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Fishing Slobs and Lost Fishing Spots

by: Lloyd Tackitt 4/3/2013

Once upon a time many decades ago I was working a construction project in Texarkana.  I drove there from Tyler each week, stayed in a small apartment during the week, and drove back home for weekends.  Along the way there was a small slough next to the highway.  It had a lot of downed timber in it and all in all it was a pretty small hole.  But it consistently held water.  Every time I passed it I thought it might hold one nice sized bass, I never saw anyone fishing it.

So one day on a whim I pulled off the road out of traffic and grabbed a rod and a plastic worm and gave it a whirl.  I was utterly surprised that on the first cast I caught what had to be an eight pound bass.  On the second cast I caught another.  And so it went for about an hour, catching one large bass after another.  They were obviously naive bass, biting on almost every cast.  I was surprised at the number of bass in that small water too.  I had a blast!

The next time I passed it I saw two men fishing it.  I realized that when I was fishing it three or four hundred cars must have gone by and some of them would be fishermen that saw me catching those big boys - all of which I had put back.  Two weeks later I had a few minutes head start on the trip so I stopped again. 

I didn't get a bite, not a single bite of any kind.  I tried every lure I had and I fished it hard for an hour.  I tried again a couple of weeks later.  Nothing.  When I had first fished it there wasn't any litter, but on the return trips I noticed a good bit of trash around the edge of the water.  So not only had the hole been fished completely out, it had been trashed too. 

it's sad, but it's a fact that there are a lot of slob fishermen.  They killed a really good fishing hole.  Greedy and trashy.  That hole was just too easy to get to and had I not stopped out of curiosity would probably have remained pristine for years and years.  

I know of more than one land owner that used to let fishermen on their property to fish, but later posted no trespassing signs after they had to clean up behind the slobs that trashed their place.  They didn't close it out of fear of law suits, they closed it because of slob behavior.  They also told me that when they let one person in, that person brought a friend, then that friend came back with another friend and pretty soon there were too many people coming in.

So, if there is a moral to this story, it's that before you take a stranger fishing to a good spot, make sure you know them well enough to know they won't come back and trash it, or bring more people to it that you didn't personally invite. 

If it's on private property, get the land owner's permission to bring your friend before you go - and make your friend swear he won't come back without you.  Tell him these things:  Treat the property the way you should, leave gates the way you found them - if they were open leave them open, if they were closed leave them closed.  Don't throw trash on the ground, don't leave cutoff fishing line snarls, don't leave anything except foot prints.  Don't take more fish out than the fishing hole can handle without being damaged and make damn sure the land owner is okay with you taking fish out of there.  This is true even if you are paying a trespass fee in order to fish there - just because you're paying doesn't mean you can mistreat the place.  I know this is all basic, but it's surprising how many people don't get it these days.

I hate to say it, but the plain truth is if you have a good fishing hole, you better keep it to yourself or you may well lose it.

Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Member comments
Dave Mauldin, TX   4/3/2013 4:06:32 PM
I'm very sad to say, over the last 30 years, I've shared some of my best world class fishing spots, with some good friends assuming them would not share it, and 100% of them have betrayed me by bringing someone else there the next week...even when I am trying to fish a tournament or guide a customer. They just can't resist it! The rule is: Don't take anyone to your private spots...or they will not be private next week. So sad
Flyrodn, CO   4/4/2013 1:20:07 PM
It's true that a secret is only a secret if it's a party of one. Personally, I believe the answer is two-fold, first make sure we're educating everyone we can on the care of our resources, never litter, release trophy fish, respect fellow anglers (all folks) . . . is our first obligation, and remembering: Only you and I can be trusted with a secret, and there are days I wonder about you!
Coyute, CO   4/4/2013 1:42:52 PM
I had to learn the hard way when it comes to fishing buddies. A lot of guys claim to be stand up guys but after a few fishing trips their true colors are revealed - some turn out to be lifetime buds and some turn out to be turds. 'Creeps and idiots cannot conceal themselves for long on a fishing trip.' ^ John Gierach
tracks, CO   4/4/2013 3:08:50 PM
I've seen this happen more than once. I've even altered where I fish on some holes such that I am not easily seen by others. on the other side I've gone right out to holes I've been told about and caught fish too, but they go right back in and I never share information about spots I've been told about by another unless I ask that person if it's okay and the person I'm telling isn't "a problem" It's always something
bluecollarguy, CO   4/5/2013 10:09:14 AM
Couldn't have been said any better! What amazes me is when you come across what you think is an untouched or very in-frequented body of water and there's trash everywhere, almost like the few who fish or visit it think because it's off the beaten path or no one goes there it's ok to use the area as a dumpster. Really makes me wonder about people. To Coyute's point I sadly usually just assume everyone else at the lake is a creep or idiot, unless it's clearly obvious they aren't...
tracks, CO   4/5/2013 10:27:36 AM
Bluecollarguy made me think. What is it with the cigerette butts? Is this not 2013? We as a race have no better sensabilities than that? Besides it's just plain gross.
KingFisher13, CO   4/6/2013 9:42:25 PM
Is there a lake page for this spot, or how can I find it? It mayve recovered.. JK, nice story, and well written. Bummer to have the spot over fished and littered though.
Girls In The Outdoors, CO   4/7/2013 7:57:13 PM
One of my favorite fishing ponds is now one of my least favorite for the same reason. We could guarantee pulling out large bass and catfish out of it every time we went. Now you're lucky to see baby bass but you always see trash, beer botles and cigarette butts.
shiverfix, CO   4/8/2013 10:19:26 AM
Where I fished on Saturday we saw no less than three chew tins, among other assorted trash.
Lloyd Tackitt
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