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Sorry, this is going to be a long post, but I just got back from one fishing experience I will never forget.

 

There is a guy I work with that is always talking about the huge fish he catches.  Usually he has pictures to back up his stories.  I fish the same waters and have never caught fish in the size or numbers that he regularly does.  I just figured he has more time on the water and has it figured out better than I do.

 

Yesterday we were talking and he invited my son and I on his boat for an afternoon/evening trip.  I thought it would be a great learning experience for me, maybe pick up a few hints or tips, or he might be able to show me what I am doing differently that is making a difference.

 

His plan for the afternoon was to let the kids fish for bluegill/pumpkinseed and when the light started to fade we would switch to bass fishing.  I was totally on board with this plan.

 

We got onto the water and cruised into a small rocky cove, the kids started fishing and were soon into countless 4-6" sunfish.  His son was putting his fish into the live well and I figured the were keeping them to eat.  They got to the daily limit of 25 fish and he said that's it, pull the lines in.  It took about 30 minutes to get to this point.  We zoomed out of the cove and he set us up on a weed line in about 15' of water.  I fish this line all the time and do ok on it.

 

I started my top, middle, bottom search for fish and he starts laughing at me.  I'm puzzled at this but continue fishing.  About 5 minutes later I hear a huge splash where he is casting, he says "oh that's a big one". He brings it beside the boat and I net it.  20" and 4.3 lbs. I'm speechless looking at this fish, the gut is huge.  He cuts the line and lets it swim away.  I think "wait a minute, he never removed the hook" and then I understand why...Those sunfish his kid put into the livewell, he's using them as bait.  He catches another fish and this time I ask I can hold it.  All I can see down the throat of this bass is a sunfish tail and his line coming from deep in the gut, no hook to be found. He cuts the line and lets it go.

 

I politely inform him that using sunfish as live bait is not legal in our state.  He proceeded to tell me he knows but there are no F&G officers around and he does this all the time.  I asked how often the bass swallows his bait, his answer was 9 out of 10 times he has to just cut a bass free.  I told him that this was not a healthy way to be fishing.  All of those bass are left with a hook ripped into their gut and that a lot of the will probably suffer/die because of it.  

 

We we had a few heated words about being responsible fishermen and it ended with him calling me vulgar names. I asked him to take me back to the dock. My son and I got off the boat and he proceeded to call me the same thing as he sped away to continue fishing for the night. My son was upset that we didn't get to keep fishing but I explained to him that this man was breaking the law and I wanted nothing to do with fishing like that.  My little guy in all of his 8 years of wisdom says "If he is breaking the law, why don't you call the police on him?"

 

That little 8 year old got me thinking maybe I should report it to F&G, it's an easy case to prove, his Facebook, which I checked after going out with him, is filled with posts about how the bass were "loving the sunfish tonight" with the choked down tails sticking out of the gullet in most of his pictures.  Am I wrong to make the call or should I just mind my own business and assume there will always be idiots in the world?

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You're just gonna have to do what you think is right. I'd lean towards protecting our resources and do what it takes to stop him. There is a lesson here to teach your son also. He may always remember how his dad handled this situation. Some will tell you a "man" isn't gonna be a snitch. Others will tell you a "man" is gonna stand up for his beliefs and make the call. That's for you to decide. I'd probably make the call. At the same time I wouldn't judge you poorly for either decision you make. 

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100% report him. It is your duty. You did your diligence to discuss it with him and he failed to be responsible. Moreover, he is perpetuating his irresponsibility by doing it with his kid. Your son is absolutely right, if he is breaking the law, why not call the police. Although children's minds are often simple, they are often also unbiased.

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I'd report him without a doubt. You and everyone else is paying fees and buying license and permits that is paying to stock and manage the lake just for him to break the laws and think it's okay just because no one is watching. Even easier to do it if he's dumb enough to post about it on social media, all the evidence is right there for the officer's to cite him at the very least. 

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Report that SOB. Give his name, address, phone number, and hull number to your game wardens and give them a thorough account of what happened. 

