I had made plans this weekend with an old friend who hasn't fished in years, but wants to get back into it. We headed to my home waters on the lower Winooski in hopes of finding steelhead as they dropped back into the lake post-spawn. Either way, he just wanted to catch fish!
I took him to a section of river that I thought looked like prime water for steelhead spawning(I'd always wanted to check out this area in the Spring). The water was lower than it usually is this time of the year, and a little cloudy from the dozens of boats cruising all over. On our way to the spot, trash littered the banks. Mostly beer cans...so much for green up day?
When we arrived at our destination, one boat came flying upriver at top speed right next to the side of the river we were about to fish. They then proceeded to travel beyond the closed fishing waters on the Winooski. What a joke!
Not long after they came flying up, another bigger boat tried coming up in shallow water. Even though I warned them they would NOT make it, they decided to try anyway. A few minutes of their props destroying the bottom of the river (and the bottom of the river probably destroying their props) later and they too were headed into closed waters to fish. I was amazed to see such blatant disregard for the regulations on the river...
A little while later, the same boat came floating downstream, apparently they thought the water somehow got 3 feet deeper than when they came up? Once again, both their main and trolling motor slammed into the bottom of the river, which is mostly rocky and not soft by the way. My friend and I couldn't help but laugh. These guys were so eager to head upstream to fish closed waters for walleye(I assume) that they risked destroying their motors, and now they're in such a rush to get back downstream they're risking destruction again!
Once they finished their dredge through the bottom of the river, they slammed into a few big trees sticking out of the water. Maybe they weren't out to fish, but to see how tough their boat and motors were?! I never looked at it that way!
Unsurprisngly, their motors didn't start back up, and they just drifted downstream. Serves them right, honestly.
Like I've said in a previous post, I have no problems with any kind of angler(s) as long as they're respectful and obeying the law, which we didn't see much of while we were out there. After the comedic actions of the previous boat, a guy fishing solo in a small boat slowed down right in front of us, proceeded to grab one of his FIVE rods he had in his boat (I think the limit is 2 per angler?) and fished pretty much right in front of us. I don't get why this behavior seems to be the norm with some anglers this time of the year, but it's just sickening to watch and have to put up with. They can keep their walleye they got illegally, I'm happy with steelhead I got and the 2 steelhead I helped my buddy catch and release...I'll save it for another post.