Friday, October 10, 2008

What Ever Happened to Boating And Fishing Etiquette?

How many times have you been on an area lake or river , fishing minding your own business, when all of a sudden boats of every kind , fishing and recreational boats alike started going in all directions , not caring about the safety or concerns of each other , causing a dangerous situation for all involved? Wow I had to stop a second and catch my breath! I may just be a little long winded today. Not me!
Surely , that terminology doesn't reply to me, or does it, anyway!

I know , we have all read an article or two on this particular matter , that is becoming more and more common on our waterways today , due to the fact that more and more people are buying boats today. Some lakes are worse than others and some days are worse than others. Its not just major holiday weekends anymore.

I want to give everyone a dictionary definition of "etiquette" for a better understanding of what we are talking about here today!


Conventional requirements as to social behavior; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion.

Now that is a pretty easy to understand , isn't it? I think so! Social behavior is how we are to conduct ourselves in a social atomosphere. Whether it is at a baseball game, a restaurant, school function, or (now listen closely) boating or fishing on our public (social) waterways.

Now the truth is our PUBLIC waterways whether it is a lake or a stream is exactly what it says, PUBLIC! So keeping this in mind , etiquette does have its place in the public or social atmosphere of a lake or stream. End of story. These public waterways have laws in place to enforce our behavior in these circumstances. These laws are in the extreme. Etiquette is not the law, but is an understood thing among people, right? Wrong!

People anymore disrequard or disrespect other peoples space on these public waterways anymore. The results is devastating sometimes,resulting in injury and sometimes to the extreme of a death of someone that has the same right to be on these waterways as you and I do!

If and when we take our boats , whether it is a fishing boat, or a recreational boat , there are laws and (Etiquette) that is in effect and should be observed by all (EVERYONE) >period! I don't know how much more I have to say to get that point across to everyone that reads this article. Each and everyone of our lives is at stake here and we really should be a little, no, a lot more, understanding, so that everyone has a safe and enjoyable adventure on our public waterways!

Now here are a few tips and pointers on fishing and boating etiquette that we all need to read, and put in the back of our minds, start practising these understood rules, if you will, that most are aware of but since the law doesn't enforce, disregard them and thus show disrespect to one another causing , fights, injury , and sometimes even fatalities. Now that is downright ignorant, and / or arrogant!

Etiquette, or common sense,practices of boating and/or fishing.

#1 Respect ALL other boaters: whether fishing or recreational boaters!

2 Speed kills , so slow down when approaching other boaters,
regardless of whether they are fishing or recreational boaters!

3 Observe ALL laws and regulations of boating in our area waterways!
This in itself will put you in compliance of boating etiquette. This
should be enough , all on its own. I guess that's too simple though!

4 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!

These 4 common sense practises will make it a safer passage and more enjoyable passage of all involved. Again this is too simple.

Here are just a few tips for fishing etiquette, ( Pay Attention now!)

1 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.

2 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.

3 Not every boater or fisherman is a bass fisherman. Crappie fishermen, pan fishermen, trollers and other anglers deserve your respect. Do not invade their territory. Pleasure boaters deserve their fair share of the water, too. Be courteous to all boaters. Whether or not they're bass fishermen. The latter is included of course! ;-)

4 If someone signals for help or assistance, respond immediately. The bass can wait. You, too, may need directional help or a tow someday.This rule of etiquette applies to all boaters too!

5 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!

Last but certainly not least , quite possible, the Golden Rule!

You should do unto others as you would have them to do unto you. It's a great rule to live by when you're fishing and boating as well. This rule should be applied to all of the areas of social behaviour and activities, whether it be on the waterways, highways, and I guess you could even say on DRY LAND!

People, if we practice the law of the land and the common sense rules of etiquette, Boating, fishing, skiing, and recreational boating will be more enjoyable and a whole lot safer for everyone involved. Respecting one another is the only way to ensure that we can all share and enjoy the "Great Outdoors!"

So until next time , keep your hooks wet , practice catch and release , and boat safely, ensuring that we all have a fun and safe adventure on our oh so public waterways. Remember there is plenty of room and fish on our public waterways for EVERYBODY!

See ya out there and good luck with your boating activities whether it be fishing or plain recreational activities, Everyone has a right to be out there so yield to the right of way of all boaters alike. Oh yeah , I almost forgot, If you catch more than you can eat, stop by my house and I am sure I can save you the trouble of cleaning some of those fish that you don't really need! ;-)


Anonymous said...

Good recommendations here. Rude boaters and boaters who are ignorant of proper etiquette are very annoying and, as you say, can be dangerous.

Anonymous said...

You should have proper etiquette and respect for others no matter what you are doing or where you are doing it.

That is the problem these days, it is not like when most of us were growing up. We knew what it meant to respect others.

Mel said...

Excellent post here, Kenny. Just dropped in on your blog from OBS. While we encourage more and more folks to get outdoors fishing and hunting etc, we still need to remember the importance of etiquette, outdoor safety, and following our fishing and hunting regulations, for it all to work for the benefit of our experience.

By the way, I am adding your link to my blog roll tonight. Perhaps you will visit my site and say hello when you get there.

Kenny B. said...

Kristine, Rick, and Mel, Thanks for your comments on this sensitive matter. I may have gotten a little rough, with this post , but dad gummit, I just felt that this issue had to be addressed in this manner. We are all aware of etiquette, but the big majority of boaters still disregard these issues. It takes just a few seconds more to swing wide and yield the right of way to other boaters and fishermen.