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Safety using stripping baskets in the surf

by Elaine Cook

SAFETY FIRST when fishing the surf. If you’ve ever been hit by a wave or fall in the water and your stripping basket becomes involved, it can be a real issue. At that point your ability to maneuver in the water is greatly reduced as the water pulls you in the direction it wishes to go. Whichever type you use, make sure the belt and/or basket can be quickly removed. A couple of suggestions for how you achieve a quick release. 1. A basket that attaches to the belt with Velcro. 2.Purchase your own double sided Velcro, about 2 inches wide, to make your own attachment. 3. Scientific Anglers ECOastal basket comes equipped in this way. 4. The basket that Sam now has available for the club to purchase comes with a belt that has a plastic attachment that slips apart easily. Do note: belts with a button release is very difficult to do when you’re tossing in the surf helplessly. Whatever you decide to use, be sure to try it ahead of time, and probably while holding the rod in the other hand.