Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Reelucky, Aug 1, 2009.
Mike's advice is outstanding! Contest the ticket and follow his advice to the 't'.
I agree with everyone that recommends contesting the ticket. I would also bring the lure and hook with you to show the judge.
and +1 for Mike's advice.
i don't need all the fingers on one hand to count the number of times i have had my license checked by WDFW enforcement folks. two days ago, we were out in the fog checking out a location for pinks. low and behold a dark gray RIB boat materalizes and drops in behing my boat. as they idle closer the guy is clearly in uniform and asks that i pull the port side gear. i acknowledge the request and pull all the lines. put the boat in neutral and wait for them to come alongside. wife has already gotten the licenses out of the dry storage hold and was waiting to hand them over. as he is looking over the licenses, the other officer asks about barbless hooks so i hand him the hook at the end of the line from one of the rods we had just pulled. he was satisfied that i had pinched it as well as i could and hands it back.
no boarding! i strongly suggest you boaters get ahold of your local CG auxillary and get them to do a boat inspection. if you pass you will be issued a decal which is magic in these situations. in february during the discoderby a CG RIB boat came at me running pretty hard, wheeled around, asked if i had been boarded by the CG, i pointed to the sticker, he talked into his sleeve, said have a nice day and left.
now there i am listening to the VHF, sector seattle broadcasting a request for a good sam help for a boat which is SINKING! i am poking around in the most amazing rip i have ever seen watching a 40 cutter closing in on me when he stops running, a bunch of guys pop up on the stern and start fishing! boat sinking - crew fishing - does not add up. the cutter was watching us C&R so he starts edging toward me, no joke, and tries to push me out of this rip, you do know the seperation between you and any naval vessel is supposed to be 1,000 yds.
by this time the rip stopped, we pulled our gear and headed for port. just another interesting day on the water with something new to see and be amazed by.
Sorry to hear you ran into the situation you described.
I've been checked by Federal and State Wildlife agents in more than a couple of States, well as in Mexico and Canada. I've also worked in support of these officers on several occasions. The interaction you described was unprofessional and far from the norm in my experiences. I definitely encourage you to plead your case before the judge with the hook you were sited for in hand as evidence. I would take another hook of the exact same type with the barb intact as comparison. I demonstrate the process of pinching the hook, etc. The reason I would appear in court is so five years or so down the road I wouldn't have to look back in time and say to myself "Gee, I should have contested that citation." I'm not an attorney but that is what I would do if I were in your position.
I'm afraid you just ran into an a**hole. And I doubt the a**hole will be working too much longer in his current job if he continues to behave in the manner you describe. File a complaint with his supervisor, too. Believe me, he gets enough complaints, he's gone.
You did nothing wrong, that's that.
You should dispute the ticket, and tell the judge exactly what you stated here=
These guys sound like wanabe homicide detectives that fell short of there goals in life-Don't let them get away with that shit, name them by name when you get the chance with the judge-
Those who abuse there authority like this should always be taken to task about it- Mike has it right, take his advice, hold them to account
Oh yeah... I forgot to mention... there used to be a WDFW officer that patrolled Whidbey that would cite your for not having a blue or black ball point pen on your person. Even if it was in your tackle box, on the tailgate, in a coat pocket in the truck... didn't matter. I happened to just have a pen in my wader pocket the day I was finally checked by him. The guy 20 yards down the beach from me wasn't so lucky...
He said not having the appropriate writing utensil on your person was basically "poaching" because you were fishing with the intent to not mark your catch on your CRC. I told him, as long as I marked my catch before I fished again, I'm legal... He said nope, you have to mark it immediately before handling the fish in anyway other than landing it. It's all how the officer interprets it... not the fisherman.
True that interpreting it differently than an officer might get your a ticket, but an officer is not an interpreter of the law, he/she is law enforcment. The interpreters are judges and lawyers from my understanding. Just because he/she is a cop doesn't mean they are more right then you.
That officer is just wrong. If you are doing catch and release, you won't have any need to write in your catch card and therefore, you should not be cited for the lack of any writing utensil. The officer cannot simply assume that you will catch something, retain it, and not record it. One wonders if some officers figure that you will not fight an improper citation because of the inconvenience.
Trent... I agree with you there mang.
Steve... Believe it or not. I asked that very question. The man also said that C&R doesn't matter, and that you are supposed to fill in every fish caught that is recordable on a CRC... I agree with you that it doesn't make any sense. But his reasoning is that the state also gets a count of where the fish are being caught and not just retained. I pulled out my CRC, and told him that it says "when a fish is retained", which to me means "kept". He said no... retained is any landed fish. :beathead:
This was about 15 years ago or more. I don't even know if the officer is even employed around here anymore. He prolly retired by now. I have not seen him in years. Just think of how many tickets were issued to people that didn't deserve them. Like the OP of this thread.
BTW... hope I didn't derail the thread...
Thank you all for your advice.
I was out again today No WDFW to be seen even though there were about 8 crab pots out illegaly. I think it was the opening day for 8-2 and these guys were filling a quota.
I have run into WDFW in many hunting and fishing circumstances and even though most officers have the charm of a whitefish they are usually short to the point and move on.
My friends are just going to pay the ticket as it is more costly to take the time off of work than to pay the fine.
I am more bothered by the idea of being branded a "cheater" than they are. I feel if I don't fight it then it will bite me in the ass later and these two officers will feel they can bully anyone.
I truly feel there is a difference between somebody trying to break the rules and one who's barb is too lumpy or the pen is red or their writing is sloppy.
Only 1 pink today BTW. They seem a it more closed mouth than anticipated.
To further my above post make sure to take at least one barbed hook of the type and size you were using to show the difference to the judge, and I would take a pair of pliers to let them try to debarb better.
Really sorry to hear, and it's just another sad example of what's going on all over our great state. Innocent until proven guilty...at least that used to be the law around here...unless Chrissy changed that as well...go to court and test it out but don't hold your breath. If the WaSPs are turning us upside down for a shake why wouldn't WDFW? Oh well, it's what the majority of our voters wanted when they cast their well-informed votes...right? *yawn*
Security probably won't let you take the stuff into the court room.
Its a possibility, call ahead first and then figure out a way for them to go in legally.
People who won't take time off to fight bad tickets tick me off, They are the reason that these attitude cops (the few) get away with it. They know most people won't show up in court to fight a $80 ticket.
I will never plead guilty to something I didn't do.
Back in the dark ages guys used to plead guilty to a domestic related ticket whether they did it or not, didn't want to fight the ticket, take a day off work for court etc. Instead they plead guilty by paying the fine and went on their way.
Then the law changed I was working in a Prison at the time, saw some good people loose their jobs because years before they plead guilty to something that was easier to pay the fine. When they could no longer have firearms they couldn't work in the prison.
What your friends are doing by paying the ticket is pleading guilty, if the law changes 10 years from now and says anyone with a wildlife related crime is no longer allowed to hunt or fish, they will be wishing they hadn't just paid the fine.
That's my fear , Eric. But I do understand their side as the day off costs them more than the ticket.
No politics please. I am already upset enough.