This week, someone fishing in the Canal chucked a 5.5-ounce Savage Gear Sand Eel into a passing boat, where the line wrapped one of the passengers. With the boat moving, the line pulled tight and lodged the jig into the passenger’s ear. The man at the helm threw the boat into reverse, saving the hooked passenger from being pulled over or from having the hook rip through his ear.
If you’ve fished the surf enough, you’ve heard a fisherman threaten to send a warning shot over the bow of an encroaching boat. I get it. As surf fishermen, we’re limited to where ever our feet can take us while boaters have the entire ocean to fish, so tempers flare when a boat moves into casting range of the beach in Jersey or cuts off a blitz in Montauk or buzzes by close to the rocks at the Canal. But even if that boat dropped his anchor right on top of the fish you were casting to, under no circumstances is it okay to launch a projectile at the people on board. At best, you’ll miss and have them threaten to meet you on shore. At worst, you’ll seriously hurt someone and end up in court. And if basic human decency isn’t enough to deter you, consider that this kind of press does nothing to help surf fishermen continue to be granted access to their favorite locations.
While many surfcasters threaten this, before this week, I didn’t think any were detached enough from reality to actually launch a lure into a boat.
In the case at the Canal this week, he shouted that he didn’t see the boat and then high-tailed it out of the Sandwich Marina after his line was cut by the men on board.