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Troller v Slabber - Etiquette #13637503 07/20/20 08:33 PM
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I had an incident this morning where a guide got upset and began to lecture me about “fishing etiquette”. Although I’ve been fishing for 40 years, the huge majority of that was bass fishing so I’m not totally familiar with “trolling etiquette” so I thought I’d see what people on here thought. For the past three mornings, this guide and I have been fishing the same point. He is trolling. I am slabbing. Not surprisingly, we found fish in the same area/depth. He was trolling on a line about 250 yards long. I’ve watched him go back and forth for three days. I tried to be respectful and cast to the fish but they hit much better if I could get on top and drop down to them. Eventually, I try to get on top of them and stay out of his way as best as I could. If he was trolling 250 yards, I tried to get outside his line (at the “255 mark”) Evidently, I did not. So, each day, he would pass literally within a foot of my boat. I ignored him and just looked at it like it’s a public lake and there are plenty of fish for everyone. Today, I got sick of trying to stay out of his way so I tried a couple of other spots but couldn’t find them anywhere like they were stacked at this one point. So I went back a couple hours later, and he was still there. Back and forth. I did my usual and this time, he passed within six inches of my boat and started bitching about how it’s fishing etiquette to stay out of his way. I told him I didn’t know what his exact “line” was and figured he could veer ten feet off his course for basically 2% of his line. Also worth noting, he had been running this line for literally four hours. I was there before him this morning and know when he started. Anyway, I know we’re getting into the trolling season and although I don’t like it, I definitely understand guides doing it to make their customers happy. I want to be as friendly with them as possible. They’re usually good dudes and very helpful. In fact, I had another guide in the same area who was able to go around me and was even helping me out. Let me know your thoughts on this. I’ve never had it come up but it’ll come up tomorrow morning again!

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Re: Troller v Slabber - Etiquette [Re: Skippy] #13637571 07/20/20 09:33 PM
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Isn't State law require him to not drive a boat within 50' of a boat that is stationary?

Last edited by Tin Star Cajun; 07/20/20 09:34 PM. Reason: added

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Re: Troller v Slabber - Etiquette [Re: Skippy] #13637597 07/20/20 09:50 PM
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What lake?

Re: Troller v Slabber - Etiquette [Re: Skippy] #13637601 07/20/20 09:54 PM
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Tawakoni.

Re: Troller v Slabber - Etiquette [Re: Skippy] #13637638 07/20/20 10:36 PM
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I was with a pair of guide brothers on Lake Texoma, about 25 years ago. There was quite a boat show , but everyone playing nice except one
boat that would troll right thru the crowd. On one pass , the crazy brother said " that is a little too close" to which the other boat said " I will show you close on the next pass" So crazy Dave tied on the biggest slab on board. Hands me the rod , says sail this across their transom if they come back.
Sure enough , they came back thru , even closer, I made the cast let it sink and start slow rolling it back. Once I hooked up ,, Dave says, set the hook and yell, I follow directions and get two or three of their lines back to our transom . Dave looked at the mess and cut
all the lines , leaving them to reel back empty. They were pissed , words spoken , but they did not troll thru the boat show again.
Your mileage may vary ,

MO

Last edited by Mo; 07/20/20 10:37 PM.


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Re: Troller v Slabber - Etiquette [Re: Skippy] #13637654 07/20/20 10:50 PM
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Re: Troller v Slabber - Etiquette [Re: Skippy] #13637727 07/20/20 11:56 PM
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I don't troll, but I have no issue with most that do, its just another technique. If I see a boat making a troll, I will see what his line is and fish out of his way. If I am on the spot first, and they have not showed up yet, it is up to them to be courteous. I have had a few get close enough for me to read the tramp stamp on their client, that's too close. I normally fish in trees, so they don't come too close but once.

Re: Troller v Slabber - Etiquette [Re: Skippy] #13637865 07/21/20 01:51 AM
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I agree. Although I may be about to have to take it up. My kid is finally getting interested in fishing and I don’t know how much longer I can convince him to slab when the trolling guide Is catching five to our one on slabs. And I’m with you, I try to stay out of their way just as I’d want them to work around me if I was on a spot. That said, I was trying to work with him by casting to the spot and then trying to get on the outside of “his” line. I don’t mean this to turn into trollers versus fishermen (yes, that was a shot) I just want to know what we should expect from one another. It’s a 30,000 acre lake. No two boats should ever be six inches away from each other.

