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Practice good etiquette at the boat launch

Now that the open water season will be getting into full swing it is time to mention again the importance of good etiquette at the boat ramps. I am reminded of this, as I was on the water this week at Rainy River, and noticed how many experienced anglers still have poor habits at the boat ramp. The problem of having lack of consideration for others, and not thinking ahead, slows the efficiency and creates frustration for others that are ready to launch or load.

When arriving at the access, move to an area out of the way if you have preparation to complete before launching your boat. Before getting in line, remove your tarp, transom saver, and trailer straps. Put your plug in the boat. Load all your fishing gear including life jackets. Make sure you have loaded all your weather gear, coolers, food, and any other supplies you will need for your outing, and then get into the line to launch your boat.

When returning to the landing to load your boat after fishing, drop your partner at the dock and back away to make room for others to get in and out of the landing. If you are by yourself, beach your boat if possible. If you are not able to beach your boat, most people will be more patient with you as it is easy to understand the complications of launching or loading a boat by yourself.

If you encounter someone having difficulty backing a trailer, loading a boat or pontoon, or having difficulties or frustrations at the ramp, be polite and offer assistance. Most people that are creating problems at the access are just lacking in experience, or unaware of how selfish or how "just about me" way they are behaving. Polite interventions will help encourage insight more than harsh criticisms.

What it all seems to boil down to is common sense and common courtesy. I think we could all benefit from this in all areas of our daily lives, not just at the ramp or on the water.

As for the bite at Rainy River, it is usually about timing and hitting the river when the bite is peaking. Some years are good and some years are great. I happened to hit the conditions just right this year. The bite and weather have been awesome.

With the last number of days with warm weather and sunshine, the pan fish bite in our area will just continue to improve. We have received some much needed rain, and that will help improve the low water conditions we have on most of our area lakes. Get out and enjoy the area lakes and practice your efficiency at the boat ramp.

(Laabs runs Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes.)