By Steve Graf
There are a few things that really set me off when it comes to angler/boater incidents both on and off the water. Things that make you ask the question “How dumb are Ya?” Today I’m going to give you a few examples of what I mean and hopefully you won’t fall into one of these categories. Some of these situations I’ve heard about from other anglers but most I’ve witnessed personally. If you’re wondering if I’m being judgmental, the answer is yes!
I’m so tired of seeing people do stupid stuff especially at the boat ramp. If you’re an angler or a boater, listen up! Please do me and everyone else a favor! DON’T BLOCK THE BOAT RAMP! Load your boat with all your gear before you back down the ramp. This happens all the time where an angler or pleasure boater waits to unhook his tie down straps, remove the motor mate, put in the plug, load the ice chest, fix a sandwich and place their rods in the boat. Oh, and I forgot to mention, that after they’ve done all these other things and get in the boat to back it off the trailer, they forgot to unhook the front. Do ALL this before you back down the ramp and launching your boat will only take a minute or two versus ten minutes. Please stop doing this! Do ALL your prep work before you get on the ramp!
This next category I call “cutters.” These are bass anglers who like to cut off or cut in front of another angler on the water. A prime example that I’ve experienced in my last two trips to Toledo Bend occurred when I was fishing a main lake point about thirty yards off the bank when another angler came around the same point that I’m obviously fishing. As I make another cast towards the point, I notice that instead of going around me, this anger decides to go between me and the bank and is literally twenty feet from my boat! The first problem I had with this idiot, is that he never even acknowledged that I was there. The second problem was the fact he actually trolled directly over my fishing line and still never acknowledged my presence. Needless to say, after I shouted a few expletives questioning this man’s intelligence, I just could not believe what I had witnessed. After a case of water rage, I literally wanted to physically hurt this man! I wished I had videoed this incident so I could post it on Facebook on what not to do when fishing a point that another angler is also fishing. Again, this has happened to me my last two trips to Toledo Bend. I just don’t understand what people are thinking!
This next incident took place on Sam Rayburn in March while fishing the ABA Solo Top 150 Tour event. Now you have to understand that anglers who fish this tournament trail, do so without co-anglers or partners. This is not a team bass tournament, so anglers have to launch their boats by themselves. This means as you back your boat off the trailer, you need a place to park it so you can pull your trailer off the ramp and park it in the parking lot. The problem was, as the first 10 or 15 anglers launched their boats, they decided it was a smart idea to park along the bank and alongside the boat dock This made it impossible for the other 65 anglers to find a place to park their boats so other anglers could launch as well. Just like the “cutters” at Toledo Bend, I could not pass up the opportunity to inform this group of anglers of just how dumb they are. I mean it’s just common sense that everyone cannot park next to the boat ramp while other anglers are trying to launch their boats. Again, “How dumb are Ya?”
I hope today that you’ve learned a few things about what NOT to do at a boat ramp and on the water. With so many anglers and pleasure boaters on the water today, it’s important that everyone be conscious of what they are doing and how their actions might affect other boaters. I feel like it should be required that anyone operating a boat of any size be required to take a boating safety course and that the unwritten rules of etiquette be taught as part of this course. Until next time, if you hear someone chewing out another angler or boater on any body of water, it’s probably just me trying to educate a few people. Good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!
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