Whether it’s on a charter, with a friend, on land or a headboat, there are certain things that you just don’t do on a fishing trip. Unfortunately many people don’t seem to understand this, so here’s your guide to etiquette. Note: This doesn’t include what to do at the ramp, that is another post entirely.
Fishing Trip “no-no’s”
If you’re on a charter, don’t insist on bringing your own gear. While certain exceptions can be made, such as bringing a fly rod for highly specific opportunities that may or may not occur, it is best to use the captain’s gear. Charter guides maintain the best equipment and keep it up to date, you insisting on bringing your own rods and tackle is just stupid and unnecessary – don’t ever do it.
Customer: This is my grand-dad’s rod he caught all his biggest bass on it, she’s never let me down.
On that same note, on a charter, don’t try tying your own knots. Again, your captain’s knots are going to be stronger and better than anything you can tie, don’t try it.
Show up on time. Things happen, if you’re running late call or text whoever you’re going out with so that they at least know. This is just basic being a good human 101.
Don’t forget to tip your captain. These guys work hard to put people on fish, they’re up early, they’re scouting, they’re working an extremely difficult and labor intensive job just so that you can have fun. On top of the difficulty that guides go through, it’s not a job where you’re getting rich. If you complain about the price of hiring a guide, you should’ve never spent the money in the first place. Guides spend tons of money on gas, maintenance, marina fees and countless other costs that the weekend fisherman has no idea about. Show some gratitude and tip. If you’re captain has a mate, factor that into your tip as well.
Finally, LISTEN TO YOUR GUIDE. You may think you know a lot about fishing and have tons of great spots or know exactly what baits you need to be throwing, or how to handle a fish, but you don’t. Plain and simple, most guides are on the water for 300 or so days a year, if they’re not fishing, they’re not making money. A good, legit guide knows more about fishing than you could ever hope to, so you suggesting how to do his job is just disrespectful.
NOTE: Suggesting/asking, “If the x bite is slow, why don’t we just go target y instead?” is perfectly acceptable. Telling your guide where to fish, why and how is not on a fishing trip.
You telling your guide that their spots are trash ^^^.
When on a boat, don’t slam hatches or stomp around, this goes for charters as well as going out with a friend. The noise you make when you’re stomping your feet or slamming a hatch goes directly through the boat to the water and will spook nearby fish. Don’t be that guy.
If you’re going to fish on a friend’s boat, offer gas money. Boats don’t run on thanks and high-fives. If you have a friend who is nice enough to take you out, offer to throw them money for gas. On that same note, offer to help clean that boat when you get back to land. After a long day of putting fish in the boat or hanging out on the sandbar, boats get dirty, it’s unavoidable. Be a good friend and offer to help clean it up.
^^^ Trying to explain why a six pack won’t cover
the 50+ mile offshore trip and back to your friend.
If you see floating trash, try to grab it or net it. The same is true if you’re fishing from shore, pick up any trash you may see.
If you’re fishing a popular spot, be respectful of space, no matter where you are. The ocean is a big place, being right on top of someone at a spot is extremely disrespectful. The Golden Rule applies here, treat others how you would wish to be treated.
Of course, follow all laws and regulations regarding seasons, pole/troll/no motor zones/no wake zones, tackle and bag limits.
If you enjoyed this content, then stay tuned for more great blogs coming soon! In the meantime, be sure to check out some of my other posts like, “Drum Line”.
Until next time, Tight Lines.