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On week-ends, the wait to launch on most public water can be unbearable. I use that time to not only prep my boat to launch, but also to prep my head for the fishing. I'll check out the sky, wind speed and direction, birds, along with water clarity and the presence and type of weeds that may be present. Another thing I'll do is engage other anglers waiting to launch in an effort to learn as much as I can before hitting the water. My first question after 'how you doin'? is usually Do you fish this lake a lot? The conversation can go in any direction from there and what beneficial information I get out of it depends on where I steer it. Every topic from the main forage to their favorite structure or lure can give me insight I wouldn't have gotten checking my FaceBook account, or just wasting time in general.
Case in point; A local lake is known for giving up record muskie and I decided to give it a shot last week. I only hit this lake once or twice a year and never during the hot summer months.  I struck up a conversation with a fellow that was there to catch crappie. One of his first comments was that he almost always gets cut off by a muskie that attacks a crappie he'd hooked.  You know what my next question was don't you? I hooked and lost one in the mid 40s at the boat that day.

Yea, there is a bunch of misinformation and half truths heard at the dock, but if you ask the right questions you can often get useful information.  Oh yea, don't be afraid to give out a little helpful information, or tips, too. 

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I take all dock talk with a grain of salt. Like in your situation it can be very helpful. I had been scoping out a couple lake 20 minutes away from me that had smallmouth in them. These were the closest lakes that had smallmouth I could find after doing some research. One night on our lake we live on I run in to this 17 year old kid who fishes tournaments all around here. He beached his boat at our house and we talked and talked for hours. Come to find out there’s a lake not 5 minutes from my house that has smallmouth in it and according to him decent sized ones. I’ve know this area my whole life, I’ve looked over surveys of this lake by the DNR and there’s nothing about smallmouth. I’ve heard from a couple other guys who fish the weeknight league and they’ve confirmed they’re in there! Had it not been for that one conversation I might not had ever known. 

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Call me overly sensitive but I avoid post fishing dock talk like the plague. If I caught fish, I'm happy and I don't want to hear if/when someone has done a lot better.  I don't mind talking to someone at the beginning of the day, however.  You just never know what pointers they may be willing to share.

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Several years ago, I spent a day with a guide fishing Rainy Lake In Minnesota for walleyes. I’m not a walleye fisherman but I did it because my fishing partner at the time wanted to. After we were done for the day, while standing near the dock, a boat pulled up with Al Lindner in it. I knew the guide Al was using, so I went over to say hello. Al could not have been nicer. He posed for pictures and we talked about walleye fishing. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I’d been with a guide all day, I doubt I would have been able to contribute much to the conversation. Al Lindner, is one of the best walleye fishermen in the country and the fact that he was using “dock talk” with a couple novice fishermen to see if there was anything he could learn, impressed me a lot even though I’m sure I wasn’t able to tell him much of anything useful. 

If Al Lindner uses dock talk to try to improve his chances, I’m going to follow his example.

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Here's something I learned years ago 😉

 

I know all the guides on Toledo Bend when I see someone at the launch, store, or cafe I'll casually walk & notice of what's laid out on the deck.

 

If it's out on a guides deck you can rest assured it's catching!

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Catt said:

 

 

If it's out on a guides deck you can rest assured it's catching!

 

 

 

The same cannot be said about a tournament fishermen's deck.....a buddy of mine has been known to show up at the dock for weigh-in with deep sea lures tied on some of his rods.

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5 hours ago, Troy85 said:

The same cannot be said about a tournament fishermen's deck.....a buddy of mine has been known to show up at the dock for weigh-in with deep sea lures tied on some of his rods.

