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Zeeter

Fishing Etiquette

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I'm trying to teach my teenage son fishing etiquette. We may join a club next year as he'll be 18 and I don't want him doing things he should't be doing.

First thing he needs to learn is not to think he has a fish on every other cast. I hear him all the time going "ugh!" like he just had a bite. If he caught every fish he thought he had a bite on he'd be in the bassmaster classic every year. While maybe not bad etiquette, it certainly can be annoying (not to me because he's my son, but to someone he doesn't know). 

More important though, is fishing another angler's fish. For example, on Sunday I had a pretty good bite on a worm. Missed the fish and in the two seconds it took me to readjust the worm on the hook he had cast into that spot. To me, that is bad etiquette. I found the fish. If he had been a rider in someone else's boat during a tournament that would be unacceptable, and certainly during the vote-in the matter would be brought up.

What are everyone's thoughts on that?

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Yeah.  I think that's bad etiquette.  I think you are taking the right steps in teaching him though.  That is a good thing that the generations coming up are learning the proper way to bass fish.  Its very important and good on you for explaining good fishing form to your son.  Good luck, I hope y'all catch lots of fish together. 

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At 18, (And very much younger) he has a mind of his own. I think the best way to show him is to do the things yourself. And hopefully he picks up on them . I know when I was 18 my dad always tried to TELL ME how to do everything. And although he's very knowledgeable, forcing someone to think the way you do is the worst way to approach it. Like I said. SHOW HIM (nonchalantly) what a stand up man is like. And hopefully he aspires to be one. 

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Oh, your son and my kayak fishing buddy are the same guy. I catch one and he comes paddling across the pond full steam ahead and bumps into me trying to get to the spot. LOL. But then I know that going into a trip with him. He's all about the catching and couldn't care less about the size. If I only caught 1 6 pounder and he caught 10 eyeball size bluegills, in his eyes HE WON!!!

Your son will learn what's acceptable and what's not pretty quickly. Trying to poach a fish from the boater won't fly twice.

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34 minutes ago, Yeajray231 said:

At 18, (And very much younger) he has a mind of his own. I think the best way to show him is to do the things yourself. And hopefully he picks up on them . I know when I was 18 my dad always tried to TELL ME how to do everything. And although he's very knowledgeable, forcing someone to think the way you do is the worst way to approach it. Like I said. SHOW HIM (nonchalantly) what a stand up man is like. And hopefully he aspires to be one. 

Well yeah, I leave him on his own. Yet if he does something wrong and doesn't know it's wrong then I need to mention it to him.

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 Having 3 daughters to take fishing I guess it was easy as all I had to say is "would you like it if she did that to you, please be respectful" Nowadays they all fish responsably and Im grateful for it as those early days were more than a bit hectic. 

Being as I was in a club years ago I can see your plight. You may want to curb him now before you join a club. Those actions are quite frowned upon and he may quickly get booted. Yeajray231 has a good thought there, and Id show him well before you join so its a much more enjoyable venture for you both. Otherwise it may turn into a negative venture that he will shy away from totally

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Usually, when my one buddy and I get together and there is one target (such as flooded tree) to cast to, he will cast to one (his side) and I will cast to the other.  Or when we are moss fishing, it has been verbally agreed that if a bass blows up on a bait but misses it, the verbal expectation/understanding is that the other fisherman. if his is in a position to do so, can (and should) cast to that same spot.  He and I have not always seen eye to eye on EVERYTHING but when it pertains to fishing itself, catching is less important than being a good neighbor.  As Frost once said, "Good fences make good neighbors."

The best way to influence your son would be to start by example but there is nothing wrong with pointing out when problematic or unacceptable behavior occur.  One has to choose ones battles BUT a parent should not have to be "afraid" to correct something if you think it important or necessary.  And, importantly, your son won't know what you want or expect if it isn't voiced by you (in a gentle manner).  Using the above example, some fishermen would take offense at another person casting to their missed (moss) fish but my friend and I have talked about it and we both agree that we'd rather see the fish caught than miss the opportunity.  And we both get immense pleasure just watching the fish bite.   If , on the other hand, you feel the need to correct EVERYTHING and have a difficult time choosing your battles OR, conversely, you are afraid to speak out at all, you might need to examine your own inner voices and life commandments.

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"More important though, is fishing another angler's fish. For example, on Sunday I had a pretty good bite on a worm. Missed the fish and in the two seconds it took me to readjust the worm on the hook he had cast into that spot. To me, that is bad etiquette. I found the fish. If he had been a rider in someone else's boat during a tournament that would be unacceptable, and certainly during the vote-in the matter would be brought up."