People like him have no respect for fish, or the people who work their butts off to catch them legally. He can pound sand and I hope the wardens throw the book at him. 

I respect you keeping a level head around your kid. If it was me, it'd be hard not to toss his sorry butt in the lake.

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I would drop a dime on him in a heartbeat, however I don't work with him. If you turn him in how would that affect you at work? I've worked at places that can be kind of cliquey. I've seen guys that have got on the wrong side ( in my case the union ) and had a long miserable day at work.

 Only you can be the best judge of what to do in this case. 

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Report him. If your going to fish- obey the laws. It's that simple

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I don't understand how this is even in question here! Report his arse! 

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8 minutes ago, jbmaine said:

I would drop a dime on him in a heartbeat, however I don't work with him. If you turn him in how would that affect you at work? I've worked at places that can be kind of cliquey. I've seen guys that have got on the wrong side ( in my case the union ) and had a long miserable day at work.

 Only you can be the best judge of what to do in this case. 

 I would consider this ^

 

There are ways to stay anonymous if that is a concern. 

But I would absolutely make the call!!

 

 

 

 

Mike

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Wow...sad situation for sure.  But if we all turn a blind eye to things like this where would this world be.  You got some good input above...follow your heart.  You asked for input.

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I would choose to report him, personally. However, I can understand if it makes your life extremely difficult if you choose to not report. I have been known to report people that break the law, even if they are my friends!

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The individual sounds like a bully with mental issues.

 

If you work with him you will have to be careful around him.

 

And yes, what he is doing is illegal and it should be stopped.

 

If you wait a month or so he may not know it is you who reported him. If you report him now, I am sure he will confront you in a hostile manner which can lead to legal problems for you and him.

 

To avoid legal problems, have another person report him via his social posts and "information from an unnamed source who knows what he is doing." In other words, have someone report him while keeping your name out of the equation, if at all possible, and tell the game wardens where they can find the proof.

 

Good luck.

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Regardless of what you decide to do from this point forward I just want to say congrats and great job in dealing with it when you realized what was happening.  You stood up for what was right to the point of getting off this guy's boat and you didn't lose your temper with his childish attitude.  You set an excellent example for your son.  That's becoming more and more rare in this country and we see the repercussions on the news every day.  Thanks for doing the right thing.  

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1 hour ago, BigAngus752 said:

Regardless of what you decide to do from this point forward I just want to say congrats and great job in dealing with it when you realized what was happening.  You stood up for what was right to the point of getting off this guy's boat and you didn't lose your temper with his childish attitude.  You set an excellent example for your son.  That's becoming more and more rare in this country and we see the repercussions on the news every day.  Thanks for doing the right thing.  

you’re exactly right. i dont know if i could have held back once he cussed me in front of my son. that’s a tough one right there.

 

turn him in

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He cussed you? Throw him outta his own boat then do circles around him until he apologizes. Or just turn his sorry butt in. Be very descriptive of how he does what he does. You don't want the warden to catch him catching sunfish legally. 

 

On the other hand, it's not illegal here and that sounds like a killer way for me to get a PB. :) 

Actually, I fish a private lake, so there aren't even limits. But I recently watched a Bamabass YT video of a guy with a private trophy lake using 1 lb goldfish for bait. Gotta use the right kind of hook so you don't gut hook the fish.

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I'd like to say I'd report him but I don't know...

 

I'd suggest that you have a conversation with a game warden and explain all of it. That you work with him etc. The warden is going to do surveillance, watch him catching and keeping sun fish and then later bass fishing. Maybe someone reported him, maybe someone didn't. I might also suggest giving your HR person at work a heads up. 

 

I LOL when I went back and read that he follows the 25 possession limit.  

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This may seem like the cowards way out but if he practices this regularly, perhaps wait a few weeks and THEN report him anonymously.  If he is fined or arrested immediately, it wouldn't take a brain surgeon to figure out who turned him in.  If you have to work with him, he could make your life difficult and, if he has authority over you, he could make it even worse than that.  Life is not always fair and too often it isn't BUT, on public waters especially, this is inexcusable behavior and it needs to stop.  HE chose to knowingly break the law. It's too bad his son has had to witness any of it but it is what it is.

