Colin Mitchell, our popular weekly blogger, is back to share his experience of dealing with numpties on the bank - and a few ideas to educate them! If you like this blog, click the social media share buttons.
SOMETIMES incidents make you wonder whether to laugh or cry – but it’s always better to smile so that’s just what we did at the pack of clowns on the bank last week.
Read on for this amusing but also sad story – and how it is a worrying incident that angling must look to correct.
Music Mike and I had the venue to ourselves when this lot turned up and one look at them was enough to know there were going to be some angling antics. Not your usual Mallet men hammering stakes into the ground to create earth tremors and they didn’t look as though they would be shouters across thelakes. No sooner had they tackled up than there were giant ledgers crashing all over the place in the lake.
You can chuck across this venue with a one ounce bomb yet this trio had something more akin to sea fishing on the end of their lines.
We all have duff casts now and then. This lot couldn’t chuck in to save their lives – you know, the casts that go well up into the air and crash back down anywhere in the lake with an almighty dull thud.
They must have then realised that the best spots could be features, although they ignored the ones right under their own bank, and chucked the full length of the lake to the bushes at the far side – chucked into the trees and bushes would be closer to the mark!
Then, of course, they had to pull up the trees with the cable on their reels to try and recover the end gear – which they failed to do!
Next stage was a walk along the banks to place the end rig under the bushes – then open the bail arm and walk all the way back to where they started! Just as well there weren’t any other anglers along that bank! Why, oh why they couldn’t just stay next to the bushes where there was a nice swim I really do not know.
Next up baiting and another walk along the bank to chuck some free offerings around their rigs. Some? A load! Oh… and more bait at their feet, even though they weren’t fishing there and didn’t later either.
The bailiff must have realised something wasn’t quite right when he came to get their ticket money as he suggested going a bit steady with the bait. He was told no problem as they were on a tight budget. More like well over-spent budget I reckon!
I had to move before I went and had a few words, which might not have been a good idea, also because I was set to burst into laughter just seeing how Music Mike was smiling at their antics. I could see his face cracking up when one lost his gear (again!) up a tree and called to one of his friends to see if he had a ‘spare hook’.
Lack of knowledge
You can laugh at the above story but it also highlights a problem we have in angling: a lack of water courtesy and basic knowledge.
The courtesy you are going to struggle to put right among people like this crowd. They just don’t get it. Knowledge is freely available but these characters may not listen. They probably think they know it all.
At a time when we want and are happy to encourage more people into angling and gift them with vital knowledge, what can we do?
The obvious answer is to introduce an angling exam or test of competence before they can go fishing. But is that feasible? Of course not, as it would be a deterrent to newcomers. One of the clubs I am a member of have a pike course which you have to go on before you can fish for the predators on club waters.
It’s a great idea and I enjoyed what I saw, heard and learnt about pike tackle, safe rigs and how to handle pike. It took up just one morning and was time well spent as we got to unhook pike and make up some traces.
Other clubs and fisheries have regulations that say you must have unhooking mats use barbless hooks and adhere to certain rules or you can say goodbye to fish there.
They are mostly good rules to protect our fish and fisheries. But are they always enforced? In my experience, not always!
I could say the answer is to have a set of national fishing rules and regulations and ensure they are enforced. But it’s just not going to happen, is it?
What do you think should be done to educate the newcomers or learners or outlaw the rogue anglers?
We would love to hear your suggestions…. email them to: email@example.com or comment below or on the Angler’s Mail magazine Facebook page.