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samurai

mississippi shore fishing mishap

16 posts in this topic

So, today, the second day of fishing opener, I was fishing with a buddy on the shores of the Mississippi, just north of the Parrish St. bridge, in Otsego where I live. We walked down the shore a little ways to a point that was sticking out into the river, right before the bend (which made for some great fishing!) We're calmly sitting there, when suddenly this voice from behind me says "GET THE F--- OFF MY PROPERTY!". I turned and saw this redneck looking dude with a mullet and a moustache glaring down at us. I said "Ok.", since he looked kind of psycho. I'm starting to put my gear away, and he yells "NOW, OR I'LL GET MY GUN AND SHOOT YOU!". At this point I started becoming quite upset. I said, "Hey, I thought this was public property, and we were just doing some fishing. Sorry." He then started going off about how he was going to call the cops and f this and f that, blah blah. I asked him if we could walk up the levee to get out, to which he replied "I don't care if you f---ing swim." He just stood there. So, being that I guess we were on his property, we just left. I said to my buddy when we got back to my land that we had done the right thing by leaving quietly and quickly.

I just don't understand why you would go into a rage and threaten to shoot someone for sitting there fishing off your shore. The thing that bothered me the most is how he went about yelling everything. He could have asked like a normal person and I would have left just as quickly with a smile and an apology. He lives maybe 5 houses down from me, and didn't care that I was his freakin' neighbor. I'm still a little fired up about it. He had no signs up for trespassing or anything, and I just learned from my next door neighbor that he actually tried to stop the county workers from surveying the levy. They had to call the police! Sorry about the rant. I just needed to get that off my chest. I can see if we refused to leave, threatening us may have been in order, but I already said ok and was packing my stuff! Does anyone know the laws of shore fishing? I didn't cross his property to get there, I walked along the levee.

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First off, you should have researched the rules of shore fishing before going fishing.
Getting a landowner screaming at you, should not be a reason to go research what is legal or illegal.
Secondly, his threatening is not right at all. To have someone say they are going to get a gun is going a bit overboard. I agree with you there.

I have no clue what the regs are for shore fishing, but I sure would find out what the rules are before walking around where "I think" it is OK to fish.

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Samuri,
For all "navigable" waterways particularly like the Mississippi people are "technically" allowed to walk along any area below the ordinary high watermark (OHW). However, this mark on rivers and streams is debatable and often contentious for land owners. Basically if you are within the river or slightly up on shore when water levels are lower than flood stage you are legal...... BUT, as Big lake said it important to do your homework before you go to a particular area. All land owners are different, some know the OHW rule and some could give a rip. Either way common sense dictates that YOU are responsible for knowing where property lines are and getting permission from land owners BEFORE you go.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the replies, guys. Yes, I realize now I should have known the rules beforehand. I was just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience or knew the laws on the matter, since I couldn't find it on the DNR website. Thanks again.

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On a side note, I am new to the area and my neighbors on both sides said that was the best spot to fish, and that's why I didn't think twice about going there. And actually, I DO think a screaming landowner is a perfectly good reason to look up what is legal and illegal. It's better late than never, and I need to know for the future, so I don't run into that situation again. Happy fishin'! PS., I landed 2 northerns and a bass from there... 2lbs, 3lbs, and 1lb respectivly. smile.gif

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Samurai,
I have never been up to the otsego area of the 'sippi but plan to do so this summer looking for smallies. A couple of things to ask/comment on:

First about the rude neighbor, there is a polite way to ask people to respect your property and there should be no reason anyone should resort to physical threats.

Secondly, you go the route that I'll be doing this summer and get a pair of waders! As long as you are in the water you are legal. I know smallie hawgin' mentioned the other regs on shore fishing, but again some land owners don't give a rip about those, but if you are in the water they have no room to talk.

And lastly, where are some good entry points for the otsego area? I'm looking for any public access and then I'll find the spots on my own (wading) - unless you have any honeyholes you want to disclose then by all means wink.gif j/k!

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BigMike-

I'm relatively new to the area, so I don't know a lot of spots yet. I wish I had a boat, though, as there looks like some pretty sweet spots in between the islands just before the parrish st. bridge. I've seen a lot of people fishing off those islands, and when the river is low, I can see a sandbar that you could probably wade out on pretty far. On both sides of the Parrish St. bridge you can get to the river. There is a boat landing on the other side of the bridge, right of Hwy 10 that is wadable, but I'm not sure as to the quality of fishing there. I'm sure there are some more experienced fisherman that know this area better that may have some tips? Thanks.

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I would think you would need a fairly small boawt or jet boat to be in the Elk River/Otsego area of the river - this past fall I put in with a friend at Dayton landing and went north about a mile - very shallow and lots of rocks. We had a 12 footer with a 5 horse and still hit rocks with it on occasion. Shame because I know an awesome hole for walleye and smallies that I can't get to without that boat....unless I chose to park and wade. It is really easily accessible from shore.

On a side note - be very careful about leaving your vehicle at Elk River landing - the two things I have heard is that there have been break-ins and you very well may get propositioned - and I don't mean offered a seat in the boat...<g>

Daze Off

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Elk River launch is hazardous for break-ins (they got me last year). Perhaps the Crow River launch in Dayton.

My 14'er with a 5.5 dings rocks in 15" or less, then the portage harness comes out.

TIP- A heavy layer of vaseline on yer calves and shins can prevent chigger bites while doin' a Mike Finn up the river.

