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Subject: #2134: Story submissions
Submitted by Roger Dean Kiser (126.96.36.199) from on 10/05/07 5:26:34 pm:
FISHIN' FOR JUSTICE
It was a nice day as I drove through South Carolina.
Being hungry, I stopped at a McDonalds and ordered a breakfast meal. Because I had driven almost thirty hours, I decided to stay over for a few days and rest. After I ate, I checked into a local motel, bathed, went to bed and slept for almost twenty-four hours.
The next morning I walked across the street and asked the bait shop owner where the nearest fishing hole was located. After getting a detailed map, I purchased a three day fishing license, bait and headed to the lake.
Opening my trunk, I carefully took out my fishing gear, ice-chest, chair and tackle box. I put them on the lake's edge, baited up and began to fish. Within an hour the sun became rather hot and the air humid. I took a rag, dipped it in the water and placed it over my head to try and cool down.
"Good morning," said someone, walking up from behind me.
When I turned around, I saw a Game Warden with a clip-board.
"Good morning," I said, as I nodded my head.
"Catch any fish?" he asked.
"No sir, just relaxing and wasting a little time." "Can I see your fishing license?"
I reached in my shirt pocket and handed him the three day license I had purchased at the bait shop.
"Can I see you driver's license also," he requested.
"I see the name on the driver's license is spelled Kiser and the name on the fishing license is spelled Kaiser," said the warden.
"The gentleman at the bait shop must have written it wrong," I told him.
"Well, I am afraid I am going to have to write you up for fishing with an invalid license and I am going to have to confiscate your fishing gear."
"You've got to be kidding," I told him, with a surprised look on my face.
Sure enough I was written up and all three of my fishing rods and tackle box were taken and placed in his truck. I was told that I would have to pay a fine and that my fishing gear would be sold at auction.
I stood there almost in tears as he drove away. Those rods and reels were very special to me. They had been used to teach my children to fish. They had been used, for more than twenty years, fishing with all my friends, and relatives, who were now all dead. All my memories of fishing the California Delta were held in those three fishing poles and tackle box.
After returning to my home in Georgia, I telephoned South Carolina trying to explain the situation, but no one would listen. I was told that the Department of Fish and Game had a "zero tolerance" for fishing and hunting violations.
Finally, in tears I paid the fine and gave up the fight.
About nine months later, I received a letter in the mail. I have no idea who it was from as there was no return address. On a plain piece of notebook paper read "Auction for the Department of Fish and Game held this Saturday at 11am."
On Saturday, at six in the morning I drove out onto Interstate 95 headed to South Carolina. By ten o'clock I had found the auction. As I looked around there were hundreds of rifles, bicycles, several trucks, numerous boats and piles upon piles of fishing equipment.
All at once, there it was -- my wonderful stuff all thrown in a pile as if it were worth nothing.
I reached down and untangled my three fishing rods from the large pile. I removed my shirt and t-shirt. After putting my shirt back on I took my t-shirt and I began wiping down the three Daiwa rods and the three Ambassadeur reels. The tackle box was no where to be found.
As the auction began I took my seat. In my wallet was twenty-seven dollars. For more than an hour I waited for my property to be brought to the auction block.
"We have three identical rods and reels here. I guess we will sell this as a unit," said the auctioneer.
"Fifty dollars," yelled someone in the crowd.
"Fifty one dollars," yelled another man.
I rose from my seat and I walked out of the auction.
"Sixty-six dollars," I heard as the bidding continued.
"One hundred dollars," came another bid. The auction became silent.
"One hundred dollars once, one hundred dollars twice, one hundred dollars three times. Sold for one hundred dollars," went the auctioneer.
I walked to my truck, got in and placed my head forward onto the steering wheel and just sat there.
I jumped as I heard something hit the side of my truck.
I turned around and saw the back of a man putting my three rods and reels, and my tackle box into the back of my truck. When he turned around I saw it was the same Game Warden who had written me the ticket almost a year ago.
As I got out of the truck he stuck out his hand and said, "I wasn't wrong. It's the law that is wrong."
I shook his hand, thanked him and drove away with memories in tow. I cried as I crossed the South Carolina-Georgia state line.
True stories from “The Life and Times of Roger Dean Kiser, author, child advocate.
After unloading our boat my son and I headed town the Sacramento River for a day of fishing. Earlier that week Roger and I had found a nice fishing spot located in Potato Slough, just off the San Jaquine River. It was quiet, out of the wind and the currents were perfect for catching striped bass. It was important to me that I teach my son exactly what catch and release meant. That a sport could be very enjoyable without having to kill anything.
