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24 on/48 off suggested that this topic might be worth a dedicated thread, rather than continuing discussion within the fishing reports. I thought that to be a good idea, sooo....

Uncleroy and Smj were commenting on why people feel the need to “solo.” Here’s what I think. There are several types of soloists. First of all, we have the clueless. These are good people who simply think hog lines are for good old boys who have fished with and lied to each other for years. Jumping in with strangers can feel as rude as leaning over the fence and ogling someone else’s backyard barbeque in progress. So, they hang back and go it alone.

Next we have the skillless. This set of folk includes the obviously ignorant. They don’t know how to anchor, back their boat, or practice basic etiquette. They smile, wave, and solo without thinking about whose trolling pattern they’re going to screw up, or how their position will affect someone playing out a fish.

Then we have the shy and self-conscious. These are fisherman who are reasonably competent but know that they will screw up big time in front of an audience. (BTW I put myself in this category. This is because I have noticed that every time I make a mistake on the water there are at least 1200 people nearby and all of them are looking at me. Who wants 1200 people snickering and laughing at you?)

A fourth group is the increasing number of us who have learned not to trust strangers anywhere, anytime. All you have to do is read ifish posts describing rude, even violent behavior experienced up and down the river. Why risk subjecting your wife, kids, or grandkids to an obscene or threatening outburst? Congregations of strangers are therefore avoided like the plague.

So what’s the answer? One thing I can think of is to post a list of do’s and don’ts for joining a hog line – or starting one for that matter. (I haven’t searched the archives so forgive me if that list is already out there.) If the list doesn’t cover things as basic as asking for permission to join, as well as how (and when) to politely refuse, it ought to.

Finally, I think everyone needs to remember the need for patience. Think of how we tend to behave when someone has to enter or leave an adjoining seat, as on an airplane or at the movies. A polite “excuse me” earns so many “forgiveness points” for jostles, bumped knees, even stepped on toes. We know and expect that there will be a moment of awkwardness, perhaps even discomfort in these close encounters. But things settle down quickly and in a matter of minutes everyone has forgotten about the disruption.

On the other hand, I have to admit that no one has ever crossed my line or knocked off a fish at the movies!
 

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Rule 1:

If you are starting a new hog line leave ample room between your anchor line (not your boat) and the line of boats above. Chinook are big fish and one needs a fair amount of room to fight them.

Rule 2:

You don't own the river so don't act like you do. Be kind and patient with everyone and expect that they will treat you the same. Everyone has an equal right to be on the river.

Rule 3:

Don't tie your boat up to the dock where everyone else is trying to load and unload. Wait away from the dock until it's your turn to load. If you are by yourself and must tie to the dock leave as much room as possible between your boat and the loading area.

Rule 4.

Be happy, be courteous, be patient, and have fun!!! You are on the river, life is good.
:yay::yay:

RM
 

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I agree nice post. I was the guy who wanted to try but didn't have a clue. I screwed up a bunch of guys just not knowing. After they tried to run me off I asked a few guys what I did wrong. They were nice enough to explain things to me. Years later I get it and I try to have patience with new guys. It goes alot further being polite, than being rude to people who don't even know they are in the wrong place.
 

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If you try to anchor in a hog line and are having trouble sticking, listen to the boat next to you trying to tell you to drop higher and let out more rope. Their not trying to be jerks, just trying to help.

If you are dropping anchor during the incoming/slack tide, and are the last guy to drop. When the current runs and all the boat suddenly find themselves with no room and lines crossed, you are the fist guy out.
 

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Great Idea and Great Posts!!!
This is the kind of information that shoud be given to new fishermen on the internet.
Most hog lines are not as much a tight knit group of friends as people think.
Most have nice people who are willing to help.
If you are serious about learning to handle you boat. It is not a bad idea to practice anchoring during the off season.
There is nothing more frustrsting than being the first one out to get anchored in the "hot spot" and having someone cross anchor you and pull or push you out of that spot.:agree:
 

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. These are good people who simply think hog lines are for good old boys who have fished with and lied to each other for years. Jumping in with strangers can feel as rude as leaning over the fence and ogling someone else’s backyard barbeque in progress. So, they hang back and go it alone.
Yup yup.... i fall into this catagory.. maybe next time i see a line, I will stopby and anchor in line...
 

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If there is one "golden rule" I have learned on ifish it is this.
If you anchor up and no one in the hog line says a word to you. You did it perfect.

I had a couple of senior citizens anchor up next to me on two consecutive days. Each time I could see they were having trouble estimating the rope distance to achieve a "reasonable" scope for fishing in hog line formation. They eventually got it on their own. On the third day these guys stuck it first shot. I broke the golden rule and commented how they did an excellent job of "threading the needle". We laughed and had a great day joking and catching fish.

Just remember guys newbies come in all age groups.

Hog lines can be friendly fun places.
I am always the first to wave and chat when another boat falls in line. It takes an effort to make friends. But is well worth it.
 

