Like most sports, fishing has many rules that aren't found in books. In case you haven't heard, here are a few you need to know about.
Never cast over another person's line. This happens frequently on fishing piers, from drift boats and from the shore when people cast at the "hot holes" (water warmed by clean water discharges from the McGuire nuclear station).
Never tell anyone where you catch fish. Give only vague answers, such as "Got it upriver," "across the lake" or simply "I don't remember."
If you are a guest fishing on someone else's boat, it is common courtesy to pay your share of the gas, ice and bait expenses. Don't ask; just give your partner the money. With gas at $4 a gallon, plus the price of oil, ice and bait, the cost of a fishing trip isn't cheap. A $5 bill will not cover your share of the trip.
Never miss a local story.
Be ready to go at the appointed time and place. The rest of the crew had to get up early to be on time as well.
When buying bait minnows, don't talk to the person counting them. Also, never make the bait man mad, or he will surely short-count you.
Be prepared for all weather situations. Wear proper clothing for rain, wind, snow and hot summer sun. Don't forget the sunscreen this time of year.
Reset the line drags on the reel before your first cast each trip.
Keep your rod tip up and your line tight while playing a fish.
Always net the fish head first.
Like the early bird, the early worm gets the fish. During summer, some of the best fishing is from dawn until 8 a.m.
Remember, it's not always the fish you are really after. Enjoy the day regardless of whether you catch fish. They don't always bite.
The summer heat is here, so stay hydrated by having plenty of ice and fluids on board.