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Mercury Report

One of the biggest pet peeves for many freshwater anglers is when they are having a good day fishing from a boat in a quiet spot on the lake or river and another angler comes along, pulls up beside them and starts casting in the same area without asking first.

“It happens pretty much on a daily basis,” said Mercury Pro Team member Michael Neal.

If it’s public water, everyone is welcome to use the resource, of course. In most places, there are no written rules about how far you need to stay away from other boats and anglers. It’s within your rights to fish next to someone - as long as you aren’t harassing them (intentional angler harassment is against the law in many states). It’s up to each individual angler to decide responsible behavior in terms of how much distance to put between your boat and theirs. Practicing good fishing etiquette means treating other anglers and boaters on the water with respect and giving them their space.

Neal, who fishes the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour and Pro Circuit, said it all comes down to following the Golden Rule. “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” he said.

“Communication is key. It’s the number one thing that makes your day on the water go smoothly,” added Mercury Pro Team member and Bassmaster Elite Series angler John Crews.

Here are four fishing etiquette tips from these two pros to help keep it friendly and fun for everyone on the water. Outlined here are unwritten rules that guide tournament anglers and serious recreational anglers:

Ray Scott

Ray Scott, 1933 - 2022

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Ray Scott passed away on Sunday, May 8 at around 11:30 p.m. He died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes. Scott was 88 years old. 

Scott founded the first national professional bass fishing circuit, the Bassmaster Tournament Trail, in 1967 and the following year founded the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society — B.A.S.S. — which would grow to become the world’s largest fishing organization. 

“Our entire organization was saddened to hear about the passing of our founder, Ray Scott,” said Chase Anderson, B.A.S.S. CEO. “Ray’s passion and vision for bass fishing birthed our entire industry more than 50 years ago when he founded B.A.S.S. and started the first professional fishing tournament series. His legacy is felt to this day and continues to influence B.A.S.S., the world’s largest fishing membership organization, which he started in 1968. Ray’s contributions and impact on conservation and his advocacy and passion for anglers and our sport set the standard for tournament fishing and are something we will always strive to uphold.

“Our hearts and prayers are with the Scott family.”

The bass tournament competition Scott created rewarded anglers who caught the heaviest limits of bass in the three- or four-day events, which served as the proving grounds for rapid advancements in bass boats, outboard engines, fishing tackle, lures and electronics. Everyday anglers began purchasing whatever the bass pros were using, spawning a massive bass fishing industry that today has an economic impact in excess of $125 billion per year and employs more than 800,000 people nationwide.

Hall of Fame Report

The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame will award conservation grants to worthy organizations and efforts for the third consecutive year.

Applications must be submitted to BFHOF Conservation Committee Chairman Gene Gilliland by May 15, 2022, for review by a panel of BFHOF Board Members. Criteria for appropriate projects is outlines on the Hall of Fame’s website at: https://www.bassfishinghof.com/bass-fishing-hall-of-fame-grant-program. Completed applications can be sent to Gilliland at ggilliland@bassmaster.com, as can any questions.

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