I knew a guy from our club that used to do something similar with odd ball colors and inappropriate lures. No one paid attention because he always finished near the bottom on most tourneys.  The standing joke was that he should try some of the stuff he had on his deck because it sure couldn't hurt his bottom line.  Then again, maybe he was actually throwing that stuff and we just assumed it was an attempt to throw the rest of us off. 🤔

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I judge each situation and act accordingly.  I have been known to put kid or their parents right on fish so they have a good time.  I have also been known to help other anglers that are from far away catch a few fish so they also have a good time.  most friends I will also help out (provided they are trustworthy).    I have picked up a lot of useful as well as utter BS from others.   The tourney anglers usually look down their noses at me from the 60-70K bass boats with all the latest tech gadgets because I have a plain jane 16ft john boat with a tiller outboard and hand controlled trolling motor and don't do much conversing.  I usually ask them if they are catching fish and that's about it. 

 

Mayes

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I usually lie when someone asks me how the fishing was.

I usually lie when someone asks me what lure or presentation I was using.

 

I always assume that if I asked them the same question, they'd do the same to me.

 

Maybe I'm too leery of people. Maybe I'm the problem.

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I have very little problem giving out my "secrets" at a dock, chances are pretty good that I won't be fishing that body of water again for a long time if ever, and it doesn't hurt me a bit, I also don't believe in the idea that there is a single lure that is productive 24/7/365 on any given body of water...every time I go out the conditions are different and so is whatever I'll be throwing, so I don't really mind helping others when I can, what goes around as they say

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1 hour ago, BadContrakt said:

I usually lie when someone asks me how the fishing was.

I usually lie when someone asks me what lure or presentation I was using.

 

I always assume that if I asked them the same question, they'd do the same to me.

 

Maybe I'm too leery of people. Maybe I'm the problem.

No you're not the problem. I'm glad I don't get asked too much. I hate to lie about it. I don't lie I just don't get too deep. If a person is green as grass it's decent to try to help them but most guys who are out on a regular basis there is no need to talk about that much. You know what you have to do and so does the other guy. 

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The dock talk games people play. I aviod everyone I don't know when launching. It's not that I am anti social and will chat with anglers at the end of the day. The morning I am focusing on my day and going through the pre luanch/ launch routine of getting in touch of the lake and seasonal periods, observing everything.

Tom

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I avoid people, too....but not just at the launch...I just don't like people.

 

However, I'm generally the opposite of @BadContrakt 

 

I never lie when someone asks me how the fishing was....there was a time I might have exaggerated a tiny bit :)

I never lie when someone asks me what lure or presentation I was using.

I always assume that if I asked them the same question, they'd do the same to me.

 

I just like to talk about fishing....I will sheepishly admit that I get a perverse little bit of satisfaction at the end of the day when others have had as tough a day as I had....misery and company and all that -- I'm a cynical old fart, but I rarely assume that someone's lying to me about their day on the lake....maybe I need to consider a little more closely how they reply

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It's interesting that one person may say they will lie, assuming that others will lie too.  And someone else says that they tell the truth, assuming that others will tell the truth.  That right there tells you that you can never trust anything you've heard at a dock.

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If someone asks me about the fishing during my time at a place, I usually tell them what i was using, what they were hitting and a general idea of what the fish were on.  I don't care to steer people in the wrong direction, we are all fisherman and I feel I should help other fisherman out.  That is just how I have done it over the years.

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I don't fish tournaments. I only fish for fun. I will tell people what I caught, where, and on what lure. I know that 9 outta ten people don't believe me anyway. It has gotten back to me that a local tourney fisherman I gave the correct info as above regarding my day ( had just caught 4 fish on 5 casts using KVD silver colored jerkbait)  showed up at the hometown fishing store and told the owner I was full of crap...LOL!

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I'll share any and all information I can with the kids and the old timers.  From my experience they are the ones more likely to give you a hand loading/unloading and will give you truthful information as well.  The guys that are "always catching monsters" don't need my help or advice on how to hook a few dinks to enjoy the day.

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I don’t get too specific on my home lake. Maybe I’m a little selfish, but if I don’t know the person asking me, I don’t tell them specific baits that work , just general terms like “soft plastics “:If I knew they would conserve the fishery like I try to, then I would trust them more. I just don’t want someone keeping all the fish and ruining it. If I know the person and trust them I  tell them more. I gave a zoom fluke recently to a friend on the lake and the next time I went by his house he said he caught a 4 pounder on it.

