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What is too close when trolling next to other boats?

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For me, if I have to think about other boats coming too close I will choose a different location. Worked for us 2 weeks ago when everyone was trolling a small patch looking like a bumper boat tournament. Got out of that mess in a hurry and then actually caught a ton of fish away from the pack that wasn't catching squat.
 

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Fishing the Point out of Ludington I try to stay just past the accurate range of a 9MM handgun. Quite a few charters and tournament guys do run boards out farther than this.
 

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Generally somewhere between the last two options for me. Whatever is clear enough for comfort is my rule, which depends upon the situation. It's really just a matter of being sensible, but alas, many people aren't.

I don't like crowding, and tend to stay away from the pack, and will give a lot more space for casters, from whom I will generally stay very far away, than flat-lining around jiggers, especially when they are already virtually in a bumper boat situation as it is.

If someone running a huge planer board spread is taking up a ridiculous amount of space, especially in tight situations, any issues they experience are their own doing, and they'll get no sympathy from me.

I also like to give ample space for shore fishers, as long as they're not being idiots and leaving lines out across narrow canals or other avenues that are intended for boat traffic, such as across the canal at Alter Rd. But in that case I'd not be trolling anyway.
 

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I don’t like trolling around a bunch of boats, fishing should never be stressful. I think if I did it a lot I would try to figure out the best way to disable the boats that cut off my lines. I’m thinking heavy braid line, maybe some type of wire spliced in somewhere, something that might totally clog up the prop and be difficult to recover from. And if you tangled lines you could just cleat off the heavy line and always come away with the prize. Possibly have decoy lines on the outside of the spread with booby traps instead of lures? One thing I would not do is scream and yell when someone got close, you need to test the different deterrence methods. I don’t know just bouncing ideas. Probably I’d just quit trolling in the vicinity of retards before it got to that point though.
 

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I shouldn’t have done this, but I once went under a bridge on a local reservoir with four lines out trolling for crappie. Two of them were stern planers. When I got to the other side, there was a shore fisherman there who communicated I was too close like described above. When he saw the stern planers, he cast right over them and snagged one. The stern planer had a lockjaw clip on 30lb braid and won the battle. I was still close enough to thank him for the tackle as I continued on.


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Gotta give them shore guys space, should go without saying.
I watched a guy chuck a chunk of concrete at a boat from shore cause he was coming too close to our lines. Buddy warned him if he kept screwing up the shore fishermen he was gonna do it and then he did and we all cheered. I refuse to fish where there are shore fishermen, too much water out there you dont need to be in their limited zone.
 

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Last Sunday we had a guy just about run lines over so close behind us. He watched us land a nice walleye, gets rite behind us, just about running over the boards .total jackass. The water is warm enough now when we start perch fishing, We get one too close captain Pat will go in swim over to you and say hello, He will have a beer and his fishing rod and he will sit next to Your boat fishing while floating in his life Jacket. Seen him do it many a times, The best thing is when is catching perch, He puts them in his pocket Swims back to the boat to get more Bait And put fish in the cooler. It's hilarious. We invested in a new AR paintball gun, Creepers be on warning. And a big shout out to all the Saint Clair ice crew. Not enjoying this heat, I'm ready for da hard water. Lol good luck and hookem in the lips on a hali jig.
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I had someone running up on my boat and lines from behind on Erie, last year. I just cut my kicker, and drifted to a stop, and made it super-awkward for him to get out of. But we had a fun conversation while he was managing it.
 

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I think PT sums it pretty well and common sense if your fishing in a pack trolling for eyes you need to bring your boards in tighter to the boat and maybe not fish so many lines. I don’t use boards on the river especially on the weekends.
 

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I don’t like trolling around a bunch of boats, fishing should never be stressful. I think if I did it a lot I would try to figure out the best way to disable the boats that cut off my lines. I’m thinking heavy braid line, maybe some type of wire spliced in somewhere, something that might totally clog up the prop and be difficult to recover from. And if you tangled lines you could just cleat off the heavy line and always come away with the prize. Possibly have decoy lines on the outside of the spread with booby traps instead of lures? One thing I would not do is scream and yell when someone got close, you need to test the different deterrence methods. I don’t know just bouncing ideas. Probably I’d just quit trolling in the vicinity of retards before it got to that point though.
It's often hard to tell which party is indeed the retard in fishing conflict situations, but the one running booby traps on outside lines is usually the obvious choice...
 

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I just iuse common sense out there when it comes to how close is too close. There is a lot of immaturity in some of the replies in this thread so say the least!
 

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What I find funny is every year I get some jack hole that catches my anchor over and over again while I’m anchored up perch fishing out by the shipping channel but continue to keep cutting so close on every pass to hook it . And yes most of the time I’m out there and set up long before most guys
 

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I have more issues with jig fishermen who pull in line ahead of you when they can clearly see you're trolling. Nothing any other boat does grinds my gears as much as that. Thankfully it doesn't happen much during the week, but weekends are a mess.

Unrelated, but I watched two different fishing boats blow through the whole length of the North Channel no wake yesterday morning. I'm willing to bet they cut too close too.
 
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