There are three things in this world that can wreck a friendship like nothing else. Money, women and fishing holes. The first two are easy to understand so we’ll concentrate on the latter
Sharing a Fishing hole is a Sacred Bond
OK, maybe not a “sacred bond” but sharing a spot can be kind of a big deal and if you don’t handle the gift with respect you could put a damper on your friendship. An avid angler will only share one of his favorite spots with someone he trusts. When someone shares a fishing hole with you, you must understand that you have been entrusted with a secret that was meant only for you (unless otherwise stated). Your friend trusted you enough to share a personal secret with you, treat the spot with respect.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
You’ve been given a great gift. Don’t blow your gift up by sharing it with others. When someone puts you on fish, you keep that secret to yourself. I don’t care if your brother needs fish today, if all you have is what your friend gave you, you don’t kiss and tell. Keep your gifts under your hat. You were given a spot by a friend and you need to protect that spot as if was your younger sister at prom and every guy you know is trying to take advantage of her. Lie if you have to. I don’t care what boat ramp “they” said they saw your truck at… you weren’t there and you don’t know what they were talking about.
Don’t burn your gift.
If a buddy puts you on fish and you visit the spot and do well, don’t burn it by hooking every fish there. Don’t go back to the spot the next day and sore lip every fish that is stupid enough to take your offering. Catch a few and move on. Studies show, and guides with tell you, that fish will shut down if they feel too pressured. Don’t ruin a good thing by wearing it out.
Don’t get possessive.
The water doesn’t belong to you or the guy that put you on that spot… BUT, you didn’t know about those fish until your buddy put you on them. So, don’t freak out and don’t get possessive about a spot when you show up to it and your buddy’s buddy is there. They aren’t your fish and you have no right to complain if he shared that spot with someone else. For God’s sake, don’t idle your boat over to “him” and ask him how he knew about those fish.
Return in kind.
If you have a buddy that has ever done anything good for you on the water, make sure you return the favor. He may have shown you fish, put you on a bait spot or picked up bait for you on the way to the ramp. Either way, when you see a friend in need, you be a friend in deed. Don’t take from one hand and refuse to give from the other. That’s a sure way of being left out in the future.
Don’t ask, don’t tell.
One way to be put on the “that guy is not my friend” list is to ask other people where the fish are. Don’t call people and tell them you’re not catching anything and then ask them if they can throw you a bone. If someone wants you to know where fish are, they’ll tell you without you having to ask. If you do happen to get lucky and they do happen to let you in on some info, don’t ever tell another soul about it. If it ever gets back to the guy that gave you the info that you have been running your mouth, you can bet you won’t be able to go back to that well for info again.
It comes down to a couple of simple rules. “Treat others as you would have them treat you”. And…. “To much whom is given, much is required”. If people go out of their way to help you, help them back and don’t burn them by giving away the secrets they give you. Also, know how to recognize when you’ve been given a gift and don’t be stingy with giving back. You’ll have longer lasting friendships if you follow these simple rules.