State/National/WorldFish Rap

Spot Burning. Good or Bad?

Spot burning is the act of publicizing information that brings attention to specific fishing opportunities— usually resulting in excessive fishing pressure or overfishing in a less-known area.


Cons to Spot Burning:


As many anglers know, success in the sport results from many years of trial and error, research, and a general collection of intellectual assets. This knowledge allows fishermen to succeed on the water and eventually discover spots they can continually count on to revisit and catch fish. 


When people spot burn, they bypass this entire process. Instead, they are providing the general public with specific information about fishing spots that result in overexposure to the resource.


Ways to Avoid Spot Burning:


You might be spot-burning, and you’re not even aware. Social media has been a blessing and a curse for the fishing world. On the one hand, it provides a social network for anglers to connect and share experiences. But on the contrary, social media has promoted the sharing of the particular information that leads to spot burning.


One way to improve your social media impact, and decrease spot burning activity, is to monitor how you geotag your posts. The worst thing you can do is be too specific when tagging. For example, rather than geotagging a particular stream or local area, try choosing a more broad tag like a state or a region.


Some areas have even developed “Tag Responsible” geotagging alternatives. For example, the “Tag Responsibly, Keep Jackson Hole Wild” is a popular geotag that allows Jackson Hole, Alaska visitors to tag where they are without giving overly specific information about locations.


Another way to avoid spot burning is to limit what you include in the background of photos and videos. Different fishing scenarios warrant different degrees of secrecy. It’s up to you to be aware of the information you include in pictures and posts and whether or not it could lead to spot burning. The main takeaway is that to avoid spot burning, limit the specificity you include when sharing your fishing experience. 


Fishing Without Spot Burning:


Everyone struggles to figure out fishing spots and methods, but the struggle makes fishing so rewarding. This sport is a constant pursuit of becoming more knowledgeable of the environment you’re hunting for, fishing in, and the species you’re pursuing. The satisfaction you receive when you carry out this process and figure out a fishery for yourself is gratifying.


That being said, you are not alone. Many new and old anglers get stumped when trying to find the perfect spot. However, there are lots of tools and resources to help you ethically achieve all of your fishing goals. Fly shops and guides are one of the best resources. Visit a shop or hire a guide for priceless local knowledge. Additionally, check out reputable online fishing forums or spend some time on YouTube.


But when you figure it out, be careful with the information you’ve just worked so hard for.

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