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Yeah...
Guess I'm in the "like to solo" crowd... Part of its just kind of foreign to me, in the Chesapeake we never did any hoglining at all.
I still remember the first time I actually saw one on the CR I thought they were all a bunch Buffett fans or something. I also boat solo alot anyways and anchoring by myself when there aint a bunch of boats right next to me is stressful enough.
Bottom line tho, sounds like its a communal thing. I'd be interested to know for sure if its as cool as you say to just line up in any old line out there and expect everyone to be cool and welcoming. I've definitely heard stories to the contrary (ie: OC during springer season)...
It would be good to hear more opinions from the oldtimer crowd on this one.
I do realize now that there's a reason people line up at the spots they do... because those spots are known to funnel the fish. But theres alot of productive water out there that dont have hoglines.
 

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Interesting thread...okay, I'll toss in my two cents.

I can't figure out if this is an etiquette thread or a tips & tricks... maybe a bit of both. A lot has been said about joining hog lines, so I'll concentrate on gear:

First thing's first...buy the right gear. I learned by doing what many will go through-- buying the smallest cheapest anchor/rope/ball only to upgrade every piece until you end up with a full blown workable system. This is still America--you get what you pay for.

So what should you pay for?
1. A big enough anchor. Search this site, and look around for what's right for your size of boat and where you'll be using it.
2. 6'+ of chain - it makes all the difference (you attach it to the anchor, and it ensures a good set on the bottom)
3. A long anchor line, or sections of line that make a long line and can be easily hooked together--you want to be able to put out 5 to 6 times as much scope [length] as the depth in which you set (30 ft. water = 150' of rope out)
4. An anchor retrieval system - this is for a power retrieve - a lot of guys will tell you "only pull by hand" -- nonsense. Pulling with the boat, if done correctly, and in a place you are familiar with, makes it much much much easier to deal with everything, especially if you're by yourself. I pull by hand a lot, but the CR is the right place to use tools.
5. A big buoy ball (A1 for the smallest setup, A2 for most applications) -- this will make your life sooooo much better (and safer). Big balls are especially nice for the power retrieve, at least the first couple of times :wink:

Other equipment I have found useful -

A one-way (ratchet) cleat for the bow -- just set the rope in there and you're good, easy to toss the rope out too.

A descent tag line buoy--something to tie to the end of your rope so you can toss the end to fight a fish or make a shore run.

A mesh bag for the anchor line and buoys when not in the water--also useful for keeping unused line in one spot so it can be tossed overboard thereby shortening the distance between main ball and tag buoy.

NOTE: ALWAYS FEED YOUR ROPE TO THE ANCHOR -- DO NOT TOSS YOUR LINE OVERBOARD. Bundled line going in the water is dangerous - it can get tangled or worse, float down stream faster than your boat. If you get line around your rudder, cut it...you are in trouble! Having a set anchor's rope get around the stern drive can pull your transom under water in the blink of an eye.

Okay - a word about the social aspects of anchoring --
Let's not forget Schedenfreud. Unfortunately, it's real, I've been guilty of it, and you'll be the victim if you start making mistakes...that's life my friends.

So, with that said, forget about turf on the river--it doesn't exist for the most part and besides, where it does, it shouldn't. The vast majority of people are very friendly, or at least, indifferent to you coming along. Just like anyone, they'd rather have the whole spot to themselves...I know I would, but that's not what fishing in these conditions is all about. I wouldn't worry about any negative confrontations--especially in crowded lines--the more people, the more accountability, and people are pretty cool everywhere...for the most part. If you buy the right set up and do run into a jerk, it will be easy to pull anchor and move.

There's plenty of judgment going on out there...especially around the process of setting and pulling anchor. I would first suggest ignoring most unsolicited advice; it is demeaning and annoying. I can't count the number of times I have bitten my tongue. Once you've mastered the art of blowing off the crowd, I would suggest practicing in lower current conditions (not too low, somewhere like the lower Willamette on the outgoing)--for me, it was best to learn on my own--I've found many experienced boatmen to be pretty poor teachers. This isn't rocket science, despite what the boys at Oregon City might claim...oh yeah, don't practice at Oregon City, it can be pretty sporty and has more impatient people per square foot than anywhere in Portland. Try somewhere with a nice flat sandy bottom in about 15' to 20' of water, you could go out, drop and retrieve 20 times and be a master.

Also, remember-- there are two types of people-- those who have lost an anchor and those who will. Eventually you're going to drop on a tree or through the window of a sunken car or something... be ready and able to cut your anchor line in a heart beat.

You're welcome to anchor next to me any time.

SC
 

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I haven't seen anything about filling a hole. If two boats are anchored up next to each other, there is a fair chance that they wanted that much distance between them. If you can't drive through the hole first and ask if they mind you parking there, it's too small. There is a reason we parked where we did, and its rude for you to second guess that. And if you have to ask me to change my rod holders so you have room, you're an hayseed.
 

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I love to fish the hog lines. I have been fishing the same one for 6 years and know most of the guys in it. You get to know who you want next to you and who to watch out for. The social dynamics are really interesting and I love to watch "the show".
 

