Unwritten Rules of Boating/Fishing

I had an interesting weekend on the water. We fished and did some crabbing. As the weekend went on, I realized that boating and fishing are mostly governed by unwritten rules and it only takes one guy with their head up their fourth point of contact to make everyone else’s life difficult.

Here’s a few I thought of, please add as you see fit!

1: Be ready to launch before you clog up the ramp.

2: Once you’ve launched, get your boat and truck out of the way. I prefer to have someone else with me who can either go park the truck as I move the boat away from the ramp, or vice versa.

3: When launching where the ramp has a dock or pier, don’t tie up close to the ramp. People can’t get around you to recover. Move as far out to the end as possible so people can get around you and have enough water to make corrections to trailer their boat.

4: Check out the ditch forming at the end of the ramp. It’s from people using more power than necessary to get on the trailer. It’s not

5: If someone is struggling, offer your help. Being in the peanut gallery doesn’t clear the ramp any faster.

6: If you’re one of the crew, help your captain. Being a spectator won’t win you any points. Even if you’ve never driven a boat or backed a trailer, you can at least help keep the boat from floating away.

7: After recovering, get out of the way! The ramp isn’t where you unload your gear and make ready for the trip home.

8: If you’re not hauling a trailer.....DON’T PARK IN THE TRAILER PARKING AREA!

9: The travel lane for the ferry isn’t where you stop to tie your rigs.

10: If you have to get past someone, do it on plane. Displacing water with a 15 degree bow-high attitude at 10 kts doesn’t do anyone any favors.

How to get points with your Captain:

1: Don’t bring a bunch of crap and take up storage/deck space. Everyone doesn’t need their own cooler.

2: Know how to tie rigs...or better yet...bring them pre-tied.

3: Don’t sit there eating cheetoes and bologna sandwiches as your captain is doing everything else.

4: Know how to drive the boat, especially if you can’t tie rigs/net fish/whatever.

5: Keep an eye out for obstacles, especially if you can’t tie rigs/net fish/drive the boat/whatever.
 
  • When you back down to launch your boat, don't get out of your rig with it still in reverse.
  • If you're a guest and not sure about your sea legs, take an antinausea/anti motion sickness drug before going out. Turning back after heading out a mile or more sucks for everyone.
  • If someone hands you their glasses, don't put them on the gunwale.
 

DirectDrive

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Nice list !
I'll add :
If it's 0-Dark-Thirty and you are lined up to start down the ramp, turn your dang headlights off !
Otherwise you are blinding the guy next in line or the guy trying to back down the other lane.

If it's not a power launch and the captain is parking the rig, have a hold of the bowline and walk the boat to the farthest reasonable spot on the dock. Do your best to keep the boat out of the way of the other boats.
That might mean moving it down the walkway as spots open up.
Also make sure that the boat bumpers are adjusted to the right height to keep the boat from grinding against the dock.

Keep the winch and runaway chain attached until you are ready to shove off.
Don't be that guy that lays his boat down on the ramp !

If you're using an automatic transmission, make sure your E-brake is working well.
Test it on a hill somewhere, put it in neutral and engage the E-brake.....does it hold ?
Some don't work worth a crap with backwards pressure, such as on a boat ramp.
I've never been comfortable hanging the whole works on Park alone.

With a manual trans I turn the engine off, put it in 1st and engage the E-brake.
That way I'm using engine braking and the E-brake.
I'd probably be fine letting the engine run and using the E-brake alone, but using the engine for braking adds another layer.

If it's a ramp with cross-current, move your boat upstream of the launch point (if possible) while you wait.
If there is a foul up on the next launch, the circus goes downstream fast, that's why you want to stand by upstream and out of the kill zone.

If you are parking the rig, avoid parking in an "outside stall".
This is the last stall in the row where traffic flows around your rig.
Oftentimes it's a "helper" that is doing the parking and if he's not used to the truck and trailer he could drag his trailer right over top of yours if it's parked on the end.
I have seen this happen.
You wouldn't think that a trailer could drive over another trailer, but it can.
 
Last Edited:

Alexx1401

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Almost all of this comes down to what Wife and I call the "me generation". This "generation" no longer seems to have an age parameter. It seems to run from young to older. I define it as the people who seem to think they are the most important person in the world and everyone else does not exist. What can be fun to watch is when another"me" does what they do and holds them up. Then they often explode because they have never learned to be polite and pay attention to anyone but themselves.
I have noticed it has gotten so bad that I often see a surprised look on peoples face when I treat them with politeness. So many have gotten so used to people just acting like Dbags to everyone around them. At work this morning when a new hire cleaner came asking about emptying our trash and I held the door open, grabbed the cans for him, grabbed some new bags for him. Then the shock of shocker thanked him. He looked like it caught him off guard that someone did not treat him like he did not matter.
 

Ura-Ki

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If you don't know how to back up a trailer, PRACTICE a few days BEFORE showing up to the ramp!
If you don't know how to land your boat in a current, PRACTICE some place other then the ramp!
Launch your boat and GTFO the ramp!
Four wheel drive isn't just bragging rights, US IT if you have a heavy boat/trailer combo!
Jet Boat guys, GTFO the off trailer quickly, don't sit there with the engine running with the place diverter in forward, or sit there on the dock with it pumping, or on the beach next to the ramp with it pumping, nothing worse then pulling up to the beach and stepping in the god damn pump hole, or having a ton of sand running through your pump or messing up your prop/impeller! I AM a Jet Boater, so I know all the stuff stupid owners do and it really pisses me off to see idiots who should know better, Jets can really mess up the ramp area, be polite and get out and away from the ramp/dock!
If you anchor up, know when and how to unbutton and move off/out of the way.
If you use a buoy system, know how to pull the anchor and buoy the correct way instead of dragging the bottom up and making the water un fishable.
Know how to net properly, you don't want to loose fingers or your fish while your futzing about!

