th at the Champion Capital Clash Elite Series Co-angler in 2006 and returning the following year to win the entire competition. Mike has also qualified multiple times for the PA Bass Federation State team. Working hand in hand with the PA Fish And Boat commission on many advisory committees, Mike can be seen as an authoritative figure in the fishing industry.