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Donkey punch

Fishing edicate.

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Here goes.

I have access to private ponds-lakes in my area. Some parts of the ponds-lakes have houses, and other parts don't. ( I am fishing the bank ). Is it ok to walk the whole pond-lake or should I be weary and respect the fact that it may be private property all the way to the water.

Thanks, for the help.

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Never assume water is public untill you know. I never fish any water untill I know for sure it is public water, we have too many crazies that might come up on ya with a shotgun and tell ya your trespassing.

Ask first... is my rule of thumb

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I have fishing privileges in these ponds, the problem is the houses that have yards that go all the way to the water. As in any lake, but most of the time I am in a boat. These ponds-lakes have no boat access so I have to walk them. They do have big bass.

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There should be an easement which technically could be public access. I suggest contacting your homeowners assoc.  I used to live in a private community on a lake also.  I couldn't trespass through your yard to reach the easement but I could start in my own backyard and walk around the whole lake, through the other yards.  

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Go by what you know, Not what one person told you.  I would run with what Idaho***er and Bassin Blvd had to say.  Pays to be safe.

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My opinion is to go talk with the people in these houses and ask permission.  Then you will know for sure which houses are OK to fish at.

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I sold real estate for two years out off college and one great thing I learned, atleast in idaho, real property can sometimes be owned underneath the water. Not the water itself, but the land associated under the water, usually running with the high water mark which can usually be found through contacting a Title Company.

In Idaho home records are public so you can do a search whom owns the property and you can do a look up to see where people own.

If it is within your community I would just consult your HOA or your neighbors and see if it would be ok... If you are wondering about ponds etc you don't know the owners this way might also help.

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Bassn's answer is 10000% correct ! The homeowner may or may not own the property up to the shoreline, you have to check.  In Florida it's quite common that property lines do not extend to the water, that is common property.

A related tidbit : On almost any beach you can fish as long as there is public access to that beach. The beach is owned by the government and homeowners own up to the high water mark. Of course there are exceptions to every rule.  I am unsure if this applies to freshwater beaches like lakes Michigan or Huron for example.

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I'd ask the homeowners assoc, or go to each house seperately and ask. Always safer to ask.

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I can only speak for my property. I own the land under the water, but obviously not the water. If you were in a boat and came down my canal, you are OK. As soon as you touch my seawall, you are trespassing.

A few years back I had a discussion with some Bozo that was fishing in my backyard. When I went out and told him he was on private property, he told me "go to Hell, you don't own the water". When I told him I owned the land he was standing on, he got a little abusive with his language, so my wife called the police.

When the police arrived, this clown proceeded to "educate" the officer. After about fifteen minutes, the officer finally told the guy he had two choices. Either leave and not come back, or take a ride in the police car. He wisley decided on option #1.

My best advice is to ask the property owner. We really appreciate it.

Falcon

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Thanks for the help guy's. I have yet to get the balls to ask any home owners if they minded if I can fish their bank. The thing is my wife works for some rich people who pay hoa fees who do not fish or use the lake, nor do they live on the lake.They just gave me their name and # if any body asked who I was and why I was there. I do not want to push things. I was just wondering if anyone knew any more than I did. It sounds like I need to stay in the public areas.

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Agree that you should check with homeowners assoc.

Every location is different. I own lakefront property and it extends 100 feet out into the lake. However in a boat you should be able to go wherever you want, provided you are not trespassing when putting in.

It never hurts to knock on doors and ask also. Made some friends and found some great spots that way!

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in california, any navigable water is accessable as long as you are under the high water mark. if all else fails, wade in ankle deep.

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FWIW on any navigable body of water as defined by the USCG, property extends to the highwater mark.  Obviously landlocked lakes, canals and such do not meet this requirement and will have varying property boundaries.  The people who fish the James river near Covington VA are facing this issue right now.  A group of landowners have actually stretched a sign across the river posting it!  I don't fish there but if I did, I would just float on through, the James was used as a navigable body of water to bring logs down to the papermill, and as a result the landowners can not legally stop fishing there.  Although as I understand it, some more of the brasen landowners have fired warning shots at people floating the river.  There was also an article in one of the major outdoor magazines a couple of years ago, that highlighted this issue in the state of PA, where a group of fishermen were leasing both sides of the river and then closing it to fishing, thinking they owned the rights to the river.  I don't remember how the legal battles all played out, but there was a group of fishermen (not affiliated with the lease) who wanted to fish the stream and proceded to do so.  Long story short they were arrested and the legal battle ensued.  Maybe someone from PA can fill us in.  

In your case however, since you have permission to fish, I would fish, but not on other people's property.  Ask one of the residence who gave you permission to fish if there is a common property boundary around the lake, or get a little canoe or something to access all of the water.  Good luck

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Always ask if your polite and pick up all your trash most people dont have a problem with you fishing.  Just be respectful to their property.

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I see that the people that gave permission do not actually live on the lake themselves.  I think we have a much different situation.  If they have lake privileges there is a common access area that would be owned by the HOA and not any individual homeowner.  I don't think your homeowner has the power to grant permission to his friends that are alone and unaccompanied by him.  I don't mean to insinuate that someone there would or would not complain.

This is an HOA decision and may be addressed in their documentation, if not your homeowner friend would have to bring it up to the HOA board for a vote.  If your friend is a merely a casual one your chances are slim at best in my opinion.

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Who owns the land under the water and up to the high water mark?

This is a landmark case being tried in the courts in Louisiana and plenty of other states. After four years it is still being debated and will have far reaching effects as to whether anyone has the choice to fish up to and including the high water mark, or whether a landowner actually owns the land out to the center of the waterway. Each time a decision is reached it is handed back to another court. No one has a clue where this issue will end.

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