No Bananas!
 

osprey

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Here is what works for me at the boat ramp. I roll down to the ramp and get out and put my wife in the drivers seat and let my Rotweiler out of the back. I jump in the boat and yell at the ol lady to back me in while my Rotty pisses on your tires and scares your fu fu dogs and children. Turns out the ol lady can’t back up for bubblegum so I am yellin at her in between trying to start my boat before we actually hit the water. I crank and crank but all I smell is gas. Odd since it ran great 9 months ago. Unfazed I bark at the ol lady as she is jacknifed again and light a cigarette before opening the dog house to find the problem. I spot it right off, one of my rat bastard stepkids prolly was playin around in the boat and pulled the coil wire off at the distrubutor. I put it back on and fire that mother humper up and rev it loud, water pump be damned. By now the ol lady has driven 2 miles trying to cover the 15yds down the ramp but is damn near to the finish line so I yell “that-a boy”. The mob that is gathering thinks I was yelling at my rot that is humping your wife’s leg and the crowd seems to be getting agitated for some unknown reason. Touchdown! The boat is in the water so I jam her in reverse and feed her the onions but it won’t budge. I know I disconnected the winch cable and safety chain so I yell at the ol lady “ goddammit Cindy you forgot to remind me to take the transom straps loose”, “pull forward”. I then yell at her to get out take the straps loose while I light another cig and crack a beer while I fiddle with the new stereo I put in the boat , cranking that hillbilly bubblegum up so the bass is a thumpin. The ol lady jumps back in the truck and weaves me back into the drink. I fire her up and expertly back her off and take the last spot on the dock 10’ behind my submerged trailer. “Go park that thing” and getcher goddamn dog” I yell. She takes the last parking spot boxing some poor bastard in and gathers up our Rot Satan who just found a picnic lunch to devour out of your knockoff Yeti. As she boards the boat I am thinking Damn that women looks fine for having 8 kids muffin top and all. Off we go cause we got us a finely tuned system to deal with you boat ramp rookies. See you on the water!
 
Last Edited:

Ura-Ki

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Here is what works for me at the boat ramp. I roll down to the ramp and get out and put my wife in the drivers seat and let my Rotweiler out of the back. I jump in the boat and yell at the ol lady to back me in while my Rotty pisses on your tires and scares your fu fu dogs and children. Turns out the ol lady can’t back up for bubblegum so I am yellin at her in between trying to start my boat before we actually hit the water. I crank and crank but all I smell is gas. Odd since it ran great 9 months ago. Unfazed I bark at the ol lady as she is jacknifed again and light a cigarette before opening the dog house to find the problem. I spot it right off, one of my rat bastard stepkids prolly was playin around in the boat and pulled the coil wire off at the distrubutor. I put it back on and fire that mother humper up and rev it loud, water pump be damned. By now the ol lady has driven 2 miles trying to cover the 15yds down the ramp but is damn near to the finish line so I yell “that-a boy”. The mob that is gathering thinks I was yelling at my rot that is humping your wife’s leg and the crowd seems to be getting agitated for some unknown reason. Touchdown! The boat is in the water so I jam her in reverse but it won’t budge. I know I disconnected the winch cable and safety chain so I yell at the ol lady “ goddammit Cindy you forgot to remind me to take the transom straps loose”, “pull forward”. I then yell at her to get out take the straps loose while I light another cig and crack a beer while I fiddle with the new stereo I put in the boat , cranking that hillbilly bubblegum up so the bass is a thumpin. The ol lady jumps back in the truck and weaves me back into the drink. I fire her up and expertly back her off and take the last spot on the dock 10’ behind my submerged trailer. “Go park that thing” and getcher goddamn dog” I yell. She takes the last parking spot boxing some poor bastard in and gathers up our Rot Satan who just found a picnic lunch to devour out of your knockoff Yeti. As she boards the boat I am thinking Damn that women looks fine for having 8 kids muffin top and all. Off we go cause we got us a finely tuned system to deal with you boat ramp rookies. See you on the water!
Nailed it!

You just described every single boat ramp in Oregon, Washington, and the whole damn wet coast!
Every year we go up to the Dischutes and put in at the mouth below the bridge! It's a real bubblegum watching all the idiots tryin to back down, or tryin to get their boats on the trailers! I seen some super nice and expensive boats get buggered up really good with those morons trying to ram it up the trailer! Then there is the parking, 1/4 mile from the ramp, and no dock, so the whole beach is 30 frickin feet deep from all the frickin morons with sleds who don't bring a sand anchor and leave their boats sitting there pumping out the bottom!
 
The first person to land a fish has to lick it from gills to tail, unless it is the vessel owner, who is exempt. If you see a bouy just floating with an address on it, someone probably lost it. Pull it in and drop it off at the address listed on your way home. You will get at least a thank you.
My first salmon was gutted, filleted and tasted all before we hit shore. Fresh raw salmon is quite tasty. I don’t recommend it today though. The waters haven’t gotten any cleaner. :(
 

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