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Daze Off

Fishermen vs Canoers?

10 posts in this topic

This past Saturday morning I was out on the Rum nearly at first light and had a delightful time fishing with the river almost to myself for quite some time.

After a couple hours canoers started coming by - first here and there and then in groups of up to 10 or more canoes. These were serious paddlers for the most part, not recreational canoers in aluminum canoes.

I was fishing a bridge abuttment and was about 20 ft from the water's edge around the abuttment, clearly facing it, and working a jig and plastic slowly. There is no one else in sight anywhere. This couple comes paddling like all get-out right toward me obviously intending to pass between me and the bridge abuttment. Seeing this - when they were about 25 yds or so away I asked them not to come through where I was fishing. They keep paddling and came right through anyway and tell me that "this is the way we always go" and keep on going up river. Trust me when I say that there is no reason they could not have gone on the other side of the abuttment - the current was no different, the water no deeper, no obstacles up or down river to interfere, etc. - or even behind me between me and the river bank.

About 30 mins later I am fishing upriver at a bend fishing some rip rap on the bank with a crankbait. I'm about 15 yds from the bank. I hear a noise and turn around and here is a lone canoer going like crazy less than a foot from the back corner of my boat. I could have easily taken him out with a backswing of a cast. He passed the whole length of my boat within 3 ft of the side of my boat. This time, I admit, I was not nearly as polite as the first time when I told him to give me some space but not completely ignorant and he responded as impolitely as I did and it looked for a while like it would come to blows. Again, no one else in sight, river is probably 60 yds wide at this point or more, I was visible well in advance of his approach so no reason to be so close and yet here we were.

I hate conflict and certainly don't need the stress or aggravation and the river is already no wake for just about its entire navigable length. What gives? Is there some rule to quote/report in situations like this? I have to admit I am getting tired of the cr#*. I just want to be left in peace to fish quietly along.

Suggestions on how to handle this one? Talk to the sheriff or CO or DNR or city? Drop an anchor in their canoe as they pass? <j/k> Seriously, what can a person really do or do we just have to tolerate this stupidity?

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That's BS.

Fire up the motor, tilt it up, and give 'em a hose down!!!

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Ralphs suggestion sounds pretty good. I've had that problem before also except with jet skis on the river when I've been fishing from shore.

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Wow Daze! I've ran into them plenty of times and never had an issue. One time I caught a nice smallie and they all watched and clapped when I caught it. And the thing is - aren't these groups from a Church? Sorry to hear that man.

When are we going fishing?

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Ralph -

An excellent idea - a bit o' prop wash never hurt anyone... cool.gif

EB -

I've been sucked up into the vortex of my kid's HS graduation but am now (finally) clear of that mess and ready to think about fishing again - fire me an e-mail at wtg4summer@msn.com and let's set something up!

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The paddlers he's talking about are marathon racers, not a church group. The Rum River, from the fairgrounds up is a standard Sat morning training run. A majority of those folks are really good people, but there are a fair number of pompous, arrogant (Contact Us Please) as well. The (Contact Us Please) are the reason I paddle a solo almost exclusively, now. If they were indeed paddling as close as you say, I'd have pulled out a daredevil. I will say that on Sunday morning, I was out on the city chain for a training run, and I had a guy on shore, trying to cast across my bow. Mind you, I slowed way down and got on the other side of the channel when I went by him. Had he caught me or my canoe, there would have been a problem.

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Thanks for the clarification - I did not know what to call them since they are not "recreational" canoeists in the sense of the old aluminum family canoe, at least for the most part.

Many are very nice and we kid as they go by as I remind them that they need to slow down as it is a "no wake" zone but I had a FULL dose of (Contact us Please)'s a couple weeks ago. Or, before it was no wake, I had a kayaker who asked me to cruise enough to leave a small wake so he could "surf" it with his kayak. Most seem to move over to the other side of the river when possible and if it is narrow I move over to one side as well.

There is going to be trouble if they keep this up though. Hopefully these are the only instances of conflict I encounter while trying to mind my own business. I will not give up my Sat AM fishing trips to the Rum either.

I found it interesting that at one point some of them pulled over and got out and seemed to portage their canoes to somewhere else - is that typically part of these marathons as well?

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No, not typical of a typical race. Last weekend was the Chippewa Triathlon in Bemidji, which has some portages during the paddle. I'd be willing to bet they were just getting a little portage running in for that race.

On a side note. I forwarded a copy of your original post to Kenn Ketter. He owns Ketter Canoeing up in Brooklyn Park, and is one of the leading authorities in the cities, when it comes to paddling, and particularly racing. Hopefully he will pass along the info to the racing community, and the few jerks will straighten themselves out.

If all else fails.....think big Daredevil. wink.gif

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Thanks, Flatlander! Every little bit helps and I promise to be on good behavior too... grin.gif

We'll see how this Sat AM goes.

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The group I was talking about was a church group. They told me they were and had kids and families with, and basically hogged the entire width of the river. But it was cool - we chatted as they went by. I've seen the die hards to, and those guys mean business going upstream paddling like mad men, but still no issues. I just get outa their way or BS with them as they pass by.

I'll send you an email in a bit Daze.

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