This website is filled with numerous articles written about tips and advice, but I think it is also important to express the things that you should never do while fishing. I hope this article helps to educate the next generation of fishermen to have good fishing etiquette. It upsets me to see fishermen that have no respect for nature and are just oblivious to the impact of their negative actions. Below are some golden rules to be a courteous and respectful fisherman.
One of the golden rules to fishing is to never litter. Why would anyone want to harm an industry that provides a benefit to you, others and the environment? When a person litters it limits the chances of the next generation of fish to grow and prosper. It also limits the chance for you and others to catch more fish in the future. Unfortunately all too often the litter found near ponds and lakes are caused by our fellow fishermen. Hook cases, old lures, fishing line and other fishing articles are common along the shores of ponds and lakes.
There is nothing I dislike more than a loud fisherman. Not only does it disrupt my relaxing day, but it also limits my chances to go home with a big fish. I always tell my buddies to use their “fishing voice” while on a quiet lake. Sound travels very well underwater and the fish will never come near a boat that is making all sorts of noise. I always try and make a conscious effort to limit the noise level while I fish. I will place a rug at the bottom of my boat to try and keep the noise down if I accidentally drop a pair of pliers or other heavy object.
Catch and Release
To ensure the success of the overall health of any pond or lake that you are fishing you should always practice good catch and release habits. Always wet your hands before handling a fish as it helps to preserve their protective slime covering. Also ensure that you do not have any chemicals on your hands before touching a fish.
Use barbless hooks whenever possible. This helps to limit the time the fish you catch stay out of the water. It also is less destructive to their sensitive mouths. If you perform damage to a fishe’s mouth it may have a hard time eating and digesting properly. Fish generally reproduce rather rapidly, but anything you can do to ensure the survival of one fish may help to produce hundreds of offspring for the next season.
Be careful about what chemicals you bring near a pond and lake. Be especially careful if you have a gas motor as to never spill any gas or oil into the water. If you trail your boat, do your best to ensure that the trailer tires, bearing and steal do not have any chemicals, oils or other pollutants on them before they enter the water. While backing your trailer into the water do not let any oil from your car enter the water. I sometimes see a car back its rear tiers and rims into the water while taking a boat out of the water. This places a great deal of pollutants in the water.
Don’t throw fishing line overboard. It is very detrimental to the ecosystem as well as frustrating for fellow fishermen. Fish and birds can also can get tangled in it. Also anyone using an outboard motor knows that fishing line can ruin the seal around a boat prop. Always bring a trash bag with you to throw away any excess fishing line or other garbage.
Don’t be Wasteful
Young anglers will often kill many more fish than what they actually intend to. They do not or have not been trained with proper fish handling techniques. Always be conscious as to properly handle a fish and try to only kill the fish that you intend to eat for yourself. Some anglers will catch Bluegill or other small fish in large numbers just to be killed later on for no purpose at all. Please try to refrain from doing this as the smaller species of fish are often a keystone species that all the other larger predator fish feed on.