Tug Addict

Fishing Etiquette & Accountability

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Newb here - started surf fishing for striper in March and I’m hooked. I’ve learned a ton from this site and couldn’t be more appreciative of you guys for sharing your wisdom, techniques and experience. 

 

As a new guy, I could sense there are ‘unspoken rules’ within the brotherhood. And I’ve learned a ton by observing. My EQ has always been higher than my IQ so I’m lucky to  be able to sense when something’s ok or if it’s not, adjust out of respect for other fisherman.

 

But not everyone is like that. And rather than assume us newbs ‘should’ know this stuff, I think this is a great opportunity to break out key rules of ‘‘Don’t Do’s’’ so we’re all on the same page. Also it’ll be helpful to know when an old salt is just being a d$&@k and we should brush it off or if us newbs are actually doing something wrong. 

 

I tried searching SOL and didn’t see any dedicated thread so hopefully this isn’t a duplicate but I think this can reduce friction between newbs and the more experienced guys. Below are some example topics of what I’d like to know but please share any and all, I’m sure there’s a ton I’m missing. 

 

1) How far should you post up to another man fishing if you’re going to be stationary for awhile?

 

2) Does this distance change if moving up and down the beach and checking spots? Some guy walking the beach stopped and cast 5’ from me, I was  pissed but he kept moving after the cast. Is that cool or if on the move, keep more distance? (Obviously gotta keep in mind currents and tangling, etc)

 

3) Night Fishing - when should my headlamp be on/off? Can I leave it on while fishing or do I keep it off until I have a bite?

 

Thanks Guys

 

 

Edited by Tug Addict

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I'd say you have to give someone a minimum of 50'. Not everyone can cast straight and where they want every time, you don't want to tangle lines. If I'm walking up and down the beach and there's someone casting I'll give them at least that 50'. If they're chunking I'll increase it to more like 100'. Their lines might be off to the side and you don't realize it, especially when fishing at night. Your head lamp should only be on when absolutely necessary, ie. Changing lures or untangling a wind knot or something like that. Or after you land the fish. It's happened to me a few times when I went to turn my light on when I was hooked up and that 3 second lapse in concentration made me lose the fish. Now I don't turn my light on until the fish is on the beach.

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46 mins ago, Tug Addict said:

Newb here - started surf fishing for striper in March and I’m hooked. I’ve learned a ton from this site and couldn’t be more appreciative of you guys for sharing your wisdom, techniques and experience. 

 

As a new guy, I could sense there are ‘unspoken rules’ within the brotherhood. And I’ve learned a ton by observing. My EQ has always been higher than my IQ so I’m lucky to  be able to sense when something’s ok or if it’s not, adjust out of respect for other fisherman.

 

But not everyone is like that. And rather than assume us newbs ‘should’ know this stuff, I think this is a great opportunity to break out key rules of ‘‘Don’t Do’s’’ so we’re all on the same page. Also it’ll be helpful to know when an old salt is just being a d$&@k and we should brush it off or if us newbs are actually doing something wrong. 

 

I tried searching SOL and didn’t see any dedicated thread so hopefully this isn’t a duplicate but I think this can reduce friction between newbs and the more experienced guys. Below are some example topics of what I’d like to know but please share any and all, I’m sure there’s a ton I’m missing. 

 

1) How far should you post up to another man fishing if you’re going to be stationary for awhile?

 

2) Does this distance change if moving up and down the beach and checking spots? Some guy walking the beach stopped and cast 5’ from me, I was  pissed but he kept moving after the cast. Is that cool or if on the move, keep more distance? (Obviously gotta keep in mind currents and tangling, etc)

 

3) Night Fishing - when should my headlamp be on/off? Can I leave it on while fishing or do I keep it off until I have a bite?

 

Thanks Guys

 

 

 

 

1.  Not within casting distance on either side.

 

2. No.

 

3.  Keep it off unless you need it, be aware of where your light is, don't look up and down the beach or at anyone.  Don't shine it in the water.  I swear guys are going out with stadium lights on their heads.  When they look right I can't even look left all the way down the beach.  If you see a red pickup truck w Pa plates, run.  This group of three likes to throw disco parties late in the evening.  I take my night vision very seriously.

Edited by Hammerz

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50 feet is about right.   Sometimes your casting parallel to beach and not straight out.   I usually stay in one spot and sweep my casts in all directions unless im near a jetty. 

 

If a guy is that rude and stays there i usually cast over him so he gets the hint.  If theres a blitz going it will get crowded so as long as you stay in a straight line your gonna have to learn to share space sometimes.  Most guys dont get pissed at that during a blitz but just respect each other.  If someone is catching and the water is quiet dont crowd him. Fish move head them off.  Never worth a fight.  Thats why i try to avoid weekends or crowded beaches.  Some guys are just nuts.

