Running a boat at night ... don't be stupid

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by metalfisher, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. metalfisher

    metalfisher New Member

    I was sitting here thinking back on a night fishing trip a couple years ago that was ruined by a guy not knowing how to operate his boat at night.

    I had 4 trotlines out all marked with white jugs with reflective tape on them. This guy ran his boat over and broke 3 of them. I was so mad I couldn't talk. He defense was he couldn't see the lines.

    This is what he was doing wrong:

    1. His boat was white which reflects light. He had his son in the back of the boat shining a Q-beam light forward. If you have ever run a boat at night, you know that anything in front of you that is light colored reflects enough light to affect your vision. He should have had the Q-beam at the front of the boat to prevent blinding the driver.

    2. His boat was out of trim. The bow was up 3 feet off the water. This caused the boy with the Q-beam to shine the light up into the sky. He thought he was holding it level but since the boat was tilted up, the light shined up into the sky. The bow of the boat cast a shadow that probably cover 5 acres of water. He should have trimmed his motor. If the light had of been up front, it would have not mattered though.

    3. He ran straight down the lake. When you are running at night with a shadow in front of your boat, you need to zig-zag. This allows you to shine your light around the boat to see what the shadow is hiding.

    Since he didn't "see" them, it didn't matter but if you see a a row of jugs, don't run over them. They may be marking a net or floating trotline.

    Maybe he wasn't stupid but his "ignorance" cost me 3 trotlines and only his son and daughter in his boat kept me out of jail.

    So if you run your boat at night, think. Being able to see is very important to your safety and everyone elses too. I didn't see it is weak!!

  2. Creek6

    Creek6 New Member

    I don't know about Arkansas but in Oklahoma it is illegal to set a trotline within 3' of the surface.

  3. SkiMax

    SkiMax Well-Known Member

    Rising Sun, IN
    In Indiana there is a speed limit from dust til dawn, it is 10 mph's.
  4. channelcat_tracker

    channelcat_tracker New Member

    wow. doesnt that just tick yea off!
  5. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    safety is a big concern in the water especally at night. Idiots are the ignorant should be held accountable for their actions. Did he offer to pay for the damaged trotlines?
  6. FishMan

    FishMan New Member

    I wouldn't think he would need a defense. In most water it is illeagle to block a waterway. In the water I fish it is you who would need a defence.

    I know what you mean though. It seems sometimes that people go out of their way hoping to cause you a problem.

    The laws are not always fair.
  7. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    not on the ohio river obviosly lol max
  8. Okccatman

    Okccatman New Member

    Hate to come off wrong.... But, Your lines were too high in the water. How would you like it if you were out boating and you had to replace the seals in your lower end because someone had there line close to the surface.

    They should be here talking about how some guy was bogarting the lake with his lines.

  9. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Seems to me that you had your trotlines set in an area that boats must travel pretty often. That is a bad place for a trotline to begin with.
    I am sorry but like it or not, boaters do have the right to travel these lanes without having to dodge trotlines IMO!!!

    It doesn't matter how he was driving the boat!!!

    Put your lines in a place that no one travels and this kind of thing won't happen. I know that if it was me that hit it, I would have gone ballistic if the lines messed up my lower unit!!!!
  10. Georgiajack

    Georgiajack New Member

    We are required to have our trotlines at least 3 feet below the surface in Georgia. Like the post above, we try to keep them out of heavy used lanes that you would normally run. It prevents a lot of damage to both parties involved, and folks don't lose their tempers, and do things they regret later. Makes for a more harmonious outcome for all. Good fishing, Jack.
  11. FROG

    FROG New Member

    Funny how you should bring that subject up because about a month ago a man was killed on lake sinclair because some one was runnig a boat at night and I heard he had no lights and he hit another boat and killed someone and hurt 2 others.
  12. Fishnhuntforever

    Fishnhuntforever New Member

    Northern California
    I am not experienced in trot lines but it doesn't seem fair to place them where a boat can potentialy hit them and then blame the boater. As you just described it is very difficult to drive a boat at night. Everyone has the right to enjoy the waterways. I personally wouldn't put anything in the way of someones path at night and then get upset when they hit it. I think you are lucky that nobody in the boat got hurt or you might be living in some new quarters for awhile. Or at least you might be missing a few dollars for the repair of his boat. That is just the way I see it though and is only my opinion.
  13. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    sounds like you have some imigrants from Ohio:lol: , boaters here seem to have no brain cells at all! heck with the trottlines, our "boaters" will run over other boats:eek:oooh:
  14. metalfisher

    metalfisher New Member

    I agree that lines should not be placed in boat travel areas. This was the first time in 12 years fishing trotlines, first time in my life, that anyone hit my lines.

