If you’re about to take a guided fishing trip, you probably want to know proper fishing etiquette so you and your party have the best fishing experience possible. At Green Bay Trophy Fishing, we always inform our clients of the etiquette we will both give and expect of them.
Just the same, we thought we’d put together this article to show you the Do’s and Don’ts of proper fishing etiquette to ensure a great fishing trip.
Know that a guided fishing trip is a day out on the water and plan accordingly. If you’re bringing kids under the age of 13, please bring life preservers suited for their size. Anticipate potential bathroom needs by bringing a urinal if you’re a man. If women will be attending, the captain will go back to shore for the bathroom.
Come with clothing for all weather types- rain, wind, and hot weather. It may be pleasantly warm onshore but blustery and cold on the water. Sunglasses, coolers for your catch (if you decide to keep them) and snacks/beverages in case hunger should strike. Perhaps most importantly is sunblock and other ways to protect against the hot sun. The boat is totally exposed to the sun’s rays and you won’t last long without proper skin protection.
Listen to and Follow Instructions Carefully
Regardless of your fishing experience, please pay close attention to the captain’s instructions about fishing and boat etiquette. Listen carefully when he details the rules and procedures of the boat and the plan for the day. The goal is not to impede on anyone’s fun, but to have a safe and successful fishing trip.
The captain will inform you and your party of various best practices. For instance, the proper way to sit while the boat is moving at speed is to lean your weight forward, not backward. Also, watch your lure as you draw it back to make sure you’re clear to cast. Nothing ruins a good fishing trip like a trip to the hospital with a fishing lure injury.
Have Realistic Expectations
At Green Bay Trophy Fishing, we have a proven track record of success, but that doesn’t come from calling the fish and asking them where they are. A slow day of fishing can happen. If we aren’t having luck in one location, we will try others. Sometimes it is just a matter of finding the best combination of location and time before we find fish.
Just understand that if fishing is slow, it is not done intentionally. We want you to enjoy fishing as much as we do and always try our best to make catching fish happen we execute all strategies and exhaust all efforts. If for some reason, we don’t have any luck, it doesn’t warrant disrespect.
Keep the Boat and Equipment Clean
Be sure to pick up after yourself at the end of the day. The boat has the ability to accumulate garbage. Although we clean our boats before each fishing trip we take, it makes that process easier if our clients dispose of any candy wrappers, water bottles, old minnows and other debris.
Please wipe your hands after applying sunblock. The lotion transfers to the fishing gear and makes it greasy. It is very hard to remove.
If we give the time your day of fishing will start, we expect you to be there early. We put a great deal of time and energy to strategize where and when the fish are the most active. It’s not a matter of going fishing when the captain feels like it. Fishing these peak times gives us the best chance of catching a lot of fish.
More often than not, peak fishing times are very early in the morning. While we understand you’re on vacation, our job is to put you on fish and that’s the best time to do it.
Disrespect the Fish
Taking pictures of your catch is perfectly fine, but be reasonable. From the conservation standpoint, taking fifty shots of your monster walleye from different angles and with everyone holding it is not what we want. Once your fish is unhooked, have someone ready to snap a picture or two and then get some water on those gills.
Remember that ‘throw it back’ is a figure of speech. Please don’t launch fish as far as you can. If you’re releasing a fish that has been out of the water for a few minutes, cradle it into the water and gently move it back and forth while holding it near the tail. The water flowing over its gills will revive it and when it’s ready, it will swim away.
Over Do It On Alcohol
Some anglers think that there is nothing better than to have a beer while they fish. We allow alcohol in our boats and have no qualms about you enjoying a beer or two. However, we do encourage responsible drinking.
The combination of being out in the sun paired with the dehydrating effects of excessive alcohol consumption can cause health issues we would rather not have in our boats. The Captain reserves the right to terminate a guided trip if anyone becomes excessively drunk.
Assume Fish Cleaning is Provided
It’s not a matter of being unable or willing to do it. It’s against the law. Due to DNR transportation regulations, it is illegal to transport fish unless you keep the body of the fish, fillets included, intact to prove the fish meets length restrictions.
Please refer to Wisconsin Fishing Regulations here.
A Word On Tipping Etiquette For Your Fishing Guide
Guided fishing trips are part of the service industry and therefore, tipping is customary. But many people want to know how much to tip a guide after a guided fishing trip.
An appropriate tip is around 20% of your fishing trip cost. Big groups on a charter boat take more coordination, planning and effort so it’s a good idea to err on the higher side of 20%.
Green Bay Trophy Fishing: A Well-Earned Reputation For 25 Years
We are proud to serve anglers from across the country wanting to fish the beautiful waters of Door County. If you’re interested in booking the fishing adventure of a lifetime, contact us today!