Whitesburg KY

Fish tales

A friend of mine, who has not yet reached the age to qualify for a senior fishing license, does have an elderly lady relative in possession of said license who says she finally understands why it is so economical to purchase one in her old age, compared to what she had to pay before she turned 65.

After sitting beside the pond for more than 15 minutes attempting to tie on a fish hook the way she once could, blindfolded in a matter of seconds, she finally gave up.

She muttered in disgust, “No wonder the blankey-blank license are so cheap. There’s no danger of me actually catching a fish!”

For the record, there’s no such thing as a senior fishing license in Kentucky. Any Kentucky resident age 65 and up or totally disabled can purchase a Kentucky Sportsman’s License for 5 bucks. The license includes all hunting privileges, deer tags, turkey permit, trout stamp and seniors even get extra deer tags.

If you are able-bodied and younger than 65, the license costs 95 dollars. And if fishing is really all you wanted to do, that license alone would cost you $20 if you are young and able-bodied.

Total disability must be determined by the Social Security Administration and I can tell you from direct experience that even then, unless you are extremely patient and time is totally worthless to you, it is far more efficient to go ahead and shell out the $20 for a regular fishing license than it is to obtain a disability Sportsman’s License. If you are Social Security disabled and plan to deer hunt/live on venison, shoot some turkeys, and catch trout nearly every day, it might be worthwhile to pursue a 5 buck Sportsman’s License.

Points East

If you visit the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife website they will tell you that the cost of your license is “a donation, not a fee.” Oh please. They probably should have run that one by their lawyer. Because if you get caught fishing or hunting without a license, you will go to court and pay a hefty fine. I know of no other situation outside corrupt politics or organized crime where you’re apt to be penalized for failing to make a donation.

I’ve been able to purchase my Sportsman’s License for $5 for the last three years and must admit that I still considered it a great bargain during the five or so decades when, prior to my intimate acquaintance with Mr. Parkinson, I paid full price. On the other hand I never considered my purchase a donation any differently than the price I paid Cabela’s for a new fishing reel.

If you really want to find out what’s what with fish and game regulations in Kentucky, don’t waste your time on the Internet. I finally gave up after an hour of trying to find the license information printed above and drove over to the Berea Walmart where I picked up a free copy of the 2017 Kentucky Boating and Fishing Guide, found the information within 30 seconds, and brought it home with me.

In the meantime, when it comes to fishing, I’m pretty much in the same boat (no pun intended) as the elderly lady who inspired this column. I can still tie an improved clinch knot in a little less than an hour by clinching a corncob between my knees to hold the hook while I jerkingly go through the motions of manipulating the line through the various twists and loops necessary to achieve this basic fishing maneuver.

I’ve also discovered that a quadruple hard knot, far, far easier than a clinch knot, using braided line, also works just as well and is not apt to come undone the way it will on regular monofilament. I can still manage the hard knot in less than five minutes and I don’t even have to have a corncob.

I haven’t bought fishing line that isn’t braided in nearly 10 years. My brothers hate it but it’s the price they pay if they want to use one of my fishing rods.

In fact I spent most of the day, between daylight and dark, last Saturday, cussing my way through re-spooling three fishing reels. Before Mr. Parkinson came along, the job would have taken less than 30 minutes. I may not catch 5 dollars worth of fish but I do hope to have the full license price worth of fun trying before the year is out.

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