Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Drift Etiquette

You have just bought that new pontoon and can't wait to get it into the water and start fishing. Before you start rowing ask yourself if you know the rules of river etiquette. There are actually other boats sharing your water. To be a successful drift angler you must be mindful of proper river etiquette. Manners that begin at the boat ramp will keep your float stress free and will keep you in the good graces of your fellow anglers. Here is a link to an article by Joe Demalderis that outlines some of the rules of the river.

Now you come upon another vessel ahead of you. If the other boat is anchored and they obviously are fishing toward the right, pass far on the left. The reverse is also true. If you can’t tell, or aren’t sure, just ask what side you can pass on. Always give as wide a berth as possible. If the boat is underway and drift fishing, pass on the opposite side that they’re fishing again giving as wide a berth as possible. The wide berth will keep you out of their back cast and you from getting hooked. Keep in mind that the vessel being overtaken always has the right of way. This is the law and has nothing to do with etiquette. Once you pass the other boat you should never cut in front of him and start fishing. Go down river a long way, even to the next pool of riffle before you start fishing. If you wanted to fish that water you should have held your boat back and fished behind them.

Do you have a good story about bad form on the water? Share it with us by leaving a comment.

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