A major shift in residency has taken place in this country over the last few years. Like ourselves, many couples have taken to the road full-time, and not just retirees. More and more families are selling their houses and moving into RV's to embrace the nomadic lifestyle. Along with an outdoors lifestyle, fishing is of great interest to a good portion of these people. One big difficulty is the non-resident status for fishing licenses, wherever we may be.
This isn't as much a cost issue as inconvenience. Cost is certainly high, with three-day freshwater licenses upwards of $20 in many states ($23 in Maine plus $2 seller's fee, $23.50 in Massachusetts, $15.59 in Illinois, etc.) and more than half that for a single day. But actually purchasing the license within the time frame desired can be extremely difficult when you're on the road.
Here in Maine, where I'm currently camping, I'm about 11 miles to the nearest fishing store (actually a Walmart). I knew I wanted to fish but didn't know when the weather was going to be good enough during my 2-week stay, so I waited. When the weather finally cleared, I didn't have the license and I had to wait. Sure enough, rain returned. I ended up not fishing at all during my stay here, even though the campground I'm in is on Patton Pond, a great fishing lake. In fact, I haven't actually fished anywhere since I left Colorado four months ago.
A national license would be of great help to me and my fellow nomadic fishermen (and fisherwomen). I would easily pay $200 per year to be able to fish wherever I am on the road, especially when I am often in rural areas where licenses aren't readily available.. Fees collected could be split between all 50 states, so all those governments would get their share.
What say you, BASS (Bass Anglers Sportman Society) or Professional Catfishing Association? Are you on board, Good Sam? How about you, Escapees or Xcapers? Heck, even AARP should help pave the way. How can we make this happen?
Jack Huber is a novelist with 6 mysteries published, along with several books of poetry and photography. Now retired, he and his wife, Nadyne, are free to travel the country in their 32' 5th wheel and 1-ton Ford pickup.