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How Close is Too Close?

46 posts in this topic

After reading the landing ettiquette post I got to thinking about the "other" issue of contention during open water and that is "how close is too close?"

I have always been a bass fisherman and bass guys are generally pretty sensitive about anyone within a mile or so <g> so imagine my surprise when I was taken walleye fishing and found sometimes dozens of other boats in close proximity to ours and no one was getting upset. At least not so you could tell.

So, what do people think? How close is too close?

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Sometimes on Lake of the Woods on a sunny Memorial day or a Fourth of July, you can literally step from boat to boat they're jammed together so tightly. Use the golden rule, if you wouldn't want someone getting close to you, stay away from them. Interesting topic, it'll be fun to see the different replies.

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I don't know if there is a "Rule" on distance.

Myself, I'm fairly laid back while on the water. I'm not out there to bother anyone. I make it a real point to stay a good distance from others, even if they are in my spot. grin.gif

As long as others stay at least casting distance and then a little more away from me, I'm fine. I think others want more breathing room than that but I'm cool with that distance.

I've seen "Bumper boats" before and I'm not a fan of that. Below the Red Wing dam you can walk from Minnesota to Wisconsin and not get your feet wet. That's not for me, so I don't go there.

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I don't fish close to others and appreciate when they don't get close to me. Usually if there's another boat on the structure I want to fish I go to my next spot unless it's large. That said I try to stay away from the popular spots and times, but at times like opener it can be unavoidable. Then I just try to keep distance the best I can.

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I almost got pushed up on a rock bar on Leech, the guy moved right in on me when I had returned to that spot because I had gotten a follow about 4 hours earlier. I ended up getting the last laugh as I connected with a 'ski about 3 retrieves later. It's not combat fishing. I moved around and let other people fish that piece of structure two hours earlier before I returned.

On the flip side of things, it would be nice if landowners could give people a break. They don't own the water and the fish...I'm fishing docks a good 20 yards away and this lady fertilizing her garden (that was about 2 feet from the water) turns around to snidely ask me if I was close enough yet. I try to kill em with kindness so I just floored down the bowmount and went to the next run of docks.

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I'd just say, not within casting distance, especially don't put your boat right into somebody's casting zone. Nothing could upset me, or the other peeps more than that.

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I'm about as non-confrontational as they come when fishing is involved and pretty much nothing bothers me as long as I don't end up with the paint from someone else's boat on mine. There are times when I'm in the mood to talk to people and those times I'll fish the community holes. I don't fish the community holes if my priority is to catch fish because I know I'll be paying too much attention to staying out of other peoples way and making sure nobody else runs into me as opposed to positioning the boat where it needs to be and paying attention to what the bait is doing. On the other hand if I want to concentrate on catching fish (fishing) I'll go to areas where other people are not. If others show up it doesn't bother me at all to move. I know if I have to pay attention to other boats I can't pay attention to what's going on in my boat.

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some landowners are terrible. I trapped in years past and had to educate some folks on the law concerning public waters. Then last year while bluegill fishing one lady whips out a 4" bobber into the water in front of her dock and gave us some glares. I should have tried to explain the laws to her but she did not appear to care much.

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I have a true tale of woe regarding this:

One day I was on a 300 acre metro lake one weekday during June. There were about three other boats on the lake. I was anchored in my canoe, standing up casting for northerns and bass. I was facing shore because I was casting the weed line near some structure.

I caught a nice northern of about 5 pounds.

I made a mistake in a subsequent back cast and the treble-hooked lure flew backward. It hit and hooked a guy in the face. The people in the other boat had seen me catch the fish and they got within about 30 feet of me without my hearing them, presumably by using their electric motor.

I had glanced around the lake when I caught the northern and the nearest boat was hundreds of yards away.

The moral of the story? What the heck does anyone have business coming within 30 feet of someone who is obviously fishing on a lake with only a few boats on it.

Yes, I did get my lure back by cutting it out of brainiac's face with a pair of sidecutters. I wasn't antagonistic about it, but I wasn't apologetic either. I quietly resented losing my hooks (he was hooked with two trebles.)

