KITFT Fishing Etiquette

All anglers stand guided by the rules and regulations of KITFT and IGFA and should go through them thoroughly. To keep our competitive fishing experience as fun as possible I hope we can all understand that courtesy and common sense should always prevail .

Before a disagreement arises, I hope you can stand guided by what the majority of anglers can agree upon as set out below. If you feel that another boat / angler is breaking the rules there is no need for confrontation. If you strongly feel the matter should go further report it to the committee during weigh bay for their deliberation.



General fishing etiquette


  • It is unfair for boats to delay in the early morning rush to launch so make sure:
  • Your lights are working:
    • Vehicle
    • Trailer
    • Reverse
    • Boat navigation
  • You have established well beforehand exactly where launch sites are and if they are 2wd friendly or 4wd only.
  • Your boat is-
    • fuelled up
    • oiled up
    • fully charged batteries
    • have gone through your full check list before heading to the launch site.
  • Leave early enough that you have sufficient time to launch and get to the start line.
  • If there is a queue do not jump it.
  • Put your headlights on dip when you join the queue.
  • Do not play music loud enough to interfere with other drivers and assistants at the launch area needing to communicate with each other.
  • Pay attention and take heed of the assistants at the launch area.
  • Before reversing down to the launch site:
    • Take off your back shackles
    • Remove your motor rest
    • Make sure your drain plug is in securely.
    • Make sure all your batteries are connected
    • Prime your fuel line
    • Turn on your nav lights
  • Reverse as straight as possible so that other vehicles on the launch site can also move safely backwards and forwards.
  • Stop and remove your front shackle at the water’s edge before you reverse in.
  •  If your motor is temperamental ensure you have a rope tied to the front of your boat to pull you to the side (or bass motor ready).
  • Do not rush your reverse into the water and launch your boat at pace.
  • Reverse in slowly and start your motor whilst still on the trailer so that if you have a problem you can pull out immediately (do not delay at the launch , rather pull out , sort the problem and re-join the queue )
  • Move away from the launch site immediately to leave it clear.
  • Idle away to avoid making waves and keep idling (not ploughing) till you can get on the plane without affecting other boats on the water or boats moored on the bank or onto a houseboat .
  • Take note of no planing areas
  • If someone in front of you is having a problem launching HELP them and educate them positively so they don’t have the same problem in future .
  • Park well enough away to not affect any stage of launching.
  • Make sure you do not park anybody in
  • Park straight so others can plan around you
  • Do not take up unnecessary space
  • You are allowed to give someone a short lift from the launch pad to their boat to ease congestion at the launch site

Handing in Tag

  • Look out for the flashing lights on the pontoons which indicate where you hand in your tags and approach them in the same direction as all the other boats (which should be in a direction idling from launch towards start line) .
  • Do not make waves before or after handing in your tag that could affect others
  • Do not jump a queue
  • Approach the pontoon with caution

Start line

  • Position yourself at the start line in the correct place for the direction you are heading .
  • Do not encroach on the start line
  • If you are a slower boat do not take up a position in the very front . It is a danger to yourself and other boats behind you .
  • Make sure that just before the start you are lined up straight and your steering is straight .

Boat Retrieval

  • When approaching the launch pad make sure you come off the plane well before any waves you make will affect others at (or near) the launch pad .
  • Once you have dropped some one off on the bank to fetch the vehicle move away from the launch site .
  • Always keep the launch area as clear as possible
  • Where there is space for more than one boat to be retrieved at a time make sure you don’t encroach.
  • Do up your front shackles and move off up the ramp to allow the next vehicle to reverse.
  • Stop and do your back shackles etc when you are out of the way of turning and reversing vehicles .
  • Greet the helpers at the launch pad and please pay them before you leave for home.


