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· WSF 2021 Bass C&R Lure Trophy joint winner 80cm
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Salmon farming is an awful business. The sea lice it attracts have virtually wiped out sea trout stocks, and the poisons they used to control them were terrible for the environment. Then they started using our wrasse to eat the lice in the cages. An awful lot of salmon die and have to be binned. And vast amounts of wild sea fish are converted into pellets to feed the salmon.
Things started to go wrong when it was discovered where wild salmon fed at sea. They were extensively netted at sea and runs never recovered. Add in factors like booming seal numbers, illegal netting and exploitation of fodder fish stocks and wild salmon became scarce. But everybody wants to eat salmon, so to satisfy the demand they had to be farmed.
If you must farm salmon, it is better (but more expensive) to do it in a closed onshore environment rather than sea cages, where you can control disease without affecting the marine environment. PH
 

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How is the Wild Salmon stocks doing, i guess there is money in preserving them or even a Commercial ban?.
Improving as far as I am aware.

There are many reasons blamed for the decline in wild salmon stocks, every couple of years seems to bring a whole new episode of The Blame Game.

One thing is a given, the difficulty of those so vocal about saving the stock still wanting to stick hooks in them for fun, just as those who appeared so desperate and vocal to save the Bass stock campaigned to increase the take from that very same stock - it must be quite the dilemma to square off in ones mind, let alone sell the concept to anyone but the uber naive.
 

· WSF 2021 Bass C&R Lure Trophy joint winner 80cm
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Improving as far as I am aware.

There are many reasons blamed for the decline in wild salmon stocks, every couple of years seems to bring a whole new episode of The Blame Game.

One thing is a given, the difficulty of those so vocal about saving the stock still wanting to stick hooks in them for fun, just as those who appeared so desperate and vocal to save the Bass stock campaigned to increase the take from that very same stock - it must be quite the dilemma to square off in ones mind, let alone sell the concept to anyone but the uber naive.
Most salmon rivers are now catch-and-release, so anglers 'sticking hooks in them for fun' are not reducing stocks, while at the same time they are giving a big boost to local economies by staying in hotels, hiring guides etc.
Most serious bass anglers I know are totally or mainly catch-and-release (I don't keep bass at all) because we are smart enough to know that if we try to compete with the commercials to slaughter bass there will soon be no bass left to catch and our sport will be gone.

It is interesting to hear different points of view, but I do wonder why someone who is apparently a commercial fisherman keeps popping up on an ANGLING website.
 

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Most salmon rivers are now catch-and-release, so anglers 'sticking hooks in them for fun' are not reducing stocks, while at the same time they are giving a big boost to local economies by staying in hotels, hiring guides etc.
Most serious bass anglers I know are totally or mainly catch-and-release (I don't keep bass at all) because we are smart enough to know that if we try to compete with the commercials to slaughter bass there will soon be no bass left to catch and our sport will be gone.

It is interesting to hear different points of view, but I do wonder why someone who is apparently a commercial fisherman keeps popping up on an ANGLING website.
I believe hydeaway1 has all ready stated he's a retired commercial fisherman and even if he wasnt that doesnt stop him from being an angler as well.

As for c&r not affecting the stock, so there a 0% mortality rate for C&R now is there ?
 

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Most salmon rivers are now catch-and-release, so anglers 'sticking hooks in them for fun' are not reducing stocks, while at the same time they are giving a big boost to local economies by staying in hotels, hiring guides etc.
Most serious bass anglers I know are totally or mainly catch-and-release (I don't keep bass at all) because we are smart enough to know that if we try to compete with the commercials to slaughter bass there will soon be no bass left to catch and our sport will be gone.

It is interesting to hear different points of view, but I do wonder why someone who is apparently a commercial fisherman keeps popping up on an ANGLING website.
Do you honestly believe that sticking hooks into fish and the rest of what we do doesn't harm the fish, sometimes with fatal consequences - that post release mortality doesn't happen?

