I just finished reading the “By the Wayside” commentary in the Aug./Sept. 2019 issue [From the Bridge by Capt. Skip Smith]. The author makes some very good points, but I do not agree with the assertion that changing the rule about letting people hook a fish and hand off the rod to an angler is, or was, a good change. An angler is one that fishes with a rod and reel. It is not one who is handed a rod with a fish already on the line. Those people are called “winders.”

Having fished many tournament­s in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, I saw the beginning of the downfall because of the money involved in order to participat­e: the expensive yachts with unlimited budgets, the paid captains and crews, and the ever-growing entry fees. Calcutta betting exacerbate­d the situation.

The increased participat­ion in South Florida sailfish tournament­s surely makes sense when you don’t have to own a multimilli­on-dollar Merritt or Rybovich to enter.

Capt. Arty Trager Via email

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