 

Get a red light. It doesnt scare the fish. And when you turn it on try to turn toward the beach and not the water.  

 

Many people dont have the etiquette to think of others. Good that you are taking the time to ask.   

 

 

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distance depends on where you are fishing...open beach at night stay away...if you are casting and moving along that doesn't bother me...just please dont post up right next to me my skin crawls... i fish tight spots sometimes as we all do but when i'm out there alone and someone happens to find me i wont be a megadick... two guys on a bite is still better than 50 just don't bring your whole crew there tomorrow, realize that you learned something and keep it to yourself...ill probably even tell you what i'm catching on if you are not pushy as i wish someone helped me more when i first started but i have met some amazing fisherman in my travels that i fish with now from time to time and they always have tried to teach me things...but out of courtesy and my own behaviors, if i walk on to the beach with one other dude visible ill walk as far away as possible because i keep my fish under wraps...even if that dude is hooked up leave him be...if i'm not catching and i see someone walking towards me, i also walk as to always stay ahead and cover the ground first...you need to know how to courtesy cast and this goes for anyone!!!!...its like bowling, you don't roll the ball at the same time as the person in the next lane...you need to alternate casts keeping in mind current and wind direction especially if you are fishing in the same water column...wait until my lure is reeled in a little bit then cast and i'll do the same for you...if you tangle me ill call you an a-hole under my breath and ill just move...but know that the reason i moved is because i think you are a knucklehead...if i beat you out to a rockpile, unless its big enough, its mine, and even if it is big enough chances are i have laid stake to the one productive portion of that rockpile so you can watch me catch a fish i dont care, i know that i have been the guy watching before and not getting anything, so if i see a guy on a rockpile fishing i just stay off his jetty cause the early bird gets the worm (or fish)...headlights are used for tying rigs and dealing with trebles, usually that's about it, you should find your inner cat and learn how to see in the dark, lure changes and fish unhooking are all done with no lights ( i dont want my neighbors to see what im doing)

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5 mins ago, jettyjmpr said:

distance depends on where you are fishing...open beach at night stay away...if you are casting and moving along that doesn't bother me...just please dont post up right next to me my skin crawls... i fish tight spots sometimes as we all do but when i'm out there alone and someone happens to find me i wont be a megadick... two guys on a bite is still better than 50 just don't bring your whole crew there tomorrow, realize that you learned something and keep it to yourself...ill probably even tell you what i'm catching on if you are not pushy as i wish someone helped me more when i first started but i have met some amazing fisherman in my travels that i fish with now from time to time and they always have tried to teach me things...but out of courtesy and my own behaviors, if i walk on to the beach with one other dude visible ill walk as far away as possible because i keep my fish under wraps...even if that dude is hooked up leave him be...if i'm not catching and i see someone walking towards me, i also walk as to always stay ahead and cover the ground first...you need to know how to courtesy cast and this goes for anyone!!!!...its like bowling, you don't roll the ball at the same time as the person in the next lane...you need to alternate casts keeping in mind current and wind direction especially if you are fishing in the same water column...wait until my lure is reeled in a little bit then cast and i'll do the same for you...if you tangle me ill call you an a-hole under my breath and ill just move...but know that the reason i moved is because i think you are a knucklehead...if i beat you out to a rockpile, unless its big enough, its mine, and even if it is big enough chances are i have laid stake to the one productive portion of that rockpile so you can watch me catch a fish i dont care, i know that i have been the guy watching before and not getting anything, so if i see a guy on a rockpile fishing i just stay off his jetty cause the early bird gets the worm (or fish)...headlights are used for tying rigs and dealing with trebles, usually that's about it, you should find your inner cat and learn how to see in the dark, lure changes and fish unhooking are all done with no lights ( i dont want my neighbors to see what im doing)

 

 

I wish everyone out there thought like this.

