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Thread: The dangers of herring fishing by Whittier

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Default The dangers of herring fishing by Whittier

    I saw a comment from emu about this on another thread, so I am sure I am not the only one that has experienced this. We were outside the Whittier harbor fishing herring, and there was the usual collection on the rocks casting out. I was on a friends boat, and it was blowing pretty good (20-30kts). In the past we usually fish out past where the bank fishers can cast to, but on occasion one will get close to us so we move out a bit more. We were out quite a ways, and moved into where the birds were at and starting getting herring. All of a sudden we heard a big bang in the cockpit. It took a few seconds to realize what had happened, but what seemed like a 5+ oz weight and a subiki hook setup. About the time we were understanding what just happened, another one came in, this time hitting the wife of my friend on the arm (later turning into a baseball sized bruise). Another one hit on the roof and tangled in his poles. This was all within a minute or less. We took a knife and cut off the gear and quickly motored out of the area. I am betting we were 200+ yards offshore.

    Not really sure what to say about it, or who was at fault, but I thought others should be aware of this. If one of those hit us in the head it could have been serious.
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Not to belittle the danger of getting hit with a lead sinker, but I sure wish I could cast 200+ yards!
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    What concerns me about that fishery is that there are some folks down there that have no conservation ethic and will fish it until it's all gone. We will see some regulatory constraints on it, which is a shame.

    As to the safety aspects, the only thing you can do is document and report. What a shame. Glad everyone was okay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    but I sure wish I could cast 200+ yards!
    I was gonna say...... that would have to be a world record.

    OP.....I doubt very much you where 200 yards off shore. But, seeing that somebody purposely tried to hit you with what could be considered a lethal weapon, I think I would have been getting a hold of the cops.....
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    But, seeing that somebody purposely tried to hit you with what could be considered a lethal weapon, I think I would have been getting a hold of the cops.....
    Good luck trying to show that some one purposefully attempted to hit you with a lead sinker...

    That said, generally speaking, people who fish from shore do so because they can't afford a fancy ocean going boat, and those who can afford fancy ocean going boats are well served to stay out of casting range of those relegated to fish from shore.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Good luck trying to show that some one purposefully attempted to hit you with a lead sinker...
    Maybe a full fledged sting operation would be in order........lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Having been in both shoes, I know how frustrating it is having a 6-figure costing boat motor up within yards of shore and park on the only fish the people on the shore can fish for. On the other hand, I seriously doubt jrogers was purposely doing this; it sounds like they were trying to make sure they were off shore far enough to avoid conflicts.

    People can cast with amazing accuracy. If it was one errant setup that hit the boat I'd say it was an accident. Having 3 in rapid succession it was obviously on purpose. There is no excuse for that and everyone is lucky nobody was seriously injured.

    I also agree with Mike. That fishery is over-fished by what I half-suspect are people using the fish in restaurants or for some other commercial purpose because I can't see how they can use as much as they catch for any other purpose. It needs to be regulated; having no limit and no closed season leaves the door wide open for abuse.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    This is crazy.
    I know many of these people are thinking they are targeting a rich guy with a fancy boat who can fish wherever he wants. I can see them thinking the nearshore area is theirs and those with fancy boats should fish elsewhere.
    But this is dangerous and potentially harmful to people not just the boat.
    I don't know what the complete solution is. I would bet though a little talking to from a LEO stating the dangers and liabilities if someone gets hurt might change their minds.
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    I would bet though a little talking to from a LEO stating the dangers and liabilities if someone gets hurt might change their minds.
    That liability is shared on both sides. The operator of a boat needs to recognize the inherent danger of moving his vessel into the line of fire of a group of shorebound fisherman. Doing so presents an obvious danger to his boat and those aboard. Failing to recognize and avoid such a danger creates liability. Besides that, it's just poor manners.
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    Glad you started this as it's own topic, Jrogers. I really P'd me off!! I had the two kids and my wife on the boat and "splash", 3 feet from the boat this guy in a red Jacket (on Saturday) casts right at us. I know this guy didn't care, because about 3 minutes before that he casts right over the zodiac to our right (I mean right over them!!). So I yell, HEY THAT'S TOO CLOSE!! Did he care... nope. Next cast almost lands in the boat! At that point I need to make a good learning experience for my kids and said, "you know, I'm getting pretty upset, let's just go, we are not having fun anymore anyway." Not sure what else to do in that situation. Call the cops?? They would probably laugh at me. But then, one time a cop pulled me over in Whittier and joked with me that "they don't have much else to do". I appreciated he sense of humor.
    The guy casting didn't care about anything but fish. Reminded me of being at a casino sitting next to a bitter old man that didn't care about anything else but getting the jackpot on his slot machine.

