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So tonight I had a new experience. I was shooting the Ohio River in southern Indiana and a barge comes through. No biggie. I've passed hundreds if not thousands of barges safely in my lifetime. So the guy is about 50 yards upriver, and absolutely BLINDS us with his spotlight. No big deal, he's just looking out for us. Well we were about 15 yards from the bank on the INDIANA side. All of a sudden, he gets on his loudspeaker and blasts out, "PROCEED TO THE KENTUCKY SIDE NOW." He was moving very fast for a barge, and was pretty close, so it would have been suicide to try and cut in front of him. So we stayed where we were at. Now, I have the utmost respect for barges, they are the most powerful thing on the river and can be dangerous. So I'm giving him the benifit of the doubt. Maybe he knew something I didn't. So I thought nothing of it. We were about 50 yards from the barge. A completely safe distance. All of a sudden, a giant bighead breaks the surface right next to the boat. I hit the lights, we all three lay into the fish, after fighting him for about 30 seconds, I hear over the loudspeaker: "TURN THE LIGHTS OFF WHILE I PASS. PLEASE AND THANK YOU YOU LITTLE F***HEADS" he then proceeds to blind us with the spotlight again until he was well downriver, I hear again: "HAVE A NICE DAY YOU C***SUCKERS". So, first he tries to order is to make an unsafe maneuver, second, blinds us with the light, and third starts cussing me when I am doing nothing wrong and am just trying to enjoy the river. Btw, we were the only boat on the river at that time so I know he was talking to us. Anyone see a problem with this? Didn't catch the name of the barge or get any numbers.
 

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If it was me I wouldn't have worried about the fish and hitting the lights while worrying about the barge passing, me or you being blinded while sitting near the bank isn't as big of a deal as the barge operator being blinded, but I wasn't there and don't know all details like how wide the river is??? How far could you actually get away from the barge??? 50yds isn't much, but have been lit up by barges at night also. The thing to remember even though we all share the water that they are working, and we are playing out there...
 

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Note to self: make sure to load the flaming arrows in the boat next time... That kind of language is unwarranted regardless of right-of-way. If their employers knew about it, something would probably be done. It reflects very poorly on them, and in the business world that can cost them a lot of money. In retrospect, what you probably should have done was give five short blasts on your horn to signal you couldn't comply. But they probably would have just smarted off about that, too. A loudspeaker might not be a bad thing to have on a boat, come to think of it. It really would have been good to get the ID of the boat. Or a video.

But seriously, it is downright stupid for them to disrespect people that way. Shots have been fired over much more trivial matters on the lakes here. A towboat is a sitting duck for a man with a rifle. Some very expensive damage could be done to one is short order. And all because someone had to feel big and powerful by bullying some boaters. Hell, I dare say there are some people out there that would have boarded them over words like that!
 

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I think you shouldn't have hit your lights with him being so close. I woulda been pissed too. But he coulda handled it without the profanity.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If it was me I wouldn't have worried about the fish and hitting the lights while worrying about the barge passing, me or you being blinded while sitting near the bank isn't as big of a deal as the barge operator being blinded, but I wasn't there and don't know all details like how wide the river is??? How far could you actually get away from the barge??? 50yds isn't much, but have been lit up by barges at night also. The thing to remember even though we all share the water that they are working, and we are playing out there...
that's thing is I told my buddy, he IS after all working, and I gave him the benifit of the doubt, until he started cussing us and put his light on us for the second or third time and kept it on us even after he was past us
 

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that's thing is I told my buddy, he IS after all working, and I gave him the benifit of the doubt, until he started cussing us and put his light on us for the second or third time and kept it on us even after he was past us
The cussing ya on PA was definitely uncalled for that is for sure.....

When he lit you up for 3rd time shoulda turned around and dropped Trou and mooned him...

But like driving on the highway or boating on the water, doesn't matter who's right or if they're wrong, I always take the approach that right of way is dictated by tonnage, even if I have right of way I am not playing chicken with much bigger vehicle or vessel
 

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I was on horseshow bend this year and one barge passed another in the turn at what had to b wide open. Lucky I was on bank enjoy a drink but had I been on water idk if my boat still b floating.
 

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I agree I wouldn't have hit the lights. And if I did do that I would expect the barge captain to be a little upset. It wouldn't have bothered me one bit for the barge to say what he did. I've heard worse profanity and been called worse for doing less. Heck you cant drive down the highway without being called a f.... a... hole around me. Guess just learn to have thick skin when dealing with people in the northeast
 

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Most people just don't understand the tonnage that those guys are moving around. They can't just stop or make a quick turn to accommodate us all the time. I'm in no way supporting his behavior, but their stress levels are extreme high when encountering unknown people on the water that may or may not know what they are doing.
 

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I try my best not to use my lights if any boats are near. At the least I tilt them way down on that side. I think you should have stayed dark until they were a couple hundred yards past you.
 

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We arnt picking on you either. Just gotta remember it's a hobby for us compared to the captains career. They work long stressful hours. No excuse for him being unprofessional but you gave him a reason. Not the end of the world. Remember what you teach toddlers. Words don't hurt you, sure it won't be the last time someone calls you a mean name justified or not
 

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We had one light us up last year, but he didn't use the PA. We were further downstream across from Ill. and at least 200 yds or more from the barge. The 1st time he lit us up, I thought he was just marking our position or seeing what we were, but every time we turned on our lights, he'd swing his light around and keep it on us for a few seconds. After a few times, I let him know he was no. 1, and let him pass before turning my lights on again.
 

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Call me stupid, only been around a few barges on the KY a few years ago but if a twinkle boat can't hardly blind me from seeing the river/lake for navigation at 50 yards (think US Open 2014 when we were stacked on top of each other) then how the heck does lights right on the waters edge blind a barge operator 20-30' up? Also, I suspect he has full on gps nav and possibly auto-pilot engaged yes? Non-moon lit nights I run full nav cause you can't see the banks and can't run lights other than the red/greens, he is a professional and can do the same.

It is possible that your timing more than the lights pissed him off thinking you flashed him on purpose? I wouldn't worry about it, he didn't fetch the water patrol on ya.
 
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