Covid-19 Impact on Fishing Industry; Red Snapper; and CCA STAR

So we’ve been in some level of lock-down two months, frightened half out of our wits over coronavirus. I am getting to the point that I don’t know what to believe and who, if anybody, can be trusted to tell us the truth. One take on the matter suggests that the single greatest difference between this and pandemics of the past is social media. Perhaps so. This is no doubt also the first health crisis to be so highly-politicized.

One thing that I am totally convinced of though is that while we are facing a gravely serious health threat, we are also staring an economic meltdown of Armageddon proportions right in the eye. I’m not advocating going forward recklessly in effort to restart the economy too soon; but I’m deeply concerned over millions of lost jobs, business failures, and bankruptcies too many to recover from in our lifetimes.

Think of what this has already done to our recreational fishing industry. Boat builders, marine dealers, marinas, tackle retailers, fishing guides, right down to the mom and pop enterprises like baitcamps and coastal cafes. All these pieces fit into an intricate mechanism, sort of like a gearbox. Take away one piece and the rest cannot mesh. I say it’s time to rear up on our hindlegs, the way America responded to the Axis threats during WWII. We need to demand the opportunity to go back to work, to worship again in churches, to support local businesses, and to live life as Americans have historically lived. What kind of nation would we be today if our forbears had been frightened of venturing beyond the frontier?

Gulf Red Snapper opens June 1 with a projected 63 day season. I hope the fishing will be as good as last year and lots of Texas anglers have opportunity to participate. I want to again encourage the use of descending devices when releasing these important and valuable reef fish. A poke in the gut with a hypodermic needle or other sharp object may give the illusion that the fish will be fine…it swam away, right? Well, maybe not. Venting the swim bladder is one thing, stabbing a vital organ is a death sentence. If you’re not familiar with descending devices there’s lots of info on the internet and YouTube. If we want more generous allocations and longer seasons we must be able to demonstrate that we fish responsibly. Log onto iSnapper and report your landings. It only takes a minute or two when you reach cellular phone service returning to the dock.

The CCA STAR Tournament opens Saturday May 23. STAR is a very effective membership drive, designed to encourage anglers to join CCA while fishing for prizes and scholarships. But being a CCA member alone does not automatically qualify you to become a prize winner. You must register in order to be eligible. Get your whole family signed up today, it would really be a shame for one of your kiddos to miss out on a college scholarship.