Whether you are trying to get your boat on the water or get your fresh catch to the filet board, every angler ultimately has the same goal—to enjoy a day of fishing. Yet the boat ramp can quickly spiral into a scene of chaos and confrontation, and those two ingredients don’t add up to a safe a fun boating experience.
With more boats and kayakers sharing the ramp than ever before, it’s important to remember using the launch is a team sport. Old Town recently spent time in Texas, filming their second in the Old Town Watercraft Presents series, Lone Star Bass. In a move of wisdom, the brand felt who better to discuss boat ramp etiquette with than the officers keeping our waterways safe. At Lake Athens, Texas game warden Mark Anderson took the time to share a few tips to get anglers on and off the water as efficiently and safely as possible.
7 Tips For Boat Ramp Etiquette From A Texas Game Warden
1 Know Before You Go
“If you’re coming to a boat ramp and it’s your first time out there, do a little bit of research online first to see if there’s any special rules or regulations.” Mark Anderson shares first.
“There might be signs posted that have any information on that body of water. Be observant of those as well.”
2 Having Safety In Place Is Essential
“First and foremost, make sure you have a lifejacket.
“If you’re going out on a kayak, make sure you let somebody know where you’re going, when you expect to return, and how long you’re going to be gone.
“Also, if it’s early in the morning and it’s dark, make sure you have lights on your kayak if it’s going to be after sunset or before sunrise.”
3 Be Ready To Go Before You’re On The Ramp
“This ramp can get super busy. Having a plan, having everything ready, having everything loaded before you take up that space on the ramp—the more you can streamline that process, the easier it’s going to be for everybody.”
4 Stay In Your Lane
“If you’re at a boat ramp like this with with two spots, try not to take up the whole thing by parking in the middle. Go to one side or the other.
“Be careful around trailers. Visibility is going to be reduced for those that are backing in a big boat, and a kayak is relatively small compared to a big boat.”
5 Clear The Ramp For Others
“After [your kayak] is in the water clear it from the path of the ramp so other people can use the ramp while you go park the truck. Most of the time, you know with those heavier fishing kayaks you need to get them pretty close to the water. Just make sure you move it out to the side so it doesn’t get hit.”
6 Stop The Spread Of Invasives To Other Ramps
“Clean, drain and dry your boat. You hear it a lot and you see billboards with it. That’s really important to help reduce the spread of aquatic nuisance vegetation. You don’t want to transport water from one lake to another that may be infected.”
7 Be Kind To One Another
“Being mindful of others, being patient with others, and trying to do things as safe as possible. Just understand that there’s people of varying levels of experience that are going to be using that ramp. Help somebody if you can, and just be kind.”