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#12297351 - 06/16/17 12:14 PM 6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette
BThomas Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 02/15/09
Posts: 7692
Loc: Rockwall,Tx
6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette

http://www.scout.com/outdoors/wired2fish/story/1768820-6-unwritten-rules-of-bass-fishing-etiquette



Follow these rules to ensure you’re respecting your fellow anglers on the water.


The angling community doesn’t talk about etiquette near enough. For whatever reason, it’s a touchy subject that can really get folks riled up. Instead of complaining about our run-ins and bringing other fishermen down on social media, I think it’s time we look at it dead in the eye and have a quick discussion.

It’s impossible to tip-toe around some of these issues, so I’m not going to. I'll just call things as I see them. I have made some of these mistakes myself and learned valuable lessons from them. My hope is that we can all simply get on the same page about some things. We’re in this gig together and the better we get along with everyone, the stronger we’ll be as a unit.

I left out all aspects of boat ramp etiquette in this piece because I wrote an entirely separate piece about it. It was too much to put into one article.

No. 1: Cutting anglers off

Tournament organizations have some specific rules in place regarding this issue, but what about the average folks who just want to spend a nice Saturday on the lake? Let’s talk about it.

This rule of thumb is simple: If you find yourself trying to justify it in your mind, you’re probably cutting someone off. Furthermore, if you’d get ticked off if another angler did it to you, you probably shouldn’t do it to someone else.

If you have mapping technology on your boat, try to pay attention to the structure the angler is fishing. If they’re fishing a point, don’t get between them and the shoreline. If they’re fishing a hump or a bar in the middle of the river channel, hug the steeper side of the channel while you pass them. Simply being attentive can make a huge difference in this sport.

Similarly, if you’re in a creek and someone is fishing a row of boat docks (or any kind of cover), don’t start fishing three docks ahead of them on the same side of the creek and think you’re doing them a favor. They’re obviously headed in that direction, so just let ‘em have it. Find some different docks.

No. 2: They’re not here, so I can fish it

If you fish with buddies long enough, you’ll eventually find yourself in this sticky situation. Tell me if this doesn’t sound familiar:

You’re in your buddy’s boat and he takes you to a spot you didn’t previously know about. The two of you just flat-out wreck the bass—I’m talking big ones and lots of them. A few days later, you get off work early and hit the water for a few hours before supper. That whack-fest from last weekend is heavy on your mind, the conditions are identical and the spot isn’t far away.

Do you fish it?

Some would and some wouldn’t. That's your call, but I’ll say this: I’ve seen a bunch of friendships ruined over a fishing spot. It may sound crazy to some, but it happens all of the time. Think long and hard—and it wouldn’t hurt to ask your buddy permission, either—before you risk losing a friend.

No. 3: Check with nearby anglers

If there’s a certain spot you’ve been dying to fish and there’s another angler fishing nearby, slowing down to an idle and politely asking permission will get a lot of respect from other fishermen.

“Hey man, you catching ‘em today? Would you mind if I fished this stump row for a few minutes? I don’t want to mess you up, so I just wanted to check with you first.”

Stuff like that works wonders. If they say no, thank them anyway, wish them luck and move on. The brush pile isn’t going anywhere. You can hit it another time. It’s just fishing and it’s never worth arguing over.

No. 4: Talk to the dock owners

Bass fishermen love targeting boat docks, which can unfortunately lead to confrontations with some landowners. We’re always quick to point out that they don’t own the water, so we fish ‘em anyway. But if they’re actually on the dock enjoying the afternoon with family and friends, just strike up a conversation with them. Ask if they’re okay with you making a few casts.

“Looks like y’all are having a good time! Man, I don’t blame you in this pretty weather. Would it be okay if I made a few casts real quick? I’ll get out of your hair after I catch this 10-pounder from under your dock!”

Whether we want to admit it or not, there’s often a divide between bass anglers and dock owners. We can annoy them and they can annoy us. But if we do our part and handle our interactions correctly, both sides can realize the benefits of one another.

Their docks hold a lot of fish that we enjoy catching. Our sport can bring a lot to their community’s economy. It’s a win-win and a simple smile and short conversation on our part can make an awesome impression.

No. 5: It ain't the Daytona 500

If there is one gripe I’ve heard more than any other about bass anglers, it’s that we drive our boats too fast.