  • Don’t have “batting practice” (over fish ) known productive areas and most definitely not on some one else’s spot they have been feeding .
  • Take care of your fish and release them as quickly as possible
  • Do not move onto a spot and mark it on your GPS whilst another boat is actively fishing it or feeding it
  • Take note of the cut-off period and do not go on to the lake during that time to feed or fish for tiger.
  • If you are not intending to enter the KITFT it is disrespectful to all the KITFT entrants to go to Kariba and actively fish for tiger over the official cut-off period.


Fishing etiquette more specific to:-

  • Live Bait
  • Spinning
  • Trawling
  • Kapenta

The first boat at any fishing spot has right of way.

If a boat has got to a spot before you and is actively fishing it when you get there you should not encroach on them .Only encroach if the boat with right of way has signalled you in or verbally agreed to allow you to enter their space .

Signal your intentions to another boat early

You can fish around another boat taking note of the parameters suggested in the sections below.

Live Bait

  • Look after your live bait humanely and they will reward you with better hook-ups !
  • Make sure they not in the sun .
  • Change the water regularly if they not sealed in an oxygenated bag
  • Don’t forget to keep the live well aerated
  • At the cages:
    • Ensure your boat settles in a position outside the restricted area after anchoring .
    • Fish your vertical column of water and be aware of where your live bait is with boats trawling past .
    • Especially Do not use the wind to drift your bait into the restricted fishing zones and up against the cage
  • Do not arrive late at the cages (or move your boat) and anchor or drift in an established trawling line if there is a boat trawling it .


  • If you have to approach a boat that is fishing a spot:
    • The boat already fishing should be given a wide berth of a minimum of 100m radius
    • Do not spin in the chum line of a boat actively fishing a spot .
  • If you have to approach a boat fishing an edge:
    • they have right of way down that edge in the direction they are pointed if they have a bass motor in the water .
    • If they are drifting they have right of way to drift with the wind down that edge
  • At the cages:
    • Do not cast your spinner into the restricted zone
    • If you stop and spin on an active trawl line you have no right of way


If you have to approach a boat that is already trawling:

  • The first boat on a trawl line has right of way .
  • Any boat which starts trawling a certain line before you has right of way.
  • DO NOT trawl on top of another boat’s spinners. Make sure your boat is at least 100m from the boat directly in front of you.
  • If you end up trawling next to / or trawling directly back towards another boat keep a reasonable distance of at least 15m apart when trawling in a straight ish line .
  • If trawl lines are not straight plan correctly for spinners depending on how far away they are behind the boat * Allow for 100m of clearance behind another boat before spinners cross over .
  • Watch where you are going and keep watching other boats to plan your trawl lines accordingly.
  • Do not “plough” or cross over a productive trawl line if you want to head back to the start of a trawl line
  • If a boat coming towards you (or trawling next to you) signals that they have a fish on please ensure you allow them room to land their fish .
  • If you get “snagged” please disrupt the trawl line and other trawling boats as little as possible by:
    • Reeling in the other lines as soon as possible to avoid multiple snags .
    • Not ploughing back in reverse
    • Only turning around to head back to the snag once other spinners have been pulled well past you
    • Not taking an unreasonable amount of time to free up if another boat is waiting to trawl that line
    • Not repeating the same snag over and over again
  • If you have to approach a boat that is spinning:
    • Plan your trawl line so that your boat AND your spinners you are pulling behind leave them full casting distance around their boat ( minimum of 50m ) as they move along.
  • If you snag another boat’s line STOP and head back and free up the other angler’s line for him. If it is chaos , cut your own lure off (if possible) and let the other angler tighten his line and start reeling in before throwing it all back in the water .

Kappie Fishing

  • Do not arrive the day before tournament and actively follow or look for boats baiting spots
  • Do not feed any spots outside the official tournament time regulations.
  • Do not use a third boat or another teamtofeedaspotorbookaspot.
  • Do not intentionally over feed a spot with the intention of “killing “it for anyone else .
  • If a boat is actively fishing a spot before you arrive:
  • DO NOT anchor or fish directly in their immediate chum line .
  • DO NOT DUMP excessive kappies upcurrent or anywhere near a boat already actively fishing.