Are "Bucket heads" really that bad?

Feeling a bit on the antagonistic side today, I was inspired to write this post by a thread I saw on a local fishing forum about pet peeves in fishing.

One of the biggest pet peeves that came up was the infamous "bucket head". Now, I can absolutely see why this would be a big pet peeve. After all, it's frustrating to most of us "sportsmen" (or sportswomen for all of you political correct police out there) to watch someone throw everything that he, or she, catches in to a bucket, on a stringer, in the grass, etc...  Many of us have muttered a few choice words under our breath or even out loud at those people - myself included.

But then I got to thinking; are bucket heads really that bad? Let's think about this a bit. How do most of us stereotype a bucket head?
- People with poles and reels big enough to catch a shark
- use giant bobbers
- live bait
- lawn chairs
- slobs
- ignorant
I can probably add a few more descriptive things there too but you all get the point. For the most part, the assumption is that bucket heads aren't really fisherman and pretty much suck at it, right?

So my question then is why is it so bad if they keep a few fish? After all, since they suck at sport of fishing so much, it's not like they catch enough fish to really worry about it, right?

So now it's really time to throw some gas on the fire. I think that they actually do know how to catch fish! The difference is that they get down to the basics and as much as we hate to admit it, the basics are the basics for a reason! Every time something starts to unravel, the common approach to fix it is to go back to the basics.

Relationships falling apart?  Go back to the basics!
No longer catch as many fish? Go back to the basics!
Your football team is on a losing streak? Go back to the basics!
Having a problem at work? Go back to the basics!
Can't figure out what's wrong with your car? Go back to the basics!

So the next time you are out fishing and you are pissed off that you aren't catching anything and you just saw some ignorant bucket head throw a nice bass, trout, pike, etc...into his bucket, don't get pissed at him and blame him for your inability to catch a fish because you think he put them all in his bucket. Instead, learn from him and go back to the basics!


  1. Its less about them keeping fish and trashing the place ( which is common as well ) as much as it is the real estate they take up.
    If you fish for sport you usually move and are active working the shoreline. Bucket heads line up, tight line 2 or three rods then take a nap. I myself do not really get how that is enjoyable but it represents a good 50' of shore at least that I have to sidestep. :(

    1. For me it is about them trashing that real estate while keeping everything they catch around their camp fires made with beer boxes and brush from what was one of my favorite spots and listening to their music cranked up to eleven.

    2. Ehhh, that part doesn't really bother me too much. Most of the time, there is enough water to catch fish in other areas. What I would take away from them if they are catching fish is the type of area they are fishing. Is it wind blown? Weedy? Steep drop? Shaded? Sunny? and so on...

      The one exception are the warm water discharge areas. The assholes that park their butts directly above the discharge and cast their lines across the entire outlet DO piss me off.

  2. Isn't that the wonderful thing about fishing? That it means so many different things to so many different people? I spent quite a few summer nights as a kid drowning worms from my cousin's dock. No, we weren't in anyone's way, but even if we'd been at a public place, buckets in place, rods rigged and in rod-holders, would we not have had as much right to be there as anyone else? Who determines what fishing is and is not supposed to be? Maybe making fishing less about you (and me) and more about how much everyone enjoys it is the answer to this "problem." I just ask how they are, go around them and keep on fishing. Not all of 'em are bad people, or slobs, or litterers, or poachers.

    1. Agreed (Owl), and today's worm dunker might be tomorrow's fly angler. That's how my brothers and I came up. My pops was a worm dunker extraordinaire. None of his sons fish with bait (in freshwater, at least).

      I used to get really fired up about the worm dunkers at our neighborhood lake who would put out 8 surf rods in rod holders, but fortunately (in this case), I live in the land of "Let's Make a Law!" so now freshwater anglers are never supposed to have more than 2 rods in the water at one time.

  3. We've all got different goals, man. Gotta share the water. Loved this post.


  4. Since I used to be somewhat of a bucket head earlier on, I have to say I agree that they have the right to be there as long as they obey all the rules. I do have to admit that stashing fish in the grass is a long held tradition that I've never seen a fly fisherman perpetrate.

  5. If they paid for their license, and, are not in way breaking the law, then our duty is not too judge others. Though, many folks do spend their time judging others! I have seen a group of fly fishers just as "bucket headed" too. So, can we all just get along for pete sakes?

  6. There's a lot of factors. Whats really sad is that most of them in this area are catching catfish to eat. Which it's posted on the DNR website that the safe consumption is 1 per month! Thats nasty!!!


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