Letter to the Editor

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Dave

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Hi everyone,

Every now and again I receive a letter in my email that just sums up alot of thoughts; this one is without exception and one that is definately worth passing on:

______________________________________________________________________

Dear Editor

When I was a lad (which isnt all that long ago) fishing was just a simple case of taking a few quids worth of tackle and some maggots or worms down to the local river or pond and spending hours in the relatively carefree pursuit of a few fish . Because it was so simple cheap and carefree my parents and grandparents gave me all the help and encouragement I needed to take up fishing even though none of them were anglers themselves . If only things were still like that today wed probably see more youngsters taking up fishing instead of hanging around in gangs on the streets and turning to violence vandalism and crime for their amusement.

Ive seen many changes in angling in the last 25 years and sadly I cant say theyve all been for the better . Money, greed, selfishness, and thoughtlessness has eaten away some of the simple pleasures of fishing like a cancerous growth and the mind boggling minefield of access , expense , rules and regulations is enough to deter anyone from taking up the sport .

We can read in the angling press about anglers losing out due to the fishing rights or the ownership of their venue changing hands , usually with a large sum of money being involved and with little thought given to the anglers who have probably put years of work into the place . Ive already lost two of my favourite venues under similar circumstances and could soon loose another as the venue my club rents has been brought by a non-angling businessman whos only interest is in lining his pockets . Our clubs rent has been trebled and the venue could be sold-on at any time to someone who might stop us from fishing there altogether . If that thought doesnt turn any decent anglers stomach Ive just been told of a pensioner whos fished a venue all his life breaking down in tears because some fat walleted angling organisation has purchased the water and due to their rules he can no longer fish there .

Its nice to see top anglers like John Wilson and Matt Hayes on TV catching specimen fish from idyllic deserted venues . If only it was that easy for everyone ! Us less privileged anglers who have to do a real job five or six days a week and have just a few quid to spend on fishing once weve paid our bills seem to have just two choices . We either fork out a lump sum on a season ticket and restrict ourselves to fishing the limited venues it allows to make its purchase worthwhile . Or make do with the overstocked , overfished , and overcrowded commercial day ticket holes that are usually booked solid with matches at the weekend or have a list of rules so long , that by the time youve read them its time to go back home again .
I used to live in a town that was surrounded by an abundance of quality fishing venues , but to gain access to all of them I would have had to join around 20 different clubs or associations at a cost of around 500 and still paid on each visit to any day ticket water . On my way to a local day ticket water I crossed one of our main rivers . Although this was at a time when the river was very popular with anglers as I crossed the bridge I could never see anyone fishing on either bank , in either direction even at weekends , AND WHY ? Because that stretch was owned by some association based miles away that chose to make it members only . Stopping locals from fishing there even though they werent interested in it themselves . What a waste !!

I even lived for two years just 300 yards away from the banks of a 100 peg gravel pit but wasnt able to fish it . The fishing rights were owned by one of those clubs that limited its number of members to about 50 , despite the number of pegs available . To join you had to go on a waiting list in the hope that one of the members snuffed it , and even then you had to be best mates with , or related to one of the club committee to have a cat in hells chance of getting in . At times this was so frustrating and made me so angry I felt like giving the club a taste of their own medicine by dumping a couple of barrels of poison into the place so they couldnt fish there too . Obviously I didnt as I was sensible enough to realise that this would just cause the fish to suffer and THEY didnt deserve that . Ive just returned home from a weekend visit to my 85 year old grandmas . While I was there I decided to drive down to a couple of picturesque estate lakes where my late granddad used to take me fishing some 25 years ago in the hope I could have a nostalgic return there with my tackle later this year . I arrived to find the lakes mostly fenced off with just one angler present , I climbed through the fence and walked across to ask him about the fishing as there were no signs saying anything about tickets or fishing clubs . To my disappointment I found out that the venue was now strictly syndicate only at a cost of 250 per year . Hence the fact there was only one angler there !

Just a few examples from personal experience of greed , selfishness and thoughtlessness thats not exactly welcoming or encouraging to anglers and certainly wont help us get non-anglers to take up our sport .

As for rules , nobody objects to a sensible set of rules , but some fisheries take it to a ridiculous extreme . Usually as a result of being grotesquely overfished . Any novice or youngster arriving at such a venue will probably be put off completely or sit there worrying that they are doing something wrong and thats not what fishing is all about is it ? I can understand clubs and fishery owners wanting to protect their waters from overfishing and the moronic minority that leave litter and discarded tackle on our banksides , but if more venues were more easily accessible and more reasonably priced nowhere would get hammered . I also think that many fisheries would benefit from better organised , friendlier , and more helpful bailiffs who are prepared to make novices and youngsters more welcome . I know of several bailiffs that regard these people as a nuisance when they should think of them as the future of our sport and give them all the help and encouragement they can .

