5 Things Anglers Should Never Do On a Fishing Trip

Ever been on a fishing trip with a friend, and then see your friend start to shake his or her head at someone fishing in the same general area? If you are a new or beginning angler, you may have had to ask your fishing buddy what exactly that person did to elicit a "SMH" response. As for the answer, I'm guessing that it had something to do with someone not following ethical angling practices.

What types of things would an ethical angler never do on a fishing trip? You'll find out if you read the list below.

  1. Litter. Ethical anglers always leave the places where they fish and boat better than when they arrived. They would never litter. No only do ethical anglers pick up any fishing tackle, fishing line or litter that they brought along, but they also notice trash or other items that may have been discarded by others and pick those items up as well.

  2. Disregard fishing regulations. Ethical anglers would never disregard state fishing regulations by not being aware of the fishing seasons for each species, keeping too many fish, keeping over-sized fish, or keeping under-sized fish. In fact, ethical anglers practice catch-and-release on many of the fishing trips they take.

  3. Disrespect our natural resources. Anglers who understand ethical fishing practices would never disrespect our natural resources. These anglers are mindful of sensitive fish habitat (such as seagrass beds, wetlands and reefs) and avoid disrupting the environment around them.

  4. Hoard knowledge and experience. The sharing of accurate information and knowledge about ethical fishing practices is important when it comes to ensuring healthy fish populations now and for future generations of anglers. When experienced anglers share knowledge and mentor beginners, the sport of fishing benefits.

  5. Crowd other anglers. You are sure to get a few raised eyebrows or head shakes if you crowd other anglers who are fishing the same area. Instead, give any other anglers around you plenty of space in order to ensure a positive fishing experience for all. When fishing in a tight area or with a group, be mindful of not casting over someone else's line.

Crowded Boats

When you purchase your fishing license, make the decision to be an ethical angler and learn as much as you can about sound conservation practices. Every fishing trip you take offers you the opportunity to set a good example for others.

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.