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Shawn Kellett

On the water angler ethics

90 posts in this topic

I was thinking of posting this a couple months ago but was talked out of it, but I think it should be said. I had a LOT of rude people that I encountered on the water this year. So many that I basically stopped muskie fishing and really thought about telling the muskie community to pound sand and quit the work I do for the resource.

Here's some guidelines I think people should follow on the water.

1. If someone is fishing the spot go somewhere else!

- This is no different then budding in line at the grocery store. What do you tell your kids when they push another kid out of line? If someone else beat you to the spot let them fish it. Ask yourself "do I like it when other people cut me off?" Most people would say no. If you're wondering if you're too close, you are. I know of a few people who post here regularly that also regularly cut people off.

2. Instead of following people around the lake, try TALKING to them! You never know, if you approach someone in a genuine manner you may be suppressed how forth coming they are.

3. Don't drive where someone is casting. You'd think that this is a no-brainer, but there's lots of no-brainers out there apparently.

Remember the Golden Rule: Treat people how you want to be treated. We all want to have an enjoyable time on the water whether we catch fish or not. Let's give each other their space so in turn they give us ours.

Feel free to add your own.

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Well said Shawn, I was going to post something similar on another topic thanks to some asshats that followed me around the other night from the launch to 3 spots, cutting me off once arriving at each area. I finally just canned it and disappeared on them.

I find the pleasure boaters more friendly than most muskie boats on the water. Sure there are the a$$hats that cut you off bad, but usually their passing through quickly and not casting in on the same piece of water you are.

Smile and try to have fun people, all i see are stern looks and not even a wave or nod. "Minnesota nice" isn't so nice on the water for muskies apparently.

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The other bonus with pleasure boaters that that sometimes you get to see their ta-ta's when you ask nice wink

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I agree with almost everything that was said, except some people feel if they are fishing a spot, no matter how large it is, it is considered theres. I have had boats on huge weed beds i am casting that are hundreds of yards aways that speed up there trolling motors to cut me off their area. I have also had people that are heading one direction casting, heading away from the area I want to fish, turn around their boats 180 degrees and go completely go out of their way to verbally kick me off their spot. Also, if the lakes are busy sometimes you have to be willing to share spots, especially on the smaller crowded metro lakes. I know its tough, but it can also be fun sharing spots with anglers if you both have the same mind set.

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Good post Shawn. I've also seen an influx in the amount of rude behavior on the water amongst anglers. Many of us deal with schmucks on a daily basis at work and use fishing as a way to unwind and kick back. Hard thing to do when folks aren't using common sense and being rude. Just to add on to what has already been said for guidelines....

1. When someone is working a piece of structure, weedline, reef etc. Don't cut in front of the other boat's trolling route. It's incredibly frustrating when you have full intention of covering a spot and some schmuck comes cruising in and plops the trolling motor, anchor etc. down 50 ft. in front of you. Instead, if you recognize they are trolling a spot; jump behind them (within reason) and be patient. If your dying to cast to a specific spot, just ask the other boat if they wouldn't mind you jumping in front of them.

I think most of these scenarios can be avoided with just a little communication and patience. Were all in this together. wink

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I think a good rule of thumb is that if you drop your boat in a position where the 1st boat would be fishing your dirty water you're in the wrong. Even if it seems like a big spot, give the guy a break and fish somewhere else. It's the right thing to do.

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I'm not sure where or why people started to have this mentality that they had to fish a certain spot at any cost.

People seemed to pretty much get along and stay out of each others way on Leech and Cass before the new lakes and new breed of fishermen came along.

You'd find lots of guys working Portage bay, the old Pelican Island weed beds or rocks, but they seemed to be able to give each other enough space.

It really sucks that so many guys out there have only one thing that they care about, and that is a fish in the net.

I guess for some of us the only consolation is we know we aren't "that guy".

JS

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I did this same post on the vermilion forum and it hit over a 100 replies.. Seems that this is a hot subject and for good reason.