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Print out screen shots from his Face Book posts and send them anonymously to the game warden. Include his name and address if you need to. His pictures will incriminate himself The warden will start the conversation something like ...so we saw some of your Face Book posts.... and you'll be in the clear. 

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Wow that's a horrible fishing trip, especially with young children involved. Sorry for your bad experience. 

 

Do what you feel is right. Obviously your relationship with this coworker is already hostile, so that cat is out of the bag so to speak. 

 

The rules are there to protect the fish and our sport. Respecting these rules and laws are not optional in my opinion. Like it or not, the law is the law. I feel you did the right thing pointing it out. His response was way out of line and disrespectful to you, your child, and the fishing community as a whole. 

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I guess it’s the “world” I live in, but turning him in/snitching isn’t something I would do, neither is allowing him to cuss me in front of my son and his, but that’s just me.

I would have also questioned him in the past about what bait he was using a long time ago, just part of the way we are here when talking about catching fish. I can’t imagin someone around here fishing like this guy and no one having a clue as to what he was doing.

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I'd definitely make a call to the F&G if I were you. As Sam said, I'd wait about a month so he doesn't suspect you.

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18 hours ago, redmexican5081 said:

My son was upset that we didn't get to keep fishing

Sounds like a perfect opportunity to take him fishing again and show him how it's done. Timing is everything.

 

Looks like you're in Sandown NH not too far from me (Kittery, Maine).

 

How about you & your son come up this way for the day? Private camp site an hour from Kittery with access to some great water. Panfish and bass. My motorboat isn't much but gets you on the water.  Truck is in the shop so I can't tow it this weekend (Labor Day weekend) so it would have to be next weekend.

 

Unless you have a vehicle that can tow it (lightweight 16' boat)... then this weekend is good (my son would be going along too... he's new to fishing)

 

We can pick up Maine 1-day fishing licenses en route (there's a place 2 miles from my house).


Let me know.

 

 

 

 

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Took the right road in my mind. Talked to HR as was suggested, he isn't a superior, more like an equal from another department.  They assured me they would monitor the work environment. I also put a call in to Fish and Game.  Apparently I am not the first person to report this guy recently. The "tournament director" of the local Tuesday night fishing group lodged a complaint as well.  He was DQ from the most recent event because he brought in a fish with the sunfish and hook still in it, created a huge scene and the PD got involved, no charges filed but they broke up the situation. Wish I knew this before going out with him. F&G is building a case, asked me for all the information I had as well as any pictures I could provide. They want to catch him in the act so there can be no "I caught the sunfish and the bass ate it while I was bringing it in" excuse.  I feel better about my decision to wait and not just go reporting right away, I was upset last night and had a much clearer head today.

2 hours ago, haggard said:

Sounds like a perfect opportunity to take him fishing again and show him how it's done. Timing is everything.

 

Looks like you're in Sandown NH not too far from me (Kittery, Maine).

 

How about you & your son come up this way for the day? Private camp site an hour from Kittery with access to some great water. Panfish and bass. My motorboat isn't much but gets you on the water.  Truck is in the shop so I can't tow it this weekend (Labor Day weekend) so it would have to be next weekend.

 

Unless you have a vehicle that can tow it (lightweight 16' boat)... then this weekend is good (my son would be going along too... he's new to fishing)

 

We can pick up Maine 1-day fishing licenses en route (there's a place 2 miles from my house).


Let me know.

 

 

 

 

I appreciate the offer but this weekend is filled with a family fishing trip already.  I need to get my wife and 3 littles onto some panfish.  Already started talking the trip up so they are excited.  Now if I can just get them to want to stay out so I can get a few casts  in...

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Kudos for doing the right thing. I hope the case they’re building will make your DNR plot a sting on him.

 

Thankfully, because of his history he can’t pin it on you. You’re Scott free. 😎

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You absolutely did the right thing ! 

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