Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports columns

June 16, 2012

Excuse me, is this fishing spot taken?

—  

We all need to adhere to unwritten code of common sense

It’s happened to all of us one time or another. If not, then you haven’t spent much time on the water. So what are the pros and cons of defending your turf?

There was one time in particular I will never forget. I was fishing a small lake in southern Indiana. Dawn had barely broken when I anchored next to a submerged brush pile. Before long I was plucking crappies like vine-ripened tomatoes.

Two guys on the other side of the lake saw me catching fish and immediately motored over and dropped anchor like I wasn’t even there. One fellow started casting right up next to my boat. I was at first surprised, then shocked, then angry.

I tried staring them down but neither would make eye contact. I then asked sarcastically, “What are you guys doing?” Again, no response. Back then I may have been a little hot-headed. OK, a lot. But in one of my better times of judgment, I finally just gave up and left.

Although there is no law against this type of encroachment, it still doesn’t make it right. There have been other times where luck was on my side and fishermen have approached in a friendly manner. Not only have I allowed them to fish with me, but also have given them lures providing the best success. Many friends, and a few non-friends, have been made on the water.

There is an unwritten code among all of us who enjoy our outdoor resources, especially in the areas of fishing and hunting. We all know it and understand it. But, like a lot of the good old things, the code is fraying under the pressures of our modern world. But still, most sportsmen abide by it, or at least try to.

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