- Posted by Nick Honachefsky
- On December 18, 2017
If you’ve fished the surf long enough, you know what “mugging” is. Loosely defined, it’s the direct, uncomfortable encroachment of the area you are fishing area by another angler.
Mug – (verb) to hold up, knock-off, loot, plunder, hijack, swindle.
If you’ve fished the surf long enough, you know what “mugging” is. Loosely defined, it’s the direct, uncomfortable encroachment of the area you are fishing area by another angler. The situation can lead to expletive laden verbal exchanges, fistfights, and even missed fishing time, all of which destroy a fishing outing. So how do you know if you’ve been mugged or if you’re doing the mugging? Here’s a few quick guidelines to follow to keep you on the straight and narrow.
FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED
The Golden Rule. If you are the first one to get to a spot, then that spot is yours to fish. No other angler has the right to mug you. Get up earlier if you want to put claim on a spot.
An angler is the first to the beach and sets up two sandspiked clamming rods in a hole. Other anglers should not fish anywhere between the deadstick rods but should stay and fish on the outermost sides of the rods.
30/50 YARD RULE
If a deadsticker is set up in a hole, and I want to plug, it is not considered mugging to walk 30 yards down either direction from his outermost rods and start making casts. However, if you are also deadsticking/bait fishing its best to go down to the next hole to set up camp and stay at least 50 yards away. When anglers are plugging or snagging bunker, a comfortable distance between anglers actively fishing is usually around 30 to 50 yards.
This one can get really combustible in the heat of the moment, so its best to keep it ultra-simple. Don’t “cut in”. An angler walks up to the beach to see bass and blues busting the surface all over. If the pack of anglers is tight, don’t walk down and begin casting between two anglers already spaced evenly apart. You’ll encroach their already established personal space and screw up the whole dynamic. Walk to either end of the pack anticipating the school’s movement and begin casting. The school moves, then the other anglers pick up and leap frog hop to the forward motion of the end of the line to begin casting again. Its bad karma to “cut in” between anglers.
BEACH BUGGIES VS. WALK-ONS
90% of my surf fishing is walking on, 10% by Beach Buggy. Beach buggies have the decided advantage to chasing blitzes and scoping out spots, but this is how it goes. Most mugging will happen via beach buggies to walk-ons. Too many beach buggy anglers sit in the comfortable heat of the truck with binoculars without making casts. Once a walk-on has a bent rod, many times the buggy will scream on over, run out of the truck, and start casting 20 yards away. Bad move. Drive-by muggings suck.
Got any good mugging stories? Let the world know, comment below….
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