You cast your fishing line out into the Chesapeake waters. On Captain Randy Dean’s new boat, Bay Hunter, fishing is a gamble if not an act of faith. Catching a fish is not so much fisherman’s luck as it is happenstance. Fishing is about the right conditions coming together in a random, synchronistic manner. When the catch happens, it is a happy occasion.
Happenstance -- and so it happens -- being happy are kindred life experiences.
Is gambling about making money or is it, like fishing, a happy entertainment that benefits the whole world -- and you and me? Throwing money away may benefit your soul, many souls. Although prudence around one’s treasure is recommended.
Chesapeake Beach, Maryland was built during the early twentieth-century upon gambling, fishing, and entertainment. I was at Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa three days ago and played a rousing game of pinball in its entertainment room. The machine didn’t pay you back in money. Clunk-de-clunk you were paid back in more games and the fun of keeping the game, the play, alive. Other games at the resort pay cash: slot machines and bingo.
The McGill-based (Montreal) economist, Reuven Brenner, a friend of mine, points out that gambling helps the economy and the arts. Opera at Monte Carlo, and other theaters in Europe, was subsidized by gaming. Gaming, which is optional, brought down the price of a ticket to the opera, subsidizing it as well as paying the artists.
Fishing thrives on the confluence of happenstance: feeding opportunities, tides, wind, weather, and the fisherman’s intuition -- just like a random deal of cards. Fishing is an exercise in what modern physicists call the “uncertainty principle.” Below is a continuation of a story about what it is like being on a charter fishing boat with Chesapeake skipper, Randy Dean.
How Many Fish Does it Take to Earn a Living, Part 2
First Published in Bay Weekly
© 2009 Russ Barnes. All rights reserved -- writing and photos.