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Old 07-18-2002, 06:51 AM
SamRiley's Avatar
SamRiley SamRiley is offline
Spoiled by Tuna
Join Date: Before Nov. 1999
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 3,011
Dave’s rough guide to boater intelligence Part One

Thanks to Sam Riley for resurrecting this forgotten post.

I deleted a more spontaneous version of this yesterday after having second thoughts about ticking off my fellow Reel-Timers. But after a couple emails demanding its restoration, I decided to rewrite it. Anyway, 30 years on the water and I’ve started to determine a correlation between boats and the intelligence of their owners. Sort of the way people tend to look like their dogs. Here, in ascending order of intelligence – from stupid to smart from those of us who can’t tell their descents from their ascents – is Dave’s rough guide to boater intelligence.

Also known as “Darwin Bikes” because of their tendency to kindly euthanize their users sooner or later. Like the two rocket scientists found dead and adrift in the shipping lanes south of Long Island when they ran out of gas. Also known as “Buzz-killers” for their uncanny ability to appear out of nowhere and run through schools of fish. Fishing behavior: none, for they are the “Anti-Fish”. If Arctic Terns are fish finders, Jet-Skis are fish-repellers.

Also known as “Tupperware.” Weird, squat craft with metal-flake paint jobs that are renowned for their shag rugs and aerodynamic spoilers. Easy on the feet. Tend to troll aimlessly wherever they go. They only troll and then they troll some more. Bumble into any every fishing situation as their method of finding fish is to go where the other boats are. Generally skippered by true iconoclasts: if the fleet is drifting a rip, the Bayliner will troll it. If the fleet is anchored, the Bayliner trolls. Harpooning giant bluefin? The Bayliner trolls. Stalking bonefish on a pristine flat in Elethuera? The Bayliner ….. trolls! Fishing behavior: none, they usually haul around a big clump of seaweed because they never check their line and leave it out, even at the mooring. Named in deference to their finances: Mom’s Mad. Check Bouncer.

Also known as Big Boats for the Guy with a Little P---s. Mandatory attire: Speedo bathing suits, aka Meat Hammocks or Grape Smugglers, and of course … gold chains. Inflicted on the angling world after George Bush the Elder demonstrated to the world what great fishing platforms they are. Especially fun to watch chasing bonito in a crowded fleet, or racing back to their lairs in Falmouth in the late afternoon after getting a good buzz on at Baxter’s in Hyannis. Often meet their maker atop jetties, Collier’s Ledge, any significant pile of rocks. Fishing behavior: would use hand grenades if they could find some. Instead try to chase the fish at 80 mph until it dies from fright or exhaustion. Names (usually capitalized) YAHOO! EAT MY WAKE! THONG THRONG

Sea Rays and Tiaras
For the man who has everything, here’s a boat with gold-plated cleats and a hot tub in the stern! Big boats that strike horror into the hearts of anglers everywhere. Unpredictable fishing behavior, will suddenly deviate course and head for a crowded rip, throw out a line, and troll (always troll) at ten knots through the fleet, oblivious to all insults and middle-fingers. Thinks shark fishing is where its really at. Doesn’t want blood on the boat though. Boat usually named on some play on a financial windfall: Basis Points, Net Prophet, Stock Options, IPO: Away We Go.

Canoes and Tin Boats
Smart anglers use canoes and tin boats … in the harbor. But the intelligence of the canoe skipper decreases exponentially the farther the boat is away from shore, or the closer it is to natural hazards like the Waquoit Jetty, the mouth of the Merrimack River, or Horseshoe shoal on an ebb tide. Intelligence also declines as the number of passengers increases. This class of angler also uses craft that require lung power to inflate. Fishing behavior: six guys in a fourteen foot boat anchored in the channel. Bobbers are often seen on their lines. Think Berkeley Power Bait works real good on bluefish. Benefits: guarantees the need for the Coast Guard. No space to put name on.

Catalogue Boats
Off-brand center console or Boston Whaler clones sold as a package at the boat show with a generic off-brand outboard made by a manufacturer known for other goods, like refrigerators or washer machines. Fishing rods included. Generally have a canvas bimini top which the owner can’t figure out how to stow. All equipment is still in the wrapper. Owner thinks boat hook is a gaff after he gets the plastic wrapper off it. Freaks out when the fish icon first appears on the fish finder and then fishes fruitlessly for hours over a ball of seaweed. Thinks VHF radio is a trucker’s CB and asks other anglers “What’s your Twenty Good Buddy?”, then lets kids play with radio into which they scream “Mayday! Mayday!” Buys plastic placemat charts. Posts on Reel-Time asking “WHERE ARE THE FISH?” (can’t unlock CAP LOCK) and demands GPS coordinates. Good intentioned family man. Be patient, will figure things out after the kids graduate from college. Names boat after kids: BarbJoChrisPat

