Don’t Be That Guy – Bad Fishing Habits

Northwest Fishing Reports Readers Weigh in on Bad Fishing Habits to Avoid

By Debbie Kay

It’s been said that one bad apple can spoil the barrel.  When it comes to bad fishing habits, this is definitely true.  Though most sport fishers don’t fall into this category, running into a bad apple can ruin a day, or in some cases, spoil a resource.  Facebook readers on Northwest Fishing Reports recently offered their thoughts on what

Bad Fishing Habits
Photo credit Alpsdake

kind of behavior they would avoid in order to make everyone’s day, and fishing season, a little bit better.  Their suggestions broke down into four main categories.  Here’s a look at the kind of things that drive other anglers nuts, and how to fix them:


Being Inconsiderate

Not paying attention or being inconsiderate were among the most common reader complaints.  Taking people’s fishing spots, crowding them, interfering with drift lines, vulgar language and inattentive boat driving were some of the most popular topics of discussion.  Here are a few quotes from the readers:

“When it isn’t all that crowded, you catch a fish and suddenly people start crowding you. I’ve had this happen on the river and on docks at the lake. They crowd you, you move away, hook another fish and here they come again.”—Brett S

“…the guys who like to saucer their way into a disabled fishing spot, not because they are severly disabled, but because they feel they can catch a butt load of fish real easy.”—Andrew W

“I really don’t like when drift fisherman try and fish the same hole as float fisherman and cast over everyone.”—Chandler N

“How about the guy that as soon as you land a fish and turn around to bleed and tag it, and he jumps right in your spot as if you were all done for the day……I hate that guy!—David G

Breaking the Rules/Hurting the Resource

Another major theme was concern for the fish.  Poachers, fishers who take and kill fish like suckers, people who damage others’ property, snagging in a catch and release fishery, people who take more than their limit and ignorance of the rules were commonly cited issues.

“I hate when people fish at boat launches with signs that say “no fishing on docks”’—Kyle S

“poachers are the my least favorite of all fishermen”—Jason D


Though it falls into both the categories of being inconsiderate and hurting the resource, this was such a popular topic and a big problem that it deserved its own category.  Pack it in, and pack it out.  Bonus points if you bring a bag and clean up the trash that others leave behind as well.

Being Intolerant

The final topic was mentioned quite a bit as well.  Intolerance was a big pet peeve of many fishers.  These bad fishing habits include looking down on another kind of fishing, which was mentioned a lot.  However, the other part of this had a lot to do with being a part of the fisher community.

Some complimented the way they were helped with technique or location tips from other successful people on the river (or complained about the lack of friendly faces).  The other important topic was that everyone on the river and fishing community benefits when people who are doing these things are called out or good fishers take the opportunity to teach them a better way.  In the end, this makes it a better experience for all of us.

A special thanks to all of the fishers on the Northwest Fishing Reports Facebook page who helped me with the comments in this article. if you have one i missed leave a comment.

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One thought on “Don’t Be That Guy – Bad Fishing Habits”

  1. Wesley says:

    Pack it in, pack it out…exactly. I was always taught leave the place better than you found it. It is sad to see people treat some of the most beautiful fishing spots like this.