Beach Etiquette

Its mid summer and it seems everyone heads to the beach. Fair enough, NZ has more than enough beach to go around. There should be plenty of room for everyone.
But it seems there is less and less courtesy and consideration being used by beach goers these days.

Great! Swim in between my lines you pratts!

Great! Swim in between my lines you pratts!

Today I decided to go fishing for the afternoon. In hindsight this was a bad move.
Its a Sunday afternoon in January and most of the easily accessible beaches are crowded with day-trippers and holiday makers. That’s to be expected I guess.
I drove past several of my regular fishing spots and noticed that they were already occupied with either surfasters or swimmers.
No problem, I’ll keep searching. After all, they were there first, and what right would I have to barge in and start fishing in among them?

Eventually I ended up at Tangoio Beach and while there were at least a dozen cars there, most of them belonged to the surfers who disappear around the cliffs to their chosen spots. The beach was free of swimmers and other fishermen.
Great! I setup and got the rods out.

Now it is a sunny afternoon and expectations of catching anything significant are pretty low.
Its nice however to at least have a chance of catching something.
A few more cars arrive, they’re families with kids, beach towels, etc.
They then proceed to run down the beach and swim right between my rods!
How ignorant is that?
Actually I’m not sure if it’s ignorance or arrogance.
There’s several kilometres of uninhabited beach at their disposal, and they need to swim right in between my rods…

I decide to leave before I say something nasty to the (obviously ignorant) parents. Something along the lines of “thanks for ruining any chance of me catching any fish you idiots!”)

So, if you’re reading this, and you don’t fish. Or perhaps you’re a surfer, or a jetski enthusiast.. Here are some basic common sense beach etiquette rules:

  1. When you get to the beach and find surfcasters already fishing there, move along the beach to a clear space, and by that I mean at least 200 metres away. Don’t swim among surfcasters rods. You will scare away any fish that might have been in the area and generally ruin their day.
  2. Don’t launch your surfboard and paddle out past our lines for the same reason above. We don’t want to watch your moves on the waves, go and show off to someone who cares!
  3.  We don’t want to see your shiny new jetski or wetbike zooming around the waves either, bugger off and disturb someone else.

If a fisherman is there first, leave him/her be. Give him space, lots of space. He/she has worked all week to get a day off and go fishing. You chasing all the fish way is not going to impress anyone…


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