If you cut someone off on a spot you are a complete deck, If you know what I am saying. Just face it you are not that important and you dont have rights to specific spots on public water.

Just remember this.... the guy who cuts people off all the time and thinks that he owns the lake isnt just a deck on the water they are most likely a deck in life. Usually they fail at alot of things in life and musky fishing will also be one of them.

You know who you are... THINK ABOUT IT.

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I actually ran into two courteous boats recently. One was a group of three guys Muskie fishing on Forest Lake, they wanted to fish the general area we were and actually asked if we didn't mind and of course we didn't care. The other was of all things water skiers that wanted to ski a slalom course we were fishing in the vicinity of, they asked us how long we'd be in the area and and agreed to wait till we cleared out. A little courtesy goes a long way...too bad the boating/fishing manners of most people on the water aren't the same as these fine folks.

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See I think the thing that makes me better than people like this is that I anticipate what the boats in my intended area are doing. Waconia is relatively a small lake when you think about it, but even so there is so much structure to fish that there really is no reason to be 50 ft away from another boat unless you are at the launch. If my intended spot is taken or it looks like someone else is working near it, my mindset is to put them before me. Most people don't do this because they think the world revolves around them. Just like everyone else in populated areas you need to wait your turn. It just sucks when you as a person put the needs of others before you and you get deficated on anyways. I figure one of these days my good actions will come back to me somehow.

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Good posts. I hate it when people cut me off so I don't do it to people. I will admit, that I was guilty of it once this year and it was by accident. There was a boat that was off the spot I wanted to fish (I thought they were walleye fishing) so I cruised in to my spot and to my suprise, they started coming right down the weedline towards me. If I had know they were musky fishing, I would never have pulled in there. I would have went and hit another spot and came back when they were clear.

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Do you guys get upset if someone is fishing your "dirty water?"( area you have already fished) I do not and dont mind fishing other peoples...but some guys think you are still moving in on their territory

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... I had a LOT of rude people that I encountered on the water this year. So many that I basically stopped muskie fishing and really thought about telling the muskie community to pound sand and quit the work I do for the resource...

Shawn, sorry to hear your frustration. I do a lot of volunteer work with MN Hockey and see a lot of great volunteers stop because of a-holes. I find that it very helpful to focus on all the positives from my volunteer related experiences, they usually far outways the negatives IME/IMO.

I would hope that we run into far more friendly/curtious musky fisherman than a-holes. Life is too short to let negative encounters ruin your passion.

Anyways ... I hope you continue to stick with it. Thanks for all your hardwork to improve this great fishery. smile

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I have yet to meet a rude fisherman in MN.

I must need to get out fishing more.

IMO, for any given fisherman to fish-able water ratio, I have a certain amount of space that I give the other fishermen around.

At the low density end, fly-ins in Canada, if I can see 'em I'm going to take my boat somewhere else.

At the high density end, stream fishing for salmon in Alaska, I'm more than happy to walk right up next to someone and start fishing, because there are just that many people fishing so you've all gotta share the water.

So far Minnesota fishing has always fallen in between those two extremes. If I can find fish-able water further away from people, I will.

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I was fishing a metro lake this week, we anchored on a point because the wind was givin the trolling motor heck. These guys (who we'd talked to earlier and seemed nice enough) were working the weedline around the lake. They cut INSIDE us and the point we were working (after being able to see we were anchored for the last 20 minutes), less than 30 feet away. I was so po'd. It would have taken 10 seconds of trolling motor juice to go outside of us, or even gone inside weedline. And they even had the audacity to cast to the area we were casting to. I almost winged one right into their boat, I coulda clocked the guy at that distance

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Even up here on Lake Vermilion, where there is more good Muskie water, than you could fish in your entire lifetime, we have seen more and more of this.

There was a time when boats would just move on to the next spot, if they saw you fishing it. It gets even worse during the weekend, when the weekend worriors are here.

