U/W Lights and Interfering with Fishing - Page 2
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  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    259
    Quote Originally Posted by mbowers View Post
    I fully agree that no one can be forced to leave a light on but if the reason in the light owner's mind for turning off the light is to stop someone from fishing (usually the reason IMHO) then the light owner has "mens rea" / the guilty mind. But proving that is very tough unless light owner posts something about his guilty intentions. Turning the light on again later confirms the guilty mind beyond any doubt as you say and would hopefully result in penalties if caught.
    Not sure if this was meant as satire.
    If not, then while your logic is sound in determining intent, there is nothing to be "guilty" of here. A dock owner can turn them on and off to deter fishermen all he wants. It's his private property. He's under no obligation, legal or otherwise, to keep it on for night fishermen. He's not denying the fisherman anything that is naturally there, or anything to which he is entitled. A dock light is not a public or natural resource to which a passing fisherman has a claim. The dock owner actually provides for enhanced fishing prospects by turning the lights on....turning them off doesn't deny the fisherman of a right, but merely stops giving him an extra free benefit that he was lucky enough to stumble upon in the first place.

    The dock owner can't stop them from fishing in the water (as long as they don't touch or otherwise damage or endanger the property), but he's under no obligation to help him fish by keeping his lights on.

    The easy solution is if the boater wants UW lights, bring his own in the boat. Then if a dock owner shuts his off, the boat owner simply sidles up to the structure at a safe distance and turns his on. If the effect isn't the same, he goes to the next dock. I can't imagine this is a widespread issue of crazy dock owners holding candlelight vigils at their window all night long just to watch their docks so they can flip their lights off as fishermen encroach.

    At worst, the dock owner can be accused of being selfish or petty...but on the other hand, we are all fishermen. So we all know what kind of complete scumbag fishermen are out there sometimes. This dock owner may be sick of unethical anglers cleaning out the fish on their dock every night. He may be sick of them tossing garbage into the water around his dock that might beach on his property. He may be sick of unethical anglers getting too close to their dock and even ramming or bumping into it and causing damage. He may be sick of fishermen waking him and his family up by throwing cast nets around the dock, maybe even hitting the dock with the loud lead sinkers. He may be sick of unskilled fishermen getting their lures snagged in his likings or dock wires. He may be sick of thieves posing as fishermen hanging out at his dock at night, waiting until the time is right and then jumping on their dock and ripping off stuff from their boat or their storage bins. He may be sick of dirtbags vandalizing his dock at night.

    You never know why someone does things, certainly not this particular thing.
    Last edited by Sizuper; 06-16-2017 at 10:24 AM. Reason: Forgot something

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    467
    I know a dock with motion sensors that turn flood lights on that shine on the fisherman and blind him/me/us. Someone probably stole something or the wife stepped on a dried shrimp on the dock with a hook in it.

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