Grady Whites
Okay, okay. Flame away. I’m sure a lot of salty, awesome anglers own Grady Whites. I have yet to meet one. These things are like guinea pigs, cute and multiply like heck when you’re not looking. Extreme versions have rocket launchers and outriggers for fishing for three pound bluefish. Owners have a determined glint in their eye. Often filled with business colleagues who’d rather be golfing and look like they are nursing massive hangovers. Angling behavior: the ruder the better. Likes to be the contrarian fisherman. If the fleet is trolling left, then meet them bow on and troll right. Needs the close proximity of other fisherman and will crowd them if they appear to be successful. Never point at a fish when in the company of a Grady White or the owner will cast across your line, give you the finger, and scream: “WHAT?!?” when you look peeved. I must have done something bad to a Grady White in a former life, and am cursed to have them follow me wherever I go. Fishing oriented boat name: Lip Ripper, Bass Assassin.

Really expensive center consoles
Regulators, Contenders for example. For the young tycoon in all of us. Thirty feet of expensive Fiberglas with two huge Yamahas hanging off the stern. Angling behavior: more bucks than brains. Generally observed fly fishing and displaying all the worst attributes of the fly fishing wardrobe: longbilled, salty swordfisherman’s cap ordered from the Martha Stewart catalogue for example. Very well groomed fishermen, their shorts are drycleaned and have sharp creases. Usually seen untangling leader from the stainless steel railings. Vows to fish the Canyons someday. Thinks white boat bottoms are sharp looking and can afford to, since someone else scrubs it clean for them. Names boat something fierce and literary like: Tergiversator or Defiance

Flats Skiffs
Great boats on flats, but raise questions about owners’ intelligence when observed in the middle of Buzzards Bay in a three foot chop, as the angler tries to keep his composure on the dance floor and not fall overboard. Go like hell with big motors. Usually observed flocking around the Monomoy flats. Too new on the scene to be trashed.

Traditional center consoles
Boats that look like dories or lobster boats without the cabin. Easterns, Roths, Bristols, Tashmoos. Favored by fly fishermen striving for the traditional look but are wetter than most other boats. Ties own flies, makes own rods, brews own beer. Obsesses about bonito, albacore. Looks down nose at all other anglers. Usually alone because no one else is good enough to fish with them. Names boat after Indian place names: Monomoy, Madaket, Squibnocket. Owner writes snide, sweeping descriptions of other anglers and their boats.

Ryboviches, Donzis, Bertrams. Generally owned by strip mall developers, labor union leadership, and professional sports team owners. Owners never actually seen as they prefer to sit inside in the airconditioning and let the pro football players crank in the immense fish. Boat never seen except in tournament situations. Has reels that rival the typical mortgage payment. Lures cost $75 a piece. Tackle includes shotguns to keep the gulls off the kite baits.

Generic center consoles
These are the patient middle-class of fishermen. These people offend no one, keep to themselves, and catch fish. They don’t want to be noticed. They keep to themselves. If the Run-and-Gun fleet gets out of hand, they go elsewhere to be alone. They tow morons who run out of gas or wrap their anchor line around their props. They take kids fishing with them. They are on the water well before sunrise and are coming in when the hangover crowd is going out. Names, fishing oriented, non-offensive, often after birds: Cormorant, Tern.

Mackenzies, Crosby Stripers, Fortiers
The wooden bass boat crowd. Generally skinny elderly guys named Eldridge, dressed in khaki long sleeved shirts and pants because they’ve seen enough sun to employ a full-time dermatologist. Boat has a tiller in the stern. It goes slow, but it gets there. Never seen actually fishing, but puttering along like a restored Model T in the Fourth of July parade. Has seen it all and likes to tell hurricane stories. Actually misses Narragansett beer. Typical boat name, five letters or less: Tern, Scup

Classic-center consoles
The old Makos and Aquasport crowd. Definitely know what they are doing, can field-strip a balky Evinrude in a twelve foot sea while jigging for bass at the Rose and Crown. Knows that panty hose makes a good replacement for a blown engine belt. Has commercial striper license. Do their own repairs, build their own rods. Boats have homemade livewells. PVC is favorite thing in life. Owners know all sorts of tricks to do with eels – like microwave them and spray them with WD-40. Doesn’t bother naming the boat, has his FCC radio license and call letters: “Whiskey Mike Ninety-Four Twelve switching to Channel 22”

Charter Boats
Bought the hull in Maine through an ad in National Fisherman. Finished it off themselves. Engines run on Number Two heating oil. Hates fishing. Hates the clients. Gets violent if bananas are brought aboard the boat. Likes to fish with wire because the moron sports can’t break it. Thinks all anglers are morons, detests fly rods because they suck at landing fish fast but giving into them because the sports want to use them. God of all rips. Don’t get in their way. Knows about wrecks the Coast Guard doesn’t know about. Can find specific spots in thick fog in their sleep. Names boat after wife
When fishing is a part of a friendship, you can skip right past the preliminaries
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