There’s nothing wrong with lifting the bow and letting ‘er eat when the conditions are safe and you’re following the rules of the water—it’s one of my favorite things to do. But on a busy weekend when the lake is full of recreational boaters, just kick it down a notch. The bass will be there when you get there.

Very few folks are impressed by how fast your boat can go. It’s not the Bassmaster Classic. You’re not going to set any speed records. And in the large majority of situations, you’re not racing someone to one particular spot.

I might sound like a wuss, but again—we all need to be respectful. Everything we do out there represents each and every person reading this article. This sport is so much more than drinking beer and watching bobbers, so let’s not let our actions sell ourselves short, especially when safety is involved.

No. 6: Be a helpful guest

I am not and will never be the dude who chases you down at the boat ramp to get 20 bucks in gas money from you. Those guys aren’t too fun at parties. But I do believe in offering to help when you’re in someone else’s boat.

If someone is nice enough to share their boat with you, just pay it forward a little bit. You don’t have to make it rain dollar bills on them and unhook all of their bass throughout the day. Fishermen are a good group of guys, so they’ll probably turn down any help. But the thought is what matters.

You can back their trailer down for them, help ‘em wipe down their rig at the ramp, bring a few sandwiches or just be the first one to hop out and pull the drain plug and put the trailer straps on. It’s not all about the money, but showing appreciation is, well … appreciated.

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#12297382 - 06/16/17 12:24 PM Re: 6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette [Re: BThomas]
Donald Harper Online   happy
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Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 13890
Loc: Justin, TX.
Excellent Mr. Thomas. Thanks for sharing.
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#12297395 - 06/16/17 12:35 PM Re: 6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette [Re: BThomas]
Jpurdue Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/28/14
Posts: 1402
Loc: NW Houston
Okay, I'll be the guy to rock the boat. I take a bit of an issue with rule number 2. Just because you learn a spot from a buddy doesn't mean you can't ever fish that spot without them or that you have to call them up every time you want to go fish it to ask permission. Be reasonable here. If you know your buddy is going to be on the water fishing in a few days, yeah it would be crappy to go whack that spot. It would also be crappy to tell others about that spot. I think common sense needs to prevail here. Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

Also, if you are losing friends over fishing spots one of you is a really crappy friend.
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#12297400 - 06/16/17 12:38 PM Re: 6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette [Re: BThomas]
uacdub Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/03/15
Posts: 186
Loc: Dallas Tx
Now that you put them into writing are they still unwritten rules? hammer
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#12297401 - 06/16/17 12:39 PM Re: 6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette [Re: BThomas]
jwcromer Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 11/18/06
Posts: 2395
Loc: N. Richland Hills,Texas
people will read rule#1 and cut someone off tomorrow,when it come to rules for the average fisherman,THERE ARE NO RULES, they must catch fish at any cost,and will do anything to do so,just don't get in their way

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#12297416 - 06/16/17 12:48 PM Re: 6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette [Re: uacdub]
Urban Fisher Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 9230
Originally Posted By: uacdub
Now that you put them into writing are they still unwritten rules? hammer

Good point. Here are three others that are very important and also need to be addressed...

1)

2)

3)
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#12297436 - 06/16/17 12:59 PM Re: 6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette [Re: Urban Fisher]
uacdub Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/03/15
Posts: 186
Loc: Dallas Tx
Originally Posted By: Urban Fisher
Originally Posted By: uacdub
Now that you put them into writing are they still unwritten rules? hammer

Good point. Here are three others that are very important and also need to be addressed...

1)

2)

3)


Thank goodness all is normal again! bannana2
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#12297446 - 06/16/17 01:03 PM Re: 6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette [Re: BThomas]
Bobby Milam Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/13/14
Posts: 2954
Loc: Arlington
I met my fishing partner by being courteous. A tournament was going on and he was nearby so I offered to move on and let his m have the spot. Now we fish together as much as possible and keep each other up on new found spots. I'll tell him where I find them and he does the same to me. We both expect the other to fish those spots when the other isn't there.

I was fishing just a couple weeks ago and had one last specific spot that I wanted to try before heading in. Saw a boat nearby and asked which way they were fishing. They were slowly headed my way but told me to go ahead as they were moving slow. I did the right thing and said that I would start behind them to give them clean water as they were there first. I ended up having one of my best days in a long time catching fish that weren't interested in their lures.

