Over the years it has been my impression that anglers are becoming more and more inconsiderate of their fellow angler. Maybe the influence of my years as a child fishing the steams & lakes of Tennessee with anglers that were very considerate & courteous had a much larger impact than I realized.
I received a joke from a friend, awhile back, that said if you raise you’re child to be understanding, considerate & courteous, he will not be able to drive in Texas. It is a sad truth if you have driven in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio or Austin lately.
Everyone seems to think their schedule, or need to get somewhere fast because they did not plan, is more important than the other Guy or Gal. They will risk having a wreck to save 1 minute by running a yellow light or cutting someone off and then act amazed when they have to spend the whole day or several days dealing with all the issues of the wreck. All because they were trying to save a minute.
What does all this have to do with fishing? I’m seeing more & more, of this attitude, on the rivers, streams & coast of Texas. Anglers are becoming less & less considerate of other anglers. The attitude that, I drove all the way from Dallas or Houston to the Guadalupe, my time is more valuable than yours. The whole idea of getting out on the water fishing is the exact opposite of this type attitude. The attitude should be one of relaxing, being in the great outdoors, exploring new water & maybe even picking up a few fish. I can’t remember who quoted this but, it goes something like this “men have fished for hundreds of years and never realized it is not the fish they are after”
I have witnessed the actions of some anglers that are truly amazing. Tromping in just a few feet from another angler and fishing the same 10’ because they saw him catch a fish without asking politely if it is ok. Fishing one 5’ hole with a few fish in it all day long, not giving anyone else a shot & catching the same fish over and over, and then bragging about how many fish he caught. You might as well fish the kiddy pool at the TPWD Expo. Floating through the water a wading angler is fishing without trying to go behind or telling them you coming through, and try not to disturb the water by splashing the paddles, just expecting you have the right of way. YOU DON”T
My point, have some consideration. Treat others anglers the way you would like to be treated. Go out of your way to be considerate & understanding. If you’re fishing a hole and you have caught a few fish move on, give someone else a shot at it. You might go as far as to tell him what was working for you. Explore other areas; the point is to fish the river or stream, not a hole (kiddy pool).
If wading in near another angler, ask permission, if it is closer than a 100’. Almost 95% of the times they will say come on. If they object, either wait on the bank or slowly wade a little further up or down steam. If you’re the angler in the water, catch a few fish and move on. Don’t be a kiddy pool angler.
If you’re floating and come up on another angler, stop and see if you can get behind him. If not tell them you’re only way through is in front on him, tell them your coming through and then move through with as little disturbance as possible.
These are only a few examples, but the best rule of thumb is ask you’re self, if I was the other angler, what would I want if the positions were switched.
Be considerate, you never know, it might spill over into other areas of you’re life.