We fished for several hours before the wind began to kick up. The waves became rough and even more so when boat after boat passed us, at a high rate of speed, heading into the various marinas along the river.
One large fishing boat slowed down when he noticed us sitting up in the tall weeds. He immediately turned and headed in our direction. I was surprised when he pulled up, less than twenty yards from us, and began tying up his boat. I watched as he threw out ten or fifteen open cans of dog to chum up the fish, which was illegal. I was surprised that within minutes he had caught a large twenty or thirty pound fish.
He baited up again, stood and cast out his line. When he did the bait flew off the hook and fell into the water. From out of nowhere, and I mean from out of nowhere, a large pelican swooped down and picked up the floating bait.
The fisherman reeled in, baited his hook and once again threw out his line. The large bird dove after the bait and grabbed it before it has a chance to sink. The man jerked back on his fishing pole, as hard as he could, hooking the pelican in the beak. The bird letout a high pitch scream and began to fight with all its might. The fisherman, his fishing poled doubled over, continued hauling the screaming, frightened bird up to his boat. Most of the time the large Pelican was being drug beneathneath the water
“What the heck are you doing?” I yelled out.
He paid me no attention as he hauled the terrified, half drowned flapping bird up into his boat.
I watched as he fought with the animal. There were arms, legs, wings and water flying everywhere. While holding the large bird between his legs he reached over, grabbed his tackle box and pulled out a large knife.
Thinking he was going to cut the fishing line, I just stood watching. All at once he grabbed the bird by the neck and flipped it upside down.
“What are you going to do?” I screamed.
“This son-of-a-bitch won’t eat anyone else’s bait. I’m gonna cut off his damn beak.”
I reached over, grabbed my flare-gun and stuck a single cartage into the chamber. I stood up and pointed it toward his boat.
“Put that bird back into the water, and I mean right now, mister.”
The man stopped what he was doing, looked in my direction and just sat there.
“And just what are you going to do with that damn thing you stupid idiot?” he yelled back.
I looked over at my son, his eyes now as big as saucers and a look of horror on his face.
“Roger, get on the radio and call the Coast Guard, quickly” I instructed.
He just stood there, petrified, unable to move.
“I mean it. I’ll shoot this damn thing right into your gas tank, if you touch or harm that bird in any manner,” I told the man. I nodded my head toward him in a very sincere manner.
The large man stood up and turned to face me.
“I mean it. I’ll shoot this thing and they won't find much left of you, except maybe a few small pieces,” I told him.
He stood there for several seconds then reached down and grabbed the bird around its neck. I cocked the flare-gun and pointed it in the directly at the side of his boat. Quickly, the man threw the bird out the back of his boat and then he faced me once again.
Staring at me, he pointed his finger and began to shake it up and down. "I'll get you son-of-a-bitch," he told me. Dropping his hand, he turned and walked to the front of his boat. Starting the engine he gunned the motor and backed out of the tulles at full throttle. Roger Jr. and I watched as he gave us the finger and then headed up the river.
“Dad, would you have shot that man with that fire pistol?”
“I don’t know, son. I just don’t know.”
The Pelican swam around for about thirty minutes before it came up to the back of our boat. Roger yelled with excitement when the large bird jumped up onto the backseat and began eating the anchovies we were using for bait. We both just sat there laughing.
Very slowly, I reached over, opened the ice chest and took out another package of bait. I held out a small fish to the bird, which he took from my hand. Surprised the Pelican was not afraid of us. I handed the package to Roger and sat watching as he fed the animal. After about fifteen minutes it was time for us to head home. As I stood up and the bird flew off the transom and moved away from the boat.
I could hardly believe my eyes as the Pelican, for almost three miles, flew several hundred yards above our boat. When we pulled into B&W Marina, the large bird swooped down, right above our heads, gave out several loud, high pitch crys, then it turned sharply upward and continued to climb.
Was it because we had food on our boat or was it that the pelican wanted to make sure that we arrived safely. I don't guess we will ever know the answer to that question.
Roger and I watched as the pelican became smaller and smaller and finally disappeared into the distance. I am nopt sure if this happened because we had food or because the Pelican wanted to see that we too got back safely. I guess Roger and I will never know. The smile I saw on my son’s face was worth a million dollars and it stayed there the entire trip home.
True stories from “The Life and Times of Roger Dean Kiser, author, child advocate.