    The lake is about 1/2 mile wide and the lines were placed diagonally from the bank out to a weight about 60 yards. I purposely put them out of the way so they wouldn't cause trouble. Or so I thought.

    The first one he hit, he dragged for a while and it ended up wrapped around the lower unit of another guy. I helped him clear his motor and we both discussed the stupid boat driver.

    The second one he hit popped like a rifle as he broke the main line. He just motored on oblivious.

    The third one he hit, I was running! He just came flying by me with no concern what so ever. I dropped the line to keep from being pulled out of the boat and chased him down the lake. Only his two kids kept me out of his boat. However, he and his kids and anyone within a mile knew how stupid I thought he was.

    There is no regulation that I am aware of requiring lines to be at a certain dept in Arkansas. Using floats and weights, I fish from the bottom to the top.

    I know how some feel about trotlines and that is ok with me. But, this guys was just an idiot oblivious to what he was doing. I mark the lines with white jugs with reflector tape. The tape can be seen for a very long way at night with a spotlight. I still fish them the same way and he is the only one to ever hit one.

    If I was fishing them wrong, you would think that in 12 years of fishing the same two public lakes, they would have been hit before.

  15. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    "Did he offer to pay for the damaged trotlines?"

    Just the opposite, you were lucky you were not sued for damages to the motor of that boat that became entangled in your lines.

    That is creating a navigation and boating safety hazard. Had it been me and lines became entangled in my prop, I would have been on the phone to the wildlife officer to get a report on that so that a lawsuit for damages would have been easier should the person not be willing to pay.

    I would not want to be the guy with the jugs and trotlines in front of a jury of pleasure boaters, water skiers, and jet skiers, who have no clue what a trotline is.
  16. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Bedford, Kentucky
    Robert, I can see both sides of the situation. First, as long as there is no laws saying how deep a trotline has to be in your area and you were following all applicable laws in running those lines, FISH ON. Also in agreement with you, when I'm running at night from one spot to another on a lake or a stream, I try to stay well away from the bank. As you said the lines were 60 feet long, so that means that Dumb@$$ was running the bank. What if he had passed by a bankfisherman with a surf rod and floater fishing, it would have been the same scenario. I also see the problem with his lighting, actually it is best to trim your boat and run solely on running lights, your night vision is impaired by any other artificial light. Now for his side, as far as I know, unless other wise marked all public waters are open to vessels as long as they are properly licensed and equipped. Two why not fish the lines on the bottom, so this kind of problem won't and can't occur. Three the trotlines as I am sure meant something of value to you, but a lower unit on a motor in or outboard is way more costly than even commercial fishing gear. Why not put your lines in in the morning during daylight hours and remove them at dusk if you must fish them on the surface, so as not to cause injury or damage to other people and there equipment. Just a few points to ponder. Vern
  17. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    Your natural night vision is by far your best friend running at night.
  18. Fatkat

    Fatkat New Member

    Blanchester, Ohio
    I agree with you but he said 60 yards (180ft.) thats a good distance out from the bank. :smile2:
  19. Drawout

    Drawout Active Member

    Some people just dont use common since,sorry bout your loss.
  20. beeheck

    beeheck New Member

    Iowa / Missouri
    Just one suggestion in the future, regardless of who is at fault in this incident, instead of white jugs with reflective tape that has to have a light shined on them to reflect (obviously) try clear jugs with two or three of the 8" green glow sticks sold by MainWolf Products inside the clear jugs. Jugs are lit up and you can see them from a distance and you don't need a light to find them. I've never jugged but dropped a couple of these lights in a pop bottle one night after fishing and was getting ready to go in. I then lost it over the side when motoring back and went back to pick it up and it stuck out like a sore thumb. Just a thought.