We do this all the time in bass tournaments as a boater or a non-boater. It is acceptable. It is not bad etiquette.

What you all will find out are the secret locations the other guys in the club run to for their fish. So get maps and mark them with each location you, your son and others you know nailed bass on a lake or river. This is fair and expected and not bad etiquette.

Now, bad etiquette is when another angler hits the other guys' favorite places the day before the tournament to stick the bass so they will not bite on tournament day. Or having your father sit in his bass boat with a shotgun over his lap protecting his son's favorite places to fish and running off all who approach the area.

Or running top speed by another bass fisherman throwing a large wake at him. Or doing wheelies with your bass boat as you leave one location where another guy is fishing causing a tremendous wake to be thrown at the other guy.

Or getting too close to another tournament fisherman by not obeying the 50-foot rule and casting towards his location.

Or seeing another guy fishing a bank and running to the other end and heading towards him or placing your boat about 50 feet ahead of him and fishing the bank before he does.

All of the above have happened to me or others in my bass club. The funny one was the wheelie as the guy in the stationary boat had no idea it was coming his way. The wheelie guy was angry that the other guy came in hot into the area and threw a wake at him so he did the wheelie as he left the area to get revenge. They are still friends today.

Etiquette as a non-boater includes not messing up the boat; bringing food and drink; keeping mouth closed and eyes and ears open; talking about fishing and life with the boater; being on time; not bringing 500 pounds of tackle and 10 rods; offering to pull the truck and trailer out of the water and parking it; offering to pick up the truck and trailer and bringing it to the ramp to help trailer the boat; having his own culling system for his keepers; having his own needle nose pliers to remove his bait from caught fish; having rain gear if necessary; having proper clothes to keep warm or cool; not fishing when sick with a cold or fever; telling boater if he has to be back at the dock early due to another commitment; not jumping out of the boat into the water because it is too hot; and being a gentleman all day.

Your son will do great in a club and learn a lot. He will be remembered as the guy who grunted all day when he leaves the club.

Good luck to both of you and have some fun.

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21 minutes ago, Sam said:

"More important though, is fishing another angler's fish. For example, on Sunday I had a pretty good bite on a worm. Missed the fish and in the two seconds it took me to readjust the worm on the hook he had cast into that spot. To me, that is bad etiquette. I found the fish. If he had been a rider in someone else's boat during a tournament that would be unacceptable, and certainly during the vote-in the matter would be brought up."

We do this all the time in bass tournaments as a boater or a non-boater. It is acceptable. It is not bad etiquette.


To me, that's bad etiquette too. In a non-tournament situation I would have a problem with that, and wouldn't dream of doing that to someone else.

However, I can see how in a tournament things are different.

 

 

 

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As a non tournament Fisher, I've had people come to me on A PUBLIC lake and tell me that this is their spot for the tournament and not to fish certain areas. I think that is pretty smug and if  someone tries to treat me like that I definitely don't oblige and will make an effort to fish that spot even harder. I understand they want to win. But they don't own the lake, nor do they tell me what to do. 

Yea let me just go fish somewhere else. Where there's hardly any fish , and no cover to target. Let me spend my free time not catching any fish so you can come back tomorrow and catch them. Get real ! If you're good enough to fish tournaments then you should be able to find fish somewhere.. 

Really irks me. 

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I dunno. I've fished plenty of tournaments and seen plenty of anglers miss a fish and then immediately cast back in that general location, either with the same bait or switching up to something different on another rod. The thought of trying to get the fish that the other angler missed never crossed my mind. If he had done it to me I would question his ethics. If I had clearly given up on the spot that's one thing, but if I'm hurrying as if I'm onto something it is simply wrong for him to cast to that general vicinity. Now granted, typically the other angler and I have our arcs for fishing and that starts about midships forward for the boater and midships-aft for the rider. So the opportunity to cast to that spot doesn't come up that often. That said, I have had a rider miss a fish and suggest that I throw whatever I have to that spot. That was good sportsmanship on his part because he had lost half his worm and didn't want me to miss a fish that he could no longer get. I did the same later with another angler.

 

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With me and my fishing buddy, we have a thing about asking one another about casting in the same spot as a missed fish. If he either cant get a fish to eat (as in we are sight fishing redfish and he cannot get the fish to eat or commit) he will offer me the shot, and vice-versa. 

The issue you are having with your son: I would sit down and talk to him about it. Tell him that you won't fish with him anymore if he continues the behavior. That kind of punishment can curb bad habits quick.

I also think its very important to stress your state's rules for operating a motorboat. I have no problem sharing a spot with another angler, be it kayaker or boater. But, if they don't give a wide berth, come running up on step and swamp me, or zoom passed my kayak without slowing, then I get ticked off. Nothing will ruin a reputation down here at least more than a boater who doesn't know boating etiquette and laws.

