The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

October 29, 2012

60 million potential outdoorsman votes should get politicians attention

Tight Lines
Rick Goines

TARBORO — The fishing community is a big part of those potential 60 million voters comprised of outdoor enthusiasts that also include hunters, shooters, and conservationists. Statistics prove that fishing is the largest participation sport in the USA. We are a force to be reckoned with, and need to use it to our political advantage. Let’s support and vote for those candidates that have our best (fishing) interests at heart.

I remember my 9th grade civics teacher telling us that it was our obligation as citizens to be an informed, educated voter. See, Mr. Dwight Mackenzie, I WAS listening!

I encourage you to educate yourself about where candidates stand on issues that affect the outdoor activities we love and enjoy. The media is inundated with more information than you want or probably need. I prefer to get my information from places other than paid political ads. If you are an outdoors person planning to vote, you might check some of the current fishing and hunting magazines, blogs, and web sites. They are addressing specifically and directly the viewpoints of the candidates as they pertain to outdoorsmen related issues.

Neither presidential candidate fishes nor hunts, but their future executive action will certainly impact those of us that do.

Please seek accurate information and vote, and encourage others to join you. It’s a privilege, and the American way.

Hotspot of the Week: Still getting great reports that inland waterway fishermen are enjoying success catching Speckled Trout. Keep your legal limit if you must, then please catch and gently release to preserve the fish population for the future.

I have learned that some of those rude, inconsiderate, selfish buttheads that are ignoring rules, regulations, and limits go to great extremes to catch and keep more than their fair share. Some are very sneaky and deceptive. They catch their legal limit, come ashore to offload, change clothes, switch boats, and go back out looking like a different person to catch more. My guess is that these jerks and jerkettes are selling their illegal fish to markets and restaurants. I hope they ALL get caught, and slapped with maximum fines.

Take away fishing licenses from some of these yahoos for a year or two, and you might get their attention.

Rick’s Soapbox: I just finished a new book by the legendary fly fisherman, Lefty Kreh, titled “101 Fish, A Fly Fisher’s Life List.” Lefty has spent many of his 80-something years fishing, and writing about it. Maryland was his home base for 30 years.

Being a Marylander, born and raised, as a youngster I read many of his articles, and enjoyed some of his books, and held him and his fishing knowledge in high esteem. In his latest book, he relates world-wide fishing experiences and outings, devoting each chapter to a specific fish.

In the chapter on Hickory Shad, he speaks very highly of the Roanoke River at Roanoke Rapids, NC. Describing his boat launching and fishing location, he was actually in Weldon, but I think you get the point. This world renowned fishing expert and writer is extolling the virtues of abundant shad fishing, less than one hour from my driveway. I’m impressed and excited about that.

Maybe we should invite him to come to Tarboro, and try out the Tar River about mid-March. For several weeks during the peak of the shad run, I think the Tar River at Tarboro can stack-up against the best of ‘em as a top notch shad fishery.

You don’t have to be a fly fisherman to enjoy this book. I’m thrifty these days and got mine at the library, but certainly you can find it in most book stores. It might make a good Christmas gift for the fisherman on your list.

Care to share? Tight Lines welcomes your fishy snaps, tall tales, and outrageous lies at CarolinaAngler@Gmail.com.

See you on the water, my friend!