. If groups like the N.F.A. , the E.A. and the angling press are serious about improving our sports chances of a secure future by getting more people to go fishing they should be sinking their teeth into anyone who makes it too inaccessible , expensive or complicated to appeal to potential newcomers . That would be far more useful than whinging and bickering about how our rivers have become too clean , weather or not to sponsor a national disabled team , or the abrasiveness of some landing net meshes . Part of the problem is we are already anglers so we never see our sport from a non-anglers point of view . Angling shows , magazines , and TV programs only really attract those already involved when we should put more effort into promoting our sport and selling it to a much wider audience . Some people are trying and the best of luck to them , but over the years weve shaped the way angling is set up to suit ourselves when we should be making everyone welcome . In many cases we even make each-other feel unwelcome .

If it was up to me Id make fishing totally free on any venue to anyone aged 12 or under provided they were accompanied by a responsible adult ( not necessarily another angler ) . Tackle manufacturers and retailers would be encouraged to invest in their own future by offering good quality complete fishing kits to this age group at heavily discounted prices , so even the most financially disadvantaged parents could take their kids fishing . 13 to 18 year olds , the disabled and senior citizens would pay a minimal fee for fishing , and anglers of all types and ages would have reasonably easy and inexpensive access to their local waters with sanctions being taken against any club or venue owner that refused to comply .

Unfortunately the opinion of one person will never change anything . I just hope those with the power to make changes soon wake up and smell the coffee before angling becomes another sad case where our government allows do-gooders with no understanding of the sport to stick the boot in and spoil it for everyone as is happening with fox hunting .

Is it time for a serious re-think with a view to making fishing as simple cheap and carefree as it was years ago when I was a lad ????

On the subject of rules , even a simple keep-net ban would be enough to put me of fishing a venue . Im not stupid enough to put Carp , Barbel , or other specimen fish in a keep-net , but if Im only catching small fish one of the most enjoyable things is to be able to see how many Ive caught at the end of the day .

As a youngster it was the sense of satisfaction I got from seeing a net full of Roach , Perch , or Gudgeon that played a major part in keeping me interested in fishing . Providing keep-nets are used properly they should not be a problem , especially the more modern fish friendly type . The main danger to the fish is if nets are lifted out of the water so fish can be crushed under their own weight and this is only necessary at weigh-ins after matches . I prefer to lift my net only partially out of the water so I can see what Ive caught then drop the open end in so the fish can swim free unharmed .

Isnt it ironic that most venues with a keep-net ban advertise themselves by showing pictures of anglers with keep-nets full of fish with the excuse that they were caught in a match which is the most likely cause of damage to the fish . I would like to know what the net manufactures think about keep-net bans , and why they dont include a leaflet explaining how to use them safely with each net .

Still on the subject of rules , will somebody please explain to me why so many clubs and venue owners appear to have such a dreaded fear of night fishing ?? The usual pathetic excuses for night-fishing bans are :- The cost of insurance, and the possibility of fish theft . Well anglers that want to night-fish would probably not mind paying a little extra for that privilege , so that should take care of the cost of insurance . As for the possibility of fish theft , it may interest clubs and venue owners to know that the vast majority of anglers are actually honest law abiding people who care about the places they go fishing . Those who are likely to steal fish ( or do anything else undesirable for that matter ) will probably do it anyway and a night-fishing ban will mean there are no well-behaved anglers there to stop them or report them .

Ive known venues where there is no night-fishing becoming easy targets for much less desirable activities such as poaching , rubbish dumping , under-age drinking , and even drug taking . This would not happen if there was a chance of the culprits being confronted by anglers who were keen to protect their venue . As night-fishing is one of the specimen anglers favourite and often most productive tactics any venue that bans it risks accusations of being prejudiced against specimen anglers . Making night-fishing more easily available would give anglers more opportunity to go fishing without time restrictions . In many cases it could also improve the security of venues .

From Nick Durst of Bingham , Notts

______________________________________________________________________

Over to you.....,

Dave
 

MALC

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As you say Dave a lot of thought provoking statements in the above and i must admit to agreeing with almost every word.

Which i think most normal anglers do but as is stated it's the powers that be that need to listen and as is normally the case they appear deaf until it's to late !!

Malc
Fish with Friends @ MaggotDrowning.com
 

Trogg

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All to true.

The one thing that makes me laugh are those that read about some amazing bit of kit or bait & run out to buy it.

