by Jeff Gross, contributing writer
Photo: Trevor Berwick, for large 1/4 striper.
Fishing on the Bay is on the upswing. Numerous friends are catching Stripers and 5-10 lb Bluefish almost daily. In fact one friend seems to go out in his kayak and it appears the Stripers and Bluefish swim to him, and congregate around his kayak. Other Rhode Island anglers are having good success catching Fluke. Some of these Fluke I would classify as “Door Mats”. It is good to see the Fluke (Summer Flounder) stocks on the upswing.
With the fishing doing so well a problem that has arisen is sharks taking a person’s catch while the catch is being reeled in. Some excellent size Stripers are falling victim to sharks in Rhode Island and Connecticut waters. These Stripers are of excellent breeding size. After Trevor Berwick’s 1/4 Striper showed up on Facebook and WJAR I stated that maybe it is time to start taking sharks again. I cannot get through to Rhode Island Pheasant hunters the importance of taking Coyotes, as Coyotes deplete the Pheasants within minutes after the pheasants are stocked. Just look what happened to the Rhode Island Partridge population after the Coyotes showed up.
The suggestion of taking of sharks drew the ire of some sportsmen. Here are some scenarios: A fisherman reaches down to grab his catch and a shark takes off the fisherman’s hand or arm. Scenario 2: I have a number of friends that fish via kayak for stripers and bluefish. Maintaining one’s balance while hauling in either species is a challenge even with a 24-inch schoolie. A 100-lb shark or larger grabs your catch while alongside your kayak and now you have the start of a disaster. Thinning the shark population is a practical way to go – just like coyotes. I know some Keyboard Warriers will take issue with this, but it is part of the job. I am one that is proactive and would prefer to eliminate any problem before it occurs.
As many can see, the weather in Rhode Island is becoming more dangerous. A few of my articles have mentioned the problem of lightning while fishing. On the “A better 401 fishing” Facebook page someone was videoing lightning while it appears they were out in a boat. Being out in a boat during a thunderstorm one might as well put a bullseye on their vessel.
I say this from experience as I have been a land target of lightning on 3 different occasions. The tree below was a 28-inch diameter Pine tree destroyed by lightning in southern RI on August 13th. Adding to the risk is now Rhode Island is seeing tornados with some frequency now. If an EF1 tornado can rip a roof off a home or pick up a Dodge Charger and spin it about like a top, your boat, kayak or canoe doesn’t stand a chance of survival.
Now I am sure there will be some “know it alls” that will state “oh, it will never happen to me”. Be warned: Fate has strange ways of making us eat our words. If you see a storm or get a phone warning – get off the water – live to fish another day. Don’t take any chances as some locations such as Maine have some phobia about using the word tornado. July 4th week, 2021, there was an EF0 in Belgrade, Maine. The EF0 missed this writer’s cabin by 1 mile. Years prior in 1997 another EF0 struck Belgrade. Again the 1997 EF0 missed this writer’s cabin by 3 miles. Both times it took some public pressure to force the Government to admit to the tornadic activity. Furthermore, in November, 2022, this writer was chased off Arcadia Mangement Area while Pheasant hunting due to some severe thunderstorms that were rapidly rolling in. After leaving Arcadia I was forced to take shelter under the RT95 exit 6A underpass as 3 tornados struck Rhode Island. There was no room to use the underpass as the sheltering spot was jammed with cars and trucks. These cars and trucks were also sheltering from the tornadic activity. Again, don’t take unnecessary risks – live to hunt and fish another day.
2nd Amendment updates
As safety in the world seems to continue to spiral downward, many people are realizing they may need to be their own first responders. They understand they are solely responsible for protecting their loved ones and friends. The status of the Second Amendment has become ever clearer in the last month. Next door in Massachusetts, a District Court judge ruled that the requirement that an out of state resident must have a written permission paper to exercise a constitutional right was unconstitutional. A New Hampshire man was arrested by Massachusetts police when he crossed the NH/MA border carrying a concealed firearm. In NH one does not a government permission slip to carry a loaded firearm under one’s clothes. Permitless carry includes nonresidents also in NH. While it is likely that Massachusetts will appeal the court decision, ultimately, the state of Massachusetts is expected lose in the US Supreme Court. This loss will be due to the fact that US citizens were not required to have a permit for a firearm at the time of the founding in 1791. In NYSRPA v Bruen 1.0 Chief Justice Roberts stated, “the fact that anyone needs a permit to exercise a constitutional right is troublesome”.
To show how out of touch the anti-gun community can be, the movement is now using racist and bigoted laws from the 1800’s to persuade the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in ruling in favor of the US government in the Garland v Rahimi gun case. Submitted briefs used laws from the 1750-1900 era that were written to disarm African Americans, Native Americans, Quakers and Catholics. Their lawyers feel these clearly bigoted and racist laws satisfy the analogues requirement of the government’s need to show similar laws in the founding era of the US Constitution. Three of the SCOTUS justices are indeed Catholic. I wonder if the racist law of 1750 where the Rhode Island government banned Native Americans on Block Island from possessing or owning firearms will be used to make a local case? Rahimi allegedly is not a role model citizen.
The courts’ decision speaks to Democrats, RINOs and Independents that the US Constitutional rights apply to everyone, regardless of their position on society’s totem pole. Whether you are a Rahimi, Hunter Biden, Gross, or Trump, there are inalienable rights that one has in the US, the moment they are born, and these rights are reinforced by the US constitution. These rights include the right to peacefully assemble, and the right to free speech.
What if this writer suddenly needed government approval and written permission to publish this article you are reading right now? I suspect the situation would end up in court within minutes or worse. I suspect that if SCOTUS rules in favor of Rahimi that Hunter Biden’s gun possession charge will fall as well. Again, 2A rights apply to everyone – the good and the bad. Whether Biden’s 4473 21E declaration is a chargeable crime will remain to be seen.
Be supportive if 2A is important to you
I just renewed my Second Amendment Foundation membership Wednesday. The cost of joining SAF is $15, the same price as a McDonalds meal. If you skip one McDonalds meal, you have your membership fee in hand. Your cardiologist will not complain about skipping that meal either. Some other great Second Amendment groups are Gun Owners of America, National Association of Gun Rights, Firearms Policy Coalition, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs. There is bias on the latter as ANJRPC’s lead attorney is very helpful in enlightening me on the inner workings of the judicial system. and also, has given me some great ideas. For less than $150 in total per year one can become a member of all these groups inclusive. It is money well spent as all the mentioned groups are fighting the anti- gun movement in the courts. ANJRPC is actually taking on many 2A cases themselves. What do you get if you give a politician $150? Probably your constitutional rights violated.
I want to thank all of you for reading these articles. What started out as a recommended distraction by my editor for me to cure my broken heart has now grown almost 10-fold. I write to get the information out there and have befriended a lot of great people in return. I thank all of you for sharing it with your family and friends.
Talk next week! – Jeff
Jeffrey “Jeff” Gross spent 21 years as an Analytical Chemist at the USCG R&D Center in Groton, Connecticut, Woods Hole Laboratories, and Helix Technologies. Changing careers is a “great learning experience for everyone”, Jeff says, and I’m an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, a student of the sciences, and the world. The US holds too many wonders not to take a chance and explore them”.Jeff is the Model Train and Railroad entrepreneur. Proud Golden Retriever owner. Ultra strong Second Amendment Advocate and Constitutionalist. “Determined seeker of the truth”. Jeff is a RIFGPA Legislative and Legal Officer, Freshwater Chairman, NRA Liaison.His subjects include Outdoors, Second Amendment, Model Railroading, and Whimsical.