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41 mins ago, jettyjmpr said:

distance depends on where you are fishing...open beach at night stay away...if you are casting and moving along that doesn't bother me...just please dont post up right next to me my skin crawls... i fish tight spots sometimes as we all do but when i'm out there alone and someone happens to find me i wont be a megadick... two guys on a bite is still better than 50 just don't bring your whole crew there tomorrow, realize that you learned something and keep it to yourself...ill probably even tell you what i'm catching on if you are not pushy as i wish someone helped me more when i first started but i have met some amazing fisherman in my travels that i fish with now from time to time and they always have tried to teach me things...but out of courtesy and my own behaviors, if i walk on to the beach with one other dude visible ill walk as far away as possible because i keep my fish under wraps...even if that dude is hooked up leave him be...if i'm not catching and i see someone walking towards me, i also walk as to always stay ahead and cover the ground first...you need to know how to courtesy cast and this goes for anyone!!!!...its like bowling, you don't roll the ball at the same time as the person in the next lane...you need to alternate casts keeping in mind current and wind direction especially if you are fishing in the same water column...wait until my lure is reeled in a little bit then cast and i'll do the same for you...if you tangle me ill call you an a-hole under my breath and ill just move...but know that the reason i moved is because i think you are a knucklehead...if i beat you out to a rockpile, unless its big enough, its mine, and even if it is big enough chances are i have laid stake to the one productive portion of that rockpile so you can watch me catch a fish i dont care, i know that i have been the guy watching before and not getting anything, so if i see a guy on a rockpile fishing i just stay off his jetty cause the early bird gets the worm (or fish)...headlights are used for tying rigs and dealing with trebles, usually that's about it, you should find your inner cat and learn how to see in the dark, lure changes and fish unhooking are all done with no lights ( i dont want my neighbors to see what im doing)

Absolutely agree 100% with you on everything you said brother. This is a very unique hobby and i enjoy my time on the beach or jetty by myself, i dont feel the need to chat it up with many others. I tend to figure things out on my own and that's just one of the many things I enjoy about this sport(more like an obsession for me) it hasn'

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34 mins ago, Hammerz said:

 

 

I wish everyone out there thought like this.

me too brother...its more of a wish in one hand (you know the rest) type of thing

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Great thread Tug,

Headlamp in an emergency only. Yuge knot, fish hooked deep etc.

Get yourself a small pelican light and put it on a lanyard. I use a loop of surgical tubing.

You can hold it in your teeth for typical things tou need to do.

Cheers!

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At least a couple of times a season I have guys come up to me either on a jetty or even open beaches and ask me if I'm okay with how close there setting up next to me.  My response is always, "Do what you got to do" to avoid tension or conflict.  But yeah if you have to ask then, yes you're definitely too close :)

 

Always keep in mind when fishing known or popular locations that if the prime "spot" is being fished there is probably a good chance that person got there really early or many hours in advance to fish that spot and it is really annoying when someone then wants to show up more conveniently at the prime tide and squeeze in.

 

And if you have to use your headlamp turn away from the water and always point it towards the ground.  Good luck brutha!

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Im in the same position as the OP and have wanted to ask the same question so thank you.

 

Similarly, I'm not sure how to react to what I consider "mugging".   If I'm the only one on the beach and a guy shows up to fish the exact same jetty as me when I'm catching fish and there are 20 identical jetties with no one on them what is the proper thing to do?  I usually  just move because I like my solitude at night but I don't think that's right.

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Thanks Guys, this is awesome info! I’m glad I asked about night fishing haha I definitely would have screwed that up. I’ll work on my night vision and if any other topics come to mind that us newbs should know, please keep it coming. I respect the sport, tradition and definitely don’t want to be ‘that guy’ so thanks again

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head lamps are silly. modify to fit around your neck so that when you turn it on it is facing down and a little out.  most of the NJ coastline has plenty of street and boardwalk lights. learn how to use them instead of turning on your light.  they can be helpful to finding productive soft structure spots too if you think about it. 

if you come across a guy at night fishing alone leave him alone. don't ask "catching anything?" or "gettin any bites" ? some people may be ok with casual conversations while fishing at night, some are not, err on the side of caution here.  sometimes as you walk past a solo guy at night he may ask you those questions. it's your prerogative to engage or keep walking. 

fifty feet is too close for me but i understand this is NJ and if i am on a bite on the sand that i don't want to walk away from or haven't given the spot a thorough working over i will stand my ground and if said fisher encroaches i will let him know that what he is doing is obstructing the spot i was fishing first. 

in the more popular spots at night you have to deal with crowds. i usually avoid them but sometimes it's tough. when i do fish a spot with lots of people i try to see what people who are there first are doing and plan my approach accordingly trying not to foul them up, even if they are completely clueless. i have been doing this long enough that i can usually fish around a dilly and pop a couple fish out. when they realize they are not doing something right they usually think its the spot first. it's usually not. it's usually their technique and/or offering. if they are smart they watch. if they are really thick and think they are better than they actually are they try crowding you out. in that case i wait until they get close enough then i jump in their previous spot. I don't have patience for that stuff much these days and would rather find my own fish so as i get older i am in "those" spots less frequently or only when its the "wrong" conditions. 

 

employ logic and common courtesy and you will be fine. fish as often as possible and pay attention to all of the details. good luck. 

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