By Capt. Scott Fawcett
With refunds showing up in the bank this August, I would like to take a little time to discuss “taxes”. It is no secret that the significant shark population along with their aggressive behavior has gotten truly out of hand on the Treasure Coast and entire eastern seaboard over recent years. Tales of ten tuna “taxed” to catch three, recreational fisherman and professional guides feeding cobia after cobia to the trained bull sharks just so a single angler can “catch/boat” a limit of one. Permit are facing the same dilemma. Snapper, grouper and amberjacks being eaten by ferocious sandbar sharks and Goliaths. I understand how disheartening it is to lose a quality fish to a shark or Goliath and as much as we want that snapper for dinner and to conquer that next big fish that bites, there comes a time when captains and anglers need to accept defeat and move on. Once your pegged on a spot rarely does the problem get better.
Yes, the heart of the problem are the sharks, but as responsible anglers. please do not keep feeding them! I come from a long line of hunters and sportsman. I come from a time when you took the time to find the animal you took your shot and if for some reason you could not locate that animal or, if the coyotes or other predators got to it first, that was still your tag for the season, period…end of story!
I believe that the vast majority of fishermen (and fisherwomen) pride themselves on their ethics and morals. I am hoping that maybe, just maybe, some anglers are just not realizing how detrimental this is to the fishery! Moral of the story, Taxed Fish Count Too.