For as long as history has been around, fishing has been a major part of human life. Starting out in early civilization as a way for people to get food, fishing soon turned into a hobby for people that they thoroughly enjoy. Fishing is now one of the most popular summer sports for people of all ages, as going out into the water for the day is something that people find peaceful and exciting as they go on a hunt for trophy sized fish.
Whether you are on a boat, on a dock, or on the beach you are often going to encounter other people who are fishing. It is important to do everything you can to stay out of the way. Respecting the privacy of other anglers is very important. Make sure there is always enough room between you and other anglers, the ultimate aim is for everyone to have fun so you need to learn to tolerate others.
If you are too close to another angler, you may cross his or her line, which leads to issues and frustrations that nobody wants. When you are out in the water, do your best to be courteous of those who are around you. Don't get really close to another angler just because you see him or her catching fish. It is important to be respectful of everyone and avoid any conflict.
When you are reeling in a big fish, that can be exciting and yelling is usually okay in that sense. However, when you are trying to catch fish, for the sake of those around you try to be as quiet as possible. You are going to want to turn off your motor and any other noise making devices you may have. Also avoid banging lids of lockers in your boat. The sound of the banging will create travels through the exterior of your boat and into the water. Ice coolers should be placed gently on the deck, as placing it too hard will scare away the fish. You want to be respectful of the other people around you who are also trying to fish, so being as quiet as possible is really important.
A majority of fishing takes place on a boat. However, there are many other places you can fish too. There are docks, piers, and the sides of lakes where people fish all the time. You can also surf fish from the beach out into the ocean. When you fish in these public places, it is very important to be respectful when you are finished. That means you need to clean everything and get rid of any lures, lines, bait, and anything else that may have been lying around. They also should not be dumped into the water, but put disposed properly in the trash.
Anglers should clean up every single time they fish. Keeping the water bodies clean is perhaps one of the most important rules, and we have a duty to keep it clean to benefit the ecosystem.
Whether you are taking your fish home or just catching and releasing, it is extremely important to treat the fish with respect. If you are planning on releasing the fish, take a quick picture, get it off the hook as soon as you can and gently place it (do not toss it) back into the water. Placing it in the water will give the fish some momentum to travel off on its own. If you are taking the fish home, hold it firmly and gently remove the hook as fast as possible, promptly stunning the fish. This has proved to be the most humane for the fish. The fish is a form of life that deserves to be respected. Even if you are going to take it home for food, it still deserves your respect.
There are a handful of state ordered regulations that one needs to follow when fishing. While fishing is a great hobby, a lot of people enjoy taking home what they catch for dinner. That is perfectly okay, however there are only certain kinds of fish that you can take home.
For example, if you are fishing off the coast of New Jersey for Striped Bass, you can only take home the fish if it is 28 inches. If you catch a Striper that is less than that size, then you are going to have to throw it back. The state wants to make sure that the fish is at the correct spawning size before they are caught. If too many fish are caught and killed before reaching their spawning size, then the species may become endangered.
Boat fishing is one of the more popular methods of fishing. It is likely the most efficient way for people to catch fish. When you are on a boat, there are a couple things you need to be courteous toward.
The water is likely full of people who are not fishing, but also swimming, wakeboarding, sailing, and more. It is important to be respectful to those people as you want them to be respectful to you. You also need to be aware of your wake as there are many areas in a river that have "no wake" laws. You can get fined if you are going too fast in one of these zones so it is important to be aware of how large your wake is.
Another state regulation that is present in fishing is the amount of fish you are able to take home. Even if you do catch a ton of fish who are all big enough to take home, you are only able to take home a finite amount of them.
For example, back to the Striped Bass scenario in the state of New Jersey, you are only allowed to bring home 1 striper that is of the proper size. If you are at a bigger party, then you can take home more, but it is only one fish per bag if you are the only one fishing. The regulations are heavily enforced and can lead to a big fine if you are not following these rules.
In almost all areas in the country, you are required to have a valid fishing license when you are out in the water. As of 1997, it is illegal to go fishing without a license under the "Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act 1997". This is a rule that a lot of people are unaware of, and therefore they do not have a license. There are numerous fines that come with getting caught fishing without a license, and the cost of a license is not particularly expensive. There are a couple things that can happen if you are caught fishing without a license. If you are lucky, you will get a warning and have your fish confiscated. You also might get fined up to $500. If you are really unlucky or a repeated offender, you could even face jail time. Clearly, it is worth the investment in the long run to simply buy the license and avoid any future issues.
If you are in New Jersey, and you catch a 28 inch Striped Bass, and it is your only one of the day (isn't exceeding the bag limit), you probably think you are able to take it home no matter what. However, this is not true. There is a certain time period where you are allowed to catch certain fish, and a certain time period where you are not. If you happen to catch a fish that is not in season, you have to release it, no excuses. The fishing seasons are meant to protect fish during spawning and limit the catch on heavily fished waters. If this rule is not followed, it could result in a fine.
There are going to be some days when you are out fishing for hours and don't even get a bite. These days are never particularly fun for anyone, but it is important not to get frustrated and be patient. Try to remain calm and do not lose your temper, as that will only lead to more issues.
In fishing, patience is a virtue. The ocean will eventually reveal itself to you. One day you can have a really bad day of fishing, the next day can be one of your best.
On days where you are getting no luck, maybe take a moment to check out your surroundings. Odds are, you are going to be in a pretty scenic area, so why not enjoy it? If you can't catch anything, you might as well try to enjoy the little things.