Can You Fish At Golf Courses? (Explained)

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Side view portrait of father and son sitting together

 

Fishing at a golf course is something that many golfers would like to try.

Both fishing and golfing are very popular and enjoyable hobbies.

Think about being able to combine these two concepts and get some fishing in while you are on the golf course.

Many golfers that also like fishing will look at a golf course pond and think it is probably a great spot to get some fishing done.

This can be true.

Let’s look at whether you can fish at a golf course and some tips to make your time fishing on a golf course much more enjoyable.

 

Can You Fish At Golf Courses?

Aerial view of green grass and trees on a golf field.

 

Some golf courses will allow fishing, but you must check with the management and the staff before heading out on the course to fish.

Many times, golf courses that allow fishing only allow it later in the day and only for golfers that have also paid for access to the course and a cart.

Golf course fishing is only possible at times when the golf course is not crowded.

It has started to become a popular activity for a golfer that is playing late afternoon golf to grab a fishing pole and head to the course to play a few holes at the same time.

As you play your golf shots, you may come across a pond and decide to toss in a hook.

This is a great way to enjoy both golf and fishing, but there are still some things that all anglers should know about fishing on a golf course.

As great of an opportunity as this may seem, it is not exactly a perfect scenario.

Here are some of the things to know about golf course fishing.

 

Things To Know About Golf Course Fishing

Silhouette of angler standing on the lake shore during misty sunrise

 

Golf course fishing can be a lot of fun, but it can also cause some issues for you and other golfers.

In addition, it can create problems for you and members of the golf course staff.

Here are some things to know about golf course fishing.

Be sure to keep them in mind as you play your next rounds of golf with your fishing pole in tow.

 

1. Eating The Fish

Happy angler holds fish Zander (Sander lucioperca) sitting in a boat with river on the background

 

If you are lucky enough to find a golf course that allows you to fish, your next question is likely going to be about whether or not the fish are edible.

There are a few things to consider here to help you make this decision.

The first thing you need to consider is the runoff water on the golf course.

When golf courses are fertilized and treated for fungus and insects, all of that water flows into the ponds.

This is a problem as the fish in the water will be slightly contaminated.

One could argue that there could be a level of contamination in any food we eat, but the golf course fertilizer and chemicals are located very close to this food source.

In addition, there may be local rules about catch and release that will keep you from eating fish you find.

There is one situation where eating fish you catch on a golf course could be an option.

For golfers that are fishing on a course that is on a large body of water, there is a chance to eat the fish.

For instance, if your golf course has holes that line up against a large bay or even an ocean golf course, certainly fishing these areas and eating those fish will be much more acceptable.

Eating the fish at the golf course is more of an at-your-own risk kind of thing, so be sure you are ready for the consequences if this doesn’t work out too well.

 

2. Times To Fish

Golf course with gorgeous green and pond.

 

Golf courses tend to be busy from 8 am until at least about 2 or 3 pm.

These are the times when the most players hit the course and try to get their round of golf in.

When the course is this busy, there will be one group after another heading out to play.

You may find that there are groups headed out every 8 minutes and that you are waiting on every shot.

If this is the case, it is not the time to be on the golf course fishing.

Whether you are fishing only or trying to throw a few casts in as you play your round of golf, this is a poor time to fish.

Instead, choose to go out to the golf course late in the afternoon or the early evening.

The early evening will be best as the course will be mostly emptied, and you can take your time golfing and fishing.

Some people that are only interested in fishing and not the golf side of things will wait until near dusk and head out to get a few casts in.

By this point, the golf course shop is closed, and they will not require you to pay a greens fee to be out on the course.

This is when it’s really important to check and make sure there are no posted signs about fishing on the course.

Make sure that fishing is not considered trespassing.

If you don’t have permission, you can get yourself into trouble.

 

3. Other Wildlife

Beautiful golden light over Indian Wells Golf Resort

 

When fishing on a golf course, you must be aware of other wildlife.

As you can imagine, golf course ponds are not disturbed all that much.

They tend to be an excellent place for animals such as birds, turtles, and alligators.

If you are not smart about this, you could end up getting into a bad situation with an alligator.

The banks of golf course ponds are not safe places to spend time.

It is important to always approach with caution and keep an eye out for alligators if you are fishing in the South.

Also, try to think about what you will do if you accidentally hook a gator or a turtle.

Make sure that you have a small tackle box with you that contains tools freeing any wildlife that you accidentally hook.

A small tackle box that can fit on your golf cart is a really smart decision and will ensure that other wildlife is safe as well as yourself.

Just be smart and aware of what you are doing, so you don’t end up in a poor situation.

