Boat angling on a charter boat is one of the most enjoyable experiences in a sea anglers career, a chance to fish in often unknown waters with either new anglers or your friends. Whilst the day is always an enjoyable fare it often pays to keep to some basic ground rules when onboard a charter boat. Remember that when onboard a charter boat, it is just like any other vessel, the skipper is in charge and listening to his safety introduction is of paramount importance. Whether you are a seasoned boat angler or not. It is also worth remembering that charter boats are one mans means of making a living, they are expensive to buy and cost a small fortune to run, this should be respected by the angler doing his upmost to take all reasonable care to avoid damaging the boat whilst aboard.
Below are some basic common sense code of conduct points for boat anglers.
- Always park your vehicle in a safe recognised parking place.
- If you're boarding the boat early in the morning amongst domestic housing or marinas, keep noise to a minimum so as to not disturb other people.
- Wear trainer shoes, Wellingtons, or better still proper deck shoes. These protect the decks. Leather soled shoes will scratch and damage even GRP decking.
- Aboard the boat, listen to the skipper's safety introduction carefully and understand what he expects you to do should an emergency occur.
- Know exactly where the life jackets are kept.
- Never cut bait on the gunnels or decks of the boat. Always use a bait board.
- Take care that lead weights do not smash against the boat gunnels and sides when landing fish. Gel coat can easily crack causing hours of hard repair work for the owner.
- Place all rubbish in a bin liner. All good skippers have these in place on the boat easily accessible to all. If your skipper does not, ask him to provide one.
- Cut all discarded line in to 4in (110cm) lengths and place in the rubbish bag. Discarded line can still tangle birds on the rubbish tip.
- Fillet and clean all fish aboard the boat prior to getting back to port. Never gut fish in front of the public alongside the quay or harbour wall.
- This only applies to a minority, but if staying in local accommodation, be on your best behaviour. Some guesthouses and B & B's now refuse to take anglers due to previous bad language and disrespect to other residents.
- Make sure any tackle left in the vehicle is hidden from view. Give thieves the option and they'll take it every time. Better still, take it all aboard with you.