Sorry but i've been fishing a long time & i've had some great fish on stuff thats cost me a couple of quid from a boot sale, the guy next to me has had shimano this & fox that but blanked so why waste the money??

Two words "tackle tart" & its true thats all they are.


As for the EA well here we go again, loads of moaning because people don't see what they do, the same people obviously don't read angling press or the EA website.

The main things the EA are trying to do at the moment is get derelict waters in the towns & citys turned into fisheries so kids, lads, dads, mums, sisters, grannies & grandads have got somewhere to fish.

Don't forget that kids can't drive 20 miles to fish a venue & if their parents aren't anglers why bother driving all that way just to sit in the car or on a bankside while the kid has a days fishing.??

Now imagine if the EA spent all their time checking licences, all that money could be spent on farming fish to release into rivers, fisheries or club waters that have suffered with pollution or worse SVC, then again the EA aren't trying to find out what causes that or find a cure for it are they........oh rubbish yes they are i must have forgotten about that.

Just because you can't see what the EA are doing it doesn't mean they aren't doing anything at all, after all the UK & Wales is a little bit larger than your home town/ county isn't it.

I do agree with the free fishing for under twelves though.



Alan
 

Geoff P

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A thought provoking leter. I agree with most of what the man says.

quote:If groups like the N.F.A. , the E.A. and the angling press are serious about improving our sports chances of a secure future by getting more people to go fishing they should be sinking their teeth into anyone who makes it too inaccessible , expensive or complicated to appeal to potential newcomers. That would be far more useful than whinging and bickering about how our rivers have become too clean , weather or not to sponsor a national disabled team , or the abrasiveness of some landing net meshes.


Now Trogg, where in that section is the man having a go at the EA. The minute the EA is mentioned you naturally assume that people are having a go at it.

I read a lot of the angling press, and the EA is slow at advertising all it does. Not every angler has got a computer and therefore are not able to read web pages, so better publicising is needed.

It would do us all good to take on board what Nick Durst has written, and all work towards a better environment to encourage young anglers.

Geoff

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Trogg

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Geoff

Sorry if it read as if i was having a go at the fella i wasn't.

I meant to express that the EA DO try & make things happen to get people, not just kids into fishing.

As you know mate theres been a lot of EA bashing going on just recently with things like "what do I get for my 21 a year??" what i was trying to say is that it shouldn't be I it should be "what does Fishing get for my 21 a year", i'm sure you'll agree mate.

Once again my apologies to Nick Durst if it looks as if my posting was aimed at him, & my apologies to anyone else who saw it that way (yes even you Geoff ya wanna be taff)icon_smile_wink.gif


Alan


Edited by - Trogg on 27 June 2002 11:01:27 AM
 

Beebs

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Spot on. Fishing is not a cheap sport. And I hate the thought of fishing overstocked commercial fisheries. When I was younger and first took up fishing it took months before I caught my first fish. And I caught it on a little 6 ft spinning rod and cheapo reel.
After starting up all over again I find it has changed unbelievably since I last fished and were it not for previous experience and a few helpful friends who were also fishermen, I wouldn't have had a clue where to start.
My biggest problem was finding out what kit was out there that was decent quality and would last a long time, so asked around and kept getting told that Shimano made good kit.
When I fished when I was younger it was so much easier because everything I had was either Shakespeare or Daiwa. What I have become (unknowing to me at the time) was (according to Trogg) a 'Tackle Tart', which I take offence to.
When I decided to take up fishing again, I wanted nice rods and reels and only wanted to buy them once, so, instead of walking the minefield and risk wasting money on sh*t, I forked out a bit extra and got the recommended stuff. I own a couple of Fox alarms as well. I know I could have started out with a starter kit from Argos and probably caught just as much fish, but this tackle was a present to myself.
At the risk of sounding like a rich t*at, I have a decent job, am not married, don't have any kids, so why can't I indulge in something nice that I'll get a lot of use out of?
Sometimes kit is more expensive because of the quality as well as the new technology. After using a Baitrunner, I realise just how far fishing tackle has come since I last owned a reel.

Quote - "Sorry but i've been fishing a long time & i've had some great fish on stuff thats cost me a couple of quid from a boot sale, the guy next to me has had shimano this & fox that but blanked so why waste the money??"

A waste? In who's opinion? Maybe yours but not in my book. Do people who buy Mercedes waste their money when a Vauxhall would do the job?

I heard a quote once that I have seen ring true many times -
"Only the rich can afford to buy cheap equipment." You may not agree with it, but I stand by it. Too many times I have bought budget stuff, only for it to end up being thrown when it when it came to upgrading. To me, the money spent initially could have gone to getting the better quality kit first time out.

