What? What’d I do Wrong?

A few times a week I take a walk. I live a little over a half mile from the Yorkville dam and it’s a nice hike there and back. Actually have a decent steep hill to walk up and down to test and stretch my joints and muscles.

Whenever there are fishermen hanging out fishing around the dam, you can bet at some point one of them will be fishing in the, well, that’s the problem.

Is it a bypass channel?

Maybe a kayak chute?

Or is it the Marge Cline Whitewater Course?

The average fisherman is a pretty simple human being and when it comes to fishing, you can’t tell them where they can or cannot fish. Especially if you’re not making it painfully clear to them.

Once you start having a conversation with them, trying to explain to them that they can’t fish in a certain area, the conversation gets turned around. It gets twisted in a way so that the fisherman at least thinks he’s winning the argument. He’s going to fish there. He’s going say whatever he has to say to make that happen.

By the time you are done, you’ll be doubting your sanity and wondering if there isn’t a camera crew from TruTV hiding off behind a bush somewhere filming the whole thing.

There are signs on either end of the kayak chute saying No Fishing in the Bypass Channel. I knew when I saw the sign that it was a waste of time. The type is too small.

Look at the bottom of the photo. There’s a guy standing behind the sign fishing. When I told him he couldn’t fish there, I got “I didn’t see anything on any sign.” When he didn’t argue with me and packed up and left, I knew he was lying.

That’s what fishermen do.

Take a look at the last line of small black type. No Fishing in the Bypass Channel. In order to be an effective no fishing sign you have to have one this big with nothing else on it but the no fishing warning. The no fishing warning has to fill the whole sign and, even then, you’ll find fishermen standing right next to it fishing and when you say something you’ll get the exact same response I did.

Part of the problem is, what the hell is a bypass channel? You can bet that’s running around the in the fisherman’s head.

I wandered all over the park. I know this is called the Marge Cline Whitewater Course, but I couldn’t find a sign anywhere stating that. The name should be on the sign to make it clearer to the fishermen. They have no clue what a bypass channel is, but they do understand putting titles on important things.

Not that they care.

To simplify it even more, since there are usually kayaks playing around in the whitewater course, even fishermen know what a kayak is.

Call it a kayak chute, put that on the signs and be done with it.

No Fishing in the Kayak Chute.

In the long run it still won’t matter. It didn’t matter the other day when I was wandering around along the kayak chute. There were two people fishing the fast water of the chute. While a guy in a kayak was telling one they couldn’t fish there, I thought I would take pictures of the other.

He saw the other fisherman getting shagged off, so he hurried things up a bit and fired off a few casts all the way across the chute.

As the guy in the kayak floated toward him, the fisherman turned his back on him, walked further up the shore and started fishing up there.

I already know if you were to confront this guy he would first deny seeing the sign, which would be a lie. Then he’d say he didn’t know, which would be another lie. Then he’d say he wasn’t fishing around the kayaks, which is irrelevant.

You can see how this would continue. He’d always have something to say in his defense, even if his defense is pointless.

That’s what the average fisherman does.

The guy in the kayak saw me taking pictures and wandered over to where I was standing. We talked awhile about the ignorance of fishermen. The other thing that came up was the hazards of hooks getting lost in the chute. Inside those little kayaks, all they have on their feet are neoprene socks, no shoes or boots. The other day while wandering around the kayak chute, I found these lying around.

These hooks are relatively small, but to a kayaker that flips over and has to put his feet down, getting one of these in your foot is going to suck. Even worse, I found one of these on the bottom of the river the other day.

That can cause some pretty major problems.

The kayaker and I talked about signage, it’s size, what it should say and where it should be put. That night, I put a comment on the City of Yorkville Facebook Page saying that they need to do something about this. They need to put up more and bigger signs.

Today when I wandered down to the river, someone had put up a new sign.

That’s not going to work. The type is even smaller than what is on the big yellow sign that the fishermen say they never saw.

Plus they call it a Whitewater Park. Now you’ve got the fishermen even more confused. Still another term. I already know a fisherman is going to tell you he wasn’t fishing in the park.

So, here are my suggestions. Call it a kayak chute. Simple and to the point. No Fishing in the Kayak Chute. Six words I know is a lot, but I can’t figure out which one to get rid of to make it even shorter for the fishermen to understand.

Make the signs big, huge, bright yellow with gigantic black type that fills the sign from top-to-bottom and side-to-side.

