Can You Carry a Gun While Fishing?

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Can You Carry a Gun While Fishing? Here’s What You Need to Know

Fishing and hunting are highly related, yet you require different weapons for each activity. When it comes to fishing, a fishing rod will be your main “weapon”. Hunting, on the other hand, requires a proper firearm, be it a Marlin 1895 SBLor a different type of rifle.

Now, how about combining them? Can you carry a gun while fishing? Carrying a weapon for such activities is a matter of personal preferences, assuming, of course, it’s legal to do so where you live. It’s not for everyone, but it might be handy at times.

Can you carry a gun while fishing?

So, can you carry a gun while fishing? It normally depends on where you live. Make sure you double check the local firearm laws and regulations in your state before proceeding. Fines are quite high and in some states, you may even be jailed.

In Alabama, for example, you’re allowed to open carry without a permit. The same goes for Alaska or Arizona. On the other hand, the law is a gray area in Arkansas. However, since 2015, people have been allowed to open carry without a permit.

In Florida, on the other hand, you’re not allowed to open carry, unless you’re going on a hunting or fishing trip. The same rule applies when you’re returning. Basically, you could walk around with a Marlin 1895 SBL, as long as you’re also carrying fishing equipment.

The point is every state has its own rules and there might be exceptions and small aspects that could determine the legal or illegal profile of open carrying. But then, why would you carry a gun while fishing? Here are a few good reasons.

Unexpected encounters in the wilderness

Every fishing enthusiast has their own hot spots. Everyone knows a place or two where no one else goes, some secret waters that require a bit of a trek to get there. So called fishing holes are often hidden and avid fishermen will never share their secrets.

Now, imagine if someone else knows about this place. How about a random person hanging around, on drugs, or looking to rob someone? What if you meet someone out there on water who loses it when they see someone else around the same fishing hole?

There are so many cases of fishermen getting killed by junkies or random maniacs just for being there.

Then, if you bother to do a bit of research, you’ll realize many fishermen go out there illegally. Some of them may even carry a gun illegally. There are reports about marijuana plantations in the middle of nowhere, as well as dangerous people out there in the woods.

You may not get killed, but you’ll definitely feel much more confident and secure having a gun while alone on a fishing trip.

Indeed, this is not always the case when you go fishing with a group of more people. A bunch of men can easily tackle a junkie coming out of the woods, but the necessity of a gun is pretty obvious if you go alone, especially in hard to find secluded areas.

People are one thing, animals are a different thing

Can you carry a gun while fishing? Again, it depends on where you live and you need some good reasons too. If people can be stopped with a small pistol, things are completely different when it comes to animals. Wildlife encounters may often underline the necessity of personal protection.

Obviously, if you go fishing down a lake that’s heavily flooded by tourists, chances are you won’t meet too many bears. But at the same time, you’re less likely to catch any fish, with all the people, noises, and amusement parks around.

That’s the reason wherefore so many fishermen choose secluded areas in the middle of nowhere. The problem is wildlife is heavily present in these areas too, so they’re exposed to more or less dangerous situations.

A grizzly with cubs will be nearly impossible to stop with a classic .45. Bear spray? When a grizzly mother fights for cubs, the bear spray becomes completely useless. In fact, such things may even annoy the wild animal even more.

An extra adventure

Now, when it comes to personal protection, a pistol will probably do. But can you carry a gun while fishing and hunting? That makes even more sense.

To some anglers, it’s not all about the fishing. Sure, fish on fire will be great after a long day, but many people mix fishing and hunting with camping as well. A Marlin 1895 SBL will be great if you also want to add some deer to the table for your family or group of friends.

From many points of view, it’s an extra adventure that will certainly add to your experience.

Carrying equipment for both fishing and hunting can be difficult though. Therefore, most people engage in both activities when on longer camping trips. You could alternate and go fishing today and hunting tomorrow.

Apart from this situation, chances are most people who carry a gun while fishing will do it for safety purposes. In this case, they’re less likely to carry rifles or large firearms, but smaller pistols for personal protection. At the end of the day, it also depends on the wildlife they may encounter.

As a final conclusion, can you carry a gun while fishing? There are, indeed, many different reasons to carry a gun while fishing. Most commonly, it’s about protection. But then, there’s also the need to hunt on a longer camping trip. Each of these needs requires a different type of firearm, of course.

This isn’t the only thing to take into consideration. Local laws and regulations are just as important. You may be allowed to openly carry a gun in some states, but it’s also illegal in others. Indeed, there are all sorts of circumstances and exceptions, but it still pays off checking the rules upfront.

Either way, there are reasons to do it and in some cases, a gun can save your life.

—by Jackie Pasaol


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