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Question Re: Wreck Fishing Etiquette

DrPhilDrPhil Junior MemberPosts: 2 Greenhorn
I'm new to fishing the Panhandle, so I wanted to get other's thoughts on wreck fishing etiquette. On a few occasions over the summer, I was fishing wrecks (public numbers) off PC when other boats pulled up within 30 yards and started fishing. On a couple of occasions, the other boats would circle my boat a few times within 30-50 yards looking at their bottom machines for a suitable spot. At least one of these boats was a charter captain who got pissy when I asked him not to run over my flat lines. I asked about it at a tackle shop and was told that the behavior I observed was extremely rude.

I was taught (and still believe) that it is inappropriate to move in on someone already ensconced at a fishing a spot. I know that wrecks are public domain, but it is a big ocean and there are lots of wrecks out there. On the other hand, some of these wrecks are pretty big and could probably accommodate multiple boats. 

My question: What is considered acceptable/unacceptable? How do others handle these situations? 

Thanks for your input.


  • relicshunterrelicshunter Senior Member BronsonPosts: 605 Officer
    Your correct to think that is rude and inappropriate, common sense would say to stay 100 or more yards away. But it is no longer an ocean of good well manured people. The fact that one was a charter captain is not unusual either, and I've found they are the more unpleasant then the average person when you ask them to give you space. Wish it was nicer out there but it's not. Just try to stand your ground if your on fish, because moving is what they want you to do!
  • limitlesslimitless Senior Member Posts: 707 Officer
    I too am fairly new to fishing the panhandle out of PCB.  I've quickly learned that there are no "secret spots".  Boats will alter course to go by you close enough to capture "your number" or just paint you with radar to get it.  OK, that's cool, but if someone is anchored up on a spot, it only seems right to give them room.  I've had googans come straight to me and drop anchor literally 20 feet from me and then ask "what bait's working best".  Not a clue.  My best was a fairly large area of rock and honey comb bottom out in about 100'.  Had a boat alter course and come to anchor right behind me within 15 yards.  My buddy and I were getting some nice mingos and mangoes, and the guy in the other boat yells over that he forgot his squid and wants to know if we have any extra he could buy.  We hauled anchor gave him some bait moved about 100 yards and went back to catching fish.

    Not long ago, I would have been really pissed about than kind of boldness or ignorance, but now it's not worth a confrontation.  Unless the offender is a complete alpha hotel, let it go and just ask them not to get so close that they'll get your flat line.

    The Snook & Gamefish Foundation is now the Angler Action Program:  Dedicated to Conservation and Education.  Please check us out.

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  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski Senior Member GrovelandPosts: 16,674 AG
    Said it before, when they get that close, pull your cowling, act like you're having motor trouble.  They'll bug out like lightning.  The kind of guys who drive right up on you aren't the kind of guys who want to give you a tow back to the dock and lose a day on the water they'll move.  
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • relicshunterrelicshunter Senior Member BronsonPosts: 605 Officer
    I like that ploy, ,might have to give it a try.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski Senior Member GrovelandPosts: 16,674 AG
    I like that ploy, ,might have to give it a try.
    It's worked for me in Pass A Grille down in St Pete.  
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • LilOrangeLilOrange Senior Member Smyrna, TNPosts: 1,210 Officer
    People are just rude & have no consideration for others.  Just another sign of how sad our society has become.

    Livin' the Dream !
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Moderator Ytic AmanapPosts: 8,913 Moderator
    IMO it kinda depends on where your fishing. Nobody cares that there are 20 boats at the bell buoy, so why to folks get all bothered by a second boat pulling up on an anchored guy at Stsge 2?  Should first boat have it all to himself because he took the time to punch in published numbers into a modern piece of electronics?  I tend to equate such a spot with whistle buoy, the jetties, etc.  The real question in such an instance is why the second boat would WANT to fish right on top of somebody?   Kinda feel bad for the poor sap.  

    Flip side of my stance on that scenario is way offshore on bottom.  I’ve been 50+ nm on bottom and had boat(s) pull up within chatting distance.  Two of which were for-hire vessels.  That’s uncalled for.  I’ll name the two charters that come to mind.

     Last year we were catching snapper on a piece of wreckage at about 35 nm that typically holds numerous and big snapper.   We were holding up and Seminole Wind rolled up and fished about 50 yards from us.  We continued to fish with him, but it was pretty funny.  Like Billy Archer doesn’t have other options within half a mile of there.  

    Twice I’ve had an overnight Anderson boat pull-up on me.  Once was overnight while I was on anchor at 45nm.  They held up right next to me and proceeded to Hoover beeliners with two hook gears maybe 100 yards off to my port.  Really guy? About a million places that can be done. 

    Other head boat was red and white as well.  Again, I’m on anchor at 52nm soaking out scamps and red grouper.  He at my from and passed me starboard to starboard at full steam.  Pulled them back maybe 150 yards past me, spun her around and sent 100 hooks down while holding up I my chum slick.   Thanks, brah!

    Like somebody said. Period. It’s a giant golf out there. The folks who should know better other ones and make me mad and again, why would they want to fish right next to monkey boat anyway?

    I will Say one thing about boats running up on you. They might be confirming that you’re on the spot they intended to fish.  I will occasionally have a known spot punched in and I’ll get within a quarter-mile just to make sure they’re actually on it I’m not actually stealing anything.  As far as zapping with radar do that effectively requires a fair amount of electronics. I’m not saying a lot of boats don’t have it, but many you think do, may not.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Moderator Ytic AmanapPosts: 8,913 Moderator
    Forgot to mention... the day Billy Archer pulled up next two us, he lost power.  We passed him back in the bay and boat was under tow.  I don’t wish that on anybody, but it was somewhat amusing.  
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
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