Top 10 Failures Of Boating Courtesy
By Captain Ted Peck
Nothing puts the pin in a fishing party hog faster than being forced to contend with discourteous
boaters. Natural Resource organizations in many states require young boaters to successfully
complete a boating safety course before piloting a watercraft. I think all boaters should be
required to show proficiency in boat operation. Further, course content should include information
on boating courtesy beyond what is required by law. Some discourteous boaters are simply ignorant
of unwritten rules out there on the water. Some are aware but operating on their own agenda. A few
are intentionally obnoxious .
If you're a new boater and really want to do the right thing, please read on. If you are one of
those folks who belongs to the other two groups, may your rude behavior come back at you from those
of the same ilk every time you leave the ramp.
Following is a look at my "top 10 boating faux pas" list , ranging from the mildly annoying to what
it would be like to lose salvation and end up in hell.
THE PLOWING WAKERS
Most folks know that you should slow down when passing between a group of other boaters. This
means leaving no wake as you pass. Slowing down just a little so that your boat "plows" thru the
water is more disruptive to somebody who is trying to fish than flying past with your boat on
plane and leaving less wake.
If the music of nature isn't good enough for you, fine. But please don't enlighten me with your
musical tastes or sports updates. Voices carry over water. Radio and CD noise carries even
further. If you MUST bring canned noise along , how 'bout playing "Here comes the Clowns" so
everybody knows what's coming.
The first boat to arrive at a fishing area gets to dictate how others arriving later should fish.
If the first boat starts trolling counterclockwise, you should too. If the first boat anchors up,
back off a respectable distance and drop the hook. The only excuse for anchoring in the midst of
trollers or trolling among boats anchored is if nine out of 10 voices in your head agree that its
your world and all others are just living in it.
If anglers in another boat are obviously working a stretch of shoreline or reef , pass by behind
their backs without leaving a wake . Navigating between somebody's boat and where they are
casting is something an Illynesian would do.
Bass tournament anglers are famous for sliding in to fish a shoreline just ahead of your boat ,
even though a deployed trolling motor and being clearly underway indicates your intentions. If
you must work a given stretch of shoreline, go to the far end of your chosen course and come back
towards the other boat, taking care not to be a "shoreline sneaker" when meeting and passing the
If somebody is already fishing a spot when you arrive, stay far enough away so they can continue
to fish the way they were fishing before you arrived on the scene.
Boaters who excuse rude behavior with "I'm in a tournament " know better and are just being
jerks. Unfortuantely, too many tourney anglers think being a jerk is part of being a tournament
Too bad the DNR will never go along with my plan to treat jet skiers like upland game with a
limit of three daily with no weapon larger than a BB gun, Dardevle spoon or slingshot.
Virtually everyone knows littering is wrong . Why are our waters and and shorelines still covered
with litter ?
A boat ramp is for launching a boat . Not rigging a boat for launch, loading gear or casual
conversation. When boating alone your rig should occupy the ramp site for
no more than three minutes
. When boating with a buddy,
no more than one minute
ï¿½.same goes for taking the boat out of the water.
If I am destined to an eternity of hell and damnation, my time will be spent at a boat ramp. A boat
ramp is for launching boats. Period.