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#12297467 - 06/16/17 01:21 PM Re: 6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette [Re: BThomas]
PowPowOl'Son Offline
Angler

Registered: 05/03/16
Posts: 273
7. Don't run within 30-40 yards of someone fishing in open water. It doesn't take but a couple extra seconds to take a slight swing around them and give them their space. Of course, this doesn't apply if the lake has boat lanes.

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#12297483 - 06/16/17 01:33 PM Re: 6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette [Re: BThomas]
InTheClear Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/28/12
Posts: 1405
Loc: Southwest Texas
Most if not all of those are common sense, hmmm

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#12297493 - 06/16/17 01:43 PM Re: 6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette [Re: BThomas]
uacdub Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/03/15
Posts: 186
Loc: Dallas Tx
This is exactly why I bank fish.
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#12297528 - 06/16/17 02:09 PM Re: 6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette [Re: BThomas]
Barrett Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 6960
Loc: Denton Texas
#7 quit taking this little sport so seriously. Its so funny seeing some guys fishing these little derby's and i mean they are all derby's and people act like they are fishing the elite series. People just need to relax and have FUN. Fun is the reason we do it right?

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#12297601 - 06/16/17 02:57 PM Re: 6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette [Re: uacdub]
PlanoTom Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 558
Originally Posted By: uacdub
This is exactly why I bank fish.

It's not unusual for a bass boat to come down the bank, fishing as they go, and fish within casting distance. On several occasions, Ive had conversations with them in normal speaking tones - that's how close they were. I figure that if their parents weren't able to raise them to use common sense and courtesy, nothing I say or do will make them change.

Some boats fly by a little closer to the bank than I'd like but those seem to stir up the baitfish and then the bass. I've gotten lots of bites right after a boat zooms by. The bass usually aren't spooked by a boat if you are in the vicinity of a ramp.

Because of the wind and a short time available to fish Saturday, I'll be on the bank of Ray Roberts tomorrow morning.

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#12297638 - 06/16/17 03:34 PM Re: 6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette [Re: PlanoTom]
uacdub Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/03/15
Posts: 186
Loc: Dallas Tx
Originally Posted By: PlanoTom
Originally Posted By: uacdub
This is exactly why I bank fish.

It's not unusual for a bass boat to come down the bank, fishing as they go, and fish within casting distance. On several occasions, Ive had conversations with them in normal speaking tones - that's how close they were. I figure that if their parents weren't able to raise them to use common sense and courtesy, nothing I say or do will make them change.

Some boats fly by a little closer to the bank than I'd like but those seem to stir up the baitfish and then the bass. I've gotten lots of bites right after a boat zooms by. The bass usually aren't spooked by a boat if you are in the vicinity of a ramp.

Because of the wind and a short time available to fish Saturday, I'll be on the bank of Ray Roberts tomorrow morning.


Boat usually aren't allowed where I fish. #UrbanFishin
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#12297640 - 06/16/17 03:34 PM Re: 6 Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette [Re: BThomas]
John175 ® Online   content
Super Freak

Registered: 10/21/05
Posts: 65729
Loc: Realville
Originally Posted By: BThomas

No. 2: They’re not here, so I can fish it

If you fish with buddies long enough, you’ll eventually find yourself in this sticky situation. Tell me if this doesn’t sound familiar:

You’re in your buddy’s boat and he takes you to a spot you didn’t previously know about. The two of you just flat-out wreck the bass—I’m talking big ones and lots of them. A few days later, you get off work early and hit the water for a few hours before supper. That whack-fest from last weekend is heavy on your mind, the conditions are identical and the spot isn’t far away.

Do you fish it?

Some would and some wouldn’t. That's your call, but I’ll say this: I’ve seen a bunch of friendships ruined over a fishing spot. It may sound crazy to some, but it happens all of the time. Think long and hard—and it wouldn’t hurt to ask your buddy permission, either—before you risk losing a friend.


Good list...

If I share a spot with a bud they can hit it all they want. Most spots are a timing thing so it may or may not be kicking that day but feel free to hit it anytime you're there. If I have a T coming up on the lake I'll give a heads up I may need the spot for the T. Other than that knock the snot out of it.
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