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Fishermans Anti-Harassment Law

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In the lovely state of Massachusetts theresactually a law that protects anglers from harassment. I believe that it reads "no one shall hinder or otherwise impede the lawful taking fish from another" So, say your fishing along and a homeowner comes running down the dock screaming and yelling at you that you cant fish there.They are wrong, you can, and I even keep a few copies with me just for these people, because it has happened to me before.

This is one of our freedoms, One of many that I would like to personally thank ALL the veterans out there, for their service, sacrifice, and dedication. Without you we wouldnt be able to enjoy the freedoms that we do, you truly are my heros.

Thank you, and have a safe Memorial Day

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I believe most states have similar laws for both fisherman and hunters.   I think it started when the peta types began to harass sportsmen from exercising their licensed recreation, but I could be wrong about that.   I myself have had some harassment both in the woods and fishing.   it sucks but I found if I don't engage it usually ends pretty quick.  Problem is sometimes I can't not engage, and get into these "I have a right to be here" arguments with people who think putting a worm on a hook is murder.   One time, I kinda deserved the cussing out I got.   I over shot a dock I was casting to and it bounced off the top deck, ricocheted off the rail and landed right on the belly of the woman who was sunning herself on her deck.    LOL....it's funny now, but she tore me a new one, and I was all like "so sorry lady" and meant it, but couldn't help laugh as I motored away from her.   she was muttering curses at me all the way back to her house. 

Florida Statute 372.705, “Harassment of hunters, trappers and fishers,” states:

(1) A person may not intentionally, within a public or privately owned wildlife management or fish management area or on any state-owned water body:

(a) Interfere with or attempt to prevent the lawful taking of fish, game, or nongame animals by another.

(b) Attempt to disturb fish, game or nongame animals or attempt to affect their behavior with the intent to prevent their lawful taking by another.

(1) is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(2) Any person who violates subsection

The latter two statutes set the penalty for a second degree misdemeanor as up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.



Read more: http://www.floridasportsman.com/2005/12/01/features_051258/#ixzz49zq3F4NE

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Sometimes when I'm targeting docks on a heavily-developed lake, when I see the owner or someone out on their dock or in their yard near their dock, I usually just skip that specific one.  Landowners can be pretty up tight about you pitching lures under and around their dock, boats, and other personal property so its often better to just avoid any problems.  What they don't realize is that their property ends at the dock - the water underneath it and around is public.  I haven't run into anything real serious when hunting but at some point its probably going to happen, especially on public land/waters.

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21 minutes ago, gimruis said:

Sometimes when I'm targeting docks on a heavily-developed lake, when I see the owner or someone out on their dock or in their yard near their dock, I usually just skip that specific one.  Landowners can be pretty up tight about you pitching lures under and around their dock, boats, and other personal property so its often better to just avoid any problems.  What they don't realize is that their property ends at the dock - the water underneath it and around is public.  I haven't run into anything real serious when hunting but at some point its probably going to happen, especially on public land/waters.

I skip the docks that have people around them too. It's not because they might think they own the water. I'm just not that confident in my ability to pitch to that dock without throwing the bait on top of the dock, or in his boat. 

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I see both sides here. As a fisherman, I know the water under and around the dock is public and a good place to catch fish. As a property owner, I also get where if you're finding hooks stuck in ropes, carpet, boat covers or seats, dock post, or hear some hack clanging a jig off my dock, boat, grill, whatever, I'd probably be a little ticked. Over time, I could see where someone might get tired of it.

I usually just try to be courteous to people I encounter and make small talk. A lot of times I can fish the dock while chatting and we can both go about living our lives. If I run into "that guy", I'm most likely just going to move along. It's just not worth arguing over to me. If they're really over the top, I might say something though. 

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I understand Both sides as well, and you all make good points,.. Being memorial day weekend I was mostly pointing towards the fact that we have the freedom to fish,... period,...

So many people take for granted the little things in this country, and live on as if we deserve it. Countless servicemen and women gave their lives, limbs, heart and soul, so we can live free, as we choose.,.. I for one appreciate the sacrifice's put forth ,...My gratitude, and due diligence to ensure its well known that I appreciate the fact that I can fish, is yet just another freedom that i wont take for granted,...