Not everybody wants to wear 10 pairs of jeans from Tesco. I 've owned them and I've owned designer jeans as well and I know damn well the difference in quality, it's just personal opinion whether you think the extra expense is worth it. I do. You may see it as waste, I see it as a better investment.

 

dazalio

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I also agreed with practically all of that, but maybe extending the free fishing to under 15's cos in my opinion that's when young people are more likely to be led astray or get into trouble. I'm no angel and recently been in some serious trouble, but fishing real does keep you away from the druggies and no-hopers that's only if there is somewhere nearby for young people with no transport to get to.As for the tackle I caught my first three fish on a five squid whip (three roach around a pound) and I'll continue using that whip until it's behond use. Saying this nearly every young person in my town would rather go out and get stoned or blind drunk or make some money by selling drugs which isn't anyway to go for any young person especially before their GCSE's.Fishing (in my opinion) is the best way for young people to avoid getting into this sort of thing no matter what the local councils setup, such as youth clubs they just help dealers sell their stuff and the buyers to get wrecked.

This post might look very drug and crime based but that's the way it is now, and that's not just in my town it's all over the country and all over the world.

ALIO,
 

shagga

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This is one of the more thought provoking posts I've seen on any of the websites I visit...some bits I empaphise with Nick Durst, especially the inability to fish on under-fished waters contolled by far away clubs/syndicates....Trogg, I too have caught very well on budget gear (having broken the tip off my Shimano trying to attach a nightlight rather clumsily (DOH!) I switched to my battered old Sundridge feeder rod and took 80lbs of Bream from the Thames at Teddington Lock last July) but feel far more confident with my "tackle tart" gear...I know for a fact that I hit more bites with my current "expensive" pole than I would have previously with a "cheap" pole and my Tardis makes matches far more comfortable and tidy than my previous box with a seat....Dazalio, you seem to already know that you have paths to choose in your life and being involved in fishing, hopefully with peers that can distract you from the s*it that boredom can induce, may steer you the right way...by the way, although you think it's the way of the world now, I can assure you it (youth culture) has been that way for many years....Mods were popping pills in the sixties, punks sniffin' glue in the seventies, city boys with Charlie in the eighties, Ravers with E's in the 90's...it's no different to what it was then but everyone has a choice.... F*ck drugs, go fishin'...
 

Trogg

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quote:
What I have become (unknowing to me at the time) was (according to Trogg) a 'Tackle Tart', which I take offence to.


Why take offence at a simple term like that??

People have called me many things over my lifetime & if i took offence at something as simple as that i might as well chuck in the towel now.

As you quite rightly state it is a matter of opinion & mine is why spend good money for a name??


The quote "only the rich can afford to buy cheap equipment" is a good one i'll remember that, the main problem being i'm far from rich, married with two daughters & i've also got three boys with my ex-wife, i have now got a job but its long hours & i work bloody hard as well, but not all of us can afford to go out & spend the cash required straight away so i'd rather buy cheap or second hand gear for two reasons
1) you don't lose as much when its stolen
2) you don't lose as much when you clumsily break the end while attatching a night light (sorry shagga had to be done LOL)icon_smile_wink.gif

Oh & as for pole fishing.............sorry i don't wanna be a garden gnome icon_smile_tongue.gif (take a look at the pics of my fellow moderator Pete for proof) LOL


As an after thought.........
I can't remember who but would the member who sent me the proof that Browning, Shimano & Leeda all use the same blanks please send me it again so i can post it on here (that way you don't have to worry about revealing who you are).





Alan
 

Geoff P

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Anybody who has fished with me will tell you I am no tackle tart.

My pole cost me 139 quid, and I have caught some nice fish with it.

My most expesnive rod cost 64 quid, leeda generation X 13ft carp rod, and it is a cracker.

I have always stated that I fish for the pure enjoyment, and the company, and I do not claim to be any kind of expert at it (as two of the three men in a boat will find out at Bury Hill next week). Spending a lot of money on tackle would not make me a better angler, just a poorer one.

If I look after the cheap kit I have got it will last me some time, and even then I will not replace it, only add to it.

Still, let us not keep having a go at each other, just chill and go fishing.

Geoff

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norm

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here here geoff (my 29 year old bad temperd mateicon_smile_blackeye.gif)

i like good gear

but buying some thing that costs as much as you can afford is as good
if not better than gear that will leave you skint for yonks
icon_smile_wink.gif
 

Beebs

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quote:

Two words "tackle tart" & its true thats all they are.

Why take offence at a simple term like that??


