There are several unwritten rules of being a passenger on another person’s boat. Whether you’re new to fishing on a boat or you’re a seasoned angler, these are rules you should follow.
Do not bring bananas on the boat. Let me repeat that, DO NOT BRING BANANAS ON THE BOAT, EVER. While this may seem silly to some, it is widely considered the worst thing anyone can bring aboard a boat. Bananas are said to bring misfortune and bad luck. Regardless of whether you believe in superstitions or not, respect the boat and bring an apple instead.
Compensate the captain. This should be a “no-brainer,” but always offer the captain some form of compensation for their troubles. Whether it’s paying for gas or bringing the drinks and food, this will give you a better shot at getting a second invite.
Buy bait. This ties in with compensating the captain, but make sure you offer to pick up bait for your trip. If you know what bait you need and the captain says not to worry about it, buy some anyway as a backup incase you run out.
Prepare for motion sickness. If this is your first time going on a boat or you know you might get sick, do everyone a favor and prepare beforehand. Whether you need to take Dramamine or eat hours before you go, don’t cut the day short for everyone else or make it a miserable trip for yourself by getting sick.
Clean up. If there is garbage on the floor, find a bag and clean up. Offer to help put the boat away to make it go faster. Don’t be the person that just says “thanks” and leaves.
Be the first mate. The captain is most likely taking you to his spot and using his gear. Whether it’s running a trolling program, dropping anchor or just asking the captain what he needs from you, this will speed up the process and put fish in the boat faster.
Listen once. This is a big one for a lot of guys, but keep your ears and eyes open. Make sure it sticks when the captain teaches or tells you something new. You are the copilot, so keep your eyes open for floating debris and anything else that could ruin an otherwise great day.
The captain is always right. The only reason this would not be true is if they put you in danger. When it comes to the fishing and layout, follow what the captain says. It’s their boat and that gives them the power. If you have a disagreement, talk about it when you’re on dry land.
Enjoy the trip. No one wants to fish with the sad guy or be stuck on a boat with him. Everyone is there to enjoy a day of fishing, so stay happy (How could you not?)!