It's lesson time for every member in here thinking about being a non boater. All of us probably have some little thing that could be resented by a boater. One of my problems to work on was offering advice and "teaching/preaching too much". It's just my nature, and I talk to myself when fishing so I remember exactly what I was doing when I got a bite. Boaters often HATE that even if they do it themselves. I didn't know that. Now I do. That's for the club here and for when a partner is expecting to be taught how to fish. It's just very hard for me to watch someone make mistakes fishing and not open my mouth. If the guy asks for an opinion I'll offer it, briefly. What a hard lesson that was! I let the boater be the captain. I'm a GPS expert at work, but usually just sit and watch a boater fumble around with it. Drives me crazy. They NEVER ask for advice on that. "This thing never works right. I'm gonna get a better one."
I've been part of 5 clubs (one at a time, depending on where I lived) since about 1965. I couldn't even guess how much turnover each club had, members cycling through every club around, not feeling welcome. It's always a 2-way thing, as far as I can tell always a problem with both people in the boat. It isn't enough to be a great angler with high standings to remain welcome in a guy's boat. We always had a rule in some fashion that prohibited a boater from rejecting his draw partner, but that didn't help with bad feelings brewing. Seeing I havn't shook hands with any of ya'll and don't personally know ya'll I should be able to post a list of things that can cause a boater to dislike a particular non-boater, and word spreads, so the non boater is judged before getting into the next boat. Maybe none of this applies to anyone here, but my intention is to get ya'll thinking. The idea is to evaluate ourselves realistically, else whatever is going on will follow us club to club. I'm not ruling out the possibility of a rude club, but I think that would be a rare find IF they actively recruit members.
Here's some things boaters have told me at meetings or on the water. "I dread drawing Jim, as I'm sure you do, because of that...
1. constant talking
2. not talking, impersonal, chip on his shoulder thing
3. smell (cigarette/cigar/chew plug/underarms/poots) I wonder about guys that worry about such things with all that fresh air coming by.
4. constantly getting hung up
5. crossing my line
6. dropping stuff, making noise, slapping the boat with his jigs
7. size 60 butt making the boat lean to starboard, or simply rocking the boat too much
8. Ike dance
9. hogging water on my end
10. baitshop he brings along
11. spooking the fish
12. inability to back a trailer without twisting the bumper
13. braggin & lies about trophy bass, you know, always "3 last week over 10#"
14. holier than thou attitude
15. loud splashing casting that sounds like rocks being thrown in.
16. always being late or not showing without notice
17. making water every 10 minutes (use Detrol for that problem, or drink less caffinated liquids before and during the trip)
I could go on and on. In every case the boater ought to offer some advice or preference to let you know you are irritating him, but using tact. Some guys have none of that. He's probably got as many or more faults than the non boater, but it's his boat and not your caretaker (bad attitude), so most guys leave it up to you to figure it out. THAT breeds discontent between both men.
I take an army guy fishing whenever he's home. He was just plain noisy in the boat, spooking fish. He'd plop his tacklebox open on the deck. SLAP. BANG, a jig slapping the side of the boat. At first I tried to hint about it. "Well, I think the bass are spooked, so let's move on." He didn't take the hint. I finally had to tell him the things that spook bass. I used to guide on the Arkansas River part time. I had to learn to communicate firmly as soon as something went wrong. It's hard to do sometimes. "Mr. Smith, I know how badly you want to catch a bass. One thing that will probably help is not jumping up and down when you miss a bite. The bass hear that and know we're here." The guy was amazed bass are that sensitive, so calmed down and began catching.
So what to do about the possibility there's something that needs to change? If married, ask your wife. She knows already. Otherwise, ask a boater after returning to the ramp "If you wanted me to make a change out there, what would it be?" Keeping it to one item should get a fairly decent response. He might list several things given the open door. I'd take it as constructive criticism even if he falls on the ramp LHAO. I'd join him with my own LMAO, being a good sport even if feeling a little insulted. It would be told at the next meeting and everyone would probably come by slapping your back with a warm "You're OK in my book.", glad the issue has been settled, the problem going away, and you took it very well.
That attitude even works in an office environment at work, on a factory assembly line, working in a store, whatever.
Improve thyself, anglers. None of us are perfect yet. Just work on it.