ANGLER’S MAIL HQ BLOG (Wed) – camo clothing, cormorants, natural baits + highs and lows of the week
WELCOME to the Wednesday blog – each week filled by Angler’s Mail magazine’s HQ, focussing on happenings in the wonderful world of fishing, including latest tackle.
There will be something for everyone - pleasure fishing, carp fishing, match fishing, specialist fishing or anything else. This week’s Angler’s Mail HQ blog is by production editor Richard Holroyd.
We hope you enjoy the blog, and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the icons above, or by the “old skool” method of telling fellow anglers! Feel free also to comment by using the special space at the bottom on this page.
CAUGHT OUT IN CAMO
I RECKON many anglers are misguided by the effectiveness of camouflage clothing. By wearing camouflage clothing doesn’t make you invisible to fish as pointed out by Angler’s Mail’s Secret Lives of Coarse Fish columnist Dr. Stuart Clough in this week’s issue.
Yes, camo clothing may help you blend in with background foliage a little bit but, as Stuart points out, it’s far better to keep a low profile to the water to avoid spooking fish, regardless of the type of clothing you are wearing.
Even more important is to be as silent as possible to avoid spooking fish in your swim. Sound travels five times faster through water than air, so any heavy foot steps along the bank to your swim is likely to spook fish long before they have had the chance to see you in your attire.
Avoid standing in the skyline and being quiet are the keys to stealth, not what you are wearing.
Cormorants forced inland to survive
I’ve been intrigued by the Angling Trust’s recently launched campaign Action on Cormorants where they are asking anglers to notify their local MPs to support the call to put cormorants and goosanders on the general licence. The proposal will allow fishery owners and club officials to shoot cormorants at will to protect their fish stocks, rather than the current bureaucratic licensing system which is deemed as a failed procedure.
The granting of a general licence will obviously make it easier for fishery owners to protect their fish but, for me, the real issue and the root of the problem, which seems to have been overlooked in the campaign, are the depleted stocks of sea fish due to over-fishing. Other concerns that also need addressing are sea pollution and the destruction of coastal habitat.
These are the reasons why cormorants have moved inland to seek alternative food for survival, so for a longer-term solution we need to put our energies into looking at ways to restore our barren seas, both inshore and offshore, that have been trawled excessively by commercial anglers from UK and foreign fleets. In fact, fish stocks in Britain are estimated to be 90 per cent lower than they were a century ago, and continue to decline. I know the Angling Trust are supporting and trying to get the government to sanction some Marine Conservation Zones to try to help increase fish stocks, but much more action is needed for long term sustainability.
You can keep updated with the locations of cormorants by looking at the map at Angling Trust’s www.cormorantwatch.org where anglers have logged nearly 80,000 sightings of cormorants since the website launched last year in June.
However, the map is not very clear in deciphering the kinds of waters that have attracted cormorants the most but, going by the quality of catches by pleasure anglers and the bumper and record nets of fish caught in fishing matches that we report in Angler’s Mail every week, heavily stocked commercial fisheries are thriving. It would appear then that commercials are largely ignored by cormorants or they have been successfully kept at bay by current measures taken by fishery owners.
It seems cormorants have been more at home on larger expanses of water such as rivers, reservoirs, canals and big lakes, which were once popular by anglers, but are now largely neglected due to the influx and popularity of commercial venues. The cormorants go undisturbed on these larger waters and, due to the size of them, it is much more difficult to control their populations.
Where have all the naturals gone?
We get lots of fish reported to us every week in Angler’s Mail and you must check out some of the stunning specimens, including colourful carp, in this week’s magazine. What you will find with the majority of the fish in the magazine is that they have been caught on pellets, boilies or paste.
I’m not just talking about carp either as almost every species of coarse fish are now being caught on these manufactured baits, be it bream, tench, roach, barbel, chub or even predatory fish like perch.
I’ve often thought about trying these baits for sea fish as I’ve heard of a few anglers having some, albeit limited, success using them, but I don’t think I could fish with them with any real confidence. I just have to use natural baits for most of my sea fishing and I like to collect my own fresh bait.
During the school summer holidays I took my ten-year-old son,Louis, bait collecting and he thoroughly enjoyed helping me pump up lugworm from sandy beaches and also using a net to scoop up prawns from rock pools.
I think for convenience it is easier for coarse anglers to buy manufactured baits but, judging by the number of questions we get sent in on how to collect worms and create a wormery, there is still a future for natural baits despite being told, mainly through advertising and sponsored anglers, that we must be using their latest artificial super bait. Click on this link for a guide on making your own wormery.
New City Anglers: the group of local anglers who set about restoring Lliswerry Pond in Newport a few years ago. They help youngsters and disabled at the fishery which offers plenty of quality action. Read Ron Cousins’ Where To Fish On Tour in this week’s magazine to find out more.
Thugs: the group of Eastern Europeans who beat up 23-year-old James Ellis as he questioned them about their removal of fish from the Dorset Stour. Full details of this story are in this week’s magazine.
And finally, our videos of the week
Here are the very latest promo videos to come to our attention. If you spot a good ‘un feel free to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have lots more videos of all kinds in our brilliant new TV player .
Solid PVA bag making with Gardner:
Slick Nash vid on reverse chod rig, blowout rig and solid bag rig (yes, again!):
THE NEXT AM HQ BLOG WILL APPEAR HERE NEXT WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19.
Check back every day for new blog on this website – and be sure to get our latest magazine, out now. It’s by far the next fishing publication on the shelves.Like Angler's Mail? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.