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May 25, 2007

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Fishless Georgia Man Shoots Other Angler

If the fish aren’t biting, most anglers change lures, change spots, or go home. One Greensboro, Georgia man decided to take more drastic measures last weekend when he supposedly shot another angler who was keeping fish away from his lines.

On May 19, 86-year-old John Burke Yearwood shot Craig Barnett, who, with his friend, Matthew Ferman, was fishing the Oconee River during a bass tournament. According to Sheriff Chris Houston, witnesses said Barnett and Ferman were “rushing up and down the narrow river,” causing “big splashes” and “violent waters.” Allegedly Barnett’s boat behavior was “muddying the waters,” and when that happens, “the fish don’t bite.”

Yearwood fired three shots from a rifle: two to warn the men away from his lines, and a third that hit Barnett in the arm. Yearwood was jailed on assault charges but released quickly on bond, according to Houston, because he was neither a threat to witnesses in the case nor likely to leave the jurisdiction. The sheriff said this type of behavior is uncommon in this town, which is “usually very quiet.”
--Elizabeth Cutler



I can't help being sympathetic to the old man. Actually shooting that dumb*** might be a little drastic, but firing a few rounds over their heads would certainly be justified. They must have been Yankees, no real Southerner would act that way. Lol.

Walt smith

Why would a person have a rifle with them at a fishing tournament in the first place?? Sounds fishy to me, I don't take my flyrod with me when I go deer hunting. As for the running up and down the river I would either just pack it up, go complain to the officials, or just move up or down stream. Its to bad for the old fellow though, he was just trying to fish.

RJ Arena

I remember fishing over 20 years ago on the Indian river north of Vero Beach Fl, it was a nice warm afternoon, few bugs bothering me(for a change),the fish were biting and here comes some young smart a** on his jet ski, going in circles as fast as he can, and in a manatee zone to boot! thinking of that time I can't justify what the older man did with the rifle, but I understand!


How in the hell can anyone say it is justified to discharge a weapon in any direction because someone is disturbing your fisihing spot??????? A little sanity here please..........


People were so much more polite when everyone carried a gun.


I'm pretty sure firing a gun at someone in a boat is going to disturb far more fish than whatever the victims was doing. I cannot for the life of me understand how you can get worked up over a stress-relieving activity like fishing. What is the world coming to when elderly men take guns with them fishing? Was he afraid Jaws was lurking on his stream?


The 2 men may have been punks, but nothing justifies what that old man did. He deserves to be charged. He ought to be convicted. He should lose every gun he has and the right to ever own one again.


The 2 men may have been punks, but nothing justifies what that old man did. He deserves to be charged. He ought to be convicted. He should lose every gun he has and the right to ever own one again.

David Loeffler

I can understand the anger the older gentleman felt. My reaction is that his actions were only a momentary pleasure and seem to be getting him talked about.

As for the young men. They appear to be lucky to have avoided a case of terminal rudeness.


People these days are rude and not courteous to other boaters or fishermen. Jet skiers are the worst at trying to run over peoples lines while fishing, making wakes, not slowing down, daring or provoking someone to do something about their actions. I know I have had it happen to me several times. One guy came close enough to run over the cork floats on my fishing line, laughing and carrying on, all this in a spot 900' WIDE but he needed to be within 15' of my boat. He came back a second time, this time he found himself tangled in the line I cast across his face, COMPLETE WITH 1/2 OUNCE SINKER AND 4/0 HOOK. I was quickly running out of line before he stopped his forward motion to get it off his neck. Well then he wanted to fight, this was put to rest real quick as he came face to barrel with my gun he decided to retreat. What an A$$! he was tormenting us to the point of almost getting shot. Set down, shut up and fish!


There is nothing out of the ordinary about carrying a firearm fishing. Some people carry firearms everywhere they go. Certainly, being on the water in a boat in remote areas, a fisherman should not be critiized for carrying a gun fishing with him.

I can remember a few years ago that a father in his son were killed and robbed at the boat ramp, with there truck being taken. Enough said.

Nothing justifies shooting a firearm to scare or warn a boater. That is not rational or legal. Clearly, a lapse in judgment. No excuse necessary.

Dr. Ralph

Jet skiers have ruined fishing around here. They seem to enjoy running over lines, splashing and generally tormenting fishermen. We have an early goose season in Tennessee for the resident geese and it really gets interesting! I called the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and asked them what to do about jet skiers running over decoys and they said "fire your gun, they'll get out of the way"...


Let's get some sanity indeed! You don't get to ~shoot~ at people who bug you!! Most states have harassment laws that specifically apply to sportspeople. Get a boat registration on the idiot and call your local game warden or L.E.O.
Now in the threatening jet skier case, if the boater in question genuinely feared for his health or life, drawing a weapon was justified and legal. "Brandishing" only 'cause the jet skier is ticking you off will get you in the pokey for terroristic threats and brandishing, etc. among other possible charges. Again get a reg # and call your local LEO/ Warden. And probably not casting across the guy's face to provoke in the first place would have been a good idea.
I've been in sort of a reverse situation when I used to swim an open-water ocean course and two fishermen in a dingy edged up next to the swim-only bouys and then proceeded to cast across the backs of at least two of our fellow swimmers, both female. Didn't look like an accident to us so three of us (each 6 feet+) swam up near the guys and told 'em that if it happened again to anyone, we wouldn't bother swimming in to get a cell phone, we'd just come back in a group and sink their boat and all their gear in about 50 feet of water and let them swim the 1/4 mile to shore themselves. Fishermen aren't always the innocent party....


Almost forgot, told that story to a Texas DPS State Trooper hunting buddy of mine who laughed and said we'd done the right thing in not threatening the men directly, which can generate a wide array of charges and quick trips to jail, if reported. Just ~threatening~ vandalism or destruction of property like sinking a dingy is not really covered by many specific laws and is a much less severe offense than threatening another person in any case.
And I'm gonna hope that Tennessee Warden clarified to shoot somewhere where there wasn't even the slightest chance of pellets hitting the jet skier(s)....!

Bama Dave

Yeee Haw!!!!

Ats right - I'm a BADA$$, redneck, shoot-em-up, MACHO MAN!!!!

Jis turn me loose on 'em latte-sippin, Volvo drivin libruls!

GIT ER DUN!!!!!!


Of course if you was out fishing and some yahoo on a jet ski just happened to decide to come flying by as you casted and just happened to get hooked, I'd think it would be their fault not yours. Should have steered clear of people fishing anyway.
But shooting at someone not threatening you physically isn't right, no matter how you look at it.
Heck if shooting someone cuz they are annoying was ok 3/4 of the country and most of the people in the Capitols across the country would get shot at, this is not a good thing no matter how much fun it might sound like!
You have a right to meet violence with violence to protect yourself, not blast away at anyone who irritates you.


wow thats a bit drastic u think


guns don't kill people, angry fishermen do.

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