RE: Balog on new Florida regs Definitely not an overstep. Four 2-pounders and your choice of kicker. Want more? Bring a buddy. Want even more? Bring an ultralight spinning outfit and fill the remaining cooler space with panfish or catfish.
So what makes it right? The idea that it's almost zero risk, with the assumption that it has the potential to bring about greater good, both economically and recreationally. It's just a good move.
If the conversation is about food for those who fish to eat, and that this could ultimately lead to starvation on their account of conforming to a rule change on one species that represents five out of the 77 fish they can legally keep in a day well, that's not a very good argument.
A bold move is a risky move. Risk for who? In this case, it's the harvester. This is about harvest limits. The argument is nowhere else. The study that backs up the argument is linked on the state e-reg page. It states that the majority of the bass aren't over 16 inches to begin with in most Florida lakes. So an angler, by the numbers, is likely going to harvest mostly 2-pounders to begin with, whilst within the legal limit. So on most days, according to sampling and harvest records, he's going home with 10 pounds of bass. Add in 50 bream and you're looking at another 15-20 pounds. Now shove another 25 crappie in the cooler and you've stacked on another 10-15 pounds.
Those 20 stripers will need their own cooler there's another 20-40 pounds, maybe more if you take home your legally permitted 24-plus-incher. Cooler No. 3 will hold 30-35 pounds of your two peakocks and 25 eel (tasty?). So at the end of the day, if you're by yourself, you have to drag 100-plus pounds of fresh table meat back to the truck.
So on the average, with the new regs, you take home your 10 pounds of bass. Prior to July 1, 2016, that could have been 13-14 pounds. So the argument is centered around 4 pounds out of 100 pounds of fish you could have kept in a day, or 4 percent of potential table fare for our hungry fishermen. Four percent already seems low-risk, but considering what the family can consume in one day is a fraction of the daily limit harvest cap, you're knocking on near zero effect on anyone's livelihood.
That's pretty low-risk. And in absolutely no sense is it bold.