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  • John Conley of Lakewood, NY writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – This is an issue that needs to be addressed, as it is very common. I don't think most anglers know what their rights are on the water in regard to "angler harassment." I believe in most cases anglers confronted by dock owners simply move on and avoid confrontation.

    On the exact same day that Mark Menendez had his experience on the St. Lawrence, I witnessed a similar experience on my home water, Chautauqua Lake. There was a College Series tournament here this weekend. I witnessed two college anglers being shouted at and threatened by a dock owner. The comments ranged from, "Don't you dare hit my boat, and learn to control your equipment", to "I'll get my BB gun out and shoot you." The college anglers never replied to the man, they simply moved on to the next dock and called the county sheriffs department, whose marine patrol boat responded within minutes. I know they spoke to the man at his home, but do not know the outcome.

    This and the Menendez incident have given me a new outlook on how to handle these situations. I have been confronted many, many times by dock owners on Chautauqua Lake, as have other anglers in my local B.A.S.S. chapter. We've been shouted at and had rocks thrown at us. Once a guy came out and dropped a length of framed chicken wire off the end of his dock to prevent me from skipping under it, while others simply start up their boat motors to scare the fish around the dock. A buddy of mine even had someone stand on the end of his dock and smack the water violently with a boat paddle.

    Mark Menedez's recent experience and the way he handled it, along with his commitment to pursue it legally, should be an inspiration to any and all bass anglers who've been harassed by dock owners on public waters. I hope that you and your website give this matter more attention in the future.

  • William Porciello of Plymouth, NH writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – They don't own the water. Verbal abuse isn't acceptable.

  • Scott Crawford of San Jose, CA writes:

    RE: Balog on boundaries – Yeah, but they still had the California Delta event out of Sacramento. Not a single boat fished within 1 1/2 hours of the launch. The risk of fish harm, mechanical issues and human injury was too great – just ask Byron Velvick.

    All events should have a maximum run allowed to keep it local to the venue and help these anglers keep their costs down.

  • Mark Melega of Rices Landing, A writes:

    When EFI and Carb. outboard motors were beginning to be phased out in the late '90s, many of us bass guys worried about the "new Optimax , E-Tec and VMax motors. Thankfully they are all great motors and we're all keeping the environment cleaner. Then I read in a boating article that in one year a Major League Baseball team burns more fuel and has more emissions from airplane flights than all boats in the country in a year's time.

    Now think about all sports – college football, baseball, basketball (boys and girls teams) then think of all professional sports. I don't feel bad about burning 400 gallons of gas through my bass boat each year now.

  • Ed Proulx of Dalton Gardens, ID writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – I have had the exact same experience on a lake called Pend Oreille just north of me. I feel very strongly about this issue as a fisherman. That is only one instance of at least half a dozen times I have been harrassed by homeowners and recently actually a swimmer swam to my boat to harrass me. Eveytime I was legally fishing, low-keyed and did not intiate the conflict.

    I try to be polite and respectful until I get disrespected. We have rights, too. There must be cosequences for their actions and behavior. I applaud Mark.

  • Edward P. Cowan of Greeley, PA writes:

    RE: Balog on boundaries – Joe makes a lot of sense, as usual. I still think when B.A.S.S. dropped the 150-hp limit is when the sport started to go the wrong direction.

  • Steven Rockweiler of Luling, LA writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – To the gentleman from New Hampshire who states we should be thankful for lakeshore property owners who build boat houses to "give" fish a place to live ... While a lakeshore homeowner bought the land his house is on, hit did not buy the land his boat house is built over. That boat house is sitting over state water bottom, a truly public resource. State agencies issue permits for lakeshore homeowners who apply to build a boat house. This is the state being nice ... since this was done decades before permits were needed.

    In my mind, these homeowners who have boat houses built on public lakes need to feel beholden to the public for letting them have usage of a public area they do not own. Any homeowner who threatens the public like this idiot did to Mark needs to have the permit revoked and the boat house removed.

  • Craig Nels of Livermore, CA writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – Please pass on my appreciation to Mark for following through with this. The homeowner, and folks like him, cannot be let off the hook after acting like he did.

  • Mike Blake of Carrollton, OH writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – Awesome for you, Mark, for taking a stand. I'm proud of you for this and if you need that ride, I would personally be honored to see you get there as well to take that stand for yourself and all the professional anglers who love this great sport we are blessed to participate in. May God Bring an abundance of blessings.

  • Coleman Metts of Waverly Hall, GA writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – I think he should flie a complaint. I have had a man pour gas into the water where i was fishing. I sould have called the EPA on him. I let it go.

