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Safe at Sea: Fishing etiquette similar to boating etiquette

January 21, 2020
By PAT SCHMIDT , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Recently, I came across an article entitled, "Fishing Etiquette 101," and I couldn't help but realize the similarities to "Boating Etiquette (101)." Enjoying the water, whether as a cruiser or sportsman, requires the same "common courtesies."

In a nutshell:

- Treat others (anglers or boaters) as you would like to be treated. The Golden Rule applies whether you're on land or sea.

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- Be cognizant of the placement of a fisherman's lines. Quite often, fishing "hot spots" (for example, surrounding the power lines in Pine Island Sound) are active with boaters and cruisers. Be sure to give others a wide berth and attend to fisherman's lines.

- This pertains to our narrow channels: In an attempt to move to shallower waters, fisherman will work their lines closer to the mile markers. Pay attention and do not get on top of their area.

- If you are boating along tight quarters where an angler is fishing (i.e. near a sea wall), cut your engines, move with no wake and give as wide a berth as possible.

- Treat the surrounding waters like the deck of another captain's boat.

In fact, on-the-water etiquette is common sense and is reminiscent of the book, "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten":

- Pick up the garbage (yours and others').

- Ask permission to "come on board."

- Don't spill (particularly oil or gasoline).

- Be nice.

This will guarantee a better day on the water for everyone.

Pat Schmidt is a member of America's Boating Club of Sanibel-Captiva. For more about the chapter and the courses it offers, visit or contact or 612-987-2125.



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