"What The Hell Is This Guy Doing?"

by Jake Freeman May 31, 2016 6 Comments

"What The Hell Is This Guy Doing?"

“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.

 

  1. Hard to do but just pull up your trolling motor and move on. Especially if you have kids with you. Set an example and be the bigger angler.
  2. Politely point out what they are doing and ask them to please give you your space
  3. If they start encroaching then start a conversation with them. Ask them if they are fishing a tournament. If they say yes, ask them which one. This will give you information as to who to report them to.
  4. Video them. No one wants to be the big talk of social media all over the world.
  5. If things start to get out of hand immediately pull up your trolling motor and leave but try to get their boat number and contact the authorities.

 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.

 

Jake Freeman

Founder and CEO




Jake Freeman
Jake Freeman

Author


6 Responses

Levi
Levi

June 01, 2016

I have to agree that Guntersville is real bad. And that it’s the younger generation that don’t know any etiquette. I’m in college myself and was at Guntersville for the FLW College Series event the other day and it was crazy how no one cared who else was on the spot. They would stop and fish wherever or run wherever. We were fishing some humps on the south end of the lake and probably 20 times did someone, college angles and others, run directly over the hump and if we threw up our hands they’d just start cussin. There needs to be a requirement for anyone on the water to teach etiquette. It’s really just common sense but no one has common sense these days.

Dan
Dan

June 01, 2016

This just happened last weekend on the CA Delta some anglers came around an island and got on us for fishing a spot we had been fishing when they were at least half mile away and out of sight when we pulled up. We just told them not a problem we’ll catch just as many behind you and started working the opposite direction all while they were screaming and telling us we dont know who were messing with. I can see how thing’s can escalate quickly on the water. Your article is very well put together and I agree sometimes you just gotta cut your losses.

Larry
Larry

June 01, 2016

Very well said and I personally know the feeling. My son and I were fishing we passed two men in a pocket and we pulled up to a little point to start. We had about 60 yards between us and I hooked and landed one just over four pounds, the next thing you know there they are about a hundred foot ahead of us.

Scott
Scott

June 01, 2016

I agree with you 150%. I have been bass fishing religiously for 40 years and when I was growing up there was etiquette given and received. I’m not saying its all the younger generation but I’ve noticed that more of the younger fisherman are the main ones that show no etiquette. A lot of them think they own the lakes and that they have the right to do as they please. Again, not all of the younger anglers. I would like to know if these boater safety courses spend much time teaching etiquette. The jet skiers, pleasure boaters, & pontoons almost always show no common sense as well. I’ve never pulled up on a point and fished it with someone else there first but I’ve had it done to me on several occasions. One last thing and that is about what you said about anglers not having any confidence in their abilities, to which I agree. The internet and technological improvements in electronics have made heroes out of zeroes. It’s allowed inexperienced fisherman to bridge the gap of of 20-30 years of time on the water that the older guys have spent. I would like to see some tournaments held where you could not use your electronics and you could not use the internet 2 weeks prior to a tournament and see what would happen.

Jason
Jason

June 01, 2016

In our first tournament this year we were fishing Wheeler and we stopped at the railroad tracks off the point at the bridge. We are a good 100 yards from the guy fishing under the bridge and we are going to work our way down the bank anyway. So my partner and I start casting and I am casting toward the point away from where the guy fishing under the bridge was working it, and he gets mad at me when I am casting nowhere in his zone. I get asked the lake is big enough you can find your own piece of fishing property. like he owns the spot under the bridge. We shared it that morning with 5 other teams that were fishing in our tournament and another tournament and we all put limits in the boat, but he owned, and did not want share. My partner that day is a retired guard from the jail, and it made him mad the way the guy acted. I told him I did not mean to offend him, and Tommy my partner said people like him is what makes the redneck want to come out in him and put them in their place. But we did the right thing and moved on.

Tony
Tony

May 31, 2016

I’ve never heard it said more eloquently. Thank you. I will read this to my children and grandchildren.

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