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Re: [wagdog] ice fishing etiquette
"Encroached upon" means a lot of different things to different people, I have learned.

For some fisherman, encroachment means simply being able to see you (within miles of them) on a lake such as Strawberry. However, I fish where I know I have caught fish before, based on structure and my gps coordinates. That may mean I may get within 75 feet of you, but I prefer to be as far away as possible (miles).

I have had many trips when we have been catching fish and people slowly start drilling holes closer to us until they get about 30 feet away. They usually never catch any more fish either, which is hilarious.

One time ice fishing, an older man saw our success, came right up to us and said, This looks like a good place to fish, and began to drill a hole 5 feet from one of our active holes!!! We couldn't believe it!! Yes, 5 feet!!! We decided to simply move on.

I love the people that come and take over the holes they watched me drill and left 30 feet away, but not currently fishing. If I drilled it and I am over 100 feet away, however, I could care less (as I drill a lot of holes on good-weather days).

A couple of years ago, a non-fishing, out of state couple and their daughter came out on the ice (drove past the state park, wondered what was happening on the ice and came for a look). They wandered over to us, as we were catching fish. We discussed with them the sport. The little girl (about 6 yrs old) asked if she could catch a fish. I said, "Sure!" After hooking one, I helped reel it in. She asked if she could take it home. I said, "Of course, it's your fish!" with a smile on my face. Well, a disgruntled, slow-moving encroacher (as explained earlier), was rather upset. He came over and started blasting his pie hole about how she couldn't take the fish, as it was an illegal donation of wildlife. He argued that it wasn't her rod, and I helped her reel it in, even though she hooked it and it was her first time ever fishing. What a complete A__hole jerk!! He mentioned that he was on some type of wildlife board in central or N. Utah, in a way to try to convince us of him being right. After a big argument, the girl ended up going home dissapointed, and without her fish. (We are not the type to get in a yelling match, etc.) What a great first-time fishing experience this encroacher left upon the poor 6 yr old girl. As of note, none of us were near our limit, as we rarely keep fish (and would end the fishing day too early). So thinking we were donating to free up our limit was out of the question.

I wouldn't be surprised if incidents similar to this are partially responsible for that rule being put in the book. I doubt a similar experience will ever happen again to me, but maybe to one of you. In the future, say, "Sorry kid, this is my rod. You can't fish with it. If you caught a fish with it, it would be my fish. Go get your own rod. When you do, I can't help you reel in a fish or it is an illegal wildlife donation. If you can't do it yourself, tough luck." What do you think?
(This post was edited by Flyfish4thrills on Jan 23, 2010, 11:16 PM)

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