We all have seen them. They seem to come out of nowhere. Yet, they are everywhere. You can’t run. You can’t hide. The only thing to do is recognize them and do your best to avoid contact. No, not zombies. We’re talking about annoying fishermen.
Part field guide and part survival guide, this is your essential tool for identifying, avoiding and escaping the five most annoying types of fishermen.
1. The Carpetbagger
The Carpetbagger is notorious for having way too much equipment and much more knowledge than he does experience. He reads every magazine and can quote Bill Dance, but has never caught anything more than a cold.
He’ll contact an outfitter while on vacation, but he ensures the captain that he is not a novice and that he’s been fishing for years. He’ll reiterate that he doesn’t need instruction and there’s nothing the outfitter can teach him.
No one can teach him anything and he is the local expert. For that matter, he’s the expert where ever he goes. It’s very easy to confuse him with the One Upper and Coach as well. All three share traits.
2. Uninvited Coach
The uninvited coach is perhaps the most annoying of all fishermen simply because we all know him. He’s everywhere there are fish. Sometimes we actually know him. Sometimes he just shows up and we have no idea who he is although he spews forth advice and recommendations without end.
The Uninvited Coach will never acknowledge that he’s critical only that he “has so much wisdom to offer”. Even when you out fish him, he’ll do one of two things. He’ll either take credit for your catch giving himself more accolades due for his advice whether it was followed or not; or he’ll say, “You could have caught a bigger one if you’d only…” and then proceed to gush more advice.
3. Spot Stealer
This guy is the sole reason fishermen lie. We lie about how big the fish were and lie about where we caught them. He’s the reason fishermen get such a bad rap.
The minute you tell him where you were fishing, he’s there. If you catch a decent fish and he’s nearby, the second you turn your back he’ll be there acting like nothing ever happened. Usually we’re related to this guy.
An easy way to identify him is that he (or she) often refers to you as Daddy or Grandpa. Granted, that can be overlooked. The problem is when he doesn’t outgrow this habit.
“I think it’s great you went to Canada and spent a week fishing. I recently went to Yemen and fly fished with a Sheikh.”
This guy, in many cases, is your uncle or the guy next to you at work. He has never met a person that has done anything better than him. You may have just caught a mastodon on a fly rod, but he has noodled an alligator.
You can’t escape this guy. He’s everywhere. In many cases, he may also be the Uninvited Coach. The best thing to do is just ignore him and no matter what you do, step away slowly and do not make eye contact.
5. Dock Dumper
The Dock Dumper is rarely seen, but often smelt. He cleans his fish and dumps the remains right next to the dock or ramp.
He is uncaring about others and generally self-absorbed in many facets of life. Many times he wears a mullet even though it is well past being in style. If he doesn’t currently have one, he either did or wanted to.
Sometimes the Dock Dumper is a woman and is easily spotted by her stained halter top.
Steps to Evasion
The only way to avoid most of these fishermen is generally to just go fishing alone. Unless, or course, you are one of these people. If you do find yourself exhibiting any of these traits, please know there is help for you.
The next time you find yourself beginning to coach, one up, steal, spew forth nonsense or dump near a dock merely walk over to the closest fisherman and ask him to kick you square in the groin. He wants to anyway and this just relieves liability.