When I’m not on the home lake , I am usually on as remote a lake as possible . I don’t enjoy fishing crowded waters near as much, So discussions are few and far between out there.

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I'm usually honest when I see another angler on the banks I fish. I don't give up "my spot" at the local ponds though because they are few. 

 

Other places - "Ya I caught two bass on a yellow crankbait right over there by that tree. I've had good luck along the dam too. Good luck!"

 

If I see poachers I will call fish and game or whoever is appropriate. These are usually the same people who leave litter all over the place too. I think I hate litter more than poaching. It just blows my mind that people do that. Those are the guys that don't make eye contact with you...poachers and litterbugs, so they don't dock talk anyways.

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I find the dude who fishes a bunch with the Jon boat and straw hat. They usually have a clue. 

I got a soft spot when I see lil’ fellas out there fishing by themselves from the bank with a giant saltwater rod/reel and 50lb mono throwing a crank bait from shore into 3 ft of water with heavy hydrilla. 

I usually end up giving them a lot of my old worms weights and hooks.

Most folks talk about their fishing like they talk about they’re savings account...keep that in mind

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On 8/8/2019 at 5:35 PM, BadContrakt said:

I usually lie when someone asks me how the fishing was.

I usually lie when someone asks me what lure or presentation I was using.

 

I always assume that if I asked them the same question, they'd do the same to me.

 

Maybe I'm too leery of people. Maybe I'm the problem.

 

I just don't get that. We talk about the "bass fishing community" and we have a great one right here on BR where we all share experiences and information. Yet when some people are confronted by a real, live person standing right in front of them they won't pass on that same type of information.

 

I have no problem sharing information and what worked and didn't work and what I caught that day. If I'm heading home for the day I'll even point them in the direction where I had some good fishing. I get great joy from a good day of fishing and I would hope any info I pass on helps others do the same.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Koz said:

 

I just don't get that. We talk about the "bass fishing community" and we have a great one right here on BR where we all share experiences and information. Yet when some people are confronted by a real, live person standing right in front of them they won't pass on that same type of information.

 

It is a bit different to give information to someone who is not fishing the same body of water as you, it doesn't affect you.  For example, I have and will continue to tell JustJames anything I can remember about Canyon Lake, a place I fished when I was younger and that he lives at now.  He is a great guy and I hope he catches every fish on that lake, twice.  But if he should move to Lake Forest II and start showing up at the spots I was planning to fish, I am very likely to tip his kayak over :) .

 

I say that in jest, but the concept is true.  If you fish a small body of water and giving out certain information means more fishing pressure and less success for you, it is difficult to do.  That is one of the reasons why kids are always easy to give info to, most will never listen to you and will go back to playing video games on their phone after about 20 minutes.

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2 hours ago, OCdockskipper said:

 

It is a bit different to give information to someone who is not fishing the same body of water as you, it doesn't affect you.  For example, I have and will continue to tell JustJames anything I can remember about Canyon Lake, a place I fished when I was younger and that he lives at now.  He is a great guy and I hope he catches every fish on that lake, twice.  But if he should move to Lake Forest II and start showing up at the spots I was planning to fish, I am very likely to tip his kayak over :) .

 

I say that in jest, but the concept is true.  If you fish a small body of water and giving out certain information means more fishing pressure and less success for you, it is difficult to do.  That is one of the reasons why kids are always easy to give info to, most will never listen to you and will go back to playing video games on their phone after about 20 minutes.

 

If someone horns in on my honey hole while I'm fishing it I wouldn't be happy, but I could not care less about who fishes there when I'm away. I'd rather be known as the old guy that helps everyone out rather than the cranky old man that yells, "get off my lawn!" Besides, it's a great way to make friends or just make someone's day. It seems there isn't enough of that going around lately.

 

I'm fishing for fun, not to put food on the table. As the saying goes, there are plenty of fish in the lake...

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