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Fisherman Shot

Bass Fisherman Shot

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On May 19, 2007 two bass fishermen competing in a Berry’s Boat Dock tournament at Lake Oconee in Georgia were shot at and one was hit. He was not hurt badly and the shooter was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, a felony.

According to official reports an 86 year old man fired three shots at a the two bass fishermen for getting too close to his lines. Reports do not say if they were trotlines or if he was fishing with a rod and reel. The local sheriff says the shooter has been putting out lines in the area for decades. The reports also say the shooter was at a “fish camp” but I know of none up the river so I guess they mean he was camping on the bank.

I was told the incident happened way up the Oconee River where the channel is very narrow. I can understand getting mad at others for running across your fishing lines and do not know what other incidents had happened before the shooting. There is a law in Georgia that makes it illegal to operate a boat at higher than idle speed within 100 feet of other boats, shoreline parks and residences and people swimming.

It may be the case that bass fishermen, often known for their lack of respect toward other boaters and fishermen, had been harassing the older fisherman. If bass fishermen were breaking the law by running too close to him he should have called law enforcement.

If the DNR would strictly enforce its boating laws many problems would be stopped before getting so serious.

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