“What the hell is this guy doing?”
We have all said it. Most of the time standing on the front deck of our boat with both hands held high, not to signal a good field goal kick but rather a “what the hell is this guy doing”.
In the age of bass fishing we are faced with more anglers and the same amount of water we had 20 years ago. Now with endless financing you have high end bass boats being ran by anglers with little to no experience and thanks to social media everyone want to be a KVD….but they don’t want to earn it like he did.
Let’s get this out of the way first. We have all made mistakes on the water. Maybe we weren’t paying attention or didn’t see someone fishing the bank up ahead of us or maybe you come around a point a little to close to a boat that is fishing. I have made my fair share as well but I generally apologize and say, “My bad, didn’t see you” and go on my merry way. Accidents happen and how you respond to those really tell what kind of person and angler you are.
But in todays fishing there are a very small group of anglers that feel like they are above all the rest. Was it their raising? Did their momma not pay enough attention to them? Did they eat paint chips as a child? I don’t know but it’s becoming more rampant now than ever and it’s getting out of hand and something needs to be done before tempers flare and someone gets hurt.
I live very close to lake Guntersville, which has to be one of the worst lakes in the country for either rude or simply uneducated bass anglers. I have essentially stopped going to the lake out of fear I would lose my cool so rather than bet against my temper I simple stay away. Here are a few typical angler types you face and then we will talk about how to deal with them.
Pot Lickers or Bent Pole Pattern Fisherman. Now for you that don’t know, those are anglers that aren’t good enough to find their own fish so when they are driving by and see you set the hook they immediately stop, turn around and start fishing directly on top of you. Best-case scenario a “pot licker” will slow down, hit his waypoint button and come back and fish your spot later. Either way these people have no confidence in their ability to locate and catch fish on their own.
The angler with a deed. You also have people that believe that they own a certain spot on the lake. Your fishing minding your own business and a guy comes up and says “your fishing my hole” to which I immediately start looking around and tell them I don’t see anything on the water or my mapping software that states you own this 100x100ft square of water. These people are under some kind of false pretense that because they caught a 6 pounder there last year and have fished that spot every time they have come back since then that they actually own that spot. Weirdest thing I have ever seen.
The Guide. I have friends that are guides and are greatest people on earth, love them dearly but you have a few and very few that will request you move off a spot because they have clients with them. I was under the assumption that a guide had more than one spot under his belt to catch fish on. I have actually witnessed a guide cast over another anglers line after the angler that was there first refused to leave. This is super unprofessional and if I were a client it would turn me off instantly.
The next KVD. This angler generally possesses all the above qualities and will let you know they are privileged because they are fishing a BFL or Open or Church Tournament and been on some “Good Ones”. Yea, gotta love those that do wrong in the name of a church tournament. LOL. And I have seen it first hand. Anyway, this anglers will cut you off, cast over you, go between you and the bank, drive 10 ft from you at 65mph while you are fishing, waypoint your spots and do it all because they are on the road to the “Big Time”. In no way am I saying that KVD ever did this but I am using his name because everyone wants to be him but no one wants to earn it.
Mr. Sneaky. This guy is a new one but he is crafty. This angler will start out a long ways from you, see you catch a few and then make his way over to you all the while creating conversation to become your “buddy” and before you know it he is casting on top of you. But wait...it’s okay because you and him talked about college football or some other vague conversation. This angler has been created out of necessity as all the other are so highly visible that tempers are at boiling points instantly. This guy is the used car salesman of the world. Nothing against used cars salesmen but you know what I mean.
Now with all these different types I am going to tell you how to deal with them.
There are several other options but the last one you want to do is get into a screaming match with someone over a fishing spot. Generally both parties are mad and at some point it could come to an altercation or even worse. Not to mention two adults screaming and cussing in the middle of the lake does very little to legitimize our sport. The reason there is no sense in arguing is because you aren’t going to change the other person behavior, you’re basically just going to be mad the rest of the day and take all your focus off fishing.
So in closing as you stand there with hands held high, looking at your partner saying “what in the hell is this guy doing” just remember that you can’t control their actions…..only yours.
Founder and CEO