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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was at Harris this Saturday and there turned out to be a tournament going on. The crowd was a pretty good size.

I waited until just about all were gone and I wouldnt interfer doing my 5th launch of my life.

Once my bud and I determined it was time to go home (didnt catch squat) we headed back to the launching area. Good Lord what a ballet.

Every boat had two guys so they would take the boat to the pier, one guy get out and go get the truck while the other guy sat in the "waiting area". Once the truck showed up, the dude in the boat would obviously take it in and trailer it. Seriously, quite the ballet. Retrievals moving like clockwork.

Well, like I said, 5th launch ever and therefore 5th retrieval ever as well. I told my bud, better pull out a pole and fish in the waiting area because no way I was going to mess up all these "pros" getting their boats out. The crowd finally thinned out and there were more than one slip open so we made our move and got the boat out with little problems.

MY QUESTION IS......

What is the correct etiquette...procedure....if you are the ONLY dude in the boat? Fishing by yourself.

Bottom line I just see securing the boat to the dock.....run up the hill and bring the truck and trailer down....run to the boat and get to the trailer as fast and safely as possible while guys in line (if there are any) think of ways to end your existance.

If you fish by yourself and things are busy.....how do you do it??
 

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By myself, I tie up and run to the boat and can load it quickly. Just like others have said, practice makes thing easy.

**On very busy weekends, after you have loaded your boat, return to the boat ramp area with beer and enjoy the show. I have seen stuff there that would make Jerry Springer blush, including a guy in a Lexus SUV put his car in reverse instead of drive on the ramp.
 

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Etiquette on a ramp starts before you get to a ramp. Be able to put your trailer on a dime the first time. You can load and unload by yourself about as efficiently as you can as a team.
Like anything else, you develop a technique that works for you.

Unloading you can tie a painter to the bow that will reach all the way to the driver window and then some. Hit the brakes, the boat slides off, you come out of the cab and secure it to the dock. Things like that.
 

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Red X Angler
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I wait until things slow down some when possible then I just let them cuss. I have an old float on trailer and at most ramps I have to wade in and align the boat, winch it up, then wade out and pull up. If anyone snarks at me I tell them to shut the **** up or help me. Same with launching. I have to back down, tie the rope off, launch the boat, then run down the dock and pull it out of the way, tie off then go park the rig. If they cant see I am doing the best I can alone I have a few choice words for them I will not share here. I do make sure I am loaded and prepared with the plug in place and all my gear ready to go before I even get in line so there are no unnecessary delays.
 

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Red X Angler
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Like this...
[video=youtube;y5ejwRj9t1Q]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5ejwRj9t1Q[/video]
I would love to do it that way but having more in my trolling motor than in the rest of the whole rig is tough for me..LOL Very cool though.
 
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I fish alone 90% of the time... both tournaments and for fun. I have exactly 1 year of boating experience. In that year I can put my trailer on a dime, back in close to the dock so I can jump from the dock into the boat and effortless lineup the boat when re-loading onto the trailer. Practice makes perfect.

But here's what happened to me...

My first big tournament ever as a boater I went to Falls Lake, Upper Barton Ramp. There were 3 other club tournaments that day. I was more nervous over getting my rig in the water safely then more about fishing. The ramp was packed! LOADED! It was insane!

But simple enough... I just took my time. When I attempted to back down the ramp for the first time and got crooked and had to pull back out the dude waiting behind me shouted "Oh My GOD!!!". That made me feel like crap. Pretty embarrassing at the time actually.

None-the-less, I took his snarl comment on the chin and just stayed focused on being safe. I have 2 pieces of advice for you.

1. - Go to an empty parking lot and practice backing the boat up. If you're backing up and turning the wheel more than a quarter the way around then you're not doing it right. Put the boat up as far as you can until it aligns perfectly with the dock/ramp. This minimizes turning when your backing down.

2. Go to the ramp during the week days when no one else is there. Practice putting in and out over and over again.

Good luck. We all gotta start somewhere... But preferably lets not start on tournament day! HAHA
 

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Most of my experience was at the Barton Creek launch on Falls before they added the tie-off T-dock. You had about 3 boat lengths of dock in the water at normal pool, which was enough for somebody to be tied off at the end and somebody else to use the other 2/3rds to load/unload in front of them. When solo, I would tie off as close to the end as I could on any of the open dock ends, then go get in the loading line with the trailer.

The queue there was more based on the parking lot and ability to get the trailer down to the water, not on how many of the docks were occupied. It could take upwards of an hour to get the trailer through the line and into the water. You never knew which ramp would open up for a trailer to load/unload, so you'd usually have to get the trailer in the water in an open ramp and then navigate the boat side to get yourself loaded and out. I just tried to leave as much room as possible for other boats to get in and out around me and hope for the same from them.

It only took one or two of those to make me a weekday morning and pay-ramp angler :)
 

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Red X Angler
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I fish alone 90% of the time... both tournaments and for fun. I have exactly 1 year of boating experience. In that year I can put my trailer on a dime, back in close to the dock so I can jump from the dock into the boat
Maybe you younger and more spry guys, I personally will not be jumping anywhere nor climbing down trailer tongues, over fenders etc. My knees cant handle it. I see guys do all that and more power to them but it's not for me. I cant even step onto the deck unless I have my seat there to grab or I'll end up on my face or in the water. Poor balance too LOL!!
 