Samurai,
Waders are the solution to your tresspassing problem.

There is no solution to your mullet problem. If the guy can't make a solid commitment to one haircut, how can you expect him to be rational? You could distract him with a scarecrow in a halter-top going down-river on a tractor-tube while you fish secretly in your waders.

Just kiddin,
Rob


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Here's a suggestion if the current isn't too swift... get some waders. Walk over to the levy with feet in water... stand in the water and cast from the levy. Your not so neighborly neighbor legally can't do a thing about it no matter how much he rants and raves.

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well samurai, you seem like a nice, sensible guy who just wants to do a little fishing near your home. there are a lot of [Note from Rick: if you have to put a line in the single syllable word then don't put it here-you know it's not allowed. Kids do read this site.] out there, and you are bound to run into some eventually, even if they are your neighbors. with some people, you could sit them down and spend the entire day trying to rationalize with them, and it wouldn't do you any good. these sorts of people are often uneducated, typically have few friends/family, and are basically just mad at the world...heck, he was probably pissed that you managed to catch fish there and he couldn't! Either way, don't let it get you down...within a few days you won't be so worked up about it..anyways, I have had a few run-ins with the whole trespassing issue. I have been on both sides of it, and what it boils down to is what kind of a person you are dealing with, and also with what the intentions(or unintentions) of the trespasser are. Our family owns land, and from time to time we have caught people on it when they shouldn't be. If it is a gang of rowdy hicks getting wasted and vandalizing your property, then that is one thing. But if it is just a guy and maybe his kid who made a mistake and happen to be fishing or hunting on your land because they didn't see a sign or a fence, you need to take it in context. I had two instances last hunting season in which we ran into some landowners with the trespassing issue. I will post the details in the following post, since this one is already getting quite lengthy.

[This message has been edited by Rick (edited 05-22-2004).]

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One incident happened during early goose season while we were hunting the Mississippi River off of an island. Basically, the owner of the island confronted us and told us we needed to leave because it was private property. I told him that we had anchored the boat off of the island, and that we were standing in the water, and were not on his property. He wasn't mean about it, and so I wanted to be as respectful as possible, especially since the guy was over 70 years old. He didn't believe at first that we could still stand in the water, so it took some explaining. He remained idling in his boat near us for some time asking questions, so finally I just told him that we were not breaking any law, but by him disrupting our hunt for this amount of time, he was breaking a law that involves harassing sportsmen...anyways, he got the point and left and there were no hard feelings.

On a diffent occasion, my brother and I ran into another landowner last season who wasn't quite as cordial. We were hunting pheasants late in the year, and were in between spots. Driving along this dirt road, we saw a rooster walking along in the ditch. Well, I let my bro out of the truck to load his gun and try to get this bird. Naturally, our golden retriever rides shotgun w/ us, so he jumps out as well. But rather than flying, the bird runs back onto this strip of dense grass/shrubs which is posted. Our dog takes off after it, so my brother follows. Within 2 minutes, this irate landowner pulls up in his rusty Bronco, and gets out and charges up to me, screaming in my face as loud as he can (every word in the book)...I try to explain to him what is going on, but he doesn't even listen. Between the personal insults and F-bombs, he tells me that he watched what happened through his binoculars from a ways away. Well I tell him that he should know that my bro isn't going to shoot anything, he is simply retrieving our dog. When my bro gets off of the land w/ our dog, I have begun yelling back at him trying to get my point across. He is ripping on us about our hunting ethics, our dog, and the fact that we don't live around there. He is pissing and moaning about how our dog did all this damage to his property that he spent his life savings on, so I say why don't you just shoot him (just to see what he'll say)...he says "well if I had my gun here I would, and I'd have a good mind to shoot the 2 of you"....at this point, I laughed right in his face and told him that if he even pointed a gun at my dog, his days of eating solid food would be over. I realize that he was angry about people being on his property, but who treats a 19 year old and a 17 year old like this who are fairly new to the sport of hunting, and who are trying their best (at least initially) to be nice. The guy was probably about 48-50 years old, and I don't know if he was on drugs or what, but for awhile he wanted to fight us. I haven't been in all that many fights, but I know that the two of us would have had no problem mopping the floor with this guy. Anyways, I could write a book on this story if I wanted to, but by the end of the week, it was just a funny little memory to laugh about in the duck blind.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that the whole trespassing issue is an ugly aspect of hunting/fishing. People should try and put themselves in the other person's shoes, and remember that there are a lot bigger problems in life.

S.A.

But c'mon guys, lets hear your trespassing stories...they're intersting to hear about nonetheless......good topic/thread!

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Great posts, Sartell! I've gotten over the whole situation now of course. The man probably has deeper issues, like you said.

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Never fished the area you are talking about but if there is room once the water warms up I would take a folding chair and park it in about 6" of water and fish right in front of the guys house. There is no need to be an arrogant ass. If you are walking the shore of the river and are in an area that would hold water if the river was not low you have a right to fish it. And if you can snap a photo of the guy you might want to send him into www.mulletjunky.com

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Just a thought here, if you had a witness, his land wasn't posted and you were below the "high water mark", This yokel comes out screaming, yelling and threating you with assualt....sounds like at least 5th degree assault, may want to talk to someone, if you can maybe it'll shut this guy up for awhile but then maybe not. Seen enough restraining orders/assault arrests in my line of work and if you threaten someone with bodily harm you may be in trouble, but then I'm not a lawyer either.

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That mullet junky site is hilarious!

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