The Polite Angler

An oxymoron is when two opposing words are combined together to create an idea. Phrases like “jumbo shrimp” or “genuine imitation”, illustrate the idea. To some people, who still think of fishing as a hillbilly, redneck pastime, “fishing etiquette” may be an oxymoron. Yet more and more men, women and children are finding their involvement with the world of fishing to be more enjoyable when they use polite behavior on their angling adventure. How does one going about being a polite fisherman? Preserve the Land Make sure you know the land, pond or dock you are fishing on is acceptable to fishing and not private property. As inviting as a patch of grass by a pond may appear, if there is a sign marking it “private property”, its better to leave it alone. A fishing license will not cover you if you are caught fishing in a restricted area. Also remember if you dig for worms, to put the earth back where you got it. Don’t just leave holes in the area near the water. Be considerate of the land around you. Make sure to leave enough space between you and your neighbors. They came to the great outdoors to get away в�� just like you did! Don’t ruin their peace with your own issues and camping gear. Make sure to take trash bags with you and do not leave any litter behind. Leaving your fishing hole exactly the way you found it is a way to be good to others and to the land. Preserve the Fish Make sure to follow the fishing rules set out by the local magistrate. Follow the area’s conservation policies, particularly catch and release regulations. Make sure to use hooks with no barbs so it does less damage to the fish and is easier for you to remove. The longer a fish is out of the water, the more stress and harm it sustains. If possible remove the hook from the fish while it is still in the water and let it swim far away before casting in its general direction. Always follow the limits allowed by the fish and game department and make sure not to throw or leave anything in the water or on the shore. Polluting a fishing hole takes to fun away from everyone. Compete with Class Competition fishing has become a popular past-time of late. Be sure if you are part of a fishing competition, whether a personal one or an organized event, that you use humane ways of making a decision for a winner. The two most popular methods are measure and release where a fish is measured and points are given by the inch/cm, and weigh and release where points are given by the pound. Be sure that the fish is not out of the water for more than 30 second in either situation. Fish often hurt themselves in the struggle to get away. Use qualified people to weigh or measure the fish and record the results. Fishing is a much a sport for ladies and gentlemen as croquette or lawn tennis. With a little attention to surroundings, others and the sport itself, fisherman can feel right at home with the mannerly among us.