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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Where's the Fire?

I have been fishing ever since I was about 5 or 6 years old. I can remember the first time my daddy let me drive the boat. We had a 12 foot long, green, wooden boat powered by a 5 horsepower Evinrude outboard. It was not much by today's standards but we thought we were in high cotton at the time.

One of the very first things my daddy taught me was to slow down to near idle speed when passing other folks fishing. It was just the polite thing to do. To this day I never wake another fisherman.

It is obvious to me that others never learned this lesson. I was out pounding the water for bass yesterday and was in the main channel of the Beech River. At least 3 or 4 times people in bassboats zipped by, some only a few boat lengths away, just waking the sh*t out of me, and grinning like jackasses as they passed. Now it would be nice if these people were young folks that didn't know any better, but no, a couple of them were old geezers, older than me anyway.......

I just don't get it. It only takes a few moments to slow down and quietly pass by. What is even worse are goofballs that "slow down" as they pass, but never get off the plane. I got news for you. If you are driving a boat with a planing hull, your wake will get WORSE if you slow down. You have to drop off the plane and down to near idle speed to make your wake go away. If you're not gonna get off the plane, then give it the gun. A bassboat at very high speed actually makes very little wake. This is because not much of the boat is actually in the water. Just slowing down will not help.

Many people do not realize that if your wake causes damage or injury to another, you can be held legally responsible. Of course I am not sure how you could necessarily prove that speedy Gonzalez actually caused the trouble has he would probably be quickly out of sight.

I was listening to marine channel 16 one day. Some dude was calling a large cruiser politely imploring him to slow down before passing. The guy in the cruiser replied that he was in the main channel and that he would go as fast as he damn well pleased. I thought this was pretty rude. It would not have inconvenienced the captain more than a couple of minutes if he had pulled back on the throttles. Those large cruisers and yachts can really stir a wake when they are making a head of steam. Most of the drivers are courteous, but a few are idiots.

To me the river is a place of enjoyment. If you feel the need to be in a hurry there, you're missing the whole point. I like to take the time to slow down and enjoy nature at its best. Evidently, some out there do not share my joy.

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