Looking For Recreation? Governor Says Go Fishing

An executive order allows for fishing season to begin early. This recreational option allows for appropriate social distancing.

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One thing many people are craving during the coronavirus restrictions is recreation. There is a lengthy list of activities people can no longer do as they maintain social distance. But Gov. Ned Lamont is allowing one popular outdoor sport to not only continue but to begin early.

With an executive order issued Tuesday, Governor Lamont opened Connecticut’s inland water bodies for fishing. The aim is to provide a safe recreational activity that allows for appropriate social distance.

“I think it was a really good idea to try and prevent the crowds from gathering on opening day,” said Zack Hitz, owner of Zah’s Bait & Tackle.

With the season opening nearly three weeks early, bait and tackle shops are scrambling to open. Although it was a surprise announcement, shop owners are taking advantage and stocking up. Frank’s Live Bait & Tackle in Marlborough is open year-round and has inventory in stock with more set to come in this week.

“We’ll have another 5,000 mealworms coming in. Four thousand nightcrawlers and 60 pounds of bait,” said store owner John Frank Planeta.

Those with rods and reels, are also ready to go.

Fisherman were out today, taking advantage of the governor’s executive order, which calls on those fishing to do it as a solitary experience and avoid large groups.

“It’s not that hard to stay distant from everybody while fishing especially because you don’t want to cross lines or anything I’m sure,” said Andreas Guliani who was picking up a fishing license today.

According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection website, all fishing laws and regulations including licenses will be enforced.

Fishing isn’t the only recreational activity the governor has addressed. Golf courses were initially asked to close but instead they found a compromise.

Courses will be allowed to open with restrictions. Clubhouses will be closed. Carts are discouraged and walking recommended. If carts must be used, there will be a limit one person per cart and payment should be made remotely.

As for fishing enthusiasts, they’re excited for the opportunity to drop lines in the water.

“The good thing is you can go down the river and catch a dinner now,” said Planeta. “Wherever you want to go and you can sit on the river bank and enjoy yourself.

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