POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Fishermen are feeling the wave of inflation as they struggle to gas up their tanks that could take 150 gallons to fill.
“Well, don’t forget – we also have to fill up our trucks that pull the boats to the dock,” said one Polk County fisherman.
The domino effect of rising gas prices for the commercial fisherman is higher seafood prices for us.
“There’s surcharges on everything,” said Ron Schelfo of Ron’s Tackle Box. “They’ve gone surcharge crazy.”
Ron Shelfo has owned Ron’s Tackle Box for over 40 years and said this is the most he’s paid for fishing materials and live bait.
“Every week things are going up,” said Shelfo. “It’s justified because the price of gas; everybody has to absorb some but they have to pass some on also.”
Shelfo said his pockets took a direct hit as a result to the recent rise in gas prices coupled with inflation.
“It really hit hard in the last year but I can’t pass it on to the consumer because prices were right where they should’ve been,” he said. “Now, they’ve gone up tremendously so I have to absorb it. That’s all I can do.”
The price of diesel doubled in the last two years from averaging $2.40 to now being $5.57 a gallon, according to AAA.
“I’ve never seen gas so high. It’s ridiculous,” said Polk County fisherman Rick Combee.
Combee runs a weekly bass fishing tournament in Lake Alfred but like moat Polk County fishermen, he likes to travel for the sport.
“It used to cost us $20 or $30 to go fishing in Kissimmee from Lakeland,” said Combee. "Now, it’s so much money it’s actually becoming a concern.”
Even still, long time fishermen like Rick and several others said even a rise in gas prices can’t keep them from the water.