Etiquette and manners are as relevant in the outdoors as in any other public forum. Being mindful and respectful of other anglers only adds to a positive outdoor experience.
A boat landing is just that, a place to launch or land a boat. By the time you have backed your boat onto the ramp, it should be ready to go. All ‘housekeeping’ tasks such as strap removal, trimming up the motor, loading your gear and the like should be completed before your vehicle occupies the landing space.
Whether your boat takes seconds to be water-ready or a few minutes, park off to the side so as not to block the landing while preparing your rig for launch. Following this rule is appreciated by pleasure-boaters and fishermen alike and helps to keep traffic at your favorite site moving freely.
Be mindful of what type of landing you are using. While many only accommodate one vehicle at a time, high-traffic lakes often have double landings at which two vehicles may launch side by side. In the case of an over-sized craft or in poor weather conditions such as high wind, it may be necessary to take up both slabs; use common sense to decide.
It is more important than ever to clean and inspect your boat between bodies of water; live wells should be drained and cleaned, and all vegetation removed from the trailer, boat and motor.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has a wealth of information both online and at their local office. Knowledge is the key to keeping our resources as pure as possible. There are some nasty new species just waiting to make a home here in Wisconsin, let’s all work together to keep them out.
Every angler has at one time or another been the victim of the “cut-off.” You know, you’re working your favorite shoreline or weed bed, only to have another boat zoom in and cut you off.
While it’s true that no one owns a particular spot, the manners your mother instilled in you beginning in childhood apply to being on the water as well. If someone is in “your” spot, exercise a bit of patience and tact. The same holds true if someone is anchored in an area you were hoping to fish. Give your fellow angler the respect and consideration you hope for in return. Doing so will make the great outdoors a more enjoyable place for all of us.
We are blessed to live in a state with an abundance of pristine beauty. As those who take pride in our state and our sport, we all need to do our part beyond just exhibiting courtesy on the water to one another.
Garbage and refuse have no place in the outdoors, and we, as anglers need to be mindful of the fact. Pick up after yourself while on the water; it is not the job of the park ranger, DNR warden or your fellow outdoorsmen to be your maid. If you bring it in, you bring it out. Period.
If each and every angler left the shoreline and water cleaner then when they arrived, we’d be amazed at the results. I’ll see you on the water…
Joel DeBoer is owner of Wisconsin Angling Adventures Guide Service, www.wisconsinanglingadventures.com