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Rules of fishing navigable Waters

Old 03-10-2019, 12:21 PM
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Default Rules of fishing navigable Waters

So I'm new to boating in general and am going to be doing a lot of it this year. Mainly in Delaware and Maryland Rivers. How would I go about finding the state laws on where I can and can't fish? I've been seeing a lot of videos pop up on YouTube about guys being told they can't fish within 500 feet of a guys property or not being able to fish inside Marina's. What about dams, power plants ECT. Any help is greatly appreciated!!
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:31 PM
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I suggest you contact your local game wardens, and review your state regulations. They possibly have a website, as our's do, where game law information is very well covered. Enjoy!
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:31 PM
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Freshwater Fishing Regulations | Maryland Fishing Regulations ? 2019 | eRegulations


That will get you started with Maryland.

Also those youtube guys put themselves in position for a confrontation because it gets views.
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:49 PM
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Thanks you guys
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Old 03-10-2019, 02:49 PM
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my policy is that if my boat floats there I’m fishing that spot unless it is clearly marked as a no boat zone by a government agency. Any guy that tells you not to fish within 500 ft of his property promptly needs to have mullet slung at his boat via water balloon launcher.
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Old 03-10-2019, 03:34 PM
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And I hope you understand that just because you stop and drop a fishing line over the side you are NOT considered a “vessel engaged in fishing” under COLREGS. You are just another vessel underway and are obligated to yield and get out of the way just like any other boat underway per the rules of the road.
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Old 03-10-2019, 04:23 PM
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All good info. Thanks you guys
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Old 03-10-2019, 04:45 PM
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Fish where you want....easier to ask forgiveness than permission....within reason
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Old 03-10-2019, 05:14 PM
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In NC, no one owns the water, and to be told you can't fish near a property owners dock, is nonsense, but understand that to bounce lures off his boat, or property is a no-no.
If you happen to accidentally throw across his dock or get hooked up on his dock, and you can't retrieve you lure from your boat, its best to cut your line than to trespass.
Give respect to ones property, as you would feel the same.
If you see someone fishing a particular spot, don't try to muscle in, or crowd his space. Nothing pisses me off more than to have some jackleg come flying up to where I'm fishing, and crowd my space. No, I don't own the space, but common courtesy goes a long way. If this happens, which it does quite often, I will pull anchor, trim up motor, and quickly vacate area, leaving him to his now, fishless spot.
Please don't complain if you anchor in or near narrow channels, because many boats will not slow down and you will be waked, or worse you may cause a collision. To hinder navigation for others may be against the law, depending on where you fish.
As to dams and power plants, check with locals and obey signage. Things have changed since 9/11.
Be respectful towards others, this goes a long way in others showing you respect.



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Old 03-10-2019, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Inshoreman1956 View Post
In NC, no one owns the water, and to be told you can't fish near a property owners dock, is nonsense, but understand that to bounce lures off his boat, or property is a no-no.
If you happen to accidentally throw across his dock or get hooked up on his dock, and you can't retrieve you lure from your boat, its best to cut your line than to trespass.
Give respect to ones property, as you would feel the same.
If you see someone fishing a particular spot, don't try to muscle in, or crowd his space. Nothing pisses me off more than to have some jackleg come flying up to where I'm fishing, and crowd my space. No, I don't own the space, but common courtesy goes a long way. If this happens, which it does quite often, I will pull anchor, trim up motor, and quickly vacate area, leaving him to his now, fishless spot.
Please don't complain if you anchor in or near narrow channels, because many boats will not slow down and you will be waked, or worse you may cause a collision. To hinder navigation for others may be against the law, depending on where you fish.
As to dams and power plants, check with locals and obey signage. Things have changed since 9/11.
Be respectful towards others, this goes a long way in others showing you respect.
Very well said thank you Inshore
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Old 03-10-2019, 05:21 PM
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Under federal law, the "Rivers and Harbors Act of 1988" states that wherever tidal waters flow cannot be considered private property. Federal law usually takes precedence over state and local law. So, while you can fish pretty much anywhere you wish in tidal waters there are some courtesy guidelines such as don't put the vessel inside of piling boundaries or within an empty slip. If challenged call out " RIVERS AND HARBORS ACT" and invite the property owner to call the cops. I've done this so many times that some of the local security guys at the zillionaire waterfront developments just wave me by. They will follow along in their boat but they won't try and throw me out anymore.
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Old 03-10-2019, 05:30 PM
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Lol. Good to know. I don't want to be an a-hole or anything tho
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:54 AM
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I might as well add a couple of things to consider, since I just read of a fatality in waters I frequent.
while underway to your fishing spots, please wear a life preserver, and kill switch. Over the many years I've boated, I've gotten complacent concerning the use of both. You may be a strong swimmer, but if you are knocked unconscious, drowning is guaranteed.
Never, and i'll repeat, never anchor from the stern. Too many lives have been lost doing this very thing. It may only take one wave over transom to swamp boat.
in addition, always keep a sharp knife handy in case your bow anchor gets hung up while anchored in rough water. I learned this lesson the hard way.
we were fishing Masonboro inlet and operator wanted to drop anchor which shocked me. Five minutes later, we were pulled under by a stuck bow anchor combined with the wake from a large sportfisher. In only seconds, the boat was full of water. Had I not cut line, we would have been swimming. Yes, I listened to a bunch of lip about his new anchor, but we are here today only because of a sharp knife and quick reflexes.
Be safe, enjoy your days on the water.


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Old 03-11-2019, 07:16 AM
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Wow that's crazy. Thank you for all the advice
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Fiberglass1 Inc View Post
Under federal law, the "Rivers and Harbors Act of 1988" states that wherever tidal waters flow cannot be considered private property. Federal law usually takes precedence over state and local law. So, while you can fish pretty much anywhere you wish in tidal waters there are some courtesy guidelines such as don't put the vessel inside of piling boundaries or within an empty slip. If challenged call out " RIVERS AND HARBORS ACT" and invite the property owner to call the cops. I've done this so many times that some of the local security guys at the zillionaire waterfront developments just wave me by. They will follow along in their boat but they won't try and throw me out anymore.

Can you site a section and paragraph on this? I have been looking for a couple days, and I really want this as ammo when I'm out, but that document is soooooo big and I can't find a full PDF copy to scan.

Thanks!
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:08 PM
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Is this what we are looking for?
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:36 PM
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Louisiana is the only state I’ve ever heard of claiming that a boatable waterway can be private property. Although Florida’s beach laws are equally absurd.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:59 AM
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Bliescholar is absolutely correct - for some reason, the Federal laws are interpreted differently in Louisiana than the other 49 states. It is an amazing and confusing patchwork, and you may get to meet a Parrish sheriff’s deputy without even meaning to.
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:59 AM
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Some of you seem to think Louisiana is a state when it is really another country!
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:07 AM
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Louisiana laws can get pretty interesting pretty quick. Has something to do with Napoleon ............

the waterways potential issues regardless of where, can usually be handled by the golden rule. Do unto other as you would have do unto you.
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