One has to go on the south side of the river near the footbridge. If necessary, get two of them, that way they can be seen from a variety of directions.

Another one needs to go on the bridge. As you walk to the end of the bridge, the whole field of view should be filled with the sign. This photo will give you an idea of what I’m talking about. As you walk, all you should see at the end is nothing but sign.

The other option is to have a bunch of 3 foot by 4 foot signs made up, again, filled with No Fishing in the Kayak Chute. All along the kayak chute, on both sides, one of these signs should be placed every 50 feet. From the beginning to the end of the kayak chute.

I have a feeling that won’t be all that visually appealing.

Even then I already know that idea is doomed to fail.

One day you’ll go down to the kayak chute and there will be a fisherman.

He’ll be standing smack dab in the middle between a couple of the signs, fishing the kayak chute.

He’ll be so centered between those signs that if you got out a tape measure and measured, you’d find that he missed dead center by less than an inch.

If you go up to him and tell him he can’t fish in the kayak chute, his eyebrows would go up, his eyes would widen, his head would slowly turn both up and down stream.

Then he’d look you dead in eyes and without batting an eye he’d say…

“I didn’t see no signs.”

22 thoughts on “What? What’d I do Wrong?

  1. Dan Roloff

    I like your idea, only thing I know about a bypass is I might have to have one if I don’t stop eating so much junk food. Security cameras wouldn’t be a bad idea either, weather they are real or not, rolling or not they will discourage a few people, atleast the ones with some respectful fear of getting in trouble.

    Reply
    1. Ken G Post author

      Next time I see the CPO I’ll have to see if he’ll give me a direct number to call. Consider it a fund raiser for the IDNR.

      I couldn’t believe the arrogance of that one guy. I should have got his attention and pretended to be calling someone. I don’t care if I make more enemies. Based on how he looked, I could still outrun him.

      Reply
    2. Barry

      There is nothing worse for a kayaker than getting hooked by a fish hook! It has happened to me. The fisherman don’t understand!

      Reply
      1. Ken G Post author

        Barry, for every fisherman that does get it, there are more that don’t. Not good odds. It’s the arrogance of them that really starts pissing me off.

        That’s why I need to get that CPOs direct number. Let him explain it to them. A fine would be an extra added bonus.

        Reply
          1. Ken G Post author

            My kids knew how to read and heed rules before they made it to kindergarten. I think the failure is in the chain of command somewhere. Taking after their parents I guess.

            Reply
      2. Dan Roloff

        There has to be nothing like getting thrown into an unplanned Eskimo roll, kissing the gravel and coming up with a Muskie lure in your temple.

        I think it is more about fishermen thinking “well, if no one is kayaking I can fish here.” I thought the same thing, there are bans on fishing the bank on the canoe launches on the DPR to keep the fishermen from setting up shop with lines still fishing taking up all the real estate.

        So more education or maybe a smaller sign in smaller font below the second sign the reads “and that means you.”

        Reply
        1. Ken G Post author

          When I had my canoe shop I’d tell customers that if there was a fisherman planted in the canoe launch when they got there, just run over their lines. Don’t be nice about it and don’t apologize.

          They’ll get the hint.

          Reply
    1. Ken G Post author

      Official average fisherman fishing season doesn’t start till June 1st. That’s when they descend on the area in hordes. I’m hoping to be down there when a kayaker gets tangled up in some dipshits line, gets out and starts beating on the fisherman with his paddle.

      I’ll run the video for that one.

      Reply
  2. Hambone870

    Y is it that fisherman always believe the best fishing is always located in the areas that don’t allow fishing. The grass is always greener mentality will always have people doing what they are not supposed to be. Human nature is a bitch…

    Reply
    1. Ken G Post author

      The best fishing spots are always at the end of the most well worn paths to water. I have this bad habit of at least asking for permission in those areas that don’t allow fishing.

      Without all those other people though, there would be no TruTV. I’d have to watch the Science or History channel then. How dull.

      Reply
    1. Ken G Post author

      I use that all the time to go on creeks. Seems to work.

      I would imagine that might work, but I doubt it. They’re not being denied access to the river, they can turn around and fish it. Different parts for different purposes. Who knows. I’m not a lawyer.

      Reply
  3. Quill Gordon

    Signs and rules; two things humans seem to have a real hard time with. As Opening Day approaches, here at Fish in a Barrel Pond, I am working on a prototype for a sign that features flaming letters 10 feet high, and that’s just the friendly reminder for members to sign in when they are on the property.