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Lotta good advice here. Been my experience that on the columbia there is way more than enough room. I haven't (and will not) fish OC where if you haven't been in the hogline for 20 years, you a newbie and therefore suck at anchoring. The only frustrations I've had are from OC type fisherman that have tried to park 3 feet from my boat. That and the federal holiday warriors that drop an anchor 50 feet behind my boat when I have 75 feet of line out for the set.

I was new once. I've screwed up more than once, and will again. It depends on how you handle your own screwups. I've had guys invite me into the slot, after I apologized. Also had guys tell me to fish elsewhere. I mostly try to be away from the crowds, but this time of year - where is that? I was looking today from my upstairs window and could see at least 100 boats below Columbia City, I'm sure the mouth of the lewis was a zoo....
 

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quote=Silver Hilton;1646851]I haven't seen anything about filling a hole. If two boats are anchored up next to each other, there is a fair chance that they wanted that much distance between them. If you can't drive through the hole first and ask if they mind you parking there, it's too small. There is a reason we parked where we did, and its rude for you to second guess that. And if you have to ask me to change my rod holders so you have room, you're an haysole.[/quote]

:agree::yeahthat::agree:

Before I anchor in a spot I always drive through to check the depth, current flow, some places the current will push you to sideways. Check the bottom for snags with depth finder, stuck anchors are no fun. I like to also run through the area my line will sit checking the structure and depth so I know about where I want my fishing line to settle in. When driving through I usually say Hi to the persons I am parking by and ask if they mind if I line up with them. I have not yet had a negative reply yet and this usually is a good way to break the ice with the other person and you can decide fairly quickly if this is someone that you wouldn't mind being around.
 

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When driving through I usually say Hi to the persons I am parking by and ask if they mind if I line up with them. I have not yet had a negative reply yet and this usually is a good way to break the ice with the other person and you can decide fairly quickly if this is someone that you wouldn't mind being around.
Exactly. A smile and a friendly question gets you a long ways. "You guys mind one more? "
 

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One thing to keep in the back of your mind is pay attention to the bigger boats with hard tops or larger profiles. The wind will push these boats around a little more so they a little more room to swing. Even with 3 30" sea anchors off the back, my tub will move around a more than most in windy conditions. :twocents:
 

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. I haven't (and will not) fish OC where if you haven't been in the hogline for 20 years, you a newbie and therefore suck at anchoring. The only frustrations I've had are from OC type fisherman that have tried to park 3 feet from my boat. That and the federal holiday warriors that drop an anchor 50 feet behind my boat when I have 75 feet of line out for the set.
Why is that... Me and buddy fish OC area often mouth of clack and it alwasy seems there are few hog lines. Yes river is narrow. but people pull up and park like a pin ball table bumper cushion... try driving thru that mess and not **** anyone off... arrrrr
 

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Uncleroy and Smj were commenting on why people feel the need to “solo.” Here’s what I think. There are several types of soloists. First of all, we have the clueless. These are good people who simply think hog lines are for good old boys who have fished with and lied to each other for years. Jumping in with strangers can feel as rude as leaning over the fence and ogling someone else’s backyard barbeque in progress. So, they hang back and go it alone.

Next we have the skillless. This set of folk includes the obviously ignorant. They don’t know how to anchor, back their boat, or practice basic etiquette. They smile, wave, and solo without thinking about whose trolling pattern they’re going to screw up, or how their position will affect someone playing out a fish.


Then we have the shy and self-conscious. These are fisherman who are reasonably competent but know that they will screw up big time in front of an audience. (BTW I put myself in this category. This is because I have noticed that every time I make a mistake on the water there are at least 1200 people nearby and all of them are looking at me. Who wants 1200 people snickering and laughing at you?)

A fourth group is the increasing number of us who have learned not to trust strangers anywhere, anytime. All you have to do is read ifish posts describing rude, even violent behavior experienced up and down the river. Why risk subjecting your wife, kids, or grandkids to an obscene or threatening outburst? Congregations of strangers are therefore avoided like the plague.

There is also a 5th group that knows what they are doing. This group has found many good spots to fish away from the lines. Often you will see a single boat anchor downriver from a line (but far enough to not interfere) and shortly after drift back with a fish. While those in the above line have been without so much as a drive by the whole morning. The spot wasn't chosen because of any lack of skill or shyness but from experience.

Getting in a line can be fun, aggravating, productive, and unproductive. I enjoy the banter and sense of community that goes with it. However, it isn't the only way to fish the rivers. Just be mindful that you respect those who are in a line, those trolling, and bank fishermen by maintaining the appropriate distance.
 

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I haven't seen anything about filling a hole. If two boats are anchored up next to each other, there is a fair chance that they wanted that much distance between them. If you can't drive through the hole first and ask if they mind you parking there, it's too small. There is a reason we parked where we did, and its rude for you to second guess that. And if you have to ask me to change my rod holders so you have room, you're an hayseed.
I have seen people at OC try to give themselves space by extending their rods out the side of their boats. It doesn't go over very well at all in this area.
One needs to be aware if possible of unwritten rules of etiquitte in the area. This can be difficult if you don't know. If in doubt, don't be afraid to ask. One should also follow the rule:"When in Rome do as the Romans do".
 
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