Abuse of Power and insidious evil inherent in human nature, apparently. It takes many forms. You’ve all had run-ins with or heard tales of property owner’s organization member gone wild. Some ‘Joe Some” with too much time on his hands, gets elected to a subdivision restrictions board, looks up some obscure sections of the subdivision deed restrictions and harasses a “minding his own business” property owner about not filing for a permit from the deed restrictions committee before painting his mailbox.

Or another one we’ve all had experiences with is the dreaded “Speed Trap” Abuse of Power where some small town police force, under the guise of “public safety” rips off hundreds of “minding their own business” motorists for going 5 miles an hour over the speed limit. We’ve all thought that we wish we could tell the “out of control cop” that we’d rather he be apprehending some murderer, rapist, child molester or dope dealer rather than raising funds for the local JP.

For years I’ve been hearing stories about an “Abuse of Power” related to fishing, tournament fishing to be exact. Every time I’ve gone to Amistad, for the past few years I’ve heard some very strange stories. It seems the head park ranger at Lake Amistad has a dislike for tournament anglers.

I’ve been hearing tales of harassing tournament fishermen. The Diablo East boat ram has a law against riding in your boat as it is towed up the ramp, when taking it off the lake. This is the only boat ramp in the state with such a law. In fact, I’ve fished in allot of states and have never encountered such a law in any of them. In over 20 years of bass fishing I’ve never heard of anyone falling out of a boat while sitting in it as it’s towed up the ramp. In over 20 years of writing about fishing I’ve never talked with anyone who’s ever heard of anyone falling out of a boat while riding in it up a boat ramp. How could safety be an issue at Amistad? Sounds like a “personal problem” to me.

Another example of “Abuse of Power,” even more obvious, was during the shut-down of the federal government a few years ago over the budget crisis in Washington D.C. During the shut-down the park ranger at Amistad closed the boat ramps, an understandable move, but bad enough in itself. There also were numerous reports of his traveling around the lake barricading off other boat ramps, not run by the National Park Service, in effect trying to close the entire lake to access by anglers. An “Abuse of Power?” You tell me.

Here’s the “straw that got my goat.” No the guys really gone berserk!!!! He is enacting a law that requires tournament anglers to get a special permit to hold a fishing tournament. If a group of employees from Southwest Research want to have a company fishing tournament on Lake Amistad they have to get a special permit. Not only that but he wants to tell them where, on the lake they can and can’t fish, what time of year they can have tournaments and I can’t remember what else, the list is so long.

Here’s a guy with a personal grudge against tournament anglers that is using the power of his government office to create special restrictions on tournament fishing. If that’s not a classic case of “you know what by now” then I’ll eat my Skeeter cap on his “highly restricted boat ramp.”

Now I want to issue a challenge to you limp-wristed tournament types to take 10 minutes out of your busy schedule of untangling melted buzz bat skirts, to write a letter of protest to responsible government officials listed below. Your cards and letter will make a difference.

Director, National Park Service, P.O. Box 37127, Washington, DC 20013.
Superintendent, William H. Sontag, HCR 3, Box 5J, Del Rio, TX 78840-9350. Email: AMIS_Superintendent@nps.gov

Kay Bailey Hutchinson
US Senator
283 Russell, Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510

Phil Gramm
US Senator
283 Russell, Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510 – Lake Havasu

– Lake Havasu