  • Dean Erck of Mink Island, NY writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – I saw this guy off my island jigging by the docks on Saturday. Very friendly, he told me about catching the biggest fish so far the day before. I saw him take another fish right off the neighbor's dock and take one out of his livewell. I do hope it was not one of my neighbors who was so rude to him. The guy I am thinking it might be I saw run over three guys' tip-ups a couple of winters ago with his truck on the ice.

    Some people have no respect for others and on behalf of the good people of upstate New York, I apologize. If it is the same guy, know he has never had respect for other people's fishing rights.

  • Dennis Pentecost of Milford, IL writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – A woman asked my partner and me not to fish her dock one day and explained that a fisherman hung a crankbait on her dock and one of her grandchildren got hooked pretty badly! We moved on and told her we understood. We as fishermen should not leave lures snagged on docks.

  • Erik Barker of Rochester, MN writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – Follow though – it's the right thing to do! I had a landowner throwing rocks at my boat when I was fishing a local lake.

  • Rob Dixon of Miffco, PA writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – This guy deserves to sit in jail. What kind of role model is he for the grandchildren he claims to worry about? That being said, the sport needs to do some serious PR. Culling tags that put a hole in a fish's mouths should have been made illegal 10 years ago. It makes me cringe to see that and probably makes the PETA types irrate, as it probably should.

    Club tournaments and other low-level events need to stop walking fish a hundred yards in a bag with no water to dump them back in after weighing. Weigh them right beside the water and stop letting guys stand in line with their bags for 10 minutes. Get yourself organized and make fish care a priority, or don't hold a tournament. It's that simple. Don't make ourselves a target. If we care about the fish, we need to act like it.

  • Terry Carter of Grove, OK writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – I am an avid bass angler myself and have had two altercations in my 50-plus years of fishing public waters in Oklahoma. One was with a dock owner who brought out a gun and shot in our direction. The second altercation was just 3 weeks ago with another angler.

    Myself and my buddy were fishing Grand Lake when a boat with two guys pulled into the cove we were fishing and the operator of the boat pulled at most 20 yards in front of us, dropped his trolling motor in the water and began fishing. I asked him to leave and told him that his actions were totally unsportsmanlike conduct. His reply was he was fishing a tournament and we needed to find someplace else to fish. I contacted the tournament director and explained what had happened and his reply was he would check into it, and that's the last we heard about it.

    These are not situations that occur on a regular basis, but nevertheless need to be addressed by law enforcement. I hope Mr. Mendez gets the results he so deserves.

  • Gary Dye of Corning, NY writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – This guy is in the wrong. I am a fisherman, too. This happens often. The DEC should inform all lakefront homeowners that fishing people have rights, too.

  • Jose Cajigas of Guaynabo, PR writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – Mr. Menendez has all the right to defend his fishing. People like that have got the wrong sense of ownership and that could be dangerous and should not be allowed!

  • Stan Mitchkoski of Sunderland, MA writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – I am glad you stood your ground and notified the law about this. It's about time people realize they may own the dock, but it is on public water. Good job, Mark!

  • Greg Gagne of Salem, NH writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – It's an interesting scenario regardless of legal rights. The reality is that those bass would not be there if not for the docks installed by the homeowner. I can also understand the homeowner's frustration, since he probably spent tons of money on this house. I almost wonder if it would make sense to consider a ban on fishing within so many feet of a shoreline dock connected to private property.

    Regardless, the guy would have just been better off tossing some boulders or other large objects in the water to temporarily scare off the fish rather than confronting Menendez.

    I'm an avid fisherman myself and I dig docks all the time, but if a homeowner kindly asked me to move on for a legitimate reason, I would consider it, rather than yelping about my legal rights.

    There's plenty of fish in the lake, guys. Why bother fighting this time-wasting cause. Just move on to the next dock where the guy doesn't care.

  • Brandon Scott of Lutcher, LA writes:

    RE: Menendez files complaint – Well, it's about time! Thank you, Mark, for standing up for the outdoors people. I am very familar with the Gary Klein incident and I was also very disappointed that B.A.S.S. dropped the charges. It's good to know that New York has legislation that protects the anglers. Trust me – the Anglers in Louisiana have lost a lot of access to a lot of areas due to people like the gentlemen in this incident. I really do think this is one of the main reasons why B.A.S.S. is so reluctant to hold another Classic on the Louisiana Delta again.

    I would hope that B.A.S.S. takes a stand with Mark here and also that they would place some provisions in the rules to protect anglers.

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