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Come on down to the St Louis River on opener and you'll soon find there is no such thing as 'too close'. Not for me.

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I would say double your casting distances. So if BOTH of boats casted as far as you could, with what lure each are using, you shouldn't be able to touch lures... that way each has their own 'circle' of water around your boat.

This circle can vary a LOT. It can be quiet small if fishing for panfishing vs. quite large if using giant muskie lures.. but it's pretty obvious by watching, time of year, location on lake what's going on.

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I really try to give people their space when fishing. I won't go close enough to cast near them, it just makes me claustrophobic, not to mention they probably don't care for me being that close anyway. A little courtesy goes a long way to make everyone's day.

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Have sauerkraut and Pabst Blue Ribbon for supper the night before you go fishing. Then, if someone comes too close you can let them have it. grin.gif

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Thanks a lot for the coffee up the nose! grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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I was in a boat with a friend throwing jigheads with minnows up to a reef and cathcing some nice walleyes. we were probably 20 feet from where the top of the reef came out of the water. A boat with two guys came in from behind us and motored between us and the reef. The dropped their anchor on top of the reef and began fishing right where we had been casting to! This was on a lake system with over 50,000 acres. My friend was pissed and we left in disgust after giving them the stink eye.

I think that common courtesy is to stay away from others while fishing. If you are in a popular hot spot you should observe when you approach and keep a reasonable distance.

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Quote:

Have sauerkraut and Pabst Blue Ribbon for supper the night before you go fishing. Then, if someone comes too close you can let them have it.
grin.gif


LOL's never anchor downwind of this!

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As a few guys have said there is no written rule!!! Since I am from NE SD, as you can imagine I have a little different opinion on this subject, to be nice I will keep them to myself!!! wink.gif Also as a few guys have said I would say that stay as far away as you want them to stay from you!!!

PERCHJR

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Might be the same for walleyes when you are trolling but I hate when I am working down a shoreline for bass and someone comes racing up and dumps down a few docks ahead of you and starts fishing in the same direction you are. mad.gif Always makes we want to tie on that 1 oz jig and do some precision casting shocked.gif.....at least move up a couple of hundred yards or so if you have to get in front.

Also had a panfisherman in a pontoon see that I was working along a bed of reeds and came in and anchored 50 yds in front of me and close enough to the reeds that I had to go around. mad.gif

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Depends on location. There are known spots that attract crowds. If you are the first person on the Kinnie channel some morning you cannot honestly expect nobody else to fish near you. If you dont like it then dont join in. On less traveled water I keep my distance.

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I agree with you on the well known spots.

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If I can hit you in the head with a beer can then you are too close.

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Quote:

If I can hit you in the head with a beer can then you are too close.


Is that before or after they are all gone? tongue.gif

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My parents have a place on winnie, so i like to fish it as much as i can. Last year i think it was on memorial, we were somewhere on the north end and i was looking for structure. i was in my grandfather's boat, so i didn't have the nice lowrance with the GPS in it. My brother-in-law had his handheld w/o map and we went to one of his marked spots to give it a try. it was windy and i had a hard time finding the structure after we blew off it, so i decided to throw out a marker somewhere on the top of the structure for reference. after drifting off a ways and not catching more than one or two 'eyes the whole time, we decided to pick up the marker and try another spot. I had forgot that when the fish aren't biting, everybody on the lake flocks around markers (i don't use them much). we lost sight of the marker and just started motoring upwind into a pile of boats. eventually we found my marker and rolled it up. while we were looking for it and rolling it up, nobody was catching anything. we just left laughing... haha jokes on you guys.

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I've fished busy public spots on opener and I don't ever get worked up over closeness. It just doesn't make sense.

As far as other times, I've had some people do some head shaking things but I don't really care. I usually am just happy to be out there and if I need to move, there is alot of lakes and alot of water out there.

People with docks are notorious for thinking they own that real estate and this is one of the more common citations issued by the DNR from what I've read.

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Didn't you know? Lake shore residents own the water 100' in all directions from the end of the dock. smile.gif

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