Monday, March 9, 2009

An Important Reminder Of Boating Etiquette!

Well, it's that time of the year again! Most anglers have there boats tucked away all winter and are finally able to get it out for another great year on the water. So I thought I'd write a little about my opinion of how to conduct yourself on the boat ramp and on the water! First off, everyone that owns a boat is responsible for not only knowing the laws of their state, but also know how to safely use their vessel, but I don't want to get into safety issues here, but rather boating etiquette. There isn't a person on the water that has had to either wait forever for that guy to load his boat at the ramp while the line at Walnut Marina starts to form? Or how about that time you found an awesome smallmouth bite and that knucklehead drove over it at 60 mph, shutting off the fish? I know I have....More than once! Start with the boat ramp! Please, please, PLEASE have your gear loaded IN THE boat BEFORE (once again...BEFORE) you arrive at the ramp. Don't be that dude holding up everybody else because your rods are all tangled up in your back seat. Also, remove your trailer straps before you get to the ramp. Trust me, you're not going to lose it during the 30 feet drive to the water. (Insert sarcasm here)!
Okay now that we have that out of the way......
This is my favorite! The guy who decided to bring his buddy along that has never been in a boat... more or less actually backed one in the water. Right, left, backwards, forwards, right, left, no wait...Pull up 30 feet and repeat! Always ask your partner if he/she is totally cool with doing this chore. And why would you want to risk your boat and truck? If they aren't experienced enough to back it in, simply back it down to the water and THEN let them back in the vehicle! (ya I know...I'm a damn Rocket Scientist)! Oh, and you may want to double check that drain plug! The last thing you want is a video of your boat sinking on!
Okay, enough with all that stuff! Let's talk about a few "unwritten" laws to follow on the water. First off, most lakes are big enough to offer you an ample amount of space to give other boaters PLENTY of room. Now...PLENTY of room doesn't mean 30 yards, it means 200 yards if you're cruising, and about 100 yards if you're trolling. Some would call this excessive, and some anglers who fish Walnut would laugh so hard that they'd throw up their pork rinds! But it's not, and can be done! Boats screaming at full throttle running too close, not only spooks fish, but is dangerous! So give everyone a lot of room! One thing that has got to be mentioned is language! No I'm not talking about "press 1 for English" I'm talking about the "F" this and the "F" that when you're out on the water. So the next time your buddy causes you to loose that 15 lb Walleye because he's...Well, an IDIOT, try to watch your mouth. I don't want my two young boys to hear it, and I'm sure nobody else wants to either. Just remember that sounds travels a long way on the lake!
Now that you're on the water and nicely "zig zagged" your way through the other boaters you've just arrived to that sweet breakline covered with big rocks..You know, the one you ALWAYS catch fish on?! But wait...There is somebody already fishing it?!?! What should you do? I mean, you did find that spot and should be able to fish it anytime you'd like, right? WRONG!! If somebody is fishing a spot you came to than move on the a different one. And if you don't have any other spots to fish, I'd suggest you did a little research and find a few! It is not the right thing to do, so go on with your baaaad self and fish somewhere else!
These are just a few things to keep in mind out on the water. Just remember to be RESPECTFUL to others around you and you'll be surprised of how many new fishing buddys you'll find on the way! And you never know, maybe that new buddy will tell you about a new spot considering you only have that one breakline to fish! (Ya, that was a joke) Here's to you for a safe and fun 2009 boating season!

Click here for some additional tips on launching your boat!

Click here if you have that idiot buddy who can't net a fish to save his life...You know, the guy who caused you to loose that 15 pounder!

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Tight Lines,