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Old 20-06-2006, 09:58 PM
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Fish and fishing

I love fishing.

I started at the age of 7 fishing for gudgeon at the pond at Walton-on-the-hill in Surrey. I spent all the time I should have been studying for my O-levels fishing at Hampton Court park and the Thames etc.

Then in 1973 I married and my fishing time dwindled as my time was given over to other things.

I recently looked at starting again, but things have changed so much.

The record weights of fish have ballooned, methods and baits are solely concerned with catching huge fish and it is sad.

Ponds are stocked with huge imported carp and each big one has a name.

I loved fishing, and went for the beauty of the solitude, catching a fish was a bonus, but now the whole ethos has changed. It's typical of today's world I suppose, not better, just bigger.
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Old 20-06-2006, 10:05 PM
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Re: Fish and fishing

I agree..........i used to do it many moons ago and loved it but just didn't seem to have the time in later years.

But it doesn't mean you have to follow today's ethos............just go and fish how you want to fish.......if you catch a tiddler so what.
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Old 20-06-2006, 10:19 PM
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Re: Fish and fishing

You're right Mark. In attempting to be brief I didn't make myself clear.

The new baits and groundbaits are so full of protein that the fish are growing bigger. I feel that catching a large fish nowadays is tantamount to taking drugs to win an Olympic gold medal.

They are doing a great deal of damage to our waterways, and I will stick with traditional baits and methods, which do no harm to the ecosystem.

I was fishing in Ireland last year. I caught nothing, but a kingfisher landed on my rod and sat there for a minute, 8 feet away from me. That was better than catching any fish.
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Old 21-06-2006, 06:23 AM
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Re: Fish and fishing

Hi Rich

I no longer go fishing as birdwatching has completely taken over my leisure life but I was an angler for over 40 years prior to that. I fished in open contests at a high level (I even beat Kevin Ashurst one year when he was in the next peg to me), ran my own club, was on committees as well but one thing I never really got into was still water fishing. I was a river man myself and actually my last 5 or more years of angling I became a specimen Barbel angler.

Apart from stillwater Tench at the old start of the season (which was how I always started the new season - when all waters had a close season) I was always out on a river.

IMHO you can't beat river fishing. Far more skill to it as there are so many issues that have to be conquered if you are to catch your quarry.

Forget all these new fangled baits and techniques. The old ways will still catch fish on a river and the you will feel better for it.

BTW when I was a specimen Barbel Angler it used to amuse me when I watched other anglers lobbing out huge feeders full of all sorts of exotic baits together with huge lumps of meat or boilies as hook bait. How did I fish for them. A large Avon float shotted down at the bottom and then to edge my bait into the various eddy's and gulley's and margins where I thought the fish were. A steady feed of hemp and casters and that was it. Nothing fancy and yet I had some impressive fish in my time.

Don't be put of by what you read or hear. Get started again. Get the required tackle and just go. In the end fishing is all about going out and haveing a relaxed time. You can be as busy or as lazy as you like and as your skills improve so will your enjoyment of the sport improve.

Tight Lines.

John
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Old 21-06-2006, 07:57 AM
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Re: Fish and fishing

My story is pretty much the same - my Dad took me fishing when I was about 10. It was on a canal, and I had a little spinning rod of my own. Dad baited it up with a maggot and I cast in (eventually) .... within minutes I had caught a young Perch .... and I was hooked!! (pun intended)

I fished fairly regularly for the next 10-15 years until I got married and had kids and then other responsibilities meant that I gradually gave up fishing. That's when I took up birdwatching ....

For both activities, though, the real pleasure for me has always been the joy of being out in the fresh air, in the countryside, away from the noise and bustle and pollution of city life .... pure pleasure!!
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Old 21-06-2006, 08:25 AM
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Re: Fish and fishing

