Very few of the lakes in the Front Range and Metro area come with additional regulations meant to help anglers and the fishing in general. One of these places has a “boating while fishing only” regulation on the signs posted all over the place. The local management spends a decent chunk of change on the installation and repair of these signs so it is a bit frustrating when I see people’s absolute disregard for them.
Take Barry Boater here…just got himself a shiny new red pontooner and taking lil Jr. for a paddle. They went all over the lake. First to the east side and then to west side, hugging the shoreline at times and floating out in the middle at others. Little Jr. was having a ball getting sun burnt hanging out on the mini-platform designed for the electric motor.
“I don’t think they have caught a single fish.” I mutter watching them from a distance.
A few hours later I just so happened to be at the port-in\port out area just put in the volunteers and local management while Barry Boater comes paddling in. Right away I see the reason for their poor fishing success…they didn’t have any poles.
“How did you guys do out there?” I ask with a little tongue in cheek sarcasm. “Catch any fish?”
“Naw. We weren’t fishing.” He says nonchalantly. “Just got the new boat here and wanted to try it out.
“No poles, huh?” I start to chuckle a bit losing my poker face. “Did you check out this sign on the way in? Says here you should probably try to fish a lil while boating.”
Barry looks at me completely perturbed, the audacity of anyone pointing out rules and signs even with a non-ranger, non-badge-carrying smile on their face. Really this was a minor infraction and lil Jr. was having a ball out there. Out of all the things in the world that I could complain about this was so far at the bottom of the stack my anger and frustration was too lazy to reach that far down to make this a major issue. This guy is going to get off with some mild hazing.
“Just got the boat and wanted to try it out.” He repeats a bit more forcefully.
“Yep.” I acknowledge with a nod. “It’s a nice pontooner. Got one myself and don’t blame you a bit. If a ranger sees you he may give you a bit of grief. Just slap a fishing pole on the side next time and they won’t give you a second look.” This is news he can use.
He just looks at me with a bold frown and packs up. I’m probably coming off as a complete tool. I am often misunderstood and wipe the instance from my mind and continue fishing. Just then a ranger on a mountain bike speeds across the trail and practically ambushes me for a fishing license check. If you have not seen Ninja-style park rangers on mountain bikes…you do not fish in Longmont. This guy meant business and I presented the proper credentials instantly thanking him for his efforts. For an added anecdote I mentioned “Barry” and the fact I was giving the guy the “business” for not fishing.
“I don’t think that is a regulation.” The ranger exclaimed handing me my license.
“It’s right there on the @#$%^ signs all over the #$%^ place!!!” I was a bit unnerved as the conversation went on and might have come across a bit belligerent. When the ranger unclipped the holster strap to his side arm it reminded me that some people might not be as concerned about certain specific boating regulations.
“Pick your battles.” I remind myself. “This is so not worth a bullet to the leg. A bullet to the leg if I am lucky.”
My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.