This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend some quality father/daughter time with my daughter that just became a teenager. Yes, I do feel old now. Anyway, we went out Saturday morning for some time on the water chasing crappie and bass.
The lake we were on is close to a small city and easily accessible so it is always full of anglers and recreational boaters. Due to this there is always competition for fishing spots so it was no surprise when our first two crappie brushpiles were already occupied. So we went with plan “C” which was to hit a row of boat houses for some bass while waiting for the other areas to clear up.
About two casts into the day a bass boat comes screaming around a point and flies right up behind us before the driver kills the engine, and sprints to the front of the boat to drop the trolling motor. I gave him the stink eye.
He trolls towards us and, I’m not exaggerating a bit, asks, “are you fishing here?”
When I answered with a simple “yep”, I wanted to say much more than I did, he decided to move on. And by move on I mean that he went one boat house down and started fishing. That’s right, he moved all of 50 yards in front of us in the direction we were going and started fishing.
This brings us to this blog’s topic, fishing and boating etiquette. It’s summer and there are a bunch of idiots on the water, don’t be one of them.
Do not run right up on other boats, no fish is worth crowding others.
Do give all other boats, even non-anglers, a wide berth (remember the golden rule). Put an imaginary circle around the other boat stretching out around 100 yards. Don’t go inside that circle.
Do not sit in the middle of the boat ramp with a crowd of boats behind you waiting to launch.
Do get your stuff ready before backing down the ramp.
Do not run at semi-idle speed with just the back half of your boat in the water, you’re pushing a bigger wake than you think.
Do either run on plane (when appropriate) or really slow so that you minimize wake.
When meeting another boat travelling the opposite direction pass on the right, just like driving on the highway.
The biggest key to being a safe and courteous boater is to use common sense.