Thank You, Bass Resource, (I appreciate you too)

god bless our veterans, and god bless america

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Both side here as well. I will go around a dock with people on or near but don't mind if someone fishes my dock.   My biggest problem is Ice Fisherman. I guess If you can walk on the water, it's ok to use my back yard to set up your kitchen and bar.......and if I ask them to move I'm the A%$(@%E land owner who thinks I own the pond.  

And to the original idea of the post, I have had people tell me they are a Vet and fought for the "Freedom/right" to fish here!  and I am  a Retired/disabled Vet who fought for the right to buy here!

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Over many years of fishing I've figured out any hassle other than weather and  persnickety fish is not worth messing with - I won't  crowd another boat, I won't fish around bank fishermen and I won't fish a dock if there are folks around.

 

 

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5 hours ago, frogflogger said:

Over many years of fishing I've figured out any hassle other than weather and  persnickety fish is not worth messing with - I won't  crowd another boat, I won't fish around bank fishermen and I won't fish a dock if there are folks around.

  This exactly!!   Life is too short to argue with someone who is sure they are right and I am wrong!  I too just do the above--makes fishing more enjoyable and I do not get my blood pressure jacked up!!:D

 

 

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I know of a charter capt  here on the east coast that was fined $350 for violating the "impeding lawful fishing" law.

Seems he  was ticked about another charter that was fishing "his" spot in the Del bay,and he launched a rig along side the other boat and snagged all the lines.

A certain guy on a tide river absolutely hates bass fishermen.He was on shore and I threw a jig his way that landed 10' from shore and 50' from him. He  pronounced  that to be assault so I reminded him that the number to call was 911.

It was my first and last encounter with him. 

Best to all during this Memorial Day and a deep heart felt thank you to all who serve our country past and present.

C22 

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Yea, I'm in Mass too and it is nice to know that law is there. Some dock owners can be a little rude. One time I was fishing around the docks of this one house, and I mean it was a NICE house. Probably a million dollar property at least, but they had like 4 different docks and were making cast around them, but didn't hit them once. They also had one of those big inflatable trampolines like 150 feet off the shore. So we had the boat in between one of the docks and that trampoline, and this lady starts yelling at us from their 3rd story balcony "A little close don't you think! Why don't you fish somewhere else, you have the entire lake!" or something along those lines. We were done fishing there anyways so we just left.

If there is someone ON the dock, I won't cast within 15 - 20 feet of it. In the yard is a different story, I'll still fish it pretty close but I am not going to make any risky casts that might clang off some metal or try and skip it underneath. 

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First of all if you buy a place with public access im sure the fine print states many times in the contract your pier will get violated sometimes...this comes in the same class as a development bein built beside a Hog farm and ppl complaining about the smell .

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"First of all if you buy a place with public access im sure the fine print states many times in the contract your pier will get violated sometimes.."

 

  No it Doesn't.

 

 

here in Maine a couple years ago, a newly elected State Senator put in a Bill to make it Illegal to fish within 150 Ft of a dock.

 It went no where but it shows that there are people who don't want us there.   He is a waterfront property owner.

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1 hour ago, ward131 said:

"First of all if you buy a place with public access im sure the fine print states many times in the contract your pier will get violated sometimes.."

 

  No it Doesn't.

 

 

here in Maine a couple years ago, a newly elected State Senator put in a Bill to make it Illegal to fish within 150 Ft of a dock.

 It went no where but it shows that there are people who don't want us there.   He is a waterfront property owner.

So you have seen every contract ?

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1 hour ago, Maxximus Redneckus said:

So you have seen every contract ?

No,  but I have seen a lot of them and none have EVER said your pier will be violated..LOL

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I don't blame the property owners for getting upset. Fisherman was be pretty inconsiderate when it comes to their docks, lifts, boats, covers, etc. 