Re: Troller v Slabber - Etiquette [Re: Skippy] #13637870 07/21/20 01:54 AM
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I've observed this tension since the 1970's. For the troller: To ensure people know your trolling lane and length so they can honor it, put out markers at each end. If someone sets up within your marked lane, stop and politely explain that you are trolling and have the lane marked as you point to the markers. They may not have realized they set up in your lane. If you arrive at your spot and it is already taken by a slabber, then find fish elsewhere or at least keep a respectable distance and be courteous to the slabber - he got there 1st. For the slabber: If you approach your desired spot and someone is trolling it, first look to see if he has the beginning and end of the trolling lane marked with markers. Then keep out of his lane. If there are no markers, I think the courteous thing to do is to watch and observe his trolling lane. If he is going back and forth over the same spot, take note of it and stay out of his lane. Set up a long casting distance away from his lane and learn to catch fish by working the bait back to the boat, else go find fish somewhere else.

It is possible to cooperate and fish the same structure. At Lake Livingston, the submerged bridges are the best fishing spots. So, the slabbers would anchor just off to the side of the bridge or roadbed and cast to the submerged bridge. The trollers would troll on top of the submerged bridge from one end to the other. These bridges were from 50 to 75 yards long and trollers went a good 20 yards past each end so their baits would still be trolling as the baits passed over the end of the bridge. When the trollers got to the spot on the bridge being fished by the slabbers, the slabbers waited until they passed, then continued casting again. Both were able to fish the bridge (the only place anyone could catch a fish) and catch fish.

Re: Troller v Slabber - Etiquette [Re: Skippy] #13637901 07/21/20 02:13 AM
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This comes up all the time. I slab and troll. When I take my son with me he has a hard time slabbing so we troll mainly. I was out a Twak last Friday and had a guy move right into my trolling line. He pulled right in front of me and then got mad that I went right behind him. The next pass (7 fish in my boat and 0 in his) he was yelling at me and said he was gonna snag my line (the one held by my son). I told him I was within the law and he should try catching fish instead of yelling. He moved on. We encountered another 6 or so boats over the next few hours. Everyone caught fish and had fun. We did have one guy spot lock right in the middle of our line. We just cruised by and waved. He was just trying to catch sone fish too the way I look at it.

To answer your question, I wish people would just get along. It’s a lot more fun that way. Neither one of you own the lake. It was awesome last week seeing a bunch of boats catch a lot of fish and everyone be respectful of each other.

Re: Troller v Slabber - Etiquette [Re: Skippy] #13637934 07/21/20 02:35 AM
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Last time I was informed first come first serve. Although I like to see people get on fish, guide has a job and it feeds his family. I typically step aside for a guide, until I see something that is not on the level. But if one would troll that close to my boat I would share that little video with the game warden. I think all can meet upon the level, and part upon the square to make things right. No sense in any drama, life is too short. I would call the game warden and let them handle it. Go catch some fish and purge this distraction feom your mind. I know it's screwing up your joy in fishing..

Prosise

Re: Troller v Slabber - Etiquette [Re: Skippy] #13637955 07/21/20 02:52 AM
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I get having a “spot”. But a slabber has a “spot”. Does a troller get a football field? It doesn’t seem fair to me.

Re: Troller v Slabber - Etiquette [Re: Skippy] #13637998 07/21/20 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Skippy
I get having a “spot”. But a slabber has a “spot”. Does a troller get a football field? It doesn’t seem fair to me.

I hear you. The guide you are referencing does not own the lake any more than you or I do. When I troll I usually make passes of 30-40 yards. It’s sort of amazing how often a slabber picks a spot right about where they think we are hooking up with fish. I don’t take issue with this unless they try to act like I need to change what I’m doing because they camped in a spot I was obviously working. It’s more fun when we all catch fish.

Re: Troller v Slabber - Etiquette [Re: Skippy] #13638029 07/21/20 05:40 AM
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Interesting perspective. This is why I asked. I’ve never trolled so I don’t know. If I’d listened to my 14 year old kid, we would have parked right in the middle of this guy’s line. Like I said, I tried to be respectful. All of that said, if he pulls within six inches of me again, I’m going to log with Mo’s idea - tie on a cheap 2 oz slab and toss it behind his boat.

Re: Troller v Slabber - Etiquette [Re: Skippy] #13638146 07/21/20 12:42 PM
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Yes, it is the nature of the beast that a troller's spot is going to be larger than a slabber's spot. Try to have this attitude, if trolling was the only way "I" could catch fish, then I would be trolling also and I don't blame the person for trolling. If you are catching fish every cast and trollers nearby are watching you, offer to show them what you are doing - bait, technique, depth, etc. I think most people would rather catch them without having to troll (more fun). Having said that, on hot,still days trolling helps cool you down.

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