It pi*ses me off when people try and make it look like a crime to have something that's tidy that may have cost a bit extra. It's like hearing "I hate people who drive BMW's." Why? Do you hate the person, or the fact that they've got something you'd want. I don't believe for one minute if the situation was different you wouldn't treat yourself to a 100 rod if the money was at your disposal. It doesn't make you a tart.

I've done my fair share of s*it jobs, laboured for builders for 15 a day, in steel works, on construction sites, stacked shelves in Tesco and spent my share and somebody elses share of time on the dole and I'm now in a position where I'm not turning up at the newsagents with a pocketful of 5p's for 10 Lambert & Butler, so I know all too well what it's like to have f*ck all.

Part of the enjoyment of fishing for me is sitting there on the bank with stuff I've bought that I wanted and like, I couldn't give a toss if anyone comes past and comments about how 'Shimano make nice kit'. I'd rather sit on a deserted river bank with no bugger bothering me all day. I wouldn't look down my nose at somebody sitting there with a 6' 10 spinning rod 'cos I've been there and if I see someone with a 500 custom made job I wouldn't think he was tart, "Fair play" I would think, nice if you can afford it. To me it sounds like petty jealousy.

"Tackle Tart, that's all I am." I think you'll find there's a lot more to me than just a label junkie.

 

Dave

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I always thought that the term 'Tackle Tart' was an affectionate one for someone who bought boat loads of tackle whether it was needed or not, not someone who had quality gear or the latest, most expensive.

It makes me chuckle when I see an angler struggling down the banks, loaded up to the eye balls with this, that, and the other, coranary on the horizon, and when they get to their peg the same bit of kit comes out time and time again. The rest is there 'just in case' icon_smile.gif

Hang on a mo - that's me icon_smile_blush.gif lol, Dave
 

Trogg

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Well at least someone knows what it means Dave.

You're not a tackle tart anyway, you're just a tart (or a tyke tart) LOL

Beebs have you ever heard the term ledger lout??

It means an arse hole who can't float fish so he uses a ledger for everything, i've been called that enough times but i laugh it off man.

Its even funnier when i pick up one of my two rods (theres a term for that but i can't remember it) & they see its got a nice little stick float on the end.

Elton Murphy now he's a self confessed tackle tart, hell he even has his own name put on his rods & he takes the p*ss out of himself more than anyone & he owns a website so imagine what it would be like if he took offence.

I've been called a tackle tart loads of times, no idea why the most expensive bit of kit i've got is my normark rod & some tackle tarts turn their noses up at that name.

Chill out mate & don't let things get to you so easy its all meant in good fun, if i took offence at what some of these call me i'd have the forums emptied within an hour.

Oh & just for the record & to prove i'm not a total blanker, yes i did say blanker toma not wa*ker (although a lot of people would disagree).



I did have a better one but the batteries went flat after taking this one of Dian with the first fish she's had since last year.





Alan
 

Beebs

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quote:
Beebs have you ever heard the term ledger lout??


Haven't heard that one, but I've been guilty on more than one occasion.
I didn't realise there was bitchiness in fishing. I always assumed that everyone was in it together, regardless of how much their tackle was worth. It takes a special kind of idiot to sit in mud and rain pulling out fish and going home smelling of god knows what.

You can say what you like to me and it'll be water off a duck's back.
I've as good a sense of humour as the next man and am chilled out enough, but some things do get my back up.
It's not insults that wind me up, they don't mean anything, it's attitudes that really get my goat. As far as I'm concerned, there is no 'Us & Them' when it comes to fishing, only 'Us', 'Them' being the ones who don't do it.
Some of 'Us' have Shimano rods, some have other makes, does it really matter? Some of 'Us' may even drive a Bentley (I don't), but as long as I see him/her carrying his own kit, setting it up themselves and sitting out in their scruffy clothes in all weathers, then they are one of us too.
Unless they're fishing an overstocked carp puddle, then they're one of them.icon_smile.gif
 

Trogg

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Now that proves you've never been fishing with Dave.

He rolls up in his Bently turbo kicks poor old Stu out in the rain to set up his Marquee & tackle (including the 24ct gold reels & titanium rodpod) then waits for Stu to hold the brolly over his head whilst he walks down to his bivv...sorry marquee on the red carpet thats been rolled out over the nasty mud.


As for the "them n us" i always say "us" when refering to any angler & "them" when refering to the ars.....sorry i meant anti's.

Theres is an old term called "Brothers of the Angle" & i truly believe thats true (even if you are a noddie, rubbish yob, ledger lout, barbel copper, fluff flinger, garden gnome wannabe or a tackle tart)icon_smile_wink.gif


Alan
 
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