I met one super friendly owner and his son one day fishing a local lake while they were removing a brand new pontoon-lift cover from the frame. He told of how he likes having anglers fish his dock and likes knowing it's such a hot spot for big bass, his "pets".

But a few days prior, he witnessed an angler with a bass jig stuck on top on the lift, stick right in his brand new cover at the apex of the frame. Rather than cut the line, the angler was doing these massive hook sets, which ripped the canvas a couple feet at a time. The angler had the audacity to completely destroy this guy's expensive lift-cover over a $4 jig. Anyways, the son hollered at the boater that he was calling the cops, so he snipped the line and buzzed over to the public access, where he trailered and escaped. 

The owner showed me tarp with a 10' hole that still had the jig and craw in it. It was a Northstar series Alimony-colored jig. 50lb braid, of course  

I have told this story a couple times on BR it's so ridiculous. I don't think these kinds of incidents are as rare as we BR anglers would like to believe. 

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That's raw!  Ripping through a canvas cover to save a $4 jig?!  That just gives the bass anglers that target docks a bad name.  Like several people have already mentioned, just exercise some common sense.  If there's lots of docks and a person on one every once in a while, just go past that one and target the ones without people around.  That way, if you make a mistake, you can fix it and no one will notice - no harm, no foul.  If you hook something on a dock and the owner sees it, well, then you can expect to get barked at.  If it was my dock I probably wouldn't care for that either.

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If I had a house on a lake with a dock I would have so many contraptions under that thing to catch lures that I'd never need to buy any

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Ok,..as far as the law goes?,...Im not one to "push" it with a lakefront homeowner. I copied the law and keep a couple copies on the boat to defuse any volatile situations, If a homeowner says anything about "Its their property" or "you cant" I just politely say "I have something for you" pull out my map book (a three ringed binder in a zippered cover) grab a copy and hold it out for them. Its really just a attempt to keep tempers down and insure the future fishing ventures.

It has worked in the past,"mostly"  once there was a guy that just wouldnt stop as I was trolling away so i just iggy'ed him, and was met by a cop at the ramp, who understood my side, but had to check it out anyways. Only to find out that the guy has been calling the cops on a weekly basis all year,  and was "to be dealt with"  The next time i fished that lake the guy was in his yard but didnt utter a word to me at all. I didnt fish his dock, but kept an eye on him as I trolled on by

As for anglers that just totally disrespect homeowners property? Thats just wrong, and Im sure they are the bad apples that ruin the barrell. If I have any doubts of my abilities to cast to a dock without doing any harm , I will move on without making any casts to it at all, If there are people on the dock I will ask if they mind me fishing it, and I will respect their decisions.'

I do understand both sides, I dont own a lakefront home, but know some that do, and have heard their complaints. Do I argue with them? no,... i refuse to. Will I trash someones dock? heck no, any docks I  ever got hung on,.., I retrieved my lure with no damage to their property. And when learning to skip lures I had my fair share of rope hookups. I have no desire to have my day of fishing ruined by an angry homeowner. I much prefer a calm peaceful day with my only battles being done with rod and reel against opponents being of the scaled species.

 I respect your opinions, and hope that you only have tight lines, and wage war on the fish, not each other, With the millions of anglers in the world these days , there's bound to be some friction somewhere. Keep in mind this is a sport to some, hobby to others, and pastime to the majority.

 Play nice, be respectful, and we will reep the benefits of mother natures bounty. Otherwise the evil opponents that take drastic measures to stop our fun, will use the negative skirmishes against us. Ive seen it happen already here, the salt water shoreline access around here is dwindleing quickly due to their efforts. And its only getting worse, they are diligent, persistent, and just a major pain in the ,...umm,....errr,..tukus (as mom says) im talking about PETA

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Courtesy, respect and common sense go a long way.

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I live on a public lake and IMO 1% of fishermen give the other 99% a bad name. I actually had a guy set 4 small children off on my dock to play while he and his buddy backed away to fish my underwater light. That's the only one I have ever yelled at. 

As a fisherman I avoid pitching any docks with a boat in them period. I practice 'Do unto others' and have never had an issue with a landowner.

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