 

4. Types Of Fish

Fishing. Close-up shut of a fish hook under water

 

There are several types of fish that you may be able to catch while fishing on a golf course, and it helps to do a bit of research before heading out there.

Sometimes golfers think fishing is as simple as casting a hook in the water, but there is more to it than that.

You may need to bring bait with you or look for a certain bobber or lure that will attract the type of fish you are looking for.

If you get permission and have the time to go fishing on a golf course, do it the right way and try to catch some fish.

Talk to other golfers that have fished on the course and even ask some of the staff if they have ever tried.

Many times golf course staff will hit the course later in the day, and they may enjoy catching fish.

They can be a great resource to get more information about what you will need to be successful.

 

5. Get Permission

The businessmen shake hands after the meeting was successful and agreed upon.

 

The most important takeaway about fishing on a golf course is to get permission.

If you don’t get permission to fish on the course, don’t expect it to go well.

There is no sneaking around as most courses have plenty of people out there playing, or even houses near the course, so somebody will see you and let management know.

There are golf courses that simply do not allow fishing, and it’s essential to keep this in mind.

Sometimes we all have to make tough choices, and sometimes that choice will have to be either fishing or golf.

Permission is typically granted by the professionals who work at the golf course.

Talk to them about what their policy is as far as fishing is concerned and if there is anything that you can do to earn permission.

Some private golf courses are closed on Mondays, but they will allow people to come out and fish as long as they don’t get in the way of the maintenance crew.

See if they have something that will work with your schedule and always adhere to the rules of the golf course.

The ponds and bodies of water on a course are typically not all that fished, and therefore it makes sense to give this a try if you can.

You may have a lucky day and reel in a nice catch.

 

Why Do Golf Courses Have So Many Ponds?

Golf course

 

If you have noticed that golf courses have quite a few ponds, you are not wrong.

The golf courses can use these ponds to make the course more interesting, but they are also sometimes used as water retention ponds to help water the golf course.

It takes quite a bit of water to water a golf course.

For courses in areas without much rain or where water costs are high, the ponds can be used as a supplement to the watering system.

With the way that these watering systems are installed, the golf course superintendent can sometimes pull water from the ponds to help keep the golf courses looking green.

So as lovely as these ponds look, they also create some challenges for players.

Golf courses without ponds and other hazards are typically considerably easier, and, therefore, it can get boring for better players.

Having a few water hazards as well as some sand traps makes the game of golf considerably more fun.

 

Is It Safe To Fish On A Golf Course?

fisherman equipment serious face thinking

 

It is safe to fish on a golf course as long as you have permission from the golf course management and you are careful of your surroundings.

Fishing in the middle of the day on the golf course is typically not smart.

If you are out there when other golfers are out there, you can get hit with a golf shot while you are fishing.

Unless the golf course ponds are far removed from the holes, the chances of an errant shot coming your way are pretty high.

In addition to having to worry about other golfers, you must also consider wildlife.

Golfers know to stay away from the edge of the water hazards because there are times that wildlife can hurt you.

It’s never a positive to pull up to the side of a pond, get out to fish, and realize an alligator is already there doing its own fishing.

Essentially, you have to be very smart about where you fish and whether or not you have permission.

Finally, when you do catch your first golf course fish, make sure you think about whether or not it makes sense to eat it.

First, there could be rules about catch and release on the golf course.

Aside from that, there are a lot of chemicals that flow into the bodies of water surrounding the golf course, and the fish could be contaminated.

The fish may look fine on the outside, but after you eat them, you could feel sick.

Think about how much movement a body of water gets on the golf course.

If you are close to the ocean or a bay and the water is flowing in and out with the tides, it makes it a bit safer to fish and eat what you catch.

In addition, if the golf course sits on a large freshwater lake, you can also feel a bit more comfortable with the food you are eating.

Fishing on a golf course can be both fun and safe, but you just need to consider all aspects before you head out there.

 

Should I Fish On The Golf Course?

Golf course green grass field and lagoon.

 

If you’re focused on your golf game and trying to shoot the lowest scores possible, it probably doesn’t make much sense to bring a fishing pole.

As fun as fishing on the golf course can be, it will distract you from your normal game of golf.

Instead, pay close attention to what is going on with your game and fish another day.

However, for those heading out on the course for fun or to just relax, don’t hesitate to bring your gear and try to catch something.

 

Conclusion

We hope you now feel a bit more confident in your ability to fish on a golf course.

The first thing to do is confirm that this is a possibility for your local course.

It is a course-by-course decision, and there is no way to know if fishing is allowed until you ask.

For the most part, expect fishing to be limited to certain times of day and certain areas of the golf course.

If you can be flexible about this, the golf course may allow you to become a regular.



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