March 6th, 2006

Saltwater Fishing License
By James Castwell

Walk in to nearly any 'Watering Hole' within smell of 'the salt' and announce that you, "think a license to fish to salt is a good thing." Do it if you have a death wish, that is. An announcement like that would be sure to raise the dorsal fins of the denizens thereabout. But it might be true.

Whoa there. Dock your oars or shiver your jib or whatever you salties do just before you belay a 'LL' (land-lubber). I think it's on the way and there may not be much of anything you or I can do to change it or hold it back. There are simply too many factors at present that make it probable. Some governmental issues like the Magnuson Act and other factors are some of the reasons. The word on the waves is that it will be upon us and has the potential to help things for us. Yes, us the fishermen and even fly-fishermen.

"Like how in the *&%$ can making me pay for something that is free now going to help me," you might ask? The answer could be all B.S. and spin but here goes. I will try to lay out the ideas as I have heard them to this point. I haven't sorted all of this out yet and may have a few things wrong, but like today's national news, 'to hell with the facts, just get the story out there!'

For many years fishing in the salt, right or wrong, has fluctuated and has been the subject of more than a few nose-bloodying's between some commercial and sport fishermen. Both claimed sovereignty and were not too shy about it. The health and numbers of many specie rose and fell with the tide of the ocean and the winds of government in Washington. As a result those making a living, notably the commercial interests, grew strong by joining forces and grouping together in various unions and associations for the mutual protection and influence in aforesaid Washington DC.

With the new grab for dollars (licensing of salt-water fishers) there will be a record of numbers and the potential for unity and influence from the side of the sport fishermen. At least that is the 'smoke and mirrors' being played out at this time. It is said that a great thief can steal the gold from your fillings and make you thank him for it. I hope this is not such a situation.

Will time tell? Sure it will. Maybe nothing will come of it, but don't bank on it. I see it on the way. The word of the politicians is investment. Every time they create a tax or raise one they call it 'investing' in something. I am sure they will be explaining how this new license money collected will be 'invested' in things helpful to everyone who fishes in the salt.

Remember, I may have a few things wrong, but you heard it here first! ~ JC

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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