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Protect our sport
by John Dearden
10 December 2010
MORE ARTICLES


I was going to close the last article in this series with a photo of myself holding a nice winter 40, but despite my efforts on a couple of waters, no forties came out, to mine or any other baits. I could of gone to some of the easier waters and probably picked one up but I would not of been happy within myself, so shall plod on until one graces my net.

We have covered many issues over the last couple of articles or so on the subject of boilie fishing and given a very thorough insight in what was once, to many a closed form of angling.

This insight has enabled many anglers to catch bigger fish, for this I am glad the articles have helped them and I hope they continue to build on the rudimentary knowledge they contained, it was after all the purpose of these articles to help people to catch bigger fish.

One aspect though which these articles has also contributed to is the demise of some incredible fish, and it saddens me to think that I have been responsible for the death of some magnificent fish, which nobody else will have the joy of catching..

It would have been naive for me to believe that everyone reading these articles would take care of the fish, but the slaughter of 40lb+ fish, for no other reason, than I wanted it mounted or I wanted to show my friends, just goes to show how far Carp fishing is from protecting it from itself.

Why kill the very thing that you spend so much time and money to get enjoyment from? I cannot understand the mentality of those wishing to destroy the very thing that motivates us to get onto the water.

How many times have you heard, my father and grandfather fished here and caught huge fish, but things are just not the same. Why? Because, among many other things your fathers and grandfathers killed the fish.

At the recent Three Species at Loskop Dam hardly any fish came out to bank anglers and even some boat anglers blanked. Other boat anglers though were able to bag keep nets full of fish, nearly all of which were killed.

I did however meet for the first time ever at a competition a couple of anglers who caught their fish, kept them in protective carp sacks until the end of the competition, weighed them and then took them back the water, releasing them unharmed.
I also met concerned anglers who said although they also take fish out, how long can our waters sustain such slaughter, during competitions.

Bass angling competitions only allow a few fish at a time to come in to be weighed, and then released.

For those fish whose bladders have expanded due to coming up quickly from deep water an expert is on hand to release the air. Dead fish are not allowed to be weighed.
The same goes for trout fishermen who for years have released their catch, only keeping one or two for the pan and these are dispatched as humanely as possible, and not kept in a keep net for hours on end to usually die from lack of oxygen, in the hot, oxygen depleted shallow water.

The state of our freshwater fishing is a disgrace and unless the authorities and freshwater angling bodies begin to wake up our waters will reach a state of un-recoverability.

Changing the rules to allow smaller fish to be weighed surely must ring a warning light. If you have to have, special fine meshed keep nets to allow such fish to be held; surely you can see how backwards the sport is going?
Springbok anglers selling their catches for finance their trips, tackle shop owners selling fish from deep freezes and using the money made to pay for petrol, Is this the way to go????

What is wrong with the Carp angling fraternity that they cannot see the harm they are doing to themselves.
I also do not buy into those who say, our waters are over populated and it is necessary to kill the fish, nor those that say by taking out the fish they are actually helping the stocks.
In response, firstly, in my opinion, angling is not about killing fish it is about enjoying the sport and respecting ones quarry. Killing fish is not sporting.
Another often bandied about excuse is that Carp are not indigenous and should be killed off. Well, neither are Black Bass or Trout and any angler who uses that as an excuse is merely copping out to justify there own actions.

I recently saw a 50/50 program, which covered Groenvlei in the Cape; they were saying that the introduction of carp has caused problems for the indigenousness fish population which cannot breed in the coloured water which the carp stir up. I do not have a problem with that, and should this be the case then the authorities should act in the interests that they see best, but to reinforce their argument they approached a Bass fishermen, and asked his opinion.
Naturally, carp were vilified, and he would be happy to see the back of them. Interestingly though, should the carp be completely removed, the alien Bass that was never under scrutiny, would need to change its feeding habits from the carp fry onto the very fish the program was trying to save. Nice one.

I am not a champion for Carp and agree that there are instances where their introduction may of caused problems, but let’s not confuse the issue of species dominance and fish care. Carp introduction is a separate aspect, which must be dealt with by the authorities and they must do what they see fit to protect indigenous species.

Carp fishing should be about the enjoyment of the sport, and if we do not take care of it, do you think others will on our behalf.

Anglers take care of your sport, resort owners look after your fish resources, and competition organisers think about your next event.



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