If you plan on wading southern shallows for redfish, snook, trout, and other game fish, don’t overlook the presence of sting rays. Ask any Emergency Room nurse of doctor who works near coastal areas “down south”, and they’ll tell you stories that will curl your hair. While “rays” aren’t aggressive by nature, they will defend themselves by jabbing a poisonous barb into the foot, ankle or calf of the hapless person who steps on them, often with shocking force. The best way to avoid the pain? Move slowly and shuffle your feet, which will spook rays off the bottom and send them on their way. If you do get barbed, soak your foot in the hottest water you can stand for instant relief, then get to a hospital.
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