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June 11, 2013

I decided to hit Crystal Lake the day after Opening Bass for two reasons:  First, Crystal Lake is another one of those lakes that I’ve driven by many a time and told myself that I needed to give it a shot; and secondly, the map showed a small bay accessible via my Pelican Bass Raider that was most importantly out of the wind that was again blowing briskly out of the SSE.  Like so many of our spring days this year, it was cool, cloudy and occasionally damp.

My first intention was to see if I could nab a few crappies for dinner.  The location (small, dark bottom bay, emerging vegetation, wood, etc.) seemed ideal.  Unfortunately, the bay was paved with tiny little sunfish and I soon switched to targeting bass as I had one decent bass smack my crappie jig and throw the hook after a nice jump.  I made a few casts with single bladed spinner bait that yielded one small bass that again tossed the hook.  Since the water was cool, I slowed my presentation down and began throwing a jointed Rapala.  This technique yielded one little bass that was close to some floating vegetation.


After several more minutes without any action that fish seemed to be a fluke so I slowed down even more and switched to a jig-worm, which surprisingly yielded nada.  A little while later, I came across a nice patch of submerged weeds and thought about slowly retrieving a double-bladed, black willow leafed spinner bait over the top.  This proved to be the right choice, at least for that cast, as a scrappy two-pound bass nailed it.  Unfortunately, there was nothing more after that so I tried a slow wobbling crankbait to no avail before heading home.

As I prepared to head home and was about to load up the Bass Raider into the back of my truck I was approached by a Conservation Officer who asked to see my fishing license.  Handing him my fishing license he then asked for my Driver’s License.  Do you have your boat registered, he asked? No, I answered.  Any boat in excess of 10 feet needs to be registered he proceeded to tell me. Its only 8 feet, I coolly replied.  “Since you have a trolling motor on it that makes it a motorized boat and all motorized boats need to be registered.”  Busted. I went through all the possible replies in my head and chose to keep them all to myself.  Fortunately, that turned out to be in my best interest as I was handed a warning and told to have it registered by May 31, 2013.  If not, I would be issued a ticket.  Thanks, I meekly replied.  “Just have it registered by the 31st as I can check it on the system to see if you’ve got it done,”  he informed me in parting.

I was miffed in general with the whole need to register an eight-foot “motor” boat but the whole monitoring – police state thing really is disturbing.  As a banker, it is our legal responsibility to report cash transactions in excess of $10,000, as well as any suspicious activity to the government.  There are cameras on nearly every street corner monitoring our activity. Police squad cars are equipped with technology to scan our plates.  And then of course, there is the government data center in Utah that scans/monitors all digital communication.  This started years ago and gained prominence as a result of the Bush administrations response to 9/11 so I’m not sure, other than for political reasons, why President Obama (not that I’m a fan of his or of politicians in general) is being taken to task for this.  I first read about the government mapping all digital communications several years ago in Wired magazine, so again this seems like old news.  Which brings me to reports of the Orwellian XBox and its ability to sense the number of people viewing a movie, listen to your conversations and film/monitor your activity.  Creepy.  All in the confines of your own living room.  Wow, that really is comforting.  I think I will rush out and by one. Never.

– Hats

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