Let me tell you about dock law. I mean the kind of dock you fish from, and swim.
I have one across the road on the canal. It's a modest little thing. For the privilege I pay the village of Smugleye-on-Lake $100 per annum plus a little to my insurance company for an SOL-required $1 million liability policy.
To get it I had to run a nearly year-long political uprising against the SOL village council which a few years earlier decided "no new docks adjoining city right-of-way." For reasons you would find boring, this was a piece of statist, intrusive, purposeless nonsense.
We won the point. I paid the city extortion, bought the dock sections, and in two days of heavy grunt labor in cold water, installed them. Since then I've raised and lowered the deck three or four times to maintain a convenient height above the fluctuating lake levels. Each shift eats up about a half a day.
The Iowa DNR is not to be denied, either. Until a couple of years ago, little docks like mine were called "Class 1." While you had to endure a bit of senseless paperwork to get the state permit, they were free. Then came a gleam in the collective politico-bureaucrat eye. "Hey, Sidney, if we start calling all the Class 1 docks Class 3 docks we can squeeze a $125 registration fee out of all those rich bassards by the lake." Done. Absolutely nothing in the real, physical world changed except a noticeable reduction in this rich bassard's bank account and a concomitant increase in cash for DNR drones to piss away.
One more thing before I get to the red meat. It isn't my dock. Because it abuts a piece of property which belongs to the village (it shouldn't), every goddam fisher-couple and their six low-average kids from Humboldt, spewing used Pampers and Lil Debbie cake wrappers in their wake, have exactly as much right to it as I do. Yep, I clean up after them Monday mornings.
Now I note your sarcastic remark that this doesn't sound like cause to go full-Mencken. In fact, I agree. No throat-slitting is justified, but in a just world I would be permitted, nay encouraged, to hide in the bushes and snipe at their too-tightly- jeaned fat asses with my Daisy Red Ryder just because the slobs are fouling my usufruct.
Because this morning I went down to collect the makings of my first crappie breakfast of the season. I dressed the yellow lead-head jig with a piece of worm, tossed it in, and moved the rod butt toward my handy rod holder, attached to a dock stanchion.
What sort of snake-belly SOB goes to a bit of trouble to steal a 50-cent semi-rusty piece of iron? From a usually harmless old guy who, as detailed above, rather heavily inconvenienced himself to enhance your weekend away from the trailer park? Jayzuss. Aren't their any garage sales in your declining neighborhood?
I will dream tonight of catching this spawn of the social cesspool and beating him severely about his nether regions before the grand finale, to wit: Strip and spread-eagle his Bud-Lighted carcass, pour four ounces of high-test gasoline over his pubic hair and light it off while humming the Campfire Girls' arrangement of This Little Light of Mine.
What could be fairer?
Otherwise rather pleasant, since you're kind enough to ask. I caught many, but only four were big enough to kill. As God is my witness, God made no better breakfast than eight small crappie filets less than an hour from their spring frolic in 45-degree water to the hot cast-iron. (You fry them in about an inch of butter, just so they don't stick to the pan.)