Sometimes anglers are perceived to be something that is completely out of character for these sportsmen.
We’ve all heard the stereotypical call outs when it comes to anglers. Some are based on a hint of accuracy, while others are no where near the truth.
If we aren’t careful, some of these misconceptions will become widely believed, but we’ll do our part to dispel the lies.
View the slideshow, and share any other misconceptions you’ve heard about anglers.
1) Anglers keep every fish they catch
Each state has specific laws regarding which species of fish a fisherman can keep, as well as size limits and daily limits (the actual number you can keep). The reality is that most anglers self-impose more restrictive limits that the law calls for. Why keep a minimum size fish when you can let it grow bigger and keep fishing for another one now?
2) Anglers litter the waterways
Nothing could be further from the truth. Sportsman of all types are concerned about the environment in which they conduct their activities. Most of the time anglers will go out of their way to scoop up trash that they see floating in the water. They are very careful to contain their own trash as well. If an angler pulls something up on their fishhook that does not belong in the water (like the old cartoons where the fisherman catches a shoe), they do not throw it back in. They will dispose of it properly.
3) Anglers are engaged in a mundane and humdrum sport
There are times when fishing is slow and it can be perceived as “boring.” However, when the fish are biting, it is a very dynamic and interactive activity. You have to keep your senses alert to feel and hook the fish. You have to exert a lot of energy to reel in the fish and it takes a lot of concentration to focus on how to keep the fish on the hook as you bring it to the surface.
Every fish is a surprise as it surfaces. You never know for sure what kind it is, how big it is or how it will react.
4) Angler are rich people with a lot of time on their hands
Like any sport, there is an initial cost to acquire the right equipment. There is also a never ending selection of gear, gadgets and accessories. Boats require quite a bit of capital to purchase and require maintenance and planning ahead to guarantee a good time.
However, not all anglers are bass fisherman with tournament boats. A local pond that holds some fish can be a free resource. A stick with a length of fishing line and a hook can suffice to catch fish. Worms, crickets and even pieces of hot dogs or corn can serve as bait.
Anglers come from all walks of life. Fishing is as simple and inexpensive or as complicated and costly as you want to make it.
5) Anglers are anti-social
Fishing is sometimes a solo activity. Anglers appreciate the tranquility of being on the shoreline or floating in the water. However, most anglers are happy to share a fishing adventure with friends. Anglers are usually eager to show a newcomer the ropes and help get them their first fish as well.
6) Anglers drink a lot of beer and alcoholic beverages
Getting intoxicated while fishing doesn’t even make sense. Long days exposed to the sun require hydration and alcohol is counter-productive to that. Laws regarding boating while intoxicated are strictly enforced and carry penalties similar to DWI. Out of the way areas along a shoreline sometimes require a bit of a hike in sand or through brush. Try carrying fishing poles, a tackle box, bait and something to put your fish in. Now add a cooler full of beer. The bulk and weight just doesn’t make sense.
Sure, anglers may enjoy a beer while fishing, but it is often the recreational boater and recreational waterway users that are much more likely to become intoxicated than the angler.
7) Anglers are depleting the fish populations
Collectively, anglers are one of the biggest conservation groups in the outdoors. License fees go to state agencies and other entities and are used for fishery conservation.
The Pittman-Robertson Act levies an 11% excise tax on fishing gear. The money is distributed back to the states for fishery conservation and public land preservation programs. Daily limits and size restrictions are adjusted annually based on biologists recommendations. Anglers often add structures to lakes to add habitat for fish. Commercial fishing is a heavily regulated industry and recreational angling is controlled and monitored so the impact on the fisheries is positive.
8) Anglers don’t talk while fishing
Sshhh! Don’t talk, you’ll scare the fish!
This is a statement that probably came from a Dad that had a long, hard day and wanted to enjoy some peace and quiet. While trying to relax, the kids keep asking questions and making noise. Dad blurts out this statement.
In fact, anglers are often talking to their fishing partner in what some jokingly refer to as an “aquatic therapy session.” Some talk on the marine radio or on a cell phone, or to other anglers and boaters. While instructing a new fisherman there is plenty of conversation going on.
9) Anglers do not share their spots
It is very frustrating to find a great fishing spot only to see a mob of boats there on your next visit. For this reason, anglers do not always broadcast their favorite spots to the public, such as on a website forum.
There is a creed among anglers that you will respect someone’s spot if they share it with you. Anglers will usually have no problem sharing a spot or other valuable information. It’s just usually shared privately with another sportsman that is deemed to be responsible and respectful.
10) Anglers are engaged in a relaxing sport
Consider this: anglers deal with things all the time. The weather, the wind, the current, the tackle, the boat, and on and on. The actual act of reeling in a feisty fish is one of the most exhilarating experiences in the world. Trust me, we aren’t always relaxed when we’re fishing.
Angling can of course be relaxing at times, under certain conditions that we seek as the ideal situation. However, Murphy’s Law tends to come into play now and then, making angling a high-strung, fast paced activity with many challenges.