Fishing Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts

June 5, 2020

Lake Dock, Lake Tarpon

There’s nothing worse than anglers who don’t know how to be a good, neighborly angler. From the boat ramp to the honey hole, it’s best to play nice with others. Best practices include not taking forever when you’re leaving the marina. And when you’re out on the water, casting your line and reeling in that beautiful fish… the last thing you want is someone encroaching on your honey hole.

If you’re not sure of what proper fishing etiquette is, here’s a simple list of Do’s & Don’ts for your next fishing adventure:

Fishing Etiquette Do’s:

Be Kind & Courteous at Piers, Docks, and Boat Ramps. The beginning of every fishing trip starts at the pier, dock, or boat ramp. Sometimes these places are busy with other anglers also getting ready for a great day of fishing. It’s best to keep an eye out for others and be mindful of those around you. If fishing from a pier, don’t cast overhead because of the people behind you; just drop your line over the side and wait for a bite. If you’re at a boat ramp, be prepared and ready to launch or dock as quickly as possible. Taking too long causes a log jam of other boaters and anglers. Begin your trip with a good first step, and watch out for those around you.

Follow Wildlife Rules & Regulations. Healthy fisheries exist when anglers agree to and follow conservation efforts such as open seasons, bag limits, and size limits. Each state has different regulations, and sometimes there are special rules for certain areas or species. It’s important to know what you’re allowed to harvest, how big and how much. Catch-and-release orders are in place to help sustain certain populations, and following these guidelines is better for today’s anglers, and tomorrow’s too.

Respect Other Anglers. The best practice for all anglers is simply a manner of respect. If you see someone fishing, give them some space. If you’re wade fishing or shore fishing, give fellow anglers at least ten feet between you. Boat anglers should steer clear of other boats who’ve already claimed a watering hole. Depending on what technique you’re using will determine best practice; fly fishing is very different from sight casting. Keep it simple and remember that first come, first serve; and don’t cross your lines with nearby anglers.

Fishing Etiquette Don’ts:

While there are probably several “Don’ts” for anglers, we’ll simplify it to two main rules: Don’t Make Waves and Don’t Make A Mess. While this seems pretty simple, let’s break it down for those in the back:

Don’t Make Waves. You could take this in the both literal and metaphorical sense – we’ll focus on the literal for now. Boaters kicking up waves bring noise and disruption to other anglers with lines in the water and shore fishermen who may have limited access. Literally, don’t make waves (or keep them to a minimal). Metaphorically, you can “cause waves” when your actions disrupt those already fishing. Walking behind an angler when they’re casting, walking through the river and kicking up mud, or spooking the fish. When you don’t give consideration to those fishing around you, you’re making waves in more ways than one.  Our advice: just be careful. And when you do inadvertently spook the fish or make waves (literally or metaphorically), apologize and move along. We’ve all been there, just learn from the mistake.

Don’t Make A Mess. You may like fishing with your momma, but I can almost guarantee you don’t always go fishing with her, and she won’t always be there to clean up your mess. Keep Mother Earth clean, pick up after yourself, and don’t throw trash around. It’s pretty simple: be a decent human and take care of the environment. When you’re out on the water, do what you can to limit your interaction with the environment. Don’t mess with shrubs or branches that may be in your way. Keep it clean throughout the trip; cleanliness goes for the local marina, boat ramp, and cleaning stations, too.

Your Next Fishing Trip

When you decide to go fishing, no matter where you are, just remember that there are other fishermen and women in the world too. Everyone enjoys the thrill of reeling in a trophy catch, and will often congratulate each other on a job well done. Even if they are trying to scan the photos for a hint of the location! All in all, people in the fishing community are kind and inviting; don’t let a few bad apples spoil the bunch.

For the best kind of fishing trip, hire a local guide who is happy to share their fishing spot. And they’ll have everything for the trip ready to go. Find a local guide today with FishAnywhere.com, and reserve your trip with a deposit! Let’s fish!

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