View Full Version : Proper Boating Etiquette?

06-25-2007, 11:56 AM
I need some practical suggestions for dealing with aggressive boaters-divers.

I am finally cooling off after 10 days of stewing.

Here's what happened - It was a beautiful day, around 11 AM. My buddy and i had been fishing all morning around Westport and then Sakonnet Point. Seas failrly calm, little wind. Few boats around and we are fishing near West Island- motor on, just bobbing near surf line next to big rock. No boats within a half a mile. We are catching schoolies for almost an hour having fun, bothering no one. Out of the corner of my eye i see a 21 walkaround sidle up within 200 feet to our West- a bit close but I say nothing and continue fishing. The boat moves closer- now at about 100 feet. I ask the captain -"Can't you get a bit closer?" he ignores me. Then i see the divers flag- he puts two spearfishers in the water! I yell over and ask if he might move to another area. He yells bacl "You sound like an old lady- shut up!". I ask him please to move as the divers are scaring the fish I am /was catching. There are many similar large rocks with good structure and fish that he could go to in that area. He again tells me to shut up- to his credit my fishing buddy sez "let's just leave" - I was POed and called him a jerk and other such names and offered to discuss the matter on shore. We did leave and i was so ****ed off that i let it spoil my otherwise peaceful and fun day.

I was concerned with his behavior. If an "enfocement" person (harbormaster, etc) had come by and seen me operating my motor so close to these divers and their flag, i would have been in trouble for endangering the divers. Also, I wonder how the dive boat would have liked it if they were there first and i came up within 100 feet and started fishing (with all the other places to fish nearby) - I have since found out who the captain was etc.- he lives in my town!

So what to do? My buddy sez we should merely leave if and when this joker shows up. I am less inclined to permit this inconsiderate jerk from getting his way- I am more inclined to whamming a few old plugs into his vessel. I have a few thoughts that involve my flare gun as well . . .


I know, the better part of valor is discretion- i should take my buddy's advice and just leave.

06-25-2007, 12:03 PM
don, that guy was a class A jerk. he basically invaded your space to put his guys on your fish. But, what can you do? why not motor over to him and very calmly explain that he has just ruined your day, its a big ocean and why did he have to get right next to you? Explain to him that such actions are rude, discurtious and a great exaple of poor edicate. maybe he'll think better of it next time.

not much else you can do, some people just suck. if i had a buck for every boat Ive wanted to ram for doing things like that id have more money than I can count.

06-25-2007, 12:04 PM
I know, the better part of valor is discretion- i should take my buddy's advice and just leave.

Perhaps..............but it's never been my first choice. --123-3 Fact is, if nothing is done about this idiot he'll simply continue to do the same thing to others. I know the route I'd pursue...........but you may be better served by filing a formal complaint.

06-25-2007, 12:31 PM
I know that was probably an upsetting experience but you have to react calmly to these situations.(#$119) I recommend casting and jigging heavy jigs.

06-25-2007, 12:36 PM
I've come to learn that fools/idiots/a**holes are on the water in the same numbers that we find them on land--wehther it be in traffic at work etc. They are a part of the fabric of life much like the trees, plants and animals. There's absolutely nothing that you or I can do to reduce their numbers or change their behavior because it's generally been ingrained in their beings through bad parenting.

The best course of action is to move on and table the emotions as difficult as that can be. Report them to the authorities if practical but disengage from the emotions. The fact that someone would pull to witihn 100 feet of you is a big red flag on the type of person you were dealing with. Although you had the right to remain there, I would have reserved the fighting words and moved on to another area. I've had similar experiences fishing off my boat. If another captain doesn't have the good sense to keep a healthy distance I'll move on.

Just my thoughts.

06-25-2007, 12:44 PM
Oh def move on ... an A-Hole can not be reasoned with.
When you pick a fight with one.. that doubles the number of A-Holes.
As you have now become one too. ;)

They are simply a test. :cool:

Frankie G
06-25-2007, 12:45 PM
Unfortunately, I don't think there are many alternatives to packing up and leaving aside from potentially calling the local harbormaster and alerting him/her that such activity is occuring. I've been in similar situations where other boaters rush into breaking fish (the tuna seem to get folks especially crazed-myself included), but I generally find that rather than get into a shouting match or slinging lead at the offender (never done that), you will be better served by doing what you did- leave. Get the name of the boat, even the registration numbers if you want to pursue someone for doing something dangerous as in the scenario you described and notify the local harbormaster. There are boaters out there that carry firearms and are willing to take a disagreement to a level you had not intended. The short term satisfaction one might get from a verbal jousting match or in threatening some physical retribution IMO just isn't worth a host of negative potential outcomes. You never know who you are dealing with or what they are capable of. I don't mean to be alarmist (mostly pragamtic), but it's like yelling at another motorist in gridlock traffic who jumps out of his car to continue the "discussion" with a tire iron in hand. Not worth it. Take the high road, take his numbers, and call your friendly law enforcement representative.

06-25-2007, 12:54 PM
An M-80 makes one helluva ruckus underwater...


06-25-2007, 01:50 PM
Like the others have said, unfortunately the world is full of inconsiderate people. I'd be real happy if everyone stayed 100 ft. away from me. The best policy is to just move on and try another spot, who knows maybe you'll find something better.

06-25-2007, 02:39 PM
just post his name on this thread

06-25-2007, 03:45 PM
The spear fishers seem to be doing quite well.


06-25-2007, 05:28 PM
Sad to say, you're defenseless again jerks like that. That guy was determined to invade your place, and nothing short of a confrontation would stop him, and he knew it.

Back in my comm lobstering days, something very similar would happen to me as well. Recreational lobster divers love to dive around lobster traps because baited lobster traps act as a magnet for lobsters. They don't actually raid the traps, they just pick up the lobsters all around the traps which are attrated to the bait. It's not an illegal practice.
I'm checking my traps on several occasions, and I'd have a dive boat anchor up, throw the dive flags, and start diving right among my string of traps. They actually expected me to NOT check my traps b/c they were diving in and around my traps. In all cases, I just kept right on checking my traps, and idled right around the dive flags, ignoring the screaming, yelling and hollering of the guy in the boat. I would just wave back like nothing was going on.;)

north coast
06-25-2007, 07:44 PM
just post his name on this thread

this isn't a bad Idea.
post his name ,boat name and anything/everything else you know about him, on any and every fishing forum you can think of, now everyone will know who this jerk is .bet it gets back to him. bet he thinks twice about doing it again or to someone else.

06-25-2007, 08:27 PM
Chumming blue fish or other bloody creatures near a dive boat is the best way to remove divers from the water.

06-25-2007, 08:28 PM
That is "bluefish", not "blue fish".

06-26-2007, 06:46 AM
I think I would have rigged up for snagging pogies deep and "kept fishing" the area.