Fishing Etiquette

Brushing up on your fishing etiquette is always a good thing. I recently had the opportunity to take two of my grandsons on a fishing trip with me. To my delight I found that my favorite fishing hole had been recently stocked with almost 2,400 rainbow trout.

The Word about Hot Fishing Spots Spreads Quickly

The word spreads quickly in the fishing community so needless to say most of the fishermen in the area had heard about it and were already arriving to throw their line in the water. It seemed like every fisherman in a 100 mile radius were there to take advantage of the news. It was beginning to look like a zoo and even worse was that I am not sure than any of them were aware that there is even a thing such as fishing etiquette.

All I needed to know about Fishing Etiquette I learned from my Dad

When I first started fishing many years ago my Dad made certain that I knew the rules of the water and how important fishing etiquette is to know. I can still remember what he told me as if it was yesterday. “If you don’t learn how to act when you are fishing someone will quickly let you know you aren’t doing it right by kicking your rear end straight into the water.” Not looking forward to that I made sure to listen and find out what to do and what NOT to do.


I loved to watch all the seasoned veteran anglers fish the water. I usually saw one thing quite clearly. All of them were fishing with a sense of unity. They were very mindful of each other. Casting was the most important things I noticed. If there were more than one fisherman you do not simply cast your line out and hope you don’t hit anyone. You never cast your line out over other people. You could hook someone or make a tangled mess of fishing line.

Back to Fishing with the Grandkids and Fishing Etiquette—of the Lack of!

All that takes me right back to my fishing excursion with my grandsons. I had everything all set up and ready to go. My line was out and my two grandson’s lines were also out and were sitting about two or three feet apart. Along came another fisherman and here is where the trouble started.

It took only minutes to see that when we began to check up on our lines and bait that I noticed our poles were bouncing like we had some major bites. Sad to say this was not the case. The only thing that we had was four fishing lines tangles together because of a bad cast by the new guy that went uncared and unchecked.

I was looking forward to a great day fishing with my grandsons. I planned on even telling them more of my fishing etiquette tips. Fishing to me is relaxing and fun and I had not anticipated having to untangle a mess made by someone who apparently was not aware that there even was such a thing as fishing etiquette. It takes the fun away when your day is spent having to reel your line in and untangle big messes of fishing line.

If Your Fishing Etiquette is Broken—Fix It

Now, don’t get me wrong, not every cast I’ve made in my life has gone where I wanted it to go. But I’ve learned over the years that if your cast gets away from you the first thing to do is fix it and make sure you have not messed up other people’s lines. It makes for a much more pleasant day of fishing and is much easier to fix if you do it immediately before you are all tangled up with other lines.

My day with the grandkids continued on and believe it or not but it got more and more frustrating. The same guy kept casting wherever he felt like it and we were forced to make adjustment to how and where to fish around him. It seemed like I was not just fishing for myself but for four of us—myself, my two grandkids, and the guy that knew nothing about fishing etiquette. It only took me about an hour before I packed up the boys and called it a day.

Let this be a reminder to be courteous to all the other fishermen. Follow the basic and simple guidelines when you fish. Fishing etiquette is the first thing you need to know.

Here are some fishing etiquette reminders to keep fishing the pleasure it truly is:

  • Watch where you are casting. Bring it back and do it again if you have a cast gone badly.
  • Always yield to the person next to you.
  • Watch for where there is a crowd but don’t get too close. If they are getting bites chances are it is a good place to be.
  • Have fun. Make new friends and get to know who is fishing next to you. You will more than likely learn some great fishing tips too that could increase your likelihood of catching more fish.
  • Make room for the young and new. Be extra polite to anyone attempting to get their children into fishing. The best way to keep any kid’s attention on the idea of fishing is for them to be catching fish…not bickering with the person next to them.

Make fishing etiquette a top priority and you will have years of great fishing!