A level playing field is a concept about fairness, not that each player has an equal chance to succeed, but that they all play by the same set of rules. Ergo WHATEVER rules are set all are bound by them.
This means that if marine craft access was allowed and rules supported their use ANY shore fisherman could get access to ANY spots they know will likely produce irrespective of the location of these spots (With specific regard to access assuming they exist inside the area specified by those running the competition) Thus the concept of a level playing field is maintained.
Boat access: One could argue that not all Fishermen have access to Boats for this and this argument has strong merits. I certainly donít have access to a boat for this sort of access. I also donít have access to a 4x4 or a Quad bike. Nor do I have access to 20 yearsí worth of experience or knowledge. But this is not about what anyone has access to. The concept is about fairness and abiding by the rules: Not about matching and comparing my resources against any of yours. But ensuring that any and everyone involved in the competition follows the same set of guidelines.
One could fashion an argument along the lines of ďI am a fisherman that wishes to fish a ledge that I can access by 4WD, Feet or Kayak. That is, All 3 of these methods of travel will get me to the spot. But I am suffering from an Ankle strain, my 4WD is temporarily out of order so my option I choose to employ is my Kayak. At this point you have utilized a valid option.
If I was to swim 200 meters and drag my equipment behind me on a floatation pack to gain access to a spot offshore would I be disqualified? (Edit:Currently yes) If the rules were changed to focus on where the fish was caught from and landed from rather than how that position or location was arrived at then no.
I suspect the attitudes towards the water access are carried over through tradition and less to do with any concept based on fairness. That they are bound to a historical concept of what was considered shore based and possibly purist in form.If the rules were changed they would be changed for ALL. This would add gains to all. Consider the reverse... If all fishermen were only allowed to use one brand/Model of rod, reel, line and bait how would that impact the contest?
But with all this please remember:If you ask my wife I am regularly wrong....Take from that what you will
Please note: I wrote this today whilst very busy preparing a company wide release of an important software upgrade. I realised that I had put an early draft of my thoughts up: I have edited this and the content and intent have been changed to reflect what I intended.My apologies for editing after the fact.