Who owns the spot

WHO OWNS this spot?

UPDATED–One of the great dilemmas of fishing small lakes is trying to reconcile basic instincts. Like observing the environment with respect to other anglers present, and catching your fish.

Yet, once you’ve spent 20, 50 or a hundred hours on the same thousand surface acres, for example, isn’t it a fair question to ask: which part of it is yours, and which part of it belongs to that guy, or that guy over there?

Decades back, a guy’s spot was likely defined by the amount of time he spent anchored up, and the quality of the catches he made thereon. Those locations, adorned with names such as Wiley’s Mud Flats or Murphy’s Rock, were revered and almost mystic in nature. To fish one, when the owner wasn’t there, brought its own sense of guilt. But in fact, when the owner was there you wouldn’t think of infringing.

Today, the issue is not so defined because we rarely anchor. We have Global Positioning, hydrographic mapping and horizontal sonar imaging, in addition our own time on the water. So, in the face of someone working the area we want to fish, all we really have is whatever manners we may have been taught, sharply contrasted with the urgency to put something in the well.

Whatever rule is in play (25-yard separation is one we often use) is somewhat arbitrary, given trolling motor positioning with mobile fish under your sonar, is not so precise.

Still, with regard to small water etiquette, I might counsel parties with this: You, the new arrival, only come half as close as you probably want to. And you, the incumbent: Tolerate the other guy coming twice as close as he probably should. While far from empirical, if this attitude were adopted, both parties would be conscious, if not tolerant of each other.

Actually, I have no reason to believe this would work. It never does. Plus, the whole issue is difficult to quantify: Is respect 30 yards, but disrespect 24?

When I hear the words “my stuff,” what is really meant is something of the area, of course, but specifically that area in conjunction with certain methods and lures. (A pattern, right?)

And when I hear someone say “my spot,” he’s really talking about “the spot he was planning on fishing” or “the spot he had hoped was open,” or “the spot he found in practice.” Needless to say, none of these actually qualifies as title to the place.

Of course, when you’re on your water, defensive boat positioning is a legitimate part of the game, and is employed by every smart competitor. But frankly, preparation (prefishing) is the best answer to dealing with other boats on “your spot.”

Specifically, you better make sure you have more stuff.


6 Responses to “Find your own stuff, you say?”

Another good one George. I have fished Wiley’s.

by George Kramer

The real definition of “time on the water,” knowing that reference. 😉

we had 85 or so boats in our customer appreciation tournament
at El Cap and never heard of any issues. In fact I spoke with some of top finishers and they said they were out late and started on the spots they wanted. Just one week before in a tournament a team who laid claim to a spot (prolly the whole lake) were yelling and screaming and even posted pics on social media of the so called claim jumpers while they were driving home..what’s funny is that at weigh in they stood right next to them and never said a word. I have had same situation happen and handled it at the lake. Part of the problem is some of these guys are worried that if they don’t catch fish and place high they won’t make Kramers Top 40!!! BTW where is Kramers cut, I want to fish it?

My thought was to ease the tension out there. The guys wouldn’t be fishing if it wasn’t important to them all. Kramer’s Cut is located somewhere across from the Tree Hole. 😉

by Greg Stotesbury

I love the 8oz swimbait tied on my 8′ swimbait rod spooled with 25lb line…100′ casts with this gear works every time to keep the tournament wanna-bees with their 5lb test drop-shot rods a respectable distance from “my” rockpile or ledge. A lot of the disrespect I see today would have been fist-city at the ramps in SD county back in the good old days! Too many guys fishing the bent rod pattern these days.

Greg hit the nail on the head. To many guys looking to horn in on spots. They don’t realize the angler catching the fish has patterned them. Use to love it when trout guys would come up and fish cheese next to me while I was catching em on a Hudd or big jig.