Should people be shark fishing near the beach?
City Council discusses shark fishing regulations at Wednesday's meeting.Photo: Video by fox4now.com
BONITA SPRINGS- Should people be shark fishing near the beach where people swim? Some condo owners say that's exactly what's going on near their home and it's downright dangerous.
Diane Frazine lives in a condo right near the water in Bonita Springs.
She says she sees it all the time, fisherman baiting and chumming for sharks too close to shore.
"Many times I see people in kayaks and canoes paddle out and throw chum out into the water.
They come back in and stand there and fish," said Frazine.
Diane wants the city to do something about it. She worries someone will get hurt.
"The safety factor... my grandkids go out there and swim."
Those in the fishing business worry any attempt to add restrictions could end up going too far.
"I don't chum for sharks. Chumming wouldn't impact me directly, but if you ban chumming
of sharks on Bonita Beach in a year from now in another town hall meeting, you'll be banning shark fishing," said Captain Eddie Challinor.
The city said in Wednesday's meeting, they can't ban chumming or shark fishing without legislative approval, but it's something they will look into next legislative session. In the meantime, council voted to ask the county to put up informative signs warning people about the dangers of baiting sharks too close to shore.
"People were concerned towards the end of the beach where it isn't a designated swim area.
They don't want chumming down there, but again that would require legislative approval," said Mayor Ben Nelson, Bonita Springs.
Sanibel island doesn't allow chumming close to the beach shore. I asked Mayor Nelson about possibly putting a similar regulation in place in Bonita Springs. He says it a possibility, but it would require legislative approval.