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Lenard Andrews, 73. Retired Fishing Guide.

click to enlarge SCOTT ELMQUIST

"As far as I'm concerned, the second-best thing to going fishing is talking fishing. And out here, I get to talk fishing all day long if I want to. I just buy and sell fishing tackle. And look at the sign over here — Buy, Sale, Trade and Barter. It just led into it from being a bass fisherman most of my life. It just comes natural to have something to do with fishing all the time.

"I mainly sell saltwater stuff — Penn is the name brand I mainly sell. It's good-quality stuff. Some days it's good, and other days not so good. But the thing of it is, this intersection right here [near Broad and 17th streets], on a good day there's 40,000 people come through here. You've got that many people coming by, just a fraction of a percent you can do OK. I sell 'em anywhere from $15 on up — to whatever I can get. That's probably the best reel. That's a Shimano Trinidad. The Japanese can make a quality reel.

"What concerns me more than anything else? I don't believe that really that many people go fishing anymore. I've lived up here [in Church Hill] for years, and you can watch [Interstate] 95 … and in a week's time you might not see a half a dozen people pulling a boat anymore. And it used to be just one after another on the weekends, you know, five, six years ago. It has to do with the economy — I don't guess they can afford to go fishing now, you know? Now with the gas and everything, it'll cost you $100 to go fishing. And I've talked to some of the game wardens up here with the game commission, biologists, and they're concerned. Their jobs are on the line. If people aren't fishing, they don't have any job." -- As told to Jason Roop.


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