We can all agree that the bass-angling community is hinged upon our mutual passion for fishing. Unfortunately, there are times when we encounter less than favorable situations among our fellow anglers.
Instances of these include having another boat come into your favorite spot only to cut-off your casting line. Or, it could also come in the form of a well-meaning friend who ends up spreading word about a tried-and-tested spot only for it to get all dried up.
Indeed, just because we share the same interests doesn’t mean that we’re on the same page about certain limits and proper fishing etiquette. Which brings us to why we decided to come up with a list of basic fishing etiquette that we ought to observe and share among our community.
Rule #1: Ask for permission -
There’s nothing wrong about wanting to head out for a new angling experience. However, chances are, the spot that you’ll be visiting already has regulars. The same way that you don’t like intruders in your local spot, they too would appreciate it if you ask for permission before you start fishing. Not only is it a sign of respect but it will also widen your personal angling community.
Rule #2: Clean as you go - This rule goes without saying but you’d be surprised at how much people fail to clean up after themselves especially when there’s nobody to call them out. Set yourself apart by always cleaning up after a great fishing session. After all, we owe it to the environment that we get to enjoy this awesome activity. Plus, doing so helps keep our spots healthy and pleasant.
Rule #3: Don’t be that a**hole - We’ve seen this happen way too many times. We head out to a fishing spot and in comes an eager angler who ends up cutting off some other angler’s casting line. And no, ignorance is not an excuse. Before fishing, be sure to examine the spot carefully and understand the different set-up that the anglers are using. This way, you get to avoid one of the cardinal sins committed by oblivious anglers.
Rule #4: Keep calm in the face of conflict - Sooner or later in the course of your angling life, you will find yourself in the middle of a conflict. While normal, you can de-escalate a potentially hostile situation by keeping calm. Check your tone and exercise maximum understanding and respect when dealing with fellow anglers. Remind yourself why you’re there in the first place. Getting all worked up and aggressive will only make matters worse.
Rule #5: Know when to pull up your gear - Any seasoned angler knows how it feels to land a big catch which is why they try their best to avoid ruining a fellow angler’s moment. Though not a common practice, pulling up one’s gear once you see a fellow angler trigger a catch is a mark of fishing wisdom. Doing so will surely improve your reputation in the community!
Rule #6: Gear up the right way - There’s no faster way to earn the ire of a community by showing up unprepared. Not only will you waste time but also, take up valuable fishing space for other experienced anglers. So before heading out to fish, be sure to use the appropriate gear starting with a diverse tackle box and gear set.
Rule #7: Nurture your community -
What we love most about fishing is that once you’ve found yourself a community, it’s all about camaraderie and helping out one another to make our experiences a lot better each time. With that said, don’t hesitate to reach out to others, appreciate their help, and most importantly, reciprocate favors. Of course, all these must be done wholeheartedly and not just because you are expecting something in exchange for a good deed.
At its best, being a part of a bass angling community is like having an extended family who shares the same passion you have for fishing! However, respect begets respect which means that you have to earn your position in the community. And one way to do this to make sure that you observe and practice proper fishing etiquette. Together, you can grow and develop your personal angling skills which will in turn improve the collective experience of the whole fishing community.