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Give him the information he needs to make a good sound decision on his own.  What ever he chooses to do with that information after that is on him.

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Have you specifically told him to not throw a bait at a fish you missed or were trying to catch? If not, then it;s possible that he's just fishing with his dad and treats you differently than he would others.

 

Generally speaking, family members act and do things different around each other. I wouldn't worry about it  much. As mentioned above, tell him what's expected of him and leave it up to him. I don't know your son but I feel pretty confident that he's smart enough to understand a figure out how to do it correctly.      

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I hadn't told him, but I did afterward and he argued against it. I wasn't mad or anything.

And let me be clear, this isn't a "problem" as many are thinking here. I'm just trying to verify that it is bad form to do what he did.

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I would say that it could be bad form in a tournament or club setting, depending on what the goal is for the anglers on the boat. Is it bad form if it's just you and him? That's up to you.

I don't have a son, but when I go fishing with my Nephews I only fish to help find the pattern so that they can catch fish. I get more joy watching them catch fish than I do If I catch them.

 

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53 minutes ago, Fun4Me said:

Have you specifically told him to not throw a bait at a fish you missed or were trying to catch? If not, then it;s possible that he's just fishing with his dad and treats you differently than he would others.

 

Generally speaking, family members act and do things different around each other. I wouldn't worry about it  much. As mentioned above, tell him what's expected of him and leave it up to him. I don't know your son but I feel pretty confident that he's smart enough to understand a figure out how to do it correctly.      

My dad and I were fishing so close once we actually caught the same bass at the same. LOL. But sometimes the spot is small. And he's my dad.

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48 minutes ago, the reel ess said:

My dad and I were fishing so close once we actually caught the same bass at the same. LOL. But sometimes the spot is small. And he's my dad.

Which is why I wasn't mad at him. I just explained why he shouldn't do that. We had been talking about joining a club next year and so we try to fish as if we're in a tournament.

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On Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 11:50 AM, Yeajray231 said:

As a non tournament Fisher, I've had people come to me on A PUBLIC lake and tell me that this is their spot for the tournament and not to fish certain areas. I think that is pretty smug and if  someone tries to treat me like that I definitely don't oblige and will make an effort to fish that spot even harder. I understand they want to win. But they don't own the lake, nor do they tell me what to do.

Yea let me just go fish somewhere else. Where there's hardly any fish , and no cover to target. Let me spend my free time not catching any fish so you can come back tomorrow and catch them. Get real ! If you're good enough to fish tournaments then you should be able to find fish somewhere..

Really irks me.

I'm the kind of guy who, if you tell me some place is YOUR spot (when I got there first), I will stay there all the longer-whether I catch a $#^& thing or not.  Heck, I might spend the whole blessed day there!

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Ya that that would definitely upset some people. Especially in a club situation. I'm honestly not that guy. I'll be the first guy to point people in a direction I've had success in. I've learned that there is no such thing as secrets on public hunting or fishing land so I'd rather have the satisfaction of helping someone knowing that the key is spending time. If I miss a fish I will tell you to go after it. Alot of people aren't like that for sure though. I would try and teach him to curve that sort of thing before he realizes how some guys are in this sport. It can get pretty ugly. Until you develope some relationships I would be as ettiquite friendly as possible. Not that you should ever be selfish but you can looser with some guys compared to others.

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On August 30, 2016 at 10:21 AM, Zeeter said:

More important though, is fishing another angler's fish. For example, on Sunday I had a pretty good bite on a worm. Missed the fish and in the two seconds it took me to readjust the worm on the hook he had cast into that spot. To me, that is bad etiquette. I found the fish. If he had been a rider in someone else's boat during a tournament that would be unacceptable, and certainly during the vote-in the matter would be brought up.

Exactly. While fishing docks with my friend, I almost landed an 8.5 pound bass. Next day same spot, i got a big bite. he casted right there and caught a 6 pounder. this time we had the net because i told him not to leave it.

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As far as fishing spots go, I've read about anglers even at the professional level seeing a guy have some success in practice and then going to that spot. In fact, I remember reading or seeing on TV about a tournament where two guys were in this cove and each claimed it. They were just a few yards from each other all day; each unwilling to move and give the other the spot. Neither caught anything because they were throwing so much in there that the fish probably got spooked. Both guys said they had fished there during practice, though there was only evidence of one of them there.

That, I would say, is bad etiquette. If it had been some weekend angler out fishing it would be one thing, but a fellow tournament fisherman is quite another. 

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A few yards apart?  In a tournament?  I thought there was a rule about minimum distance in tournaments.

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