10 Unwritten Fishing Etiquette Rules that will let you know what other people consider as good manners from other fishermen.
10 Unwritten Fishing Etiquette Rules
10 Unwritten Fishing Etiquette Rules that will let you know what other anglers consider as good manners from other fishermen when they are out fishing. They are basic rules that most anglers expect but they are not often talked about.
- Be Polite to Your Fishing Neighbor
- Talk to the Property Owner
- Fishing is NOT a Race
- Share Your Bait
- When Boating Slow Down for Shore Fishing Anglers
- When Shore Fishing Do NOT Fish From The Dock
- Do Not Cast Were Other Fisherman Are
- Do Not Steal Someone Fishing Spot
- Take Care of Your Fish
- Leave Your Fishing Spot Cleaner Than When You Found It
We will be discussing this 10 Fishing Etiquette Rules in more detail below. If we miss any or you wish to add to any of them please leave them in the comments below and I’ll be happy to edit this post with your input.
Be Polite to Your Fishing Neighbor
The first fishing etiquette rule we will discuss is to be polite to your fishing neighbor. When you go fishing you will run across other anglers.
Having some basic fishing etiquette will make these encounters more enjoyable. Who knows you may make a new fishing buddy when you use your manners. Here are some basic rules that will help.
- Greet Your Fishing Neighbor: Say Hi, Hello, Good Morning, How is it going or any other form of acknowledgment to the other fisherman. Giving the vibe that you are ignoring people, is not only rude but will definitely make for an unpleasant experience to your fishing neighbor.
- Give Your Neighbor Some Space: Some people like to go fishing to get away from it all. So make sure that when you set up your fishing gear, do it at least 8-10ft away from your closest neighbor. This will allow for a working room while fishing and casting space as well.
- Give Your Neighbor Some Peace: For the same reason above, some fisherman like to enjoy the peace and quiet of fishing. After your initial greetings, just set up your fishing gear and begin fishing. If your neighbor wishes to talk, he will let you know.
- Be Aware of Where You Cast: Depending on which direction the water is running you have to cast where your fishing line does not crosses your neighbors fishing line. It is never good fishing etiquette to cross your neighbor’s line when you cast. If you cannot see his line, make sure to ask him/her where their line is and cast accordingly.
- Be Careful When You Reel In: When you start reeling in your line, be careful not to catch your neighbors fishing line. Occasionally it happens, I know I have done it. But do not make a habit of it.
Think about the reason why you go fishing and be considerate of your fishing neighbor, he may be fishing for the same reasons you are.
Talk to the Property Owners
A lot of the best-looking fish ponds are discovered on personal property and the proprietors don’t let just anyone fish ’em. If you play your cards right and using proper good fishing etiquette, you could ask and gain approval to the most effective fish ponds in your area.
- Ask Approval First: Ask approval well in advance of your scheduled fishing day. Do not turn up a day before your planned fishing day and anticipate a positive answer. It might happen but raise your probabilities by asking weeks or months in advance.
- Make a very good first impression: Don’t turn up filthy from work or in dirty clothes. A shower and also clean clothes can go a long distance towards receiving consent or permission to fish there.
- Be polite, well-mannered and respectable: Your language and also behavior can be the determining aspect, so do not blow it before you even have a chance to ask. Continue being courteous and also respectable. Even if the answer you get is no. Say thanks to the landowner for his/her time and leave on excellent terms. Doing so can transform a “no” today right into a “yes” in the future. Being impolite or ill-mannered is an ensured and consistent way to always get a “NO“.
- Take a kid with you: You will be amazed at how a well-behaved youngster can help develop a terrific first impression or enhance an existing partnership with the landowner. Some landowners are most likely to permit you to fish in their pond if they feel they’re aiding a youngster.
- Offer to help a landowner: Let the landowner know you want to help them for the possibility to fish in their pond. You can offer to assist cut wood, repair fencings, grab trash, or anything else they may need aid with.
Always remember that this is their property and they do not have to allow you to fish there. Some basic fishing etiquette will go a long ways towards getting you permission to a fishing spot most people will never get to fish in.
Fishing is NOT a Race
Fishing is NOT a race, fishing is a time to relax, enjoy nature and hopefully catch some fish. Do not be in such a hurry that you forget your fishing etiquette rules.
Make sure that you take the time to properly set up your fishing gear, keeping in mind other anglers that are fishing nearby.
If you are launching a boat, be aware of other boaters and be aware of the proper rules to launch the boat. Do not cut in front of anyone in order to save time.
Speeding on a boat to get from the dock to your favorite fishing spot, may not be a wise thing. Take your time to arrive safely.
Arriving safely to your fishing spot will be more beneficial than being in a rush and for an accident to happen. Do Not be in a rush, be safe, enjoy your day and catch more fish.
Share Your Bait
You arrive at your fishing spot loaded with fishing gear, equipment, cooler, chair and an assortment of baits.
Baits like worms, anchovies, crawdads, shiners or other natural bait will most of the time only good for that one day of fishing.
While you may have enough bait for the day, your fishing buddy or neighbor may or may not have enough. If you think you can spare some bait, you can share it with them.
The other way that you can share your bait is that when you are done fishing for the day, on your way out, you can give the bait that will otherwise go to waste to your fishing neighbor.
When Boating Slow Down for Shore Fishing Anglers
I have lost a fishing pole due to someone in a boat driving extremely fast and too close to the shore.
As they zoomed past me, my fishing line got snagged on their boat and off goes my fishing pole after the boat. Sadly, I never saw that fishing pole or the boat owner again.