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Like this...
[video=youtube;y5ejwRj9t1Q]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5ejwRj9t1Q[/video]
I sail radio controlled yachts and see a certain situation at least once every couple of months. The skipper will push his boat into the water and then wonder why it isn't responding to transmitter commands, ahh, the boat battery is off (or Tx battery is dead). If you're lucky, it hasn't gone far, you can grab it and turn things on. If you're not lucky, it sails across the lake and you have a long walk or paddle to get it. I wouldn't want to invite that situation with a full size boat. :)
 

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I sail radio controlled yachts and see a certain situation at least once every couple of months. The skipper will push his boat into the water and then wonder why it isn't responding to transmitter commands, ahh, the boat battery is off (or Tx battery is dead). If you're lucky, it hasn't gone far, you can grab it and turn things on. If you're not lucky, it sails across the lake and you have a long walk or paddle to get it. I wouldn't want to invite that situation with a full size boat. :)
I have seen more than one guy at a dock with a piece of untied rope in his hand trying to use the force to bring his boat back. Not really a new problem.
 

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I wait until things slow down some when possible then I just let them cuss. I have an old float on trailer and at most ramps I have to wade in and align the boat, winch it up, then wade out and pull up. If anyone snarks at me I tell them to shut the **** up or help me. Same with launching. I have to back down, tie the rope off, launch the boat, then run down the dock and pull it out of the way, tie off then go park the rig. If they cant see I am doing the best I can alone I have a few choice words for them I will not share here. I do make sure I am loaded and prepared with the plug in place and all my gear ready to go before I even get in line so there are no unnecessary delays.

Just wondering why the gear head hasn't turned that float on into a drive on.:D
 

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Do what you gotta do, just be courteous. What makes people mad is when someone blocks the ramp to the point that nobody can use it or people who dilly dally while their truck sits on the ramp. Dont get on the ramp itself until you are ready to dump it in or load up. Remove straps, load gear and all that in the parking lot, out of the way at your leisure. I see alot of guys drive in the parking lot, back 1/2 way down the ramp and then get out and start prepping their boat. I fish alone alot, I prep my boat in the parking lot, back down the ramp shove it off, tie it off or beach it and go park the truck... no reason you should do any more than that while your truck sits on the ramp. Loading up is pretty much the same deal, back it in, put it on the trailer and pull out of the way so the next guy can go.

For docking, pretty much if you keep your boat "out of the way", you wont have anybody fuss at you. Try to tie up to the end of the dock or on the side of the dock with no ramp or use a courtesy dock off to the side if available. That way there is enough room for the ramps to still be used. Beaching it is also an option, sometimes a better option. At a busy ramp, dock space can be limited, try not to use it any longer than needed for launching or loading as there are other people waiting for that spot.

Unless I am fishing a tournament, I do my best to avoid the crowd when I am out fun fishing. I keep in mind, most usually start at Safe Light, that means if you get there a few minutes later, everyone will already be launched and gone. I also keep in mind what time they weigh in, usually about 8 hours later, and try to get there before them or long enough after that everyone is probably loaded up. Using a different ramp is also an option.
 

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Do what you gotta do, just be courteous. What makes people mad is when someone blocks the ramp to the point that nobody can use it or people who dilly dally while their truck sits on the ramp. Dont get on the ramp itself until you are ready to dump it in or load up. Remove straps, load gear and all that in the parking lot, out of the way at your leisure. I see alot of guys drive in the parking lot, back 1/2 way down the ramp and then get out and start prepping their boat. I fish alone alot, I prep my boat in the parking lot, back down the ramp shove it off, tie it off or beach it and go park the truck... no reason you should do any more than that while your truck sits on the ramp. Loading up is pretty much the same deal, back it in, put it on the trailer and pull out of the way so the next guy can go.

For docking, pretty much if you keep your boat "out of the way", you wont have anybody fuss at you. Try to tie up to the end of the dock or on the side of the dock with no ramp or use a courtesy dock off to the side if available. That way there is enough room for the ramps to still be used. Beaching it is also an option, sometimes a better option. At a busy ramp, dock space can be limited, try not to use it any longer than needed for launching or loading as there are other people waiting for that spot.

Unless I am fishing a tournament, I do my best to avoid the crowd when I am out fun fishing. I keep in mind, most usually start at Safe Light, that means if you get there a few minutes later, everyone will already be launched and gone. I also keep in mind what time they weigh in, usually about 8 hours later, and try to get there before them or long enough after that everyone is probably loaded up. Using a different ramp is also an option.

Agree....prior to prep and after prep the boat out of the way of the dock.
 

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Red X Angler
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Because if I drive on I still have to get out of it to drive the truck up the ramp and I cant jump out, or climb down the tongue with my knees and poor balance.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Because if I drive on I still have to get out of it to drive the truck up the ramp and I cant jump out, or climb down the tongue with my knees and poor balance.
Know what you mean. Disabled Vet here. Dont jump out of airplanes with 200lbs of gear strapped to you !
 

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If somebody is in that big of a hurry to be somewhere else after fishing, that person should have reeled in the lines sooner. I agree with those who said that the boat should be ready to come off the trailer before you back down the ramp, and you should do as little as possible before pulling it out of the water. A few things that I do, even when I have somebody with me, I try to do it alone so I know that I did everything. When going in, I line the trailer up, then I get out of the truck, put the tailgate down and loop a rope around the winch post on the trailer. The tailgate goes down because it's easier to see the bunks that way, I wait because I don't want to damage anything while turning. The rope is there as a safety so the boat will stay with the trailer even if it floats off. With bunks, you can undo the winch and chain then a well timed tap of the brakes will send to boat away so you can drive the trailer out of under it. grab the rope, tie off the boat, and park the truck.
Similarly, when retrieving the boat, I back in with the tailgate down, I use the rope to guide the boat onto the trailer winch it up hang the safety chain and pull out.
Did I mention, I do everything that I can to avoid busy ramps. I haven't done many launches, but my system seems to be working for me, and I don't spend a lot of time on the ramp. When the time comes that I find the ramp crowded, I'll do the best I can, but if things don't go smoothly those waiting will have to learn a little patience.
 
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