Hi
I used to be a mad fisherman many years ago; I used to do a lot of match fishing.
It was on one of those bad days ( catching nothing) that I started to notice the wildlife around me, that got me wondering about the damage some of us fishermen were doing to the water ways, not to mention the fish, and the environment.
Slowly I was converted to a wildlife nut, and I must say I have never regretted it
I have seen many a fisherman causing damage to get comfortable in their pegs, breaking tree branches, beating down wildflowers with keep net poles ( not knowing if they were rare plants or not) and much more.
In my days of fishing it used to be Ground bait, maggots and worms sweet corn and the like.
We also used bard hooks, that caused a lot of damage to the fish, if it was not removed properly and I have seen a lot of anglers just rip hooks out not caring about the damage they do, ( must stress most anglers are not like this I think it was a lack of education those days) please to see that to day barbless hooks are more the norm.
Most people at the end of fishing would throw away all the bait left into the river or canal, depending on where they were fishing, this would then slow rot on the bottom if not washed away with the current, at todayís prices for bait I assume most anglers take this back home with them but I could be wrong.
Sorry to say that it appears nowadays anything goes for fishing so long as they catch fish. The baits being used now are wide and various, dread to think of what some of it is doing to the water ways.
I can only assume research is being done on the baits to see if this is the case.
Sorry if this sound like a rant at fishermen, it is not meant to be, I think we are all entitled to enjoy the countryside in are own way.
Iím sure many fishermen would agree the best way to protect their sport is also to protect the environment, and educate the youngster coming into it about the possible damage they could cause if neglectful
Mick
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Old 21-06-2006, 09:23 AM
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Re: Fish and fishing

I was looking for bat roosts in trees around a lake ,on the public footpath,I was approached by a bailiff who told me not to take pictures of people fishing as they did not want to give away the size of the fish in case of rustling!
I remember going fishing on that particular lake when you saw someone who would wave
from the opposite bank ,now they are almost shoulder to shoulder with2-3 rods desperate to catch,and actually fretting about baits,rigs,and how they would account for catching nowt!
I preferred the river with a single rod and my kit in a gas mask bag,and tench on the canal before anyone else arrived ,with all the wildlife to myself
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Old 21-06-2006, 11:45 AM
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Re: Fish and fishing

I think i was 7 when i started fishing and 9 when i started birdwatching, I still do both 30 years later. But I was blinkered up until about 5 or 6 years ago when one day i saw a butterfly i didn't rememeber seeing before, I think I only knew small tortoiseshell, red admiral, peacock and "a blue". I went out and bought a "complete" guide to british wildlife. it turned out to be a comma and ever since then i have been engrossed in all aspects including planting native wild flowers in the garden. running a moth trap and even though i only have a nikon3100 i do try to get pictures of the insects,spiders etc i see. Bees have been a problem though
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Old 21-06-2006, 11:52 AM
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Re: Fish and fishing

I have to agree with all the statements here. Fishing was once a way to escape the hustle and bustle of every day life, but now its more busy on the banks of the local lake or river than in the high street. Most fishermen have a minimum of two rods set up with bite alarms and all kinds of gizmos. I have even seen fisherman with remote control boats to deposit the bait over the hookbait, these things were about £500!!! and people actually paid for them. To me this is complete madness. If its not the latest gadgets its the latest baits, I know people who wont think twice about spending several hundred pounds on bait for a weekends fishing!

I keep it nice and simple, a single rod a traditional set up, old style bait and I go for my favourite fish which is the Perch. If im fishing for food for my survival courses then I may choose a different target species.

I think the main thing to remember is that fishing although hated by some is one of the reasons many of us get involved with nature as it teaches us from an early age to have respect for our surroundings. Yes, there are some bad anglers around but most of us care for the environment in which we fish and look after it for the wildlife and future generations to enjoy.

I also want to mention I only ever use barbless hooks, even if im fishing for the pot.
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Old 21-06-2006, 12:09 PM
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Re: Fish and fishing

just a few comments on the thread so far ,i am an active angler and director and secretary of the carp society and we maintain 3 lakes in the uk horseshoe lake in lechlade being the main one . the baits used on this lake are boilies hemp and trout pellet ,this lake is one of the top waters in the uk and we have never had any evidence of long term harm from the baits we use . all baits are allowable with exception of peanuts which if not prepared properly they can be harmful .the ecological balance on this lake is outstanding we have all kinds of wild life including about 25 kingfisher pairs and we are a migratory platform for birds moving thru the uk .we will not tolerate the sort of behavior that some of you have alluded to and we are constantly striving to improve the standards of angling .

we do not allow the use of barbed hooks or any form of retention of carp for longer than it takes to photograph the fish . there is a debate currently whether barb hos do less damage to the moth than unbarbed hooks that can revolve and create a bigger hole than barbed hooks do .
imop the advances in angling over the years has been beneficial to the fish and to the environment general and whilst i understand that we often view the past through rose glasses i would not like to return to the tackle and practices that were used in my youth
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