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CAPTAIN'S CORNER

With more and more boaters, JetSkiers and parasailors out there, a little awareness and consideration would go a long way toward promoting good will.

I've heard half a dozen heartbreak stories of anglers getting cut off while fighting tarpon; by either unknowing or inconsiderate operators of watercraft.

Keep in mind not all fishermen are dropping lines straight down. Many cast 50 feet or more in all directions. Once hooked, it's not uncommon for one of these monsters to peel off on a 150-yard sprint and if I'm close enough to cut someone's line, I'm entirely too close.

I don't drive through groups of Jet-Skiers out of consideration and awareness that, as operator of my boat, I am responsible even for my wake. I'll stay clear of parasailors because I understand they need room to get those chutes up and down. They have the right to be out there making a living and having fun. I would hope they show me the same respect if they see me anchored and fishing. Too often, we've been "buzzed" by operators of personal watercraft _ sometimes within a cast. Probably, if they knew how long we had been stalking those fish, they would have kept their distance.

While the gulf is for all of us to enjoy, there is plenty of room out there. Let's use it and not crowd each other.

_ Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.

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