Going on a long distance fishing trip in a brand new location is a dream come true for many anglers and a welcome departure from their normal fishing spots. And, for many, taking the boat out in Alaska proves to be a reawakening: it’s a surreal experience to be fishing in such a serene, scenic and remote area of the world!
With the new territory comes a few new pieces of boat etiquette, however. While many of the same rules are pretty universal when it comes to sharing a boat with fellow fishermen, it’s important to get yourself caught up on a few extra mannerisms before you launch your Alaskan fishing expedition. Here’s a quick refresher course:
- Be respectful of everyone’s space. This can take form in a few different ways—most notably within the boat itself and where you’re casting. In the boat, make sure you’re not sitting too close to someone and that the entire boat’s space is distributed appropriately between you and your fellow fishermen. When casting, no more than a single person should be casting from any given side of the boat, to avoid tangled and crossed lines.
- You’ll be fishing some pretty big catches on an Alaskan fishing expedition, so if you see someone struggling to reel one in, give them a hand! Often this means helping them to land the beast or taking the reigns while they grab the net to haul in their catch. Likewise, if you need some help reeling a monster in, be sure to ask for it.
- Always maintain awareness while you’re in the boat, for the safety of everyone around you. This means keeping a lookout for any obstructions on the waterway or any rouge wildlife that might be nearby. For example, if your boat is treading a bit too close to a bear that’s sitting on the shoreline, it pays to have the foresight to move away and observe from afar.
- If you’re fishing with strangers, be sure to introduce yourself and get to know them a little! You’re going to be spending a fair amount of time out on the water—it’s best to at least get to talking with your boat-mates to pass the time while you wait for a bite.
- If you reel in a spawning fish, it’s best to handle it with tremendous care. Spawning fish are the future of the local ecosystem and shouldn’t be disturbed if possible. If the people in your boat reel in more than one at your current spot, it’s best to pick up stakes and take the party elsewhere.
- Keep your noise level to a minimum. Not only will loud noises scare the fish away, they might bring natural predators closer to you. Also, most people fish to relax and enjoy themselves—loud shouts and constant racket don’t mesh well with the expectation of relaxation.
Bring your hardened fishing etiquette with you when you set out on an Alaskan fishing expedition and be mindful of the tips above—by observing all of these unspoken rules, you’ll find yourself with a much more enjoyable experience on your hands.