Fishing from the seashore: safety advice

When fishing from the seashore, following some simple safety rules limits the danger so you can have a peaceful fishing session. Here is a brief overview of the rules to know to fish safely.   

Fishing from rocks or a seawall

Before starting your fishing trip, take the time to observe the state of the sea, the movement and intensity of the waves and so on. If you notice that the waves are violently crashing on the bank, it is best to avoid setting up in that area. Furthermore, don’t take the risk if you can’t get high enough. It only takes one sudden big wave to find yourself in danger.

If there are big swells, it is best to avoid these areas as the waves can go over the rocks and seawall.


Waves can be an angler’s ally when fishing from the shore, but can also present a danger. It is best to cautious, wherever your fishing spot is. Waves in fact require constant vigilance, even on a nice day. It only takes one wave throughout the whole day to make your spot a dangerous one. Swells can hit the coast between 3 and 4 metres higher than normal and invade beaches within seconds. Be careful. 


Waders can be very useful when fishing. These “overalls” made from PVC, neoprene or even breathable fabric enable you to enter the water while staying dry, which is very useful when fisher further from the shore. Nevertheless, if you fall in the water, waders can fill up with water making it more difficult for you to move.

Be sure to tighten your waders up to your chest to stop water from getting in.

Water holes and troughs

Water holes, which are often sudden, can also be deep. The depth can quickly change from one to two metres of water. Troughs are large basins created by the effect of the waves and the swell. They can be dozens of metres wide and several hundred metres in length. They can be up to 5 metres deep. A person can drift for several hundred metres from the place where they fell in a trough. They are generally easy to spot in good weather as they form dark spots in the water. These are traps to be avoided. 

Good advice worth knowing

It is worth having a fishing buddy, especially at night. Besides safety, it is also nicer to fish with company. In the event of an emergency, the dialling 196 will put you in contact with maritime affairs directly. To get hold of the fire service, dial 18.

In the event of an unexpected severe storm, move away from your fishing rod immediately, as well as any other metal objects (such as spikes or baskets).

Be sure to inform a relative that you are going fishing and tell them when you approximately expect to return. Remember to notify them if you stay fishing for longer than expected so they don’t report an emergency. 

Even in warm weather, it is best not to fish barefoot. Rocks, shells and other fragments can be very sharp.

If you are in doubt about the safety of the conditions in a fishing area, find out more about the potential risks from the council, local anglers or even local associations.