As I understand it, at least in NC, you must have a fishing license if you are using artificial bait but you don’t have to have one if you use live bait. I can’t understand the reasoning. People have been feeding themselves and their families for all time by fishing. Being that there are more blue collar and lower-income people fishing for food to feed their families, how is this not the same as a tax on the poor?
You have a good question here and good points
Natural resources such as fish are a publicly owned resource. As everyone has a stake in the resource people are licenced to use it. The licencing fees go back and are used to manage the resource so that it will be sustainable. Some of the fees are used at government owned Fish Hatcheries to fund the work that they do to sustain our fishing. Some of the fees are used for developing or fixing fish habitat. The fees are also used to fund Gamewardens as they protect the fishery from misuse.
Now you make a good point that people feed themselves with these fish all the time, and thats a valid point. But we all use the resource as it is common property and by having licencing fees it helps to sustain our fishery in the long run, as if we didn’t have them it would be depleted as we tend to over harvest it anyway. The fish hatcheries are what really keep it going.
Hope this helps