Common courtesy or more aptly named etiquette, while out on the water is one of the more important aspects of kayak fishing in my opinion. The old adage “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” couldn’t hold much more truth when out on the water. This goes for your fellow kayak anglers, but also boaters. When I’m paddling down a creek or across a flat and come across someone already there fishing, I make it a point to give them as wide a berth as possible. If the area doesn’t allow my “going wide”, I always approach slowly and ask if they have any lines out. The reasoning behind this is because I’d want the same courtesy provided to me from other anglers. Being courteous on the water not only makes your day better, but it will ensure a good day for those you come across while on the water as well.
Another common practice I notice on the water, is some folks will paddle right up on you, and start casting out. To me, this is one of the most annoying actions happening on the water. There are such names as “googans”, etc, for these types of folks, but it’s truly disrespectful of a kayak angler to do this action. If someone is already fishing an area that you’d planned on fishing, the best course of action is to offer small talk, such as “how’s the bite going?”. You should, at the very least, ask to fish the area with them rather than simply taking it for granted.
Putting these practices into action each and every time you head out on the water will provide a smoother day out on the water. More importantly, it will become a habit with repetition, and hopefully, your actions will have a profound effect on those you come across, and they’ll start practicing some common courtesy while out on the water. The reason we kayak fish is to get out on the water and have an enjoyable experience, let’s leave the drama on the outside world and enjoy the water together.