I don't care if a guys pulls up behind me and starts to fish. Unfortunately, more and more, they are just pulling up right in front of me and doing the classic cutoff manuver. It just makes me wonder what kind of mental giant is driving that boat?

With 40,000 acers of water and 1000's of great spots to fish why this should ever happen on Vermilion is beyond me. None the less, it is getting worse up here every year. These guys must all have the same hyper personality profile. They all can't just be that stupid, can they?

Grow up and learn how to share your toys boys. This kind of bad manners reflects on all of us that fish for Muskies. Why do you think other anglers who don't fish for Muskies think we are all eletist, pushy, self absorbed #%$@&^?

There is so much more to Muskie fishing than running and gunning for the numbers. Some of us still enjoy the hunt and the chase and the surroundings, even if we don't get a fish that day.

Slow down and smell the slime.

Because in the long run, no one will really care how many

you caught over 50, or how many spots you can fish in one day.

I hear that they are really pounding them out on Green bay.

"Ace"

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Ta-tas are always welcome on the spots I feesh
Second That!

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How far in front of people would you consider rude?

I was fishing the metro muskie tournament on Owasso and was set up to start fishing a shoreline that I had scouted out the previous week. I went to a stretch of shoreline at 5:45 to sit on it so I could fish it starting at 6:00 when the tournament began. 10 minutes after arriving, a boat pulled in about 75 yards up the shoreline from me and began the tournament there.

This really frustrated me because I had been there first and anticipated fishing up the shoreline. This person who cut me off has even responded to this post stating their irritation with people who cut others off. I was very happy to find out that this person got shut out on Owasso for the tournament. Next time you are out, I will be in the small 14' fishing boat with a 15 horse mercury. It's not as fancy as your boat but I still fish for muskies out of it so please pay attention and let me fish a spot if I get there first. Thank you.

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So if you're sitting still waiting for the tournament to start and not fishing, how would they know which way you were going or what your plan was? Maybe you should post it on the internet next time so everyone will know not to get in your way....

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haha, as much as we'd all love to own spots, squee, we can't. 75 yards is plenty of distance, if you wanted to fish up there you should have parked up there, tough loss buddy. And no need to bring up the boat issue in here, heck I'd kill for a 15 horse, I'm pushing my tin can with an 8 and a half. Enjoy your time on the water and don't sweat the small stuff, all you gotta do is be in the right place at the right time, fish don't care what kind of boat you have.

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I always leave the dock/access with a game plan. I know that if I am out 3 hours I could hit 8 spots that I have boated fish and there might be 4 more I would like to try. If I am working my milkrun and somebody is there I just move on. My kid does not understand it...yet... but he will. Time on the water will help mold the person. If someone is rude on the water chances are they are a jerk on the street.

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Yes, I made the mistake of starting on the end of a weed bed rather than beginning in the middle of it. But I would assume that many of you would be a little bothered if you intended on fishing along a certain spot and someone else went right where you had planned on going. Maybe it was no fault of the person who went in my path because they were far enough away and didn't know which way I was going to go, but it frustrated me anyway.

I had it in my mind that I was going to work a shoreline structure and when that plan got cut off I was bugged. In the end no fish were pulled off of the spot so it didn't really matter. Maybe the other boat had no idea that there was a big cabbage bed in that spot but just happened to chose a starting point within 5-10 casts of another boat when many other spots on the lake were available.

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Or maybe that person knew there was a cabbage bed there and they had picked that exact spot as their starting point. Since you were 75+ yards away how do you think you can claim owner ship to that entire stretch of shoreline when you weren't even fishing. For all they knew you looked like some pan fisherman sitting down in your boat with bobbers out... wink

In canada, 75 yards is cut off. In the metro on an 800 acre lake with 10+ muskie boats, it's a different spot.

What if bronzeback had pulled up in his boat with an 8 horse, then would it still irritate you as much?

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