Yesterday the Tribune published a story saying the flats regulation bill would hit the Cabinet in February.
This caught us all by surprise, since no one had heard a peep about the final draft getting released, much less it coming up for a vote. I made some inquiries and two distinct possibilities are emerging.
- Good ole’ Minister Gray has been super sneaky and the bill is getting ready for a February vote.
- Good ole’ Minister Gray is playing politics and wants to have something positive to talk about despite the fact nothing is actually happening.
Now, the worrywart in me fears #1, but the cynic in me sees #2 as the more likely of the two possibilities.
#2 seems more possible when you talk to folks out there (people who really shhould know) and they have not heard boo about this thing moving forward.
Another very non-scientific observation from a reader out in the Bahamas right now. He’s been going about this time for several years and this year he’s seen only one other angler, which is very different from years past. It is his belief that the talk about banning DIY has caused folks seen on the flats in years past to head elsewhere. It is just one data point, but it does tend to agree with what this side of the debate has been arguing for a long time, mainly that you can’t threaten and bully your visitors and expect them to still visit.
The unfortunate bit about Gray’s comments are that they come just as many anglers are looking at their 2016 to make plans. Gray throws doubt on all of that and it is a very simple thing right now for someone just to put a different destination into Kayak. Playing politics with the livelihood of the very people he is supposed to be representing is damn near criminal. He’s either an idiot or an asshole… maybe a little of column A and a little of column B.
I’ll have my own (wading) boots on the ground in another month and I will be asking a lot of questions when I get there. More answers will be forthcoming.