Friday, February 22, 2013

A Rant About Beachgoers!

I'm usually not much of a ranter , so this may not be full of the kind of righteous indignation expected of a full blown rant. However , I was very close to going into a maniacal rage last week on the beach in front of groups of young children , expectant mothers , and elderly octogenarians with tender sensibilities. Let me explain.

Increasingly , fishermen (like me!) are being pushed off of the beaches. We aren't allowed to fish on many lifeguarded beaches , as those areas are meant to be safe for the types of people listed above. I can accept that. Compounding the problem , fishermen pay more usage fees than other beachgoers in the form of licenses and driving permits. I can accept that , too. Add that to the areas closed for turtles and birds , and you have fishermen crammed into so called " Joint Use " areas , where swimming , fishing  , and other forms of recreation are all allowed. It's unfortunate , but again , I can accept that.

What I can't accept is the sheer number of people that show absolutely no respect for people fishing on the beach. People constantly walk into your lines , or allow their dogs or children on skimboards to otherwise molest them. It's not my fault when a pair of star crossed lovers walking hand in hand up the beach are so consumed with gazing lovingly into each others eyes that they blunder into my line and drag my rig 5 yards up the beach. But every damn time someone gets tangled in my line , they look at me like I set some sort of diabolical trap to ensnare them. I honestly believe that most of these people would step into open manholes , or walk through wet cement , if given a chance.

Then you have the Touchy McFeely's of the world , who , through an overabundance of nerve endings , stop immediately upon contact with the line. These guys and gals make a very pronounced display of looking left and right to find where the mysterious barrier to their passage originates from , only to act shocked and appalled that the fishing line is indeed coming from the rod of the fisherman a mere 10 feet away. Then the McFeely's grab the line and with a mighty heave lift it over their heads , to allow themselves and any others in their party to go under it. This is not okay. When you grab my line and lift it , it usually causes my rig to break free and move , which is undesirable. Keep your booger hooks off of my line!

Probably the worst offenders , in my opinion , are those who bumble into the line , thrash about in an effort to untangle themselves , then turn and deliberately give you a shrug of the shoulders in an attempt to convey a " Sorry , what can ya do? ". Again , let me reinforce that I am not at fault just because you have no awareness of your surroundings. If you can't see a 12 ft. surf rod in a sand spike perched at the tide line , with a large , angry man sitting beside it , you may want to seek professional help. Or at the very least , join a support group for people who touch wet paint.

It's not all bad , though. I do have to admit that about one out of twenty people will actually show a hint of respect and either cross under my line near the sand spike or completely walk around me! These people give me hope for sun lovers everywhere , and are the main reason I don't go around stomping through sand castles , knifing beach balls , and putting fish guts in soccer moms' beach bags.

My point is , show us the same respect we show you. I don't set up my sand spikes where you and your family members are swimming and playing , so please don't decide it's a good idea to swim and play where I'm fishing.

Have a great week !