Fishing is one of the easiest sports to adapt.
Once you're situated in the right boat, you may need to modify your
fishing reel or rod in order to effectively grasp and use them.
Here are examples of possible adaptations:
People with upper extremity weaknesses can
use an electric reel with one-handed fingertip control.
They function just like regular standard reels, except they're
Upper extremity amputees can use the Ampo
Fish I, designed specifically to fit quickly and easily
into the prosthetic device . It's versatile and works well
with almost any fishing reel for both left and right-handed
fishermen and women.
For people with difficulty grasping,
several simple, inexpensive devices will help hold a fishing
rod more securely: a metal hook that attaches directly to
the handle of any lightweight rod, which is then secured with
a velcro strap (made by Innovator of Disability Equipment
The Batrick Bracket includes
pieces of foam which allow an individual to hold a rod without
gripping or bending the hand.
A homemade device using a medical
glove and velcro straps is another alternative for the quadriplegic
The Strong-Arm rod holder
attaches securely to the wrist to provide additional support
for the rod.
Splints can be used for even greater
stability; splints come in various sizes for use on either
Harness rod holders can be used by
hemiplegics or single-arm amputees for rod stability, such
as the Freedom Recreation Belt. Various models are made to
secure the rod and free up a hand for reeling.
Attachable rod holders fit directly
onto a wheelchair or the side of a boat. Shop around for the
right size, functions and price.
Individuals with severe upper extremity
disabilities may have a difficult time while casting. Van's
E-Z Cast is a popular mechanical casting device designed
by a quadriplegic. It activates with very little upper-body
There is a wide variety of fishing
tackle available, some designed specifically for fishing with
a disability and some for convenience, including heated rod
handles, "no-knots" fishing hooks, line threaders,
fish grapplers, cuffed cutting tools, and even a battery-operated,
|Fishing Hole Accessibility
Unless you have a wheelchair-accessible
boat, you'll need to locate accessible fishing locations.
Contact your state's Fisheries Division of Natural Resources
or fish and game department.
Accessible Canadian Adventures
Accessible Canadian Adventures (ACA) provides disabled sportsmen
and women a safe and meticulously planned adventure to hunt or fish
anywhere in Canada.
Access to Recreation
Carries Van's E-Z Cast and a full line of adaptive fishing gear
Anchors Aweigh Charters
Dedicated to fishing with a disability, this organization offers
charters aboard its modified 36-foot boat, Ye Ole Pirate.
Adaptations include a wheelchair ramp, a large number of extra handholds,
and several devices on the vessel.
Adapted Sports Center of Crested Butte
The Adaptive Sports Center (ASC) of Crested Butte, Colorado is a
non-profit organization that provides year-round recreation activities
for people with disabilities and their families.
Fishing Has No Boundaries Inc.
With chapters all over the country, hosts fishing events (featuring
many different types of fishing) for the disabled angler. All participants
are assigned experienced guides, as well as boats, bait, and adapted
equipment when needed. Evening meals are prepared to complement
each day of fishing and goes along with the entertainment. Great
camaraderie and friendship is shared by participants and volunteers.
The schedule of fishing trips runs from May through October in Wisc.,
Minn., Ill., Ohio, Ind., Wyo., S.D., and Ariz.
HandiCapable Fishing Guide Service, Inc.
HandiCAPABLE Guide Service, Inc provides the developmentally delayed
and physically challenged youth and adults in Kentucky and surrounding
states with the opportunity to experience the thrills and challenges
of boating and fishing excursions and other forms of outdoor recreation.
National Ability Center (NAC)
NAC offers a broad range of sports programs and outdoor activities
for individuals with both physical and developmental disabilities.
With an emphasis on safety, education and, of course, fun, the Ability
Center strives to identify and develop year-round recreational opportunities
that might otherwise be inaccessible and unavailable to special
populations. Through the use of adapted equipment, trained instructors,
volunteers, and specialized techniques, the Ability Center helps
to facilitate athletic endeavors and encourage physical activity.
Family and friends are encouraged to share in the fun.
PVA National Bass Trail
Fishing events sponsored by Paralyzed Veterans of America
Special thanks to Jeffrey A.
Jones and Michael C. Paciorek for technical information, and resources
excerpted from their book, "Sports and Recreation for the Disabled."