Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Rant About Beachgoers

I'm usually not much of a ranter , so this may not be full of the kind of righteous indignation expected of a full blown rant. However , I was very close to going into a maniacal rage last week on the beach in front of groups of young children , expectant mothers , and elderly octogenarians with tender sensibilities. Let me explain.

Increasingly , fishermen (like me!) are being pushed off of the beaches. We aren't allowed to fish on many lifeguarded beaches , as those areas are meant to be safe for the types of people listed above. I can accept that. Compounding the problem , fishermen pay more usage fees than other beachgoers in the form of licenses and driving permits. I can accept that , too. Add that to the areas closed for turtles and birds , and you have fishermen crammed into so called " Joint Use " areas , where swimming , fishing  , and other forms of recreation are all allowed. It's unfortunate , but again , I can accept that.

What I can't accept is the sheer number of people that show absolutely no respect for people fishing on the beach. People constantly walk into your lines , or allow their dogs or children on skimboards to otherwise molest them. It's not my fault when a pair of star crossed lovers walking hand in hand up the beach are so consumed with gazing lovingly into each others eyes that they blunder into my line and drag my rig 5 yards up the beach. But every damn time someone gets tangled in my line , they look at me like I set some sort of diabolical trap to ensnare them. I honestly believe that most of these people would step into open manholes , or walk through wet cement , if given a chance.

Then you have the Touchy McFeely's of the world , who , through an overabundance of nerve endings , stop immediately upon contact with the line. These guys and gals make a very pronounced display of looking left and right to find where the mysterious barrier to their passage originates from , only to act shocked and appalled that the fishing line is indeed coming from the rod of the fisherman a mere 10 feet away. Then the McFeely's grab the line and with a mighty heave lift it over their heads , to allow themselves and any others in their party to go under it. This is not okay. When you grab my line and lift it , it usually causes my rig to break free and move , which is undesirable. Keep your booger hooks off of my line!

Probably the worst offenders , in my opinion , are those who bumble into the line , thrash about in an effort to untangle themselves , then turn and deliberately give you a shrug of the shoulders in an attempt to convey a " Sorry , what can ya do? ". Again , let me reinforce that I am not at fault just because you have no awareness of your surroundings. If you can't see a 12 ft. surf rod in a sand spike perched at the tide line , with a large , angry man sitting beside it , you may want to seek professional help. Or at the very least , join a support group for people who touch wet paint.

It's not all bad , though. I do have to admit that about one out of twenty people will actually show a hint of respect and either cross under my line near the sand spike or completely walk around me! These people give me hope for sun lovers everywhere , and are the main reason I don't go around stomping through sand castles , knifing beach balls , and putting fish guts in soccer moms' beach bags.

My point is , show us the same respect we show you. I don't set up my sand spikes where you and your family members are swimming and playing , so please don't decide it's a good idea to swim and play where I'm fishing.

Have a great week !


  1. Sorry, you can't fix stupid. Stupid is forever.

  2. That's very true Mark , unfortunately :(

  3. Amen!, Or fishing the sound side let me pull my boat up right next to you drink beer leave the cans and let my screaming children run around and ruin you peace and quiet haha. A Rant worth writing my friend

  4. HA! Love it! Had it happen to me a 100 times! In Maine, my favorite is the idiot who allows his dog to pull up and run off with my ice tip-ups! Here's your sign!

  5. This is the funniest thing I've read all year. :) LOL I mean, I'm sorry it happens to you - or anyone, but your take had me rolling. :)

    thanks man.

  6. When walking, I'll usually be the the one who asks what'cha caught?(if you're alert and watching me) And try to figure out if you know what you're doing.
    If you don't watch out though, I've been known to grab the line and give it a tug and watch your reaction when you think you've got one. Depends on how 'touristy' you look. Got'cha! Hey, I gotta' have some fun, too!

  7. Seems like I've been kicked off almost every beach from Long Island to Tybee Island for either surfing or fishing when someone didn't want me to be doing whatever it was.

    God forbid anyone utilize the ocean.

  8. Last summer I was told by a lifeguard that I couldn't launch my kayak at a particular beach because it was for swimming. The thought process there is that I might hurt someone with my plastic yak.

    Oh, and on a side note, last fall I had a freakin' pelican fly by and crash into my lines. As if the beach walkers weren't enough, now I've got to put up with birds haha/

  9. Every beach I'm aware of has designated FISHING PIERS for fisherman or fisherwomen to utilize. As a tax paying citizen of Tybee Island nothing infuriates me more than to have a fisherperson drive from somewhere else and cast their lines out where my boys are practicing their skimboarding! My boys compete in the SPORT of skimboarding, which is a recognized collegiate sport now, and where both of them have serious opportunities for college scholarships! Both of my boys are sponsored by board manufacturers, clothing manufactures and the like, and as such compete regularly in contests up and down the east coast. We live at Tybee full time, the boys practice at Tybee full time, which means each and every day when we are not at a contest. The boys attend Georgia Cyber Academy, which means they attend school via the Georgia public school system, but they attend classes via SKYPE, from home, so as to be able to practice and compete. Because of this they have had to work very hard in order to maintain their 4.0 GPAs. The next time you get ticked off because of a skimboarder, you need to think a little bit harder about the state of the nation and just what the teens these days are really doing! They will be running the country when you are old and grey, and if not running the country then possibly working in the nursing home where you and/or your loved ones reside!

    1. I allowed this comment because , admittedly there are two sides to every story. Let me clear up a few things , though.

      Most fishing piers are businesses. If I have a saltwater license , I should be allowed to fish in at least a few places from the beach without having to pay to get on a pier. There is no shortage of beach access for skimboarding , but as I stated above , fishermen are being pushed off of the beaches while fees and driving permits continually go up in price.

      I would NEVER set up to fish where anyone was already using the beach for something else , i.e. the "SPORT of skimboarding" , or swimming , but you can be damn sure I've had skimboarders , swimmers , surfers , and walkers work their way several hundred yards down the beach and into my line when they could have went a mile in the opposite direction without bothering anyone.

      It sounds like you have good kids , but just because they work hard doesn't give them any more of a right to be on the beach than I have as a fisherman. It's a shared resource.

      Thanks for leaving a comment , and best of luck to your boys in the future.


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