ULTRA SECRECY IS NOT GOOD FOR ANGLING
- YOU’VE just caught a specimen fish, a prized specimen and you want to tell everyone about it.
Whether it is a carp, roach, perch or even a monster gudgeon you deserve the accolades.
And your fellow anglers have a right to know what specimens are being caught where, especially when the fish are caught from free fishing and day ticket venues.
In a lot of cases it is also only right and fair that specimens from club waters are given a public airing, unless the club or syndicate have a no-publicity rule, of course.
Fish belong to the people; to fishery owners; or to clubs. They are also part of history. It’s important to anglers and conservationists to know what species are prolific, which are breeding and the biggest around.
So why do some anglers feel the need to report their catches and then spoil that by not naming the venue?
Sorry, but a ‘southern river’ or a venue ‘in the Midlands’ is totally unacceptable and there really is no need for this ridiculous action.
The captor of the potential-record perch recently shunned personal publicity. I can understand that, a lot of people want to stay private.
But he gets full marks for reporting the fish from the Thames. Ok, so he didn’t name the stretch, again good on you pal…once the season was open that stretch would be over-run by would-be record hunters.
The Thames is a big river. To me that means we now know – as it we didn’t already – that is has plenty of potential for a record perch in a number of likely areas.
If you want to catch one you have been given the venue, now use your time, effort and skills to track one down. You catch one now and you deserve it.
I can totally understand a dedicated angler who has tracked down a big fish wanting to keep the exact place of capture a secret. But not when it involves a massive pit, a giant river, a difficult water, or one that has public access.
None of those places are going to get over-fished or swamped with anglers.
What has happened over the years is that once a good fish or big net of fish is made public a number of anglers visit that venue but usually lose interest very quickly when they realise these specimens do not just crawl up rods.
Only the ultra-dedicated or lucky will catch these big fish. The best chance of success comes from dedication.
It’s also in our own interests to let people know when we catch from a day ticket or club water.
One of my own clubs, Godalming AS, used to have a strict no-publicity rule. At the time they had full membership and a waiting list although I also suspect they were worried about people fishing without a club book.
Now, despite a general slump in club books buyers, Godalming have a nice steady membership and many people know about the potential of their waters, especially crucian carp mecca Marsh Farm, which is also day ticket.
The club now encourage members to report good catches. It’s good for membership, which means fees can be kept reasonable and waters can be kept open, just like the membership.
A few of the local day ticket waters I visit have also cottoned on to the fact that publicity is good and ask anglers to tell them about good catches so they can take pictures.
Check out all other sports and industry: publicity is good for business.
The more people hear about good fish and are given a good idea on where to catch them the better it will be for angling.
More people will try the sport, our pastime will gain better credibility and protection and numbers will make us stronger.
Our Sunday blogger is coarse fishing all-rounder Colin Mitchell.
For many years Colin was a senior Angler’s Mail magazine staff man and he has enjoyed a long, interesting journalism career.
He understands match fishing, pleasure fishing, carp fishing – the lot.
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COLIN MITCHELL WILL BE BACK WITH HIS POPULAR PLEASURE FISHING BLOG NEXT SUNDAY.
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