When you say you have been fishing all your life to be honest that is not very long. At 67 my uncle Gerry first took me down to the river fishing for minnows when I was two, my mother thought it was great at the time but regretted it in later years. As for a serious start I was nine years old and fishing Poole Harbour and during the last 58 years there have been enormous changes both in fresh water and sea fishing.
Sea fishing is suffering with the number of fish being depleted by the commercial effort, yes there are fewer boats but the remaining ones are very well equipped. I think the inshore boys now know the writing is on the wall for most of them and the big boys don't give a toss, they will continue to hoover up fish until it is no longer viable.
We have lost our shout for various reasons mostly our own fault and now organisations like WWF, MCS and others have the main shout, even the big boys are no match for them.
Ironically those organisations may in the end be our salvation, by pressing for marine reserves which will be no take zones fish stocks will have a chance to increase and other areas should reap the benefits.
A thought struck me the other day, if we joined forces with these conservation organisations and between us pressed for the Golden Mile as a net free area we could all gain. It might mean bag limits but if you can go and catch fish with a couple to take home it will be better than no fish.
Just a thought.
With regards to global warming none of us can argue with the fact that average temps are increasing and seasons are changing, this is the forth consecutive wet July and August. You might argue the reasons for it but not the figures.
There are still fish about but if you take mackerel last year and this they have been very scratchy, one would have to guess the big boys with their pair trawls are doing the damage in the Irish Sea.
Your generation are going to have to give things some serious thought if you want to go on fishing, old farts like me will probably see things out with a few more fish, but it is a different story for you young'uns. Make the right choices which may include licenses, bag limits etc and you could have lots of happy days ahead of you. But most of all you have to stand up and be counted where it matters and support angling organisations to have a real voice.