Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bag Your Limit, But Limit Your Bag!

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.
Well my friends,

Afghanistan is still the same dirty and dusty crap heap it was when I left last time! Some things never change...

But, I think often about all of you back in the states, and fishing is right at the top of my mind.

I'm guess that many of you have either been out, or are getting ready to start hitting the water looking for some fish to peel line from your reels. I am willing to bet that lots of you are accomplished fishermen, that actually catch fish, unlike me, who spends a lot of money so that my kids can show me up! But to make my point, when you boat one, what are you going to do with it? Are you going to keep it, or release it?

I rarely keep anything I catch. It seems that when I am prepared to take something home, the fish don't cooperate. And when I have an empty and iceless cooler, the fish practically jump up on shore... Go figure.

Anyway, some folks are real good at catching fish, but not so good at releasing them, good eating fish or otherwise. On the fishing piers I see lots of undersize fish, inedible fish, and out of season fish, lying on the hot concrete, or head first in a plastic pail.

I've seen it on lakes too. Largemouth Bass on a stringer. I don't know about you, but runoff fed lakes in Florida are full of fertilizer and pesticides, are you really going to eat that bass?

Catch and release, that's my thing. Unless it's a redfish that's in the slot, or a Spanish mackerel that I can sushi slice right there, it all goes back in the drink after the fight. With the kids I am a little more lenient, they know that in the evening the fish they catch are going to be on the menu.

I'm not against anyone keeping their catch, quite the contrary, I like to see folks cleaning their catch and icing their fish. But it's the wasted fish that drives me mad.

And it makes the Game Warden of FWC mad too! In Florida we are very fortunate that the FWC patrols the piers and jetties frequently. I have personally seen them ticket plenty of folks for fishing without licenses, having undersized fish in their buckets, and my favorite, getting clobbered for about $300.00 for having a juvenile Goliath Grouper.

Before you keep that fish, think about what you are going to do with it. Don't put too many fish in the cooler or on the stringer. Think about next year and the fishing you are enjoying today!

Until next time!

Albert A Rasch
Member: Kandahar Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Greetings from Kuwait

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.
Greetings from Kuwait!

Holy Smokes is it hot!

But as they say, “It's a dry heat...” Like that somehow makes it more bearable. Ok at least you don't have to chew your air before you breath, unlike some days in Florida where the air is sometimes so thick, that you can part it with a knife. But still, it's hot as the devil's own furnace.

You're reading that right. 112 degrees hot!

They are being very thorough on the in-processing this time around, and they sure do make sure that the dot the i and cross the t.

The Kuwaitis have been very solicitous and helpful, but their lackeys and servant are anything but. I'm not sure where they are from, but they are rude and surly. I guess I would be to if I was beaten regularly with a switch...

The Americans soldiers are also very friendly and helpful here at the base.

The flight in wasn't all that good. First United screwed up my boarding pass, so I had to go through security twice. Then they didn't give me the aisle seat I originally had. I managed to get that fixed. Then the service on the plane itself was poor. The food was mediocre at best. And boy is the leg room limited; I'm glad that I'm not six foot tall. After a tedious twelve and a half hour flight, we finally put down in Kuwait City, much to everyone's relief.

We cleared Customs without a hitch, and were immediately assaulted by a legion of shuttle operators wanting to take us from the airport to the base – for a price... about $50.00 and maybe your head if you pick the wrong one! Fortunately I knew that there was a free shuttle; it was just a matter of finding it, and thereby saving myself the money.

Once we reached the base, it was the usual hurry-up-and-wait so common to all things military. We are in 16 man tents, air conditioned I might add, and as comfortable as you might be at home. The food is abundant, if a little bland, and there's plenty of entertainment... If you like watching water evaporating.

I should be heading into Afghanistan in the next few days. We have some more gear that needs to be issued, and a couple more shots; and then it's back to work. I'll keep you all posted!

Stay safe!
Best regards,
Albert A Rasch
Albert Rasch in Afghanistan: She had Beautiful Green Eyes…