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Reading some threads of late about ethics, etiquette and good sportsmanship got me thinking about mine and others' experiences on the beach and on the piers that we all fish.

So I put this forth for the approval of the forums. A fisherman's code of conduct. I'd like this to get consideration and additions as are felt necessary.

LET ME GIVE DUE CREDIT TO KOZLOW, who originally posted it in a related thread. The original source no longer exists. I merely brought it together, added what I felt was relevant and did a little editing into what you see here.

Fishing Code of Conduct

We protect the environment of fish
We treat all fish with respect
We actively participate in the management of our fish
We respect the rights of others

Responsible Anglers Respect The Environment

As Ethical Anglers:

1. We do not spill or dump gasoline, oil or other pollutants on land or into the water.

2. When fishing we never leave trash behind, including worn or discarded line, old hooks or bait.

3. We leave our fishing site as clean or cleaner than we found it.

4. We report environmental damage and pollution to the relevant authorities.

5. When boating or anchoring, we take care to avoid damaging sensitive areas.

6. We do our best to prevent the spread of exotic plants and animals.

7. We never use as live bait fish that do not normally reside in the waters we are fishing, nor do we introduce exotic species that may survive and reproduce into fishing waters.

Responsible Anglers Respect Fish And Handle Them Carefully

As Ethical Anglers:

8. We use only legal tackle, we attend properly to our gear and value our catch.

9. We keep no more fish than needed for consumption and legally allowed and we never wastefully discard fish that are retained.

10. We practice conservation and use proper release methods for fish not retained.

11. We use tackle and techniques that avoid the capture of, or minimize the harm to unwanted fish or fish prohibited from retention.

12. We learn and comply with all angling regulations.

13. We report any illegal fishing activities we observe to the proper authorities.

Responsible Anglers Respect The Rights Of Others

As Ethical Anglers:

14. We treat other anglers, boaters and other people we might meet in the field with courtesy and respect.

15. We obtain permission from landowners and never trespass on private lands or waters.

16. We respect the space of other anglers when fishing from the shore or in a boat and give room to all anglers playing a fish.

Responsible Anglers Take Care Of Their Own Safety And The Safety Of Others When Fishing

As Ethical Anglers:

17. We observe all operator and safety regulations.

18. We watch our speed and our wash and keep a safe distance from shore based anglers, jetties and other boats.

Responsible Anglers Lead By Example

As Ethical Anglers:

19. We educate fellow anglers, especially new participants about fishing ethics.

20. We promote ethical behavior in the use of aquatic resources through education and example.

21. We maintain and promote public awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding responsible fishing.

22. We promote public awareness of the measures taken by anglers to conserve the resources and protect the environment.



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Fisherman's Creed

I fish because it is fun. I fish because I enjoy the freedom I feel from being exposed to the elements, and the vulnerability to the danger that is intrinsic with nature's forces and the creatures she possesses.

I do not fish because it is fashionable to do so. I use a rod & reel, not wear it. My rod & reel is not a symbol of status. It exists simply for me and me alone. My rod & reel are not toys. It is an extension of my being, and I will treat it accordingly, with the same respect as I have for myself, my sport and nature.

I strive to understand the intricacies of my sport, from the most basic to the most complex. I learn everything I can about my sport, so that I am reliant upon no one but myself for the successes and failures I experience. I strive to constantly better my skill of control over my rod & reel. I will learn it's limits, and use my skill to become one with my rod & reel so that we may keep each other alive should the need arise. I am the master, it is my servant. Working together in harmony, we will become an invincible team and will rejoice in our successes and learn from our failures.

I do not fear death. I will, however, do all possible to avoid death prematurely. Fear is the enemy, not death. Fear on the water leads to death, therefore I will not let fear be my master. I will master it. My rod, reel and sport will outlive me. Therefore, they are my legacy. I will care for them for future fishermen to cherish as I have cherished them, whoever they may be.

I do not fish to gain attention or respect from those that do not fish, nor do I wish to intimidate or annoy them or my fellow fishermen. For those that do not want to know me, all I wish from them is to ignore me. For those that desire to know me, I will share with them the truth of myself, so that they might understand me and others like me.

I will show respect to other fishermen more experienced or knowledgeable than I am. I will learn from them all I can. However, if my respect is not acknowledged or appreciated then it shall end and they shall be cast aside. I will not show disrespect to other fishermen less experienced or knowledgeable than I am. I will teach them what I can. However, if they show me, my sport or my fellow fishermen disrespect they shall be discarded.

It will be my task to mentor new fishermen, if they so desire, into the lifestyle and sport of fishing so that the breed known as fishermen and fisherwomen shall continue. I shall instruct them, as I have been instructed by those before me. I shall preserve and honor the traditions of fishermen before, and will pass them on unaltered.

I will not judge other fishermen on their choice of rod, reel or tackle, their appearance, or their profession. I will judge them only on their conduct as fishermen.

I am proud of my accomplishments as a fisherman, though I will not flaunt them to others. If they ask, I will share them. I will stand ready to help any other fisherman that truly needs my help.

I will never ask another fisherman to do for me what I can do for myself. I am a fisherman when and where-ever I go. I am proud to be a fisherman. I fish to better understand myself, my sport, the lands in which I fish, and seek out and know other fishermen like me.

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The Pier Rats' Code

As responsible anglers, we recognize that our actions should always be governed by what is right – ethically and legally – and we understand and agree that the best ways to accomplish our goals is through personal example and education.

