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Old 03-25-2013, 09:24 AM
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Default Float Tube Worries

Hello,

I have been thinking that I should maybe invest in a float tube this year since I know I am going to be hitting a couple small ponds and a small lake near my house and not too much stream fishing.

I want to do this but I have two things that are holding me back:

1. This is silly but I cannot swim. I sink like a rock. Instantly. This is sort of an irrational fear since (a) the float tubes made now are (probably) not going to sink and (b) in PA, everybody has to wear a personal floatation device even if you are in a tube. I think I can get over this issue with repetition.


2. This is the bigger thing and I do not know if I am being irrational or not. This lake definitely has snapping turtle in it. I do not know exactly how big the biggest ones are in there but I don't want to find out the hard way, even with a little one!

Should I worry about these things or am I being silly? I may be nuts, but I like my toes. My calves. And whatever else may be within reach.

Are those things aggressive? Do they find things floating in the water attractive? Or will they only go after a human body part if they feel they are cornered?


Thanks,
ray
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Float Tube Worries

Had a uncle that got attacked by a big snaping turtle while he was fishing one day. Don't know how it went really,,we never saw him again after it pulled him down in the weeds.

Just kiddin !

Na, I don't think you have to worry about turtles at all. The 'sinking' part,,,wear a GOOD flotation device and you'll be OK. But ya know,,maybe the local health club has swimming lessons ? Not only is it valuable to know how to swim...it's a great deal of fun and good exercise.

I applaud your attitude that you are going to do this even though you have reservations. That is courage,,to saddle up in front of your fears anyways. Just be SAFE with the swimming/staying afloat part.
Good luck.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: Float Tube Worries

I had both of those issues at once one day
I was so conscious of the big snapping turtle that was following me around that I failed to notice my tube was leaking and I was slowly sinking.
Didn't figure it out until I had beached and tried to pick the water-logged thing up.

I'm normally more concerned about whacking my leg on an old stump than the turtles.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Float Tube Worries

Quote:
Originally Posted by fly_guy12955 View Post
The 'sinking' part,,,wear a GOOD flotation device and you'll be OK. But ya know,,maybe the local health club has swimming lessons ? Not only is it valuable to know how to swim...it's a great deal of fun and good exercise.
Do you know how many times I have tried to learn how to swim? I bet I have gone at least six times since I have been married and my wife insisted I learn how to swim. She couldn't teach me and said that I was sinking because I simply wouldn't listen to her. I went to the YMCA and thru the local high school and still sink!

The only good thing about those lessons is the fact that, all but one time, I had a purty young girl who was my instructor. Every one of them insisted they will be the one who taught me how to swim. Each one was wrong.

I am not totally afraid because I have gone white water rafting on several occasions and, each time, I was thrown waaaaaay out of the raft at least once. Each one was guided, which was a good thing. One time, I was stuck at the bottom of a rapid and it was sucking me down hard enough that it sucked my shoe right off my foot and nobody could get near me, so they had to throw me a rope.

I learned from those trips that life jackets work, so I am not terribly afraid. I am sure it will take more than a few times to gather up the courage to drift too far from shore but I will venture out eventually.

Now, those turtles.......................
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:27 AM
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Default Re: Float Tube Worries

I fish a few small lakes that have some old timers in them. I've had them pop-up near me and swim underneath me, since they are between 5 gallon pail and garbage can lid size, they get the adrenaline flowing. I've never had them act aggressively towards me, or heard of an unprovoked attack. I caught one last year that took a mulberry fly meant for carp. Now if you attached a rotting animal to your leg, all bets are off........I wouldn't put fish on a stringer attached to the tube.
On another note, the flotation device- you'll feel more comfortable as
it'll keep your head above water when it's trying to drag you down.
Seriously, you'll feel better. Tubes are a blast. I landed a 4' shark in one last year. I kicked to shore to land it. Couple of possibilities to make you feel safer-
Buy a tube with multiple chambers like a Fishcat 4 . If one fails, you'll still be afloat. I have a deluxe where the inflatable seat cushions alone will still keep me up. I've only had tiny leaks- never a problem. I've been in huge swells from ocean going tugs and even a cruise ship- you get use to being a big bobber. Oh, excuse me, indicator. Look into Force Fins- they are absolutely superior form of propulsion- huge difference over the cheap fins. Most tubers will gravitate towards them or something like them if they keep at it. Lastly, don't crowd shore bound spin fisherman , flying lead and trebles will get you before the snappers ever will.....


