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It's very easy to catch the good guys.

Look at their statistics: How many stops vs. infractions citations and convictions.

The bad guys do not behave like the good guys, operating in the broad light of day in well trafficked zones.

It's busy work to build statistics.Not that that's a bad thing but it's very low hanging fruit, which in the end means very little.
 

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Last couple of times I have gone out here in Panama city they stop every type of boat (well not sure about commercial boats) fishing poles or not. Check safety equipment. Takes about 2-3 minutes. They count heads, count jackets, show a throw-able device, toot the horn, show a fire extinguisher, "thank you have a nice day sir". Then they stop the next guy coming by and go through the same drill.
 

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The reason that FWC is there and stopping boats is that it is their mission. It's an important part of the task of accounting for what is caught, checking license's all of which is important to the final product, our fishing bag limits and season lengths. I say let them do their jobs in peace and co-operate with them. As the season heats up you will see FWC agents on the docks checking the commercial catches and every now and then you will see a boat sited for a short fish. Getting stopped and checked is random as best as I can tell. I have never been stopped and checked myself or on other boats I have been on. So far all I have gotten from FWC has been friendly waves as I go by. I can live with the friendly waves or the stop and check if they pull me over.
 

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Hey guys! This is all very frustrating to read how many people believe that it is ok for our government to violate our civil liberty's on a daily basis. We see it so much that some of you see it as the norm and expect and accept it in your life. It is not ok for a government agency to harass anyone for no good reason other than because they can.
In case you haven't noticed you law abiding guys who have nothing to worry about are already giving nearly half of your income in taxes! Boat reg., fishing lic. and fines are just a glorified tax. The state of Florida or the USshould have no more right to a fish in the ocean than we do. Please, tell me what right they have to tell me what to fish for. If you think this is a free country stop working for a month and see what happens. Far from it, they even harass the guy living under the bridge. I don't mean to sound bitter because I am lucky to own a boat among other things and be able fish. Only onthe weekends when uncle S lets me. Goverment agencies in general are going to far invading our everyday lives. I know even the most liberal citizen has to see that!
Anyways, I was stopped in the channel heading out of Destin pass, I was on plain and the FWC turned around and stopped me in the channel. Heattached to my boat and we started getting rocked by other boats going by full throttle. His boat ended up scratching the name or letters on my boat and banging us pretty good. I was a little mad but I was more shocked at how irresponsible and desperate the officer must of been to check me for no reason and to no avale.
The hipocracy to be stopping fisherman left and right and turning their head to the BUI's leaving crab island every single afternoon speaks volumes. PEOPLE are getting killed everyday in boating accs. and they are worried about the snapper, come on get real!
Lets hope common sense prevails
 

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They are paid to catch people who keep illegal fish. I would think that checking people's fish to see if any are illegal would be a pretty good way to catch people with illegal fish. There isn't another way to do it. I am happy to see government employees doing their job in a way that makes sense.

If you can think of a way to check for illegal fish without stopping a boat and checking itI am sure they would like to hear it.
 

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Cat Cap, If you don't think this is a free country try going overseas and try just speaking out about the regulations like we are able to here in USA and you will wind up a statistic. Just tell the FWC officer next time you are stopped that is your right that he not search your boat without a search warrent. He can't but he will find a safety violation which he can check.
 

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sealark (20/04/2010)Cat Cap, If you don't think this is a free country try going overseas and try just speaking out about the regulations like we are able to here in USA and you will wind up a statistic. Just tell the FWC officer next time you are stopped that is your right that he not search your boat without a search warrent. He can't but he will find a safety violation which he can check.
This country isn't near as free as it use to be and if we're not careful we're going to end up just like one of those countries overseas that you talk about. Just take a look atsome more recentarticles on CNN for proof our freedoms are under attack.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/04/19/second.amendment.rally/index.html?hpt=Sbin

http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2010/04/13/evening-buzz-state-run-militias-needed/?iref=allsearch

http://caffertyfile.blogs.cnn.com/2010/04/16/do-you-hate-the-government/?iref=allsearch
 

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<UL>
<LI>I can't argue we live better than most and for that we are very lucky. I just think were headed down a road that was never intended to be. I not saying the officer is doing anything wrong, he is doing his job as he was told to do it. It starts at the top. I treated the officer with respect even after he damaged my boat. You are missing the point. bui vs. illegal snapper hello!
</LI>[/list]
 

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Is it really necessary to spend the money and resourses to pull over nearly every boat that comes through the pass or set up at the 9 mile line when the seasons were different. Why don't we start pulling over every pick-up with a redneck in it and check them for illegal deer, I think they may start getting pissed. I would probably qualify by the way.</p>
 

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I am all for <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">LAW ENFORCEMENT but I am the fisherman!!! <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">NOT THEM!!!<span style="text-decoration: underline;"> If they see a person commit a crime than go bust their butt! If running my reg. # off my hull results in a "hit" than stop me and ask. If I tilt a brew in their view or weave, pull me and check me. A cop on the beat can run your tag and if it is clean and you show no offenses, you roll on your way.

Same needs to go for boating and fishing.

A big gold necklace no more a drug dealer makes than an array of gold anodized reels does a fish poacher make!!!

If you are walking down the street you have the right to decline "social contact" with a LEO and if he insists with out PC, you can put up all kinds of stink as your civil rights are infringed...

I don't steal (poaching is stealing) thus I feel I have a right to take high offense to being <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">SUSPECTED of such! and just let a security monkey expect me to stop when the silly alarm at El Marto del Wal goes off for no good reason...

Brent<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">
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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I don?t mind the FWC doing their job, I abide by the laws and have nothing to hide.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> If they stop me, which happens quite often, I?m back on my way in just a few short minutes.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> I get more irritated with the employee at Walmart that stops me as I?m leaving and wants to see my receipt.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> That?s the joker I want to smack in the head, I feel like he?s accusing me of stealing.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </p>
 
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