A story about a crab

Some 38 years ago I found myself sitting in my van, parked  on New Pass shore, drinking a beer and waiting for the Seatrek to dock. I needed amberjack for sharkbait and the Seatreck’s captain would be returning soon from a scuba charter. I found myself watching this redneck fisherman pulling fish from his net in the shallow water while his 2 young boys played on the beach a few feet from the boat. I say he was a redneck because he looked like a hardworking guy, busting his ass at his job. Also, his neck below his crewcut was weathered and red. I also noticed a beer sitting on the boat cushion next to him. His boys, about 6 and 8, were teasing a  beached blue crab with some seaweed so it would open its claws.

 “Dad! He’s snapping!” One of them called out.

“You boys keep messin with it, you’re gonna find out what dem pinchers are fer.”

I couldn’t help but think about when I was a little fart playing with a crab like that and I DID find out when it clamped onto my finger. I was five, maybe. Anyhow, as I pulled from my beer, this limp-wristed hippie type rushed toward the curious boys, scolding them!

“Hey don’t hurt that little crab! It’s got a right to live in peace. Put it back in the water!”

The kids were dumfounded. Just then the father jumped from his boat and snapped at the hippie. “Fella, ya better back off my boys, they’ll learn without your help. Now git down the beach and read some poetry, smoke pot or somethun before I kick your ass!”

I nearly spilled my beer, laughing so hard. Yep, a rednack.

At the time, I didn’t put much into the episode. But closing in on 60 now and looking forward to grandchildren myself, I’ve thought of this episode and many others since. As a commercial fisherman and shark hunter for more than 30 years, I’ve had many run-ins with the limp-wristed, hysterical,  PETA types. “Save this, save that.” It doesn’t much matter it’s always the same old-same old…the sky is falling.

Like the last Debate from Dr, Hueter, the shark God from Mote Marine Lab. He claims that 2 decades of shark conservation is threatened by a resurgence of kill fishing tournaments (see my website for the article and response letter). This king of overfishing propaganda is at it again!

I’ve battled these environmental idiots for 30 years! The whole time they’ve claimed these top-of-the-line predators need protecting. They’ve been predicting the demise of the shark all these years. Fact is, if you know what they eat, and where and when to fish for them, they are plentiful, nothing has changed. But if you don’t know how to fish for them (seen many sharks at Mote lately?), then I suppose they are ‘dwindling in numbers.’

I’m telling this story because my grandfather always said, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Unfortunately, these limp-wristed, tree-huggers, with the help of government regulations and catch limits, etc., have been squeaking for more than two decades. Far too long, I say.

It may become illegal for me to fish with my grandkids. Eventually the politicinas will regulate and tax fishing out of existence. And you hunters out there better watch it too. Big Brother wants to take your guns away. Tell me what you think, remember, the squeaky wheel. They need to to know that you’ll fight for your right to hunt and to fish.

To all you tree-huggers out there, before you call me everything in the book, I’ve already been called everything. So let’s not waste your time or mine.

The Sharkman

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