Boating Etiquette

Boating Etiquette Before heading out on the water, read these suggestions that will make your time on the water more meaningful and fun.

The golden Rule states that you should do unto others as you would them to do unto you. It's a great rule to live by when you're fishing and boating as well. Here are some suggestions that will make your time on the water, and that of others, more meaningful and fun.

  • When boating, never run too fast for conditions. If the water is rough, or if many boats are present, slow down. Remember that your passenger's safety and comfort are your responsibility!
  • Never crowd other fishermen. If you see another angler fishing a bank, anticipate the direction he's moving and do not move to the end of the bank - let him finish fishing it. Never run between a fisherman and the point or bank he's fishing. Give other anglers and boaters wide berth.
  • If someone has shown you the extreme courtesy of taking you to his favorite bass water and requests that you not reveal its location to others, honor that request. It is considered a breach of sportsman's etiquette to return there without asking his permission first, or to reveal the location to another angler.
  • When fishing a farm pond, always ask permission first. Carry all litter out and leave all fences and gates as you found them.
  • Give your fishing partner every opportunity to catch fish, just as you would expect him to give you the same opportunity if you were in the back of his boat. Don't "front-end" or crowd him so that he can't reach the structure. Avoid over-competing, especially when you're not fishing in a tournament. Trying to outfish your buddy is annoying to the other guy.
  • Not every boater or fisherman is a bass fisherman. Crappie fishermen, panfishermen, trollers and other anglers deserve your respect. Do not invade their territory. Pleasure boaters deserve their fare share of the water, too. Be courteous to all boaters. Whether or not they're bass fishermen.
  • If someone signals for help or assistance, respond immediately. The bass can wait. You, too, may need directional help or a tow someday.
  • Never attempt to fish the same structure at the same time as another angler. This is annoying and often ends up in a mess of entangled lines. If your buddy is fishing a structure, wait until he's done. More often than not, if he pulls a fish off it, you'll have a chance too. -- James Turner

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