Another day, another dollar.   

The slow season:  The dead of summer.   Pompano failed this year.   Two years:   30 pompano per day, I was booked five days a week.   No pompano, no trips.    Will it change?   Not sure.    I kept waiting for it to change and it never dead.    Everything else crashed.     Even ladyfish.    Even trout.   Three trips with zero trout caught?     Never happened before.    Efforts to locate fish:  Mostly unproductive.    I have never seen it this bad.    What to do:  Me, I am going after the governor.    It will be big news on here.   Will he come through?   Will this fail?   I can tell you:  If I am not successful I may be turning my back on Florida.    I’ll pick up stakes and I’ll live out my years somewhere that the fishing is good.    I thought it would be here but right now it isn’t looking good.    Did the county poison the water?     I am having extreme difficulty getting answers.   Something has been messed up.    As human beings:   We do a terrible job with our planet.      I’ll go to Texas.   Texas gets it.     They do things right.   Florida, more of a joke every day.  

Every day.   They are still after Angel Hernandez.   One article said, he rates out pretty good as an umpire but no one likes him because of X, Y and Z.    Well, X, Y and Z are your problem, not his.    Joe West used to be the one to hate.   Now that he is approaching the record, we don’t hate him anymore.    Messed up world.    Just messed up.   

The great rains of summer.   They’re here.   Daily.   I haven’t turned on my hose in ten days.    Shifted to the normal summertime pattern after six days of all day rain chances.   Now it will be 4PM for the next four months.    Three straight days:   Heavy rains.  Everywhere but here.    It was literally raining across the street.   Hard.   My driveway was dry.     That is just how it goes.    It will hit here.  

Woman arrested for stomping sea turtle nests.     OK.   

One thing that definitetly didn’t get better with time.   Music.

December:  I turn 50 years old.    Yep.   Half a century.   When I was getting ready to be born someone was walking on the moon for the first time.   I’ll bet you didn’t know:   I was named after that guy who took the first step.

Anyway, party is planned.   Kenny’s 70th, my 50th:   We are going to combine it into one party.  

Life is attitude.   There were enough things to take away from attitude.    I went to the positive.   Even though some things are really not good, I’m not letting it hurt the attitude.    But if things don’t improve some changes to my life will be necessary.  

Parents brawl at seven year olds baseball game.     Nothing new.    I dealt with this my first year umpiring.    The beauty of mine:  I embarrassed the parents, banned them from the field.    The next day, after setting up the fields (my job) and before the games started, two of the parents I banned jumped me.     In the height of my athletic days really.   I heard the footsteps, turned and I clocked the first guy.   The second guy is standing there, thinking about it.   The mayor walks up, looks at me.   Looks at the guy on the ground and says “I want to see Neil beat your ass in front of your kid too.”   The guy walked off.    The guy on the ground was out.    My only knockout in my years.   The legend of Neil the umpire.   It was two years later they were shooting at me.    So, the brawling parents doesn’t impress me any.

The lack of respect for the office of the President of the United States baffles me.      I will put it this way.    I really don’t have an opinion this time.     There were two presidents in my lifetime I couldn’t stand but I didn’t cut them down they way people are with this guy.     And this guy “isn’t a politician.”   I’m voting for him again on that alone.   All my other dealings with politicians are a complete failure.  

I see Madonna is giving the Pope advice now.

Boycott Yuengling Lager because the owner likes Trump.   I went out and bought three cases of it.   Are we this stupid?   Nevermind:  I know the answer.   I got into trouble for posting a joke photo.   Got a lecture on how smart the woman was in the photo.   Well I didn’t even know the woman in the photo, I thought the joke was good.    The feedback was good.   This guy said how intelligent this woman was.   Listed her educational accomplishments.    People came on and said that having an education doesn’t make you smart.   I agree.    I still don’t know who the woman is.   Seen her name in the news but I never paid it any attention.     I actually unfriended some people on Facebook.  Very unusual.   I simply got tired of what they write.   To me it borders on hatred.   I figure:  I don’t need it.  

The talk of a Holocaust in America.    That’s interesting too.   Are they right?   I don’t think so but what do I know.    I think we have a president that a small percentage of people don’t like.    I would say easily:  Most everyone I know like having someone who is not a politician, a politician.  

I would say whatever it was they did to the fishing it also poisoned me.    What a strange ten days.  