If you are in a boat, it is good fishing etiquette to slow down when you are going by anglers on the shore. Or at the very least drive on the opposite bank so as not to snag the anglers fishing line.
This will also save your prop from getting stuck with fishing lines, weights and possibly someone’s fishing pole. So I ask you to please When Boating Slow Down for Shore Fishing Anglers.
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If Shore Fishing Do NOT Fish From The Boat Launch
Now here is the other side of the coin. If you are going to be shore fishing DO NOT fish from the boat launch area. Shore anglers that are fishing from the Boat Launch forget their fishing etiquette rules.
The boat ramp may be a convenient place to fish, but it is very bad fishing etiquette to fish from it. The boat launch area is meant for launching and docking the boats and not to fish from.
The boater is trying to maneuver safely their boat into or out of the water. It is very impolite for you to be fishing there. Not to mention unsafe for you, the boater and the boat.
As a rule of thumb, you can fish near the dock, but no closer than 5-10 feet away to give boaters plenty of room to properly maneuver.
Do Not Cast Were Other Fisherman Are
Whether you are fishing from the shore or from a boat, fishing etiquette dictates that you make sure you are aware of where the other anglers nearby are.
Make sure to leave at least 8-10 feet of space between you and the person fishing near you. This will avoid your fishing too close to them.
Before you cast out, pay attention to where their fishing line is in the water and cast accordingly to avoid the fishing line and not to get tangled with each other.
When its time to retrieve your fishing line the same rule applies, find out where your fishing neighbor line is and try to avoid it as much as possible.
Do Not Steal Someone Fishing Spot
Do Not Steal Someone Fishing Spot some people consider this as the worst fishing etiquette breach. You know how it is… You tell someone about this secret awesome fishing spot and you make them promise NOT to tell anyone.
Well, next time you visit this awesome fishing spot, not only do you find the original person you told the secret to, but you also find 20 of his buddies in your previously secret fishing spot.
This is the reason why people lie about their fishing spot… Other anglers like to steal/use them. Which is not all that bad. But when you tell your neighbor, your cousin, your brother and anyone else about this fishing spot, you have broken a trust that was given to you.
Someone’s favorite fishing spot is a place where is comfortable to fish, probably easy to get to and they know that the likely hood of catching a fish is high.
If someone shares a good fishing location with you, do not steal it. If you have to use it cool, but don’t tell everyone about it.
Take Care of Your Fish
Take care of your fish when you are out fishing. Some fisherman like to catch and release, other fishermen like to take them home.
Regardless of which one happens to be your choice, your fish is a life form that I think should be respected. Having said that I will break it down in two sections… Catch and Release and Take Your Fish Home.
- Catch and Release: I personally catch and release. It is very rare the occasion that I get to fish. So when I do fish and I’m blessed/lucky enough to catch one I like to take a picture and release it back into the water.
I hope to catch it again someday.
- Take Your Fish Home: Now my brother is the complete opposite. He will definitely take that fish home. But I have watched him holding the fish firmly so that it does not squirm too much. He gently removes the hook as fast as possible and promptly stunning him. This has been proven to be the most humane for the fish.
“All fish that are caught for eating must be handled carefully to reduce stress and humanely killed as soon as possible after capture” – Source: rspca.org.au
Fish in our lakes and streams are a natural resource that fisherman all over the world. This is a natural resource that should be taken care of. Not only for us but for all the upcoming generations.
Leave Fishing Spot Cleaner Than When You Found It
My brother and I follow this simple fishing etiquette rule when we go fishing “Always Leave The Fishing Spot Cleaner Than When You Found It”. We have been doing this as far as I can remember. Is not only polite, but it is also good advice.
When you arrive at your fishing spot, take a look and see how clean it is. Is it dirty? Is it clean? Did someone leave a bunch of trash, are there any bait containers laying around? Are there old fishing lines?
In order to leave your fishing spot cleaner then when you found it we recommend this:
Steps To Keep Your Fishing Area Clean
- Come Prepared to Clean Your Fishing Spot: In order to keep your fishing spot clean, make sure to bring a large trash bag. This will come in handy, since as you fish you will create trash. Whether it is an old fishing string that you are not using, the case for that new fishing lure you just got, a bag of chips you are munching on, or that sandwich wrapper you are having for lunch.
- Kill Time While Fishing: You are going to have some downtime while you wait for the fish to bite. Use your trash bag from above and pick up other trash that is near your fishing spot. It may not be yours, and you may not have left it there. But it is polite fishing etiquette to pick it up.
- Use Available Trashcans There are some fishing spots that provide places to drop garbage. Make sure to use this to maintain your fishing area clean.
- Check Your Fishing Surroundings: Before you leave, take a look around to see if you spot any trash that you or anyone left behind. The Golden Rule is something that applies here. Do onto others as you would like it done to you.
“one should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself” – Source: Wikipedia.org
Leaving your fishing spot clean for the next person to enjoy is a good way to follow basic fishing etiquette rules. It really does not hurt you in any way and the next person will appreciate a clean fishing spot.
Thank You For Reading Our Fishing Etiquette Rules Post
These 10 simple Fishing Etiquette Rules are just a guideline to be a Polite Fisherman. I’m sure there are many more that you can think of. Please let us know which one we missed on the comments below.
Call it good manners, politeness or good fishing etiquette, but it’s all the same. All we can ask is that you Use Basic Fishing Etiquette Towards Your Fellow Fisherman it does not hurt to be polite.
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