    Our insurance guy doesn’t like it one bit but just wait until he sees the new signs about picking up after their dogs.

    Had a guy park his truck with the nose less than 10 feet from a brand spankin’ new No Trespassing sign this weekend. When I confronted him he said he didn’t see the sign. By the time he left he was very, very aware of the sign and, when I went into town later, I was pleased to learn that the legend of the Cursing and Hopping Lunatic of Nonesuch Mountain had another chapter.

    Reply
    1. Ken G Post author

      Things have seemed a little quiet on the the Qull front. I assumed with the thaw you got busy. I didn’t know it also included chasing of trespassers. I should have assumed as much.

      I’ve considered offering the City of Yorkville my sign creation services, but they’ve got this bug up their ass about things being aesthetically pleasing.

      I think they found out about the toilet planter in my back yard and saw all the fish and duck profiles made of sheets of plywood. I think it all looks good. Especially the splatter painted smallie and the star spangled banner carp. I wish I could tell you I’m joking about that, but I’m not.

      Reply
  4. walt franklin

    Ken,
    I think one of the problems here is that we’re assuming that these gap-toothed fellows can read, or have the desire to read. I doubt that the pot-bellied toads I’ve come across sitting with bait in lawn chairs just beyond the special regs signs were capable of that, or much else, for that matter.

    Reply
    1. Ken G Post author

      Walt, I would imagine the same disregard for regs even crosses over the trout line. Not something I see mentioned very often in TU magazine. I’m the type that will still go up and say something, I can’t not do that. One of these days it will get me in trouble.

      Reply
  5. Raptor

    In my view, I had squatters rights to fishing in that spot.

    If the project was funded solely by the City Of Yorkville, that would be one thing.

    But the project was a joint effort, and the DNR funded a kayak park with money that is put into their fund by fishermen, and then tell fishermen that they can’t use the water.

    Charge one special interest group, for the exclusive benefit of a different special interest group.

    The same funding inequity suffered by fishermen and hunters’ special taxes and license fees that provide for upkeep in our state parks that are used by bunches of people that don’t pay any special taxes or license fees to recreate there.

    My fishing license fees, and taxes that I pay on sporting goods equipment funded that park.

    I hope the arrogant neuvo-riche inadvertently eskimo roll ad infinitum.

    Reply
    1. Ken G Post author

      You’re proving my point. Always an excuse.

      1900 feet set aside for the use of others that want to use the river and not get hooks in their feet and you can’t find any other place in 56 miles to throw your lures.

      Standard fisherman bullshit.

      Hopefully you have kids, I’ll go walk them around in that area next time. Hopefully they’ll get one of your hooks impaled into their foot up to the bone.

      Using your logic, since I helped pay for all the streets and roads in Illinois, I’m going to do 65 mph on all of them, even in school zones, in a semi-truck.

      Reply
  6. Raptor

    I can and do find plenty of other places to throw my lures.
    That had always been a favorite spot to take my disabled wife to still-fish.
    Still-fishing isn’t my bag, but the DNR/Yorkville could have at least thrown the fisherman a bone and enhanced the river side of the island a bit with the eye towards the fisherman.
    A couple scoops of the dredge and a wing dam or two.
    Instead they left it featureless and barren, and focused instead on spending millions on improvements for one group of enthusiasts.
    I’m betting that the Geneva store received some healthy incentives to locate there too, much to the chagrin of one of Yorkville’s oldest established businesses.

    Reply
    1. Ken G Post author

      If I recall correctly, there were meetings held where the public had the opportunity to give their input. If it’s a matter of access for those with disabilities, that should have been brought up. Even without the the chute, you still had to at least be able to walk down there.

      Also from what I understand, Freeman’s was given the initial opportunity to do something with the building where Geneva Kayak is located. They chose to wait, wanted to wait a year to see what happens. The city didn’t want to wait.

      I’m assuming you know who HnG is on the forums. He was out there the other day and did pretty good. It’s all in how you fish and fish it. No different than any other spot.

      It’s my experience that anglers don’t want to get involved at the beginning when there opinions may actually matter. But they have plenty of opinions of what should have been done after the fact, when it’s too late. I’ve been going to all of the meeting I can about the Blackberry Dam removal. DNR, Army Corps…they actually do listen to what we have to say. But you have to show up.

      Reply

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