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Charter Skippers Destroying Fish Stocks?


Fishing has been slow for us this year, slower than I can remember for a long time and perhaps even more unusual is that it has been extremely localised and by that I mean the fish have congregated in very tight areas. In other words, if you haven’t been on exactly the right spot then you could forget it. I don’t mind fishing when it’s like this because having fished the same waters for soo many years I know there are enough spots out there to try, it’s just a case of finding one holding fish that are in the mood. What isn’t so good when the fishing is like this is if one of the local charter skippers decides he’s going to kill everything in sight…and as much as some like to deny there are still plenty out there who set off out to sea with exactly that attitude. The only thing worse than having to watch somebody butcher everything that comes over the gunwhale is then to have to listen to the same idiot moaning about how the fishing isn’t what it used to be. “Maybe dickhead if you tried returning some fish you’d find it wasn’t getting worse?”

For example if you’ve been following these fishing updates you’ll know what a struggle it’s been to find the right spot at the right time this year. After much hunting around we were finding fish on a regular basis, not many others were but we were having success. Of course it was noted, even though we only ever bring back 1 or 2 fish for the tea the harbour has eyes and my dad was distraught to find one of the local boats (who had passed us a week earlier from a unsuccesful trip further afield) sat on top of one of the few productive marks pulling up fish after fish and straight into fish boxes. Could these fish have been returned? Of course they could, they were only caught in 50 feet of water. In essence you had 6 anglers filling box after box with Pollock on what was an almost commercial basis. Every size of fish kept, the smallest to be used as bait in the skippers one or 2 crab pots. In 2 days that mark has become a wasteland. Several weeks later there is still not a fish to be caught from it. The worst of it being that I know that if we move off somewhere else and are seen to bring back nice fish that twat will do exactly the same thing again. It’s exactly the same with the wrecks around here, it’s not the commercials or the local boat owners that have destroyed the local wreck fishing, it’s 1 or 2 assholes that can’t see fishing past murdering everything that’s on the end of a line.

The isn’t a personal vendetta against 1 charter boat owner for ruining 1 fishing spot. It’s much bigger than that. I wish I had a pound for every time a magazine like Boat Fishing Monthly publicised the great days wreck fishing a boat has had with a picture of more dead cod than you could possibly need. Yes sometimes in deep water you may as well keep the fish but there are plenty of times when it’s done out of nothing more than pure greed. Yes I know there are new age skippers who understand the value of a photograph and even better, preserving sport for future clients. It’s just a shame that there are still the old fossils knocking around spoiling the fishing for everybody else. The sooner they piss off the better as far as I’m concerned.


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