DEAR MISS MANNERS: We approached our favorite fishing spot. About 40 yards away was another boat. The other fisherman yelled, “Welcome!”
He saw that we were catching fish, and that we released all of the catch. He asked if he could have a fish we caught. We agreed, so he trolled over and took the fish. Everyone was very friendly.
Then his tone changed drastically, and he said, “Leave this spot to other people who don’t get to come every day! Don’t you know fishing etiquette?”
We were surprised. What are fishing-hole manners?
GENTLE READER: Apparently whatever the crusty fisherman there cared to tell you: “Welcome,” “Don’t come back,” and “Give us your fish.”
The etiquette of this particular fishing hole -- Miss Manners doesn’t know if she is more amused or flattered that etiquette was invoked -- seems to be a kind of rough banter that you can take for joking. The reply she suggests is, “Oh, but if we don’t come here, how are you going to get any fish?”