Anglers who frequent the North Georgia Trout Online message board are reporting auto break- ins on the delayed harvest section of the Chattoga River that borders Georgia and South Carolina. One angler had over $3000 worth of equipment stolen from his vehicle while he was fishing. Here is a list of what was taken in case you run across someone wanting to sell you some high end gear that fell off of a truck:
"He smashed the rear driver-side window of my Jeep Grand Cherokee and took a 7' 4-wt. Orvis T3 with a CFO II reel and a 8'6" 5-wt. Sage Discovery with a Ross Cimmaron reel. He also took my L.L. Bean Canvas bag with my navy blazer, a navy Mountain Hardwear jacket, and Cole Haan loafers I wore out in Athens last night. (And my favorite tie.Why would you take a man's dirty laundry?) He left a 8'6" 5-wt. Orvis Frequent Flyer and Battenkill III reel, my wallet and knife, a pair of Van Staal titanium pliers and a pair of Ray bans on the dash."
The victim of the crime puts a pretty good hex on the low life scum who stole from him:
You will not find joy in using stolen goods. You might be able to afford more meth or moonshine if you sell them, but you will get caught one day. And as far as stealing someone's dress clothes, that's just mean. Now I don't have anything to wear to my grandmother's for thanksgiving on Thursday. While many crimes are justified by today's PC society, stealing remains the lowest of art forms, and it is personal. If you own either of these setups or wear anything that looks like mine and I run into you, I hope you have a receipt. The lawlessness and primal urge you surrendered to this afternoon in the woods by thieving is the same urge I might give into if I see you with my stuff. As Ned Beatty made clear in "Deliverance," your a long way from help on the Chattooga and no one can hear you scream.
I'm not so sure I would have brought up Ned Beatty due to the imagery, but it seems a pretty effective curse.
The only way anglers can seriously combat this sort of thing is to take precautions with their gear and watch out for their fellow fishermen when they are on the water. Be alert to what is going on around you and if something doesn't look right give it lots of attention. Years of retail management experience taught me that the one thing that every thief hates is attention. I would always make sure that any suspected shoplifter got the best customer service of their lives. Feel free to comment with your tips and tricks for protecting your stuff while on the water.
Personally, I fish cheap gear so it's not a huge problem for me. However, I am in favor of trained attack rattlesnakes as standard equipment on fishing trucks.