Above photo taken by Steve Domjan at the Bowl. Thank you Steve, you could have been sailing you

  • Above photo taken by Steve Domjan at the Bowl. Thank you Steve, you could have been sailing yourself instead of taking photos of me.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wishing I was Fishing


This summer did not really deliver big wind. It was kind of light. When it did happen I found myself sailing bigger gear in the GSB.  And that really aggravates all my aches and pains. One day this Summer I kept running through these big schools of Blues chasing Bunker into bait balls. The last place I like to be is sailing through a Blitz. Bunker and Blues smell, and can attract much larger predators. So during a session this Fall: which was by no means epic… I found myself wishing that I was fishing instead.
That got me thinking about the NY Long Island Fishing Lobbies.
Why? Well because those like me, are often referred to by the LI Fishing lobbies as “surfers posing as dedicated beach anglers”, or not “real fishermen”. They do this in an attempt to discredit any surfcaster who doesn’t agree with them. For the most part it works. Most people have such a need to belong to a group…any group; that they are afraid to speak up. I have witnessed this bullying within the anonymity of an on line posting board. And my wife was first exposed to it this May during a NYS State Parks and Recreation meeting.
This was the meeting when the State announced that it was opening up its Parks to more user groups.
One guy who calls himself Doc. ***. went so far as to write an article about us posers in
'The Fisherman' this April. My favorite part was when this PHD of something I suppose, emphatically called the State of NY “foolish” if they were to allow Kayaks and windsurfers to launch from Sunken Meadow State Park. Perhaps if he had done some research; he would have discovered that these activities have been allowed there for over TEN years! And without one conflict.[I'm pretty sure you need to do research to earn a PHD.]
It’s not just him. At the May 13th meeting some other “Retired” went on about how it would be nice if he could fly his model airplane at Bethpage State Park. Really? If you were so into model airplanes how did you not know that there is an aerodrome for that specific purpose at Bethpage? 
Next we heard from someone who considers himself an expert on surfer’s behavior. He proceeded to complain about surfers changing out of their wetsuits in public view. He waxed on about the indecency of his kids being exposed to naked surfers.

Now get this… not more than 2 minutes later. Right after the resolution to open up the State Parks to more water sports was PASSED by UNANIMOUS DECISION: his friend “Dump Truck” sitting next to him and his kids, proceeds to call the NYS Parks Board a bunch of scum%@gs! Considering the emotional trauma they have already endured: I can only hope they will not be scarred for life .
All of this shenanigans in an attempt to prove that Fisherman and Surfers don’t mix. [ a rouse to keep some of Long Island’s most beautiful beaches the exclusive domain of a select group of fishermen.] He went so far as to state that fishermen are a danger to surfers. [I appreciate your concern Doc., but Mother Nature has proven to be more of a hazard, then some redneck fisherman tossing bucktails at me in the line up.]
Heck I am more of a hazard to my own safety than a fishhook. And the several times I have been hooked, I’ve been on an empty beach, without a fisherman in sight.
So if I am sitting in my office dreaming of catching a 40 pound striper: Do I have the right to refer to myself as a “Fisherman”
If I am out surfing, windsurfing, or participating in any other waterborne activity, and I have the same thought: I am a “surfer posing as dedicated beach angler”?
This all came about because a good deal of us Fake Fishermen had the audacity to ask the NYS Parks why many of the nicest public beaches in the NYS Parks System are for fishing only? It’s not like there are no other people on Long Island.  In NY, the Fishermen organized in the 50’s. And their brand of “fake environmentalism” convinced those in power to set aside the majority of the States “outer Beaches” exclusively for fishermen and their families. They are some of Long Island’s most beautiful, and remote beaches.
With public beaches disappearing at a record pace:
Everyone, needs to get over themselves and stop practicing localism, including surfers.
It is not 1950 anymore.
Surfcasters need to realize that they don’t own the beach. If they don’t; and fail to build a true coalition of “Watermen”…Someone else with a lot of money will own the beach, and we will all be shit out of luck.

1 comment:

McPhilly said...

Good ending. Well said.