    I do remember fishing the rivers for Kings when I would see a boat pull up right close to where we were casting. I remember being angry that "they had a boat and can fish somewhere else". So, maybe that's the story here. If I weren't with the kids, might have been fun to back up the boat to the guy, put the outdrive up close to the trailer position, then gun it and watch it run sea water on him. That would cool things off.

    Oh, by the way, I didn't catch this moment, but I have fished with my gopro cam mounted to the top of the boat. So, if I needed evidence, might be good to run that.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emu View Post
    Not sure what else to do in that situation. Call the cops?? They would probably laugh at me. But then, one time a cop pulled me over in Whittier and joked with me that "they don't have much else to do". I appreciated he sense of humor.
    This has made me think about the other thread about undercover cops. If they are informed that this is going on then maybe an undercover cop right there when it happened would end it for good. Besides, like you said they don't have much else to do. This can seriously hurt someone and the cops should at least be aware of it happening. Also makes me think of the guy on the surf board that "was born here" and thinks he owns the waves.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    My 200 yard estimate may be high. I can get a close estimate off my chart plotter next time I am out, but it was a long ways. Interesting that the three that hit us were both the same setup; they all had these big teardrop weights tied on the bottom. After we got out of the way we saw how far they were sailing them. I suspect that they had long stiff poles to get them out that far.
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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    I can cast pretty darn far with a 2-ounce weight. I can spool one small reel with over 100 yards of braid without trying too hard, so I believe you probably were out a decent distance.

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    3 rigs wrapped around the cleat then its time to go, just start steaming away at 1/2 throttle, your reward 3 nice long casting rods !! I'd bet the owners would be waiting for ya at the ramp to claim them, sorry boys they seem to have broken after you snagged my boat with them but here's the pieces. Seriously i'd at least call the cops, habor misstress and the fish cops just so they know that something like that is going on. The only problem i see is that the long casters most likely are whiddiots so the local cops might not care much but the fish cops might. Next time just cleat off the rigs and keep drifting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    3 rigs wrapped around the cleat then its time to go, just start steaming away at 1/2 throttle, your reward 3 nice long casting rods !! I'd bet the owners would be waiting for ya at the ramp to claim them, sorry boys they seem to have broken after you snagged my boat with them but here's the pieces. Seriously i'd at least call the cops, habor misstress and the fish cops just so they know that something like that is going on. The only problem i see is that the long casters most likely are whiddiots so the local cops might not care much but the fish cops might. Next time just cleat off the rigs and keep drifting.
    Have to agree with that. Tough to keep your head about you when someone is slogging leads at you but if I could I hope I would have thought of that.

    I'd have been pretty peaved if one of them went through my glass as well.

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    You should at least report it, if they were doing it on purpose then something should be done about it I dont care who they are they are throwing lead at you and hitting you. What if they do hit someone in the head and cause serious injury.

    Just because you were close does not give them the right to damage your boat or you.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    That liability is shared on both sides. The operator of a boat needs to recognize the inherent danger of moving his vessel into the line of fire of a group of shorebound fisherman. Doing so presents an obvious danger to his boat and those aboard. Failing to recognize and avoid such a danger creates liability. Besides that, it's just poor manners.
    I couldn't disagree with this more. The liability is not shared on both sides. Driving your boat close to shore is not a crime. Attempting to cause damage to a person or their property is. So what happens when you are running your boat on a river? It's ok for anyone onshore to pelt your boat with lead because they don't have one?

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwanttofish View Post
    You should at least report it, if they were doing it on purpose then something should be done about it I dont care who they are they are throwing lead at you and hitting you. What if they do hit someone in the head and cause serious injury.

    Just because you were close does not give them the right to damage your boat or you.
    In all likelihood this is a form of assault. I doubt that the Troopers would do a lot about a sinker hitting the boat, but they really crossed the line by striking a person in the boat. The problem is identifying the individuals.

    Next time, make a phone call immediately and take good photos.

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    I'm picturing a bunch of Alaska rednecks taking casting practice at some boaters after a few beers. Hope they don't discover drivers and golf balls. You guys will all be in trouble.

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    The way I look at it (and I have a boat) is that leave the near shore areas to the shore bound folks.

    Any intent o their part would be impossible to prove.
    T
    hrow their gear back to them and get out of their range. You have the whole ocean to fish in, why crowd them. They get crowded enough by themselves.

    A also make it a rule to NEVER pis anybody off with my boat. Think about it. Your boat sits in its slip defenseless. You've got what a quarter million in a boat, something the average hardworking guy will never own. Its already a symbol as it is, why make it a target too.

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