We're dedicated to preserving the pier rat's environment in the following ways:

We will work to protect all species of fish. Fish that will be kept for food will be killed in a humane manner. Fish that are to be returned to the water will be handled with care in an attempt to assure their safe return to the water. All species of fish - both sportfish and incidental species - will be given the same respect and treatment. We will attempt to avoid the capture of unwanted or prohibited species.

We will work to improve the environments of the piers themselves as well as the waters around the piers. We will dispose of trash in trash containers, make sure there are no lines or discarded tackle on the pier, and clean up bait from the surface of piers as well as the railings. Where possible, we will assist in the removal of lines and tackle from pilings and pier structures. We will not throw pollutants (of any type) into the waters adjacent to the pier. We will always try to leave the pier as clean or cleaner than when we arrived.
As guardians of the pier environment, we will, to the best of our ability, try to reason with and correct anglers observed to be acting in a manner detrimental to that environment or other anglers. We will, if necessary, report cases of abuse to the relevant authorities. Observations of illegal fishing methods will be reported to the same relevant authorities. Observations of destruction to the pier will be reported to local agencies and pier management.

We will strive to be a useful part of the pier environment. We should always act not as a concern for pier management, but rather as a resource. We will encourage good fishing etiquette. We will learn and obey all fishing regulations. We will treat fellow anglers with courtesy and respect. We will endeavor to educate our fellow anglers in sound and safe angling methods and fishery conservation.


Evan
 

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hey evan very nice the fishing code of ethics should be considered to be put in the bible.
The only draw back is its kind of lengthy so ethical fisherman and serious noobs will be the only ones interested enough to read it. Do you have a dumbed down version for quick reads? Like sort of a foot note that you can hang at the pier. You know you might be starting a movement. Good job.

Warren.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Chesapeake: I think that the first four lines under the title kind of sum up the whole thing. If you're looking for a short slogan, those would be my choice.

Carbine & Reel: Excellent points. Thanks for contributing.

Orest: I realize that nobody can be everything all the time. I merely submitted this in the hopes that some will read it and maybe keep it in mind when a situation arises on the beach or on the pier. Stories about fights, threats, banning from piers, arrests... All of these are detrimental to our sport. When we cannot police ourselves, it gives license to others who want to police us. The only defense of those who want to change or erase our way of sport and enjoyment is to present a group of sportsmen who do not need to be regulated. To this end, as I said, I just hope that some will read this and take the underlying message to heart. If this post merely causes one less fight on a pier or beach, I would consider it successful.

Evan
 

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This can be one of those posts that goes on for days and days, and debated til the cows come home, so let me be the first to nominate it for the BIBLE!
 

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Nice post! I feel my reels are toys in a certain aspect, I like to collect certain reels. One question, (tongue in cheek), the guys using these rods that are several hundred dollars to over $1000 that isn't a status symbol? OK I get the fact that some people in the distance game need all the advantages they can get but I would bet a dollar that the guys throwing huge distances with their great techniques could take a $90 rod from Cabellas and get great distances as well. I know every inch counts in a contest, I don't know much about the distance stuff or surf fishing either when you look at my catch history.;)
I'm just a landlocked guy that gets to go to the beach one week a year and I try to fish all that I can when there so it's a crap shoot for me.


Keep up all of the good work here guys, this is a great forum. I have learned a lot and keep learning.

Joe R
 

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To avoid a loss of your parcel or a letter, the first and the most important step is to double-check the address. Some incidents can happen even with a correct address. And this risk goes much higher if you misspelled a letter or typed a wrong figure. First of all, check a zip code. You can check it online postcodefinder.net/. Then check if you showed the correct street and building. Minor mistakes can cause major problems.
 

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The Pier Rats' Code We will endeavor to educate our fellow anglers in sound and safe angling methods and fishery conservation.
Especially when they come too close to the pier in their boat.
funny story related to such stuff. As a marine contactor I often find myself using public boat ramps adjacent to public fishing piers. Often there's at least one person that will fish from the pier along side the ramp that's posted no fishing from boat ramp. Then there's situations like today, where it being a nice morning lots of people were already out. Low tide. The boat channel runs between the pier and a marker maybe just shy of 100' off the pier. I pass on the far side of the marker not in the channel by 30 foot or so, trying not to run over anyone's lines. Also it's a no wake so not traveling fast. Apparently several people had decided to cast across the channel to the flat on the far side. Snagged about 5 or 6 lines that were not visible with the lower unit. Upset a bunch of morons.... IF YOU HAVE YOUR LINE THE WHOLE WAY ACROSS A WATER WAY, REEL THAT SHIT IN WHEN YOU SEE A BOAT COMING. Everyone I know that works on the water will make an effort not to get tangled in your lines. Wrapping line in a prop is way more of a pain in the ass for the guy in the boat than the guy that loses a rig. Don't be idiots.
 

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Wow, too long. And, to think, Mosses came up with only 10 rules that have worked quite well. stay well - best glenn
 

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This is good. But as far as tackle, I was brainstorming how to market high-end fishing rods and reels and it's my conclusion (along with old-school Madison Avenue guys) that anglers like to invest in nice rods and reels partly because they like to be acknowledged by other anglers for owning and using them... not for financial status so much as maybe showing that they're experienced and discriminating enough to genuinely know the difference between an Okuma Tundra (my first surf rod) and a Zziplex M427.

If you use something that just looks different and a bit more advanced than what everyone else is using - and you appear to know how to handle it - it gets a certain amount of respect... or at least a fun conversation.
 
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