I absolutely agree that communities see very welcome socio-economic benefits from salmon anglers and long may that continue, just as they see absolutely vital socio-economic benefits from salmon farming but on a much bigger scale, in some communities without the jobs and benefits that fish farming provides the communities would die out completely.

I angle for Bass as well, would the stock be better if we didn't, absolutely that is beyond dispute. I kill some and I release some but as I don't perceive any stock issues I live with either version quite happily, if I did have any stock concerns I am unsure whether I would still target them or not, it's a bit of a moral dilemma.

It's been a couple of years since I have commercially fished, I still have a lot of friends in the game but it is no longer my game.
 

· WSF 2021 Bass C&R Lure Trophy joint winner 80cm
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"Our wrasse" ?
[/QUOTE

For goodness sake! Commercial fishermen have practically stripped the seas bare. But they didn't bother with wrasse, a species of no commercial value but a fine sporting fish which many anglers like to catch and almost always release. Then the salmon farmers thought it would be a good idea to put live wrasse in the salmon cages to eat the sea lice. Cheaper than using nasty chemicals and better for the environment in the sea lochs where the cages are situated. So sprang up a nice little sideline for commercials - trapping wrasse to export to Scotland. Of course, they didn't give a thought to the effect on the marine environment down here in the South West, or the fact that they were depriving anglers of one of the few species left for them to catch.
That's why they are - or were - our wrasse. PH
 

· WSF 2021 Bass C&R Lure Trophy joint winner 80cm
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I believe hydeaway1 has all ready stated he's a retired commercial fisherman and even if he wasnt that doesnt stop him from being an angler as well.

As for c&r not affecting the stock, so there a 0% mortality rate for C&R now is there ?
hydeaway1 may be an angler as well as a former commercial fisherman, but comments like 'sticking hooks in fish for fun' do rather give away where his sympathies lie.

Of course there are some casualties with catch-and-release, but the numbers must be minute compared with the thousands and thousands of fish killed daily by commercials. How many fish caught in gill nets or trawls are carefully returned unharmed? We have all seen footage of commercials kicking dying bass back over the side or even chucking them back one at a time for the benefit of the camera, not because they care about conservation but because they want to make a point that they should be allowed to keep all they catch. I have read that for every pound of sole landed, NINE POUNDS of other marine creatures are discarded dead. So don't talk to me about the odd bass that may not survive release. It has a far better chance of making it than one caught in a net. PH
 

· WSF 2021 Bass C&R Lure Trophy joint winner 80cm
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Do you honestly believe that sticking hooks into fish and the rest of what we do doesn't harm the fish, sometimes with fatal consequences - that post release mortality doesn't happen?

I absolutely agree that communities see very welcome socio-economic benefits from salmon anglers and long may that continue, just as they see absolutely vital socio-economic benefits from salmon farming but on a much bigger scale, in some communities without the jobs and benefits that fish farming provides the communities would die out completely.

I angle for Bass as well, would the stock be better if we didn't, absolutely that is beyond dispute. I kill some and I release some but as I don't perceive any stock issues I live with either version quite happily, if I did have any stock concerns I am unsure whether I would still target them or not, it's a bit of a moral dilemma.

It's been a couple of years since I have commercially fished, I still have a lot of friends in the game but it is no longer my game.
You 'don't perceive any stock issues with bass? REALLY? This is a species that can grow to 20lb+, but one half that size is now a rarity and the vast majority of bass landed by both anglers and commercials weigh much less than 4lb. The fact is that bigger bass have been stripped out of the stock by relentless commercial pressure. It's like cod, a species which can grow to 100lb+. These days, if you catch a 3lb codling you have had a good day. In reality it's a baby, too young to spawn. If you are a former commercial fisherman, can you put your hand on your heart and say bass (and cod) have not declined, both in size and numbers?
 

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hydeaway1 may