Charlie
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:05 AM
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Default Re: Float Tube Worries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
I'm normally more concerned about whacking my leg on an old stump than the turtles.
Oh, durn. Never thought of that! I am sure those things will be in the lake I fish. That and hooks and lures that have snapped off of spinning lines.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:27 AM
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Default Re: Float Tube Worries

The areas I fish also have big snapping turtles. And I don't mean dinner plate big, I mean garbage can top big. Like at least 80lbs, some definitely over 100lbs with heads the size of a grapefruit.

Here's the thing. Yes its an irrational fear. The turtles wont hurt you. Would you pick on something 5x your size when you don't know what it is? Neither will the turtle.

This all being said, however, its not a fear that goes away just by knowing the answer or acknowledging its irrational.

I absolutely love float tubing and went probably over 30 times last summer, but those damned snapping turtles still freak my out when I see them, and so does drifting into lily pads and deep water. I know nothing's going to happen, but its just creepy.

Don't let it stop you, but be prepared to deal with it, because if you think you are not going to worry just because of this thread, you are wrong.

Don't want to scare you, just trying to tell you how it is and what you should expect.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Float Tube Worries

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Originally Posted by nick k View Post
The areas I fish also have big snapping turtles. And I don't mean dinner plate big, I mean garbage can top big. Like at least 80lbs, some definitely over 100lbs with heads the size of a grapefruit.
I can almost hear the 'Jaws' theme music
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: Float Tube Worries

Quote:
Originally Posted by nick k View Post
The areas I fish also have big snapping turtles. And I don't mean dinner plate big, I mean garbage can top big. Like at least 80lbs, some definitely over 100lbs with heads the size of a grapefruit.


I know I have seen them the size of dinner plates and, possibly, a little bigger where I fish but nothing like a 100-pound freaking snapping turtle!! What did The Crocodile Hunter used to say? "Crikey!" I think.

I think you are 100% correct. I need to just experience it and, well, do it. All that **** brushing up against your legs has got to make you shiver.

The more this goes on, the more creepy it gets: trees, limbs, lily pads, garbage people may have thrown in there.

This brings up another thing I am sure I will run into: water snakes.

This is another irrational fear. For some reason, I have no problems with snakes on land. But when I see one swimming in the water, I freak out. Act like a little girl. I have never seen one more than about 3-4 feet and about the diameter of your rod handle--which isn't all that big--but I don't want to see any even 6-inches long and as fat as a pencil.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: Float Tube Worries

I was standing on this mini dock into the shallow water at my favorite pond one. Huge snapping turtle swims up trying to catch the fish I throw back in or catch them as I pull them in. On one of my casts, My line clipped the end of a branch and a twig with a leaf on it fell by its head. All of a sudden the water EXPLODED and the turtle let out a load angry hissing sound as it used lightning speed to demolish the twig, thinking it was a fish. It seriously scared the sh!t out of me because it happened SO fast and was so loud.

The thing that most people wont tell you about tubing is that it definitely can be scary. Again, most of this fear is irrational and you know it, but that doesn't make it go away. I am certainly scared sometimes when I go tubing, but I still love it because at the end of the day its a great experience and all the positives outweigh those irrational fears.

I keep my net hanging off the side of my tube, and every once and a while it will brush my leg as I turn. It is indeed a very eerie and jolting feeling, but you get over it in a second. I haven't had experiences with snakes in the water. I know I'd lost my sh!t if I saw one swimming towards me in my tube, but I think if you just bat some water at it it will swim away. Snakes are pretty skiddish animals and usually don't attack unless seriously provoked or accidentally harmed.

Always remember, you're going to be the biggest thing in the pond (hopefully, god help you if you're not) and any other animal will be able to tell this. You wouldn't pick a fight with an elephant would you?
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