With the amount of tackle and gear the average angler goes through on a yearly basis, you could probably stock a small store. Think about all those times you’ve fished with plastic bass baits, been hit a few times, the bait gets torn up, and then you end up tossing the bait out altogether. What about all of the leader line that you have to tie and re-tie after it breaks while fighting a fish or when it rubs against a sharp rock or rough tree limb? Or, here’s one for you, ever have a treble hook pull right out of a lure while you were reeling a fish in? The good news is that you can help save the environment and also save some money in each of these situations. Here are a few ways to go “green” with your fishing routine.
Recycle your monofilament fishing line. If monofilament fishing line is not disposed of properly, it can cause serious issues for the environment and marine life. Call or email the state fish and wildlife agency to find out if a monofilament line recycling program is available in your area. Florida, as an example, has over 40 counties involved in a monofilament line recycling program by installing collection bins at public boat ramps and fishing piers. There are also some fishing line manufacturers that have recycling programs in place, so the other option is to contact your favorite fishing line company via the customer service number on the website or packaging and ask.
Recycle your soft plastic baits. There is a soft plastic bait recycling program called ReBaits, which was originally launched in 2012 as a means to help educate anglers about keeping used soft plastic baits out of our waters. The program was started by B.A.S.S. Federation Nation conservation director Eamon Bolten, and encourages anglers to recycle used plastic baits instead of throwing them into the garbage or in a lake. Anglers can save the used soft plastics in zip lock bags or coffee cans. E-mail Eamon Bolten directly for more information on the ReBaits program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Repair your broken lures. If treble hooks become rusty, become loose or come out altogether, you can buy split rings and treble hooks separately and repair the lures. Use special split-ring pliers to remove old split rings and just add new ones.
Do you practice any other green fishing habits? If so, share your practices and ideas in the TakeMeFishing.org forums so that new anglers can put the ideas to use.