The temporary nature of life.    Everyone alive, won’t be alive for long.    It continues to recycle.    I’ll be gone.   You’ll be gone.   What will we have done with our time on Earth?

People are lazy.  With my plea.   Only a few good responses.

Examples:

Mr. DeSantis,

As you are well aware, we are in dire need of change when it comes to water resource management in the state of Florida. Although you took swift action upon taking office, and signed the FL Red Tide Mitigation and Tech Development initiative last week, I sincerely hope you understand the sense of urgency around the matter. We CANNOT have another Red Tide like last year. My fear is that it is already too late. With the heavy rainfall that we’ve already had, I’m anticipating Red Tide reports to start coming in. Please take every action possible to expedite the initiatives that you have already put in place and the many more that we need to get things right.

As for management of our fisheries, the system has been broken for a long time. We need to give more of a voice to the people who are constantly on the water. Utilize the abundance of fishing guides that you have to your disposal in the state of Florida. Not only do they have the most relevant data possible, but a majority of them will supply the information for free (versus the cost of relying on FWC and other sanctioned agencies). Please, I’m pleading with you, work with Neil Taylor and Scott Moore. They will provide the data and insight necessary to ensure proper management of one of our most important resources. Their many years of experience and continuous involvement in the fishing industry is invaluable. These guys will point you in the right direction and make positive changes that the state of Florida needs.

It is my understanding that Neil Taylor has reached out numerous times to no avail. Please listen to what he has to say. He is one of the good guys. I have the upmost confidence that he can make a positive impact. A perfect example – he has been fighting for our snook fishery on the west coast of Florida ever since the freeze of 2010. He warned against opening the fishery for harvest too early. He was right. Now, we find ourselves in an emergency closure. To Neil’s point, snook should have never been reopened for harvest. The emergency closure is proof-positive that Neil was right. I’m sure he has countless other examples that he can contest to, if you give him the opportunity. Please do so, Mr. DeSantis.

As for myself, I have been an avid angler in the greater Tampa Bay area for 18 years. I fish every single weekend (at least), and during the week where I can. I would consider myself to be an exceptional angler. I have definitely seen a decline in the quality of our fishing, especially within the last year. I used to catch better and more fish on accident when I first started fishing (and didn’t have a clue what I was doing) in comparison to the last year. I am confident that it has everything to do with the state of our fishery. Trips that have almost been guaranteed in the past are no longer. And, it isn’t just one or two inshore species, it is every single species. Redfish, snook, trout, flounder, ladyfish, jacks, spanish mackerel, you name it, I’m seeing a decline in catch rates across the board. I’ve already made comments to my wife about moving to Louisiana. I sincerely hope it does not come to this.

So, Mr. DeSantis, water quality and fishing resource management are my number one priorities when I hit the polls. I really thought you were the guy to get this done. I’m hoping that you can validate my vote. This is your tryout term. These will again be my priorities for the next term. Please do the right thing and take into consideration the actions that I have mentioned.

Sincerely,

Removed

Dear Governor DeSantis –

I am writing to express my serious concern about the decline in Florida saltwater fisheries over the past few years.  I travel from my home in Maryland often to fish in the warmer, clearer waters of Florida and to catch species I cannot find at home.  Since 2013, I traveled 38 times to fish in the Tampa area for 142 individual fishing trips.  I also fished several other times in the Florida Keys.  Those trips required me to spend tens of thousands of dollars in Florida for lodging, meals, beverages, gasoline, fishing licenses, fishing tackle, and fishing guide fees.  I have noticed a definite decline in the past 2-3 years in the number of fish I catch and the abundance of the more desirable game species (trout, redfish, snook, flounder, cobia, and others).  If the quality of the saltwater fishing does not improve soon, I will reduce the number of trips I make to your state and may completely stop traveling there in lieu of other destinations with better fishing.

Fisheries management is a complex process.  More often than not, science and good judgement are ignored while political pressure and continuing old habits are maintained.  The current decline in Florida saltwater fishing is serious and must be dealt with to avoid losing a valuable natural asset as well as a huge economic driver for the state. 

I know fishing guide Neil Taylor and respect his dedication to the fish and the environment.  He will not shy away from a fight with other interests that want to maintain practices harmful to the long-term health of the fisheries.  I encourage you to get Neil more engaged in the decision-making and management of Florida fisheries. 

Sincerely,

Removed.

ntaylor

ntaylor

Former baseball umpire, now fishing guide. Graduate of the University of Arizona.
ntaylor

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