Rules Of Knife Safety
Most anglers use at least one type of knife for fishing, if not many. Whether it’s an all-purpose blade in the tackle box, a Swiss Army-type pocketknife carried on the belt, or a specialized tool like a bait knife or fillet knife, if it’s used for fishing, the blade is probably sharp and potentially dangerous.
Rules Of Knife Safety
There are three fundamental rules of knife safety:
maintain a good grip,
cut away from the body, and
remember that a sharp knife is a safer knife.
Other safety rules also encompass basic common sense. When handing someone else a knife, close the blade or place the knife back in the sheath. If passing an open-blade knife to another person, place the knife down on a solid object such as the ground or a table and allow the other person to pick it up. This practice is especially smart when in a boat or on a floating boat dock.
When walking with a knife, close the blade or put the knife back in the sheath; however, if that is not possible, hold the knife down to one’s side with the blade tip facing downward. If a knife slips because of a poor grip, let the knife fall and making no attempt to catch it.
If and when an accidental cut occurs, the first priority is to stop the bleeding, especially if the laceration is deep in the skin.
Apply immediate pressure by hand or through the use of a clean towel or cloth.
If possible, wash the wound with water prior to applying pressure.
Sit down immediately, especially if a large amount of blood is lost.
Wrap the cut with gauze or other breathable cloth; adhesive bandages work fine for small cuts.
Seek medical attention right away if sutures are needed.
Sharp knives are much safer than dull ones. To cut with a dull knife takes more effort and promotes the use of dangerous cutting methods that could result in injury. Take some extra time to insure the knife blade is sharp.
Use a cutting board or other stable, non-slip cutting surface with running water nearby.
Place the fish on the cutting board with the head nearest the non-knife hand
Firmly grasp the head, mouth or gill opening (if possible) prior to any cutting
Make all cuts away from the hand and body
Wash the knife handle and hands frequently to keep them clean from fish slime. (Some anglers wear special gloves for protection and grip when cleaning.)
Clear the cutting board of scraps and slime after each fish.
After cleaning the fish, thoroughly wash the knife removing any skin and scales that could later dry and harden.
Dry the knife and, if necessary, apply a light application of oil to prevent rust buildup.
Place the knife back in the sheath or close the blade and store it in a case or cool, dry place.