Monday, 26 November 2012

Does It Count?

Having been a carp angler through the 80's and onwards I was never averse to a bit of stroke pulling. Most of us have stretched the rules a bit. I remember fishing in the close season under the infamous 'Any method trout fishing' rule at Farlows in esteemed company with boilies and hair-rigs. Most of us have also fished a 'snide' rod from time to time. I remember one particular lake where most of us fished with three rods during the two rod rule era. We took it in turns to fish the swim near the car park. If the authorities showed up the plan was that the the fellow in this swim shouted "NRA" at the top of his voice, swiftly followed by the sound of optonics as the rest of the lake reeled in the third rod. Best that one got nicked instead of the lot of us!
 Then there comes the subject of poaching, or 'guesting' as it's dressed up as these days. Some tales have become legendary, take for example the escapades on 'The 'mere', a 'no fishing' SSSI site containing the ill-fated Black Mirror.
 The reason I have just started to ponder such things is a conversation I had recently regarding the capture of a massive chub. The fish caught after dark and 'out of bounds'. It had me thinking. I actually stated in jest that the fish was "worth double points", almost glorifying the illegality. It's stealth guerrilla angling and is almost a cult now to some. My question is this though. With a sporting ethic in mind, do these catches count at all?


  1. People 'questing' on private property gets me riled; trouble is the carp world seems to look up to these assholes with some sort of admiration. They just think they have a right to fish wherever they want regardless of how it affects anybody else. The magazines blatantly print articles by these blaggers which is one of the reasons why I no longer buy them.

    So NO, they are against sporting ethics, the law and perpetrators should be hung from there goolies until fly-blown.

  2. If you can bye a ticket and fish leagal I alway will but I do fish the odd water that are owned by the EA and are no fishing but you can walk your dog round bird watch so why not fish I have two EA rod licences (no I am not a carp angler just get two in case yet to fish with a third rod ever) so why no fishing? Are we not fit to enjoy our country side? Do they count? They do to me and that is all that matters thank you very much!

  3. Not on the fence at all then mate ? :-)....Fair points, well made sir.

  4. I prefer taking more of a New Englanders 'maritime law' attitude as in "the sea is free for anyone" and carry that attitude inland. It isn't illegal if the sign is missing! There are many many loopholes to 'seasonal' trout fishing. Sux that you live in England where is sounds sooooo strict, how much is a day on the Wye in a hatch? Ridiculous! Don't get me entirely wrong.... I religiously purchase a licence every year on Jan 1st, and don't get caught during the 6 weeks of closed season in Ct. As long as I am in the water participating in a c&r fishing sport, screw anyone who gets mad. This is a goddamn country that was founded in rebellion and I'll fish wherever I want! Its a free Cunt.Ry. take down the frigging signs, light up a joint and walk freely up any stream you please.

  5. Reading back I do sound a tad dogmatic.... but hey, its how I feel. If these people will poach private property they are just as likely to poach private syndicates where members pay a lot of money for exclusive fishing, it just gives carp (in the main) anglers a really bad name but I'm afraid it is endemic in the sport so we are all tarred with the same brush.

    Then there's the fish 'moving' which is another aspect of carping that boils my blood........

  6. I can't imagine anything worse than spending a whole session looking over your shoulder for fear of getting 'caught'. But some people get a 'buzz' from it I think.

    It's legendary in pike angling too. All sorts of "guesting" on trout waters and lochs etc. Apparently...

    It's a tricky one. I do admire the efforts of people like Dave Lane in seeking the Black Mirror etc. As long as they don't complain if/when they get the book thrown at them.

    I also think there is a difference between guesting on waters that don't allow angling at all (for whatever reason) and guesting on expensive syndicates with long waiting lists. The latter is just not cricket.

    Anglers have to be careful though. We don't have a "right" to fish anywhere we want to. Just as other water users don't have a "right" to go wherever they want to. If you know what I mean.............

    There is a salmon/trout syndicate on a local river. Strictly fly only. A 'share' will cost you thousands. The catch returns are pathetic (they say because of lack or rods rather than lack of fish...). I would love to trot a float with maggots on their waters for grayling etc in winter but there is absolutely no chance. Do I have the "right" to do so because I want to? No.

    Agree with Dave Burr on the 'moving'. Completely out of order. Unbelievably selfish and potentially dangerous too (diseases etc).

  7. Good site, congratulations

  8. We all have bent the rules at some point barbed hooks when the rules say barbless, no trout pellets? I'll use halibut pellets then. ....but I think itis a bit different when people statt fishing waters without permission. How woild you like it if you came home and someone had set a bivy up in your garden and was pissing up a tree.

    1. Quite so, sir..Quite so...Though I've just cut all my trees down... Bloomin' Leylandii.