Boat Ramp Etiquette 101

by Jake Freeman July 31, 2016 5 Comments

Boat Ramp Etiquette 101

In the fast paced world of tournament bass fishing, we know that morning launches can be hectic and when weigh in time comes we all know that everyone is in a hurry to get out. In this blog we are going to go over several things that can make your life and everyone else’s at the boat ramp a whole lot easier.

 

Let start with prepping your boat to launch that morning. The very last thing that you want to do is get all the way down to the ramp and then start unhooking the boat. Start this process either parked away from the ramp or while in line waiting your turn. Nothing worse than having to wait on an angler that had 20 minutes to get it done before hand but just didn’t care enough to get it done.

 

Now this one is an ego buster. If you don’t know how to back a boat, don’t learn the morning of. If you’re a co-angler just simply tell your boater that you aren’t confident in backing up with some much traffic. They had much rather find out then, than see their truck and boat coming down the ramp like a water snake looking for refuge. If you’re by yourself and not well versed in doing it alone either ask someone or wait for everyone else to put in and then put your boat in the water. No one wants to see a truck and boat take up a place on the boat ramp for 20 minutes.

 

Lights!!! Turn them off. If you are looking behind you there is no sense in having your headlights on while backing down the ramp. You’re blinding everyone else and I guarantee there is someone in the parking lot “giving you the business” verbally. Some makes and models don’t allow for headlights to turn off but here is a trick. Try mashing your emergency brake in one click. Sometimes that will override the headlights and shut them off.

 

Parking is a big thing to me. I generally try to park towards the end of the parking lot. It gives others room to maneuver 50 feet of truck and boat and I also like to think that it gives the older anglers a shorter walk to the ramp if they get a spot close by.

 

Overall be courteous and realize not everyone can back a boat as fast as others or maybe someone just doesn’t realize that their headlights are on. So before we start jumping the gun and causing a scene, lets take a second and figure out what’s going on. A “Hey buddy, not sure you know this but your lights are on” works a lot better than “Hey pal, your blinding everyone you moron.” Or a “looks like your having some trouble backing down the ramp, anything that I can help you with?” Rather than “Good gravy! You get your boat backing license this morning? Hurry up!”

 

Take time to remember that when we all started fishing and backing boats we didn’t all learn it overnight and sometimes people just need a friendly reminder. Can’t tell you how many friends that I have made from simply being polite at the local boat ramp and besides, those fish have been in that lake for years, they can wait 10 minutes while you help a fellow angler. Never know when you are going to be the one needing help one day.

 

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Jake Freeman
Jake Freeman

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5 Responses

Jeremy Souther
Jeremy Souther

September 12, 2016

Loved The Article And You Are Correct In Everything You Said … It’s Been A While Since I Tournament Fished Hoping To Start Getting My Foot Back In The Door Soon … But Even If You Are Not In The Tournament And Trying To Launch The Same Rules Apply I Have Been To Lakes With No Tournament Going On But Other Than Looking At The Different Rigs You Couldn’t Tell Everyone Wanted In The Water At The Same Time … And I Did Get Caught In Tournament Traffic On The Launch 1 Time At Pickwick … I Have A Little Older Model Ranger W/A 150 On It Nothing Special … But This Trip Me And My Wife Were Staying At J.P.Coleman State Park In A Cabin And King Of A Mini Vac. Get Away And I Took My 15’ Aluminum Boat Instead … And Those Were Some Of The Rudest People I Have Been Around Fishing … Especially A Couple Husband And Wife Teams … My Wife Doesn’t Back And Don’t Know Much About That Boat I Do The Backing And Soon As Boat Floats I Have Her Using A Rope Pull It Out Of The Way And I Was Dropped And Gone In Good Time But Some Of The Comments That Were Made About My Wife And The Aluminum Boat Had She Told Me At The Time I Would Have Been On The News She Is A Little Overweight But Not That Much Just All These People That Have More In Their Rigs Than Some People Have In A House Think They Are Better Than Others And I Don’t Like People With That Attitude … This Kind Of Attitude Is Uncalled For … I Used To Live In North East TN Fishing Cherokee And Douglas Lakes Regularly Actually Lived Off Cherokee And Those Were All But A Couple The Nicest And Best People I Have Been Around I Fished A Lot Of Tournaments Up There The Years I Lived There … I’m From South MS Raised Here And After 12 Years Moved Back I Miss The Mountains The Lakes And The People From Up There… Sorry For Rambling I Hope Everyone Has A Blessed Day …

Ryan Isaacks
Ryan Isaacks

August 01, 2016

Great article and well written as always. I agree with every point brought up. I wish people would practice a little common sense and courtesy things would go so much smoother during large tournaments.

Adam Miller
Adam Miller

August 01, 2016

Great article. I am new tournaments and this is a great thing to know. Obviously, lights are a no Brainer, but I have seen more than a few on a Saturday before daybreak at the ramp with thier high beams on.

Dave Altman
Dave Altman

August 01, 2016

Good column. It is sometimes frustrating at the ramp—but it doesn’t have to be. And I’ve seen more boaters handle it professionally than the other way around. Sometimes a flash of the lights will remind someone who is either inexperienced or simply forgot that he’s left the lights on. As for co-anglers, it’s critical that they know how to back down or if not, be responsible enough to tell your boater that they would rather not do it (he WILL appreciate the honesty). BTW, your shirts & products hold up great. I’m enjoying the short sleeves and the long-sleeved SPF 50.

Randy Rafnel
Randy Rafnel

August 01, 2016

Great article boat ramp 101 everyone need to read a little courtesy goes a lone way

Thanks again for posting

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