jaymanntoday

Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Wednesday Jan. 9, 08 -- Ire over Reef Bills; Some saucy treasure

Wednesday, January 09, 2008:

There is palpable frustration over the failure of the Artificial reef Bill to make the assembly floor. Truth be told, I’m not sure what that frustration means – or where it goes from here.

I wish I had a better read on just where angler ire can go after the initial salvo of anti-politician rhetoric now sweeping chatrooms and websites.

This is one of those instances where those elected officials who killed the bill are essentially ignoring the depth of the angler commitment when it comes to political issues. I’d like to see revenge upon the assembly dupes who were instrumental in seeing the bill never even got a vote. I’d like them to regret crossing us.

However, the recreational fishing realm is unfamiliar with its own power and may not be sure where to flex it muscles. Sure, the bill can be reintroduced and so on. But, I feel that is just perfect for the politicos who shot down the bill’s chances at a vote. To them it’s just another ho-hum ignoring of some lowly sportsmen -- who now have to jump through the hoops like dogs.

I await the lead of larger angler groups. Hell, maybe it’s safer to just take the slap in the face and go through the political process again, fearing that any aggression might lose votes when this bill comes to the floor again.

I don’t like that cowering, though.

I know this sounds like something out of a B-grade mob movie but I’d rather the legislators fear us more than respect us. Too often I’ve heard, “I respect what you’re doing but I have to vote against your bill.” I’d much rather that same politico whisper to his crony, “I wanna vote against this because my buddy is a commercial fishermen but if I vote down this bill these frickin’ anglers will have my ass.” Got that right.

Here’s just one of quite a few reef bill responses I’ve gotten. I forward all of them (w/o names) to elected officials involved with the bill.

“Jay,

I'm not happy with the lack of action on the reef bill and will continue to press Trenton for some action.

In light of the apparent about face taken by Van Drew, I think we all need to be careful about who we support to replace Saxton. I don't know what the proper forum might be but a town meeting on the Fourth of July on LBI might be neat.

Book the Surflight, an evening of outdoor fireworks preceded by an evening of indoor fireworks.

You know, we actually have some powerful allies, complete with lobbyists.

Maybe the folks at Boat US with their huge membership can get involved in the reef thing. They certainly are active fighting for the rights of boaters(ya can't get to the reefs without one) nationally and do publicize many more localized issues. I seem to recall that they got involved with the California restricted fishing zones a couple of years ago.

Should we start a sign up sheet for all those who would attend a rally at Viking Village to picket all the pols attending the annual party? Yes folks, some of these public servants can be bought for as little as a free shrimp cocktail.

The message has to be that you people in Trenton work for all of us, there are far more of us that vote than there are commercial fishermen in the state. This is not a local issue, many if not most of us live and vote in other districts. We do need to pressure our local politicians to act on the reef bill. WE MUST NOT GIVE IN !!! Ron. “

ANOTHER DEEP MATTER: I’ve had an excellent run of luck while metal detecting a new (nearby) site.

In the past week I’ve dug 8 large cents, the oldest being a 1755 Britannia cent and the newest being a pair of 1817 cents – along with a 1785 Nova Constellatio coin. All are in great shape.

But a far more significant find was a type of George Washington inaugural button (circa, 1790). This is my fourth inaugural button (three different variants), commemorating the initial electing (by 100 percent of the Electoral College) of Washington as our first president in 1789. He was, of course, reelected in 1792.

This latest button is astoundingly well preserved on the obverse (the front). It has nearly 70 percent of its original silver plate. The reverse did not weather nearly as well but that is not a problem, value-wise. And the value of these amazingly historical buttons is through the ceiling. A button of the variety I found – but in deplorable condition – recently auctioned for around $2,300.

I also found over a dozen utilitarian buttons (common usage buttons), all dating from the mid to late-1700s.

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