Jisoo Ku Jserra Catholic HS 10th Grade
I consider myself a patient person, but there’s something about the art of fishing that drives a person to the edge of his patience and tolerance. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate fishing and all that it has to offer: peace, nature, camaraderie, and, most importantly, thrill of reeling in a catch. Yet, there are things beyond our control (perhaps even beyond nature’s control) that can ruin or tarnish the experience. Most prominent of those concerns involve fishing companies and their attempts to swindle customers out of their rightful fishing rights in an attempt to net profit from the sport.
My cousin took me to Little Warner Basin, also known as Santa Ana River Lake. We arrived at the ticketing office, where we were charged ＄33 to enter the facility. I initially wondered why people were forced to pay what seemed like an exorbitant cost to fish at a natural facility. I was later told that because there were such few fish naturally born in the waters, fish had to be transported from the beaches into the lakes. I was excited by this prospect. I pictured a serene lake swarming of wildlife fish, but in reality, the lake turned out to be nothing like that. Considering it was Christmas Eve, there was a fair amount of people hugging the side of the lakes, but all seemed exasperated as they looked blankly at their empty nets.
I decided to test my own luck and put up my own fishing pole. Ironically, I reeled in a large trout within minutes, but my luck ran out quickly thereafter. I sat waiting for hours, hoping to see the tiniest movement to my fishing pole. Fishing is a game of patience, but that day, my game seemed particularly off, as I tapped my feet in frustration. Others fishing seemed to share the sentiment, as most took their poles and left emptyhanded after a couple of hours. My cousin and I seemed to stay the longest as we waited desperately for a final catch.
Fishing companies purport to filling their lakes with enough fish to warrant a cover fee in addition to a signed agreement that any one individual cannot catch more than a certain number of fish. This hardly seemed to be the problem, however, as most at that lake would have been happy to leave with just one. A certain fishiness seemed to fill the air as I left the lake with my one trout proudly in hand - how could anyone really verify the veracity to the company’s claim that the lake was abundant in fish? Were fish really transported into the lake or was that a ruse to fool more people into coming? Are the customers the ones getting fished? The area gets blurred, especially when nature overlaps with proprietary interests, but it’s important, more than ever before, to keep honesty and fairness at the forefront in our dealings with natural sports.