It seems that some people tried to pull a sneaky move and get bass fishing tournaments in RI all but banned completely.

Some unscrupulous people somewhere decided that bass fishermen, specifically tournament bass fishermen, should not be allowed to hold tournaments between the hours of 12 Noon and 8 PM.

What does this mean for you, the tournament bass angler? It means that any and all 8 hour tournaments that normally start at 7 Am and end at 3 PM will become history. It means that all of the weeknight tournament trails will become history.

This really sounds like the work of lakeside property owners here in RI. It’s pretty sad that people who own property on a lake think they actually own the whole lake, including the state-owned boat launch.

Here’s the part that gets me. Bass Fishermen pay tens of thousands of dollars into state and federal coffers every year. This money is supposed to be spent on maintaining the boat launches and improving the fisheries. The way this money is generated is via a federal excise tax that is put on fishing tackle. Every time we buy fishing tackle, we are also paying for the boat ramps, the access areas, the fisheries management, etc.

So what do the lakeside property owners pay toward this? Nothing, Zero, Zip. Not a penny.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the recreational boaters that have seemingly been whining too, about overcrowded boat launches. What do they pay toward the maintenance of these ramps? Same thing.. ZERO. Not a penny.

So why is it that we, the tournament anglers are targeted? Because we are visible to the general public, which makes us easy to target. When someone pulls up to or drives by a boat launch and the parking lot has 10 – 15 trucks and trailers parked in it, it makes us easy targets.

Supposedly their complaint is that we cause the parking lots and launches to become unusable because we overcrowd them.

Everyone has the same privilege to use the launches and parking areas. If we happen to get there first, it seems that this bothers some of them.

Do yourself a favor. Make your voice heard on this issue. Get in touch with DEM and tell them that you disagree with this proposal. Here is the necessary contact info to make phone calls and to send emails to.

W. Michael Sullivan, Director
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908-5767
(401) 222-2771
Fax 222-6802

Michael L. Lapisky, Chief
4808 Tower Hill Road
Wakefield, RI 02879
(401) 789-3094
fax 783-4460

Dudley, Christine – Freshwater & Anadromous Fisheries Biology

When you write or call, please be sure to be polite, but let them know that the idea is a bad one.

I believe that if we make our voices heard we will defeat this ridiculous idea and put it to rest quickly.

So.. speak up and be heard to preserve our rights to use the public launches.

Now go bag a hawg.

Curt <><