two men fishing


The vast majority of anglers are respectful team players and deserve to be on the water. However, there are always clowns among the crowd that can ruin it for others. Arrogance or ignorance are usually to blame, so here are a few simple pointers on fishing etiquette to make sure everyone is on the same page.


Be courteous to other anglers and respect the fact that everyone is at different stages of the fishing learning curve. Fishing is an ongoing learning process and nobody knows everything.

Keep in mind that sound travels across the water quite easily and often your comments can be heard by other anglers. If you don’t have anything nice or constructive to say, it is always best to keep it to yourself.


If you notice a fellow angler struggling on the water, rather than mock or chuckle at their misfortune, why no offer assistance or friendly advice? It’s a great feeling to share knowledge with others and it’s a great way to make new fishing buddies.


Don’t set up shop right next to another angler when there is plenty of space available. Likewise, don’t anchor too close to another vessel. Never cut in front of another boat that is lure fishing along a bank. There’s plenty of water and fish habitat out there so there’s no need to spoil another angler’s experience. The enjoyment of cooperating with other fishos is what this nationwide community is all about.


Don’t dawdle at the boat ramp especially on a busy day. Always pull up the vehicle and load your gear onto the boat before backing down the ramp. Do the opposite on the return leg. Be organised, fast, and efficient and be courteous towards other boaters.

I’ll never forget one incredibly busy morning at a boat ramp. Vehicles were queued to access the ramp when mid-launch one bloke spotted some baitfish lurking at the back of his submerged trailer. Rather than clear his boat and trailer from the boat ramp he decided to grab his cast net and clambered up onto the nearby pontoon to try and catch the bait. Not surprisingly, after 5-10 minutes a hoard of impatient boaters began to beep and hurl complaints at the inconsiderate angler.


Be responsible and take your waste with you. Line clippings, bait packets, empty spools, and food wrappers should be bagged and removed once you’ve finished fishing. Taking care of Australia’s environment should be a top priority of every fisho in Australia.

It’s downright disgusting turning up to a pontoon or fishing ground and have to step over other angler’s waste. We’re lucky in Australia to have such beautiful country and access to amazing fishing locations. If anglers can’t respect the fish and their habitats then they shouldn’t be fishing.


Whether you like them or not, fisheries regulations are in place to protect fish populations and habitats. They are designed to ensure that fish populations survive so that we can continue to enjoy fishing experiences into the future. The vast majority of anglers play by the rules, although there is increasing evidence that some are pushing the boundaries. Anglers who break the rules spoil fishing for everyone. Not only are they cheating and unfairly gaining an advantage over responsible anglers, they’re also justifying the need for tighter regulation or enforcement. This hurts the public purse and can further restrict fishing freedom.

Peer pressure and universal condemnation is the best way to stop selfish individuals from spoiling the fun for everyone. Frown upon other anglers breaking the rules and never condone illegal behaviour. Remember that these rule breakers put your fishing freedom at stake.

With a little respect, courtesy, and consideration of others we can all fish together and have fun.


Share your experiences on poor fishing etiquette. Let us know your pet hates and suggest constructive ways for all of us to improve as anglers in the comments section.

Peter Hollingsworth

Peter has been fishing all around Australia since he was a boy. He loves camping, fishing and kayak fishing.