March 27th, 2000

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories. . .

Busted!

By Bob Stark, (bb, Host Dreamer)

It all started in the summer of 1989. I was still a plug chucker back then.

I'd returned home for the first time since moving from the Sandhills of Nebraska to Ogallala. My mother and I were fishing on a small impoundment called Cub Creek. A great little lake for everything from cats to Tiger Musky.

Now I try to follow the law as closely as I can. However, this one day I had a major brainfart. Must have been the initial onslaught of absent-mindedness.

I was rowing around, couldn't use a trolling motor since the boat wasn't licensed. I was fishing the outside edge of weedbeds for bass when a HUGE walleye picked up the bait.

Anyway I lost it . . . it straightened the hook. Then I notice the Game Warden.

He calls me into shore and says "That was a nice fish that you had on, Bob." I told him the story, and then he mentions that he didn't see a lifejacket in the boat. It is then that the sudden realization that I had just broken the law hit me! I felt about 2 inches tall, I'll tell ya. He then asks if I at least had a throwable . . . I said rather coyly, that I didn't.

He shakes his head and says " Bob, if you would have just had the throwable, I could have let you slide."

Well out comes the "book," I sign on the dotted line . . .and $46 later, we are talking fishing. And just generally chatting up a storm.

You see, this Game Warden knew me since I was a teenager. He is a great guy, as are most Game Officials.

Most folks get upset when they are cited, but if they stop and think about it, the guy is just doing his job. If you get upset, get mad at yourself for not following the rules, not at the Officer.

You can bet your bottom dollar that I have that vest everytime I'm on the water, and I'm wearing it. Just to make sure that doesn't happen again. That's embarrassing! ~ Bob Stark, (bb, Host Dreamer)


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