Good Manners

It seems rather odd to have to write a section on good manners. But due to ignorance, thoughtlessness or just plain unpleasantness a few (thankfully only a few) anglers have affected my days fishing to the detriment over the years. There is no excuse for it and what follows is a guide for anglers not knowing the correct procedures to avoid causing unnecessary grief to fellow anglers and making an arse of yourself.

1 Practice the country code - avoid disturbing wildlife (except the fish of course), do not damage trees, plants, fences etc; close gates behind you; never leave your car where it causes an obstruction, leave no litter. NEVER dispose of unwanted nylon without first cutting it up into one inch pieces - I have seen some terrible injuries caused to wildfowl by thoughtlessness in this respect. It is often said, take only photo's leave only footprints - in a backpacking guide I read it said not to leave even those.

2 Keep to the fishery rules.

3 Avoid conflict with other water users, exercise all possible courtesy, restraint and toleration (especially when those damn sailors run over your lines).

4 If other anglers are restraining themselves from wading DO NOT go ahead and start wading beside them - they will not be too happy with you if you drive all their fish out - instead keep your feet dry.

5 Keep a respectable distance from fellow bank anglers - at least 20 yards, more in a cross wind. If in doubt do the coutesy of asking, it is a good idea anyway since you will be able to find out what is happening.

6 Respect your quarry and kill fish to be kept immediately and before unhooking. For fish to be returned fish barbless, play as quickly as possible, use wet hands or knotless nets and give the fish plenty of time to recover.

7 When boat fishing give bank anglers 100 yd clearance (60 is minimum), do not cross within 100 yd downwind of someone's drift, try to avoid passing close to anchored boats, never motor over your and someone's else's drift - swing wide and take the long way around and lastly NEVER EVER ANCHOR ON SOMEONE'S DRIFT.


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