Of Man and Fish

5 Jan

Here is a little known factoid about me….. I like to fish.

That’s right, I’m a little more country than most of you probably suspected.  I enjoy the peace and quiet that you get when you are sitting on the shore or in a hidden little cove with a bobber floating on the surface of a glass like pond or lake.  Some of the best times I have had in the last year or so have been those precious few mild afternoons after work when me and my honey would sneak away to the lake and, even if I decided I didn’t want to fish, I could enjoy the warm breeze blowing through my hair while I enjoyed a good book and the easy banter with the fellow fisherman on the dock as we bid our time waiting on “the big one.”

As I speak, my boyfriend is at a honey hole, probably drowning some bait, but hopefully catching some crappie.  At any given time, if you look close enough, you are likely to spot an angler; we all have our secret spots, those places where we know we are almost guaranteed to catch a fish.  Some of those places just happen to be posted no fishing… and that is the problem.  Near where we live (and not far from where I sit at this moment writing this rant) is some of the nicest fishing to be had, unfortunately its illegal to fishno fishing there.

Las Colinas, Texas, a little hamlet of the city of Irving, where there are boutiques and upscale apartment homes.  Home of the Four Seasons resort and country club and several Fortune 500 companies, it was one of the first “planned” communities in the country.  It is also home to a sprawling network of cobblestone lined European canals that intertwine though the city.  Brides flock to this hidden gem for dazzling portraits and where if you watch for it you are likely to see a gondola float by, quite possibly with some nervous man preparing to pop the question to his lady-love.

There is also some awesome fishing to be found in these little nooks and crannies.  On a recent spur of the moment late summer fishing expedition, while fishing under a stone waterfall a friend of ours caught a beautiful 15 pound catfish (the story with this fish is a point of contention for me as we had been fishing for more than 2 hours with no bite on our lines and had finally given up and were packing up for the night when he dropped his line in the same spot I had been right under the falls and as soon as his hook hit the water he snagged that little beauty, so technically that was my fish, but I digress.)

My boyfriend is full of stories of him and his friends fishing these canals and catching some monster fish, if, of course, you know where to go.  However, this expansive network of canals are all marked “no fishing”.  It makes no sense to me since the city stocked these canals with fish.  Why go to the trouble of stocking the water if you are not going to allow fishing there.  It’s not just Las Colinas that I find this problem, across the DFW metroplex there are tiny ponds and water holes that hold these behemoth fish that have been allowed to grow to gigantic proportions and some of these best little fishing spots are marked no fishing.  Now, I can understand if it is private property, farmer Joe doesn’t want someone trespassing on his land and getting hurt and it being his fault but on city or government-owned “public” land it boggles my mind why anyone would deny you the right to fish.  I don’t know, maybe that is part of the mystique to it is that you are not supposed to be in these places that just seem to make the fishing that much better but it would seem to me that as long as I am being polite, cleaning up after myself and not disturbing the peace, there should be no logical reason for me not to be able to fish on public/government land, especially for someone like me who is typically a catch and release kind of angler.

I have searched and asked Google to the point that Google has started to roll its eyes at me every time I ask but have never found an answer to my query, so I pose it to you, my followers, that maybe you can enlighten me.  Why are we restricted from fishing in relatively public places?

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