Practice good manners around a boat launch

By Al Smith - Guest Columnist

Good manners sometimes go by the wayside at a boat launch.

Some etiquette, common sense and practice should make launching or retrieving a boat simple, quick and painless for those using or waiting to use a boat ramp.

I’ve covered this topic numerous times over the years. Yet, frustrations continue around a launch area. I’ve seen some actions that leave me shaking my head again this season.

I saw a pickup parked at a boat ramp. Fortunately, no one came to launch a boat at the time. Recently, I saw another pickup, which brought a pair of kayak anglers to the lake. It was parked so close to the ramp, I’m surprised some people launching could back in or take out a boat safely. It was in a non-parking spot. And I again have seen the usual pull up to the ramp, stop and then load up while someone is waiting to launch or take out.

A little bit of knowledge can avoid such situations. People can learn a lot by observing those who efficiently launch or take out a boat. Educational videos can be seen online. People can ask questions of those who launch efficiently, too.

When I fished bass tournaments years ago, I quickly learned how efficient teamwork can be. Even if you are launching a boat by yourself, you can be efficient.

If you have a game plan for fishing, then have a plan and be prepared for properly using a boat ramp.

Load or unload your boat away from the launch. As a team, one can back the trailer and one can take the boat off or load it. This should take a few minutes or less.

Make sure to properly park the vehicle and trailer after launching.

A bit of boat etiquette can go a long way for many people having an enjoyable outing on the water.

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Lima area bass pro Kyle Weisenburger failed to make the cut for the final two days of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournaments on Lake Chickamauga despite having a pair of limits Tuesday and Wednesday. He did finish in the money and also gained some valuable points toward the circuit’s championship.

The Columbus Grove angler finished 78th out of 204 pros in the event held out of Dayton, Tennessee. He caught five bass that weighed 13 pounds, 15 ounces Tuesday and five more Wednesday that weighed 13 pounds, 1 ounce.

Statistics show how good the bite was. Overall there were 959 bass weighing 2,565 pounds, 8 ounces caught by 203 pros Tuesday. The catch included 173 five-bass limits. Overall there were 945 bass weighing 2,598 pounds, 2 ounces caught by 200 pros Wednesday. The catch included 175 five-bass limits.

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Multiple state agencies are involved in a case involving suspected poaching of walleye on Lake Erie in Ohio. Charges have yet to been filed since the investigation is ongoing.

Tennessee wildlife officials helped out by meeting a suspected poacher after his return from Ohio. Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) officials had planned on contacting the suspect, but he had already left for home before they could.

The Tennessee angler and one from Florida were suspected of poaching after the DOW received a tip to the Turn In a Poacher hotline. The pair allegedly kept more than their daily limit of walleye during their stay in Ohio.

According to the DOW, after interviewing the suspect and subsequent inspection of the fish, they reportedly seized 28 individual bags of frozen walleye fillets. The seized chunks of frozen walleye were not kept in a manner that the fillets could be easily identified and counted, according to a DOW press release. The fish will remain frozen and maintained as evidence in the case.

Ohio law requires a fish to be kept in a manner that it can be easily identified and counted unless it is being prepared for immediate consumption. Otherwise, the fish is required to be accompanied by a receipt from a fish processor listing the name of the person, the number and species of fish, as well as the date the fish were caught.

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Ohio is among 10 state hunter education programs selected from applications to receive a free set of Tree Stand Safety Awareness (TSSA) tree stand safety banners.

The banners will be used in hunter education courses, bow hunter education courses, tree stand safety courses, and other public events.

The 10 states receiving the banner sets were determined based on applications that were submitted to the TSSA Board. The state recipients are: Vermont, West Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Ohio, Louisiana, North Carolina, Iowa and Missouri.

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The Ohio State Parks Passport, which details each of the 75 state parks facilities, contact information, history, and fun facts, is now available.

The Ohio State Parks Passport can be purchased for $10 either online at or at any of Ohio’s state park lodges: Burr Oak, Deer Creek, Geneva, Hueston Woods, Maumee Bay, Punderson, Salt Fork and Shawnee. The passport will be available in additional state park retail stores as they reopen.

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The new 2020-21 federal duck stamp is now on sale. The stamps, which cost $25, are valid from July 1 through June 30, 2021.

Purchased by millions of waterfowl hunters, wildlife enthusiasts and stamp collectors every year, duck stamp purchases provide critical funding to purchase and protect wetlands and associated habitat for ducks, geese and other wildlife species.

By Al Smith

Guest Columnist

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

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