There are stacks of rules and regulations in every state of this fine country that we as recreational anglers have to adhere to by law. But there is even more unwritten law or fishing etiquette that every angler should know before you hit the water. I have listed the ‘Top Ten Fishing Commandments’ that each fisho should live by.
Thou shall not fish too close to a fellow angler
Now every angler has what I call a “personal space bubble”. This area differs from situation to situation; for example, if you are fishing the Thredbo River during the last weekend of trout season with 300 other anglers shoulder to shoulder trying to hook a monster trout then your “personal space bubble” may only be as wide as the area that you need to make a cast. But if I’m standing on a empty river with not a soul around for kilometres please don’t pull up next to me and start fishing, you may receive a very icy reception.
Ask Questions but don’t interrogate
When asking a fellow fisho on how their days fishing was feel free to ask how they went or what are you getting them on if they are so inclined to tell you, but don’t push it. Asking them where they got them or for there gun spot will result in people labelling you as a fishing spot poacher and you will either get told nothing or false information. And if you get told a tip or some advice then always return it with a grateful thank you.
If thou borrow and break or loose a mate’s gear thou must replace
If you are fishing with either a close mate or just an acquaintance and you borrow a lure or a rod and you loose it or break it you best be replacing it if you want another invite out fishing.
Thou shall not troll between me and the bank I am casting at
Now this one really gets my goat. Picture this; I am casting away at a nice quiet bank when in the distance I see a boat trolling towards me. No big deal good on him for having a go, but as they near me we exchange glances and they can see you are casting at the bank, which you have been on since they saw you from a distance.
They then proceed without any regard or a care in the world. They troll between you and the 40-foot of space between you and the bank. Turning you’re once peacefully bit of bank into a wake induced muddy slush. Please anglers if you see this situation use common sense and troll around the person working the bank casting, you wouldn’t like it if he/she cast over your trolling lines would you? So don’t do the same to us guys casting.
Thou shall not complain about being sea gulled
For those who don’t know the term “Sea gulled” the term I think was coined by the great Rod Mackenzie and it refers to the act of casting to the spot where your fishing partner received a hit or bump from a potential fish. A tell tale grunt or a loud AWE! Will see your fishing partners lure crash dive into the spot where you received the hit. This is fair game, if you cant keep a good poker face when you get the hit then you need to get better at the game.
If thou have no proof, thou have no fish
If you happen to catch a fish of a lifetime I mean a real monster and you don’t have proof then it didn’t happen. If you start a conversation with a fellow angler and say, mate I caught this 120cm Cod the other day down at the river on this lure at this spot at this time and then say I didn’t take a photo. Well my friend it didn’t happen! Yup that’s right, you could have the Pope as a witness but if you don’t have proof then sorry mate it didn’t happen.
If thou leave a rod unattended and it hooks a fish you have 20 seconds to get to your rod before it can be claimed by anyone
That’s right folks if you’re off having a sandwich or crouched behind a tree with a shovel and a toilet roll and your rod buckles over you have 20 seconds before anyone can wind up your fish and claim it.
Thou shall not pose with someone else’s fish unless they enjoy being bagged out
I see this every now and then, someone posing with there best mate’s fish or somebody else’s fish. Come on people that’s just sad. That’s like holding someone else’s first place trophy when you didn’t even run the race.
You catch it! You clean it!
Those mysterious friends that disappear when the boat is back at the ramp and the dirty work has to be done. Yes we all know that one friend who is allergic to gutting and cleaning fish. If you’re good enough to catch it you sure are good enough to clean it!
And finally Number 1
The Holy Grail of all rules
Thou shall not spill the beans on the location of the secret fishing spot!
Or an even more severe sin, taking someone else to a secret spot that you yourself have been shown in confidence. This can result in banning from all trips and result in being branded a fishing outcast and spoken about in low hush tones and look at like a leper.
So fishos its safe to say there are many rules that we need to adhere to when we go to wet a line I just hope these help a few anglers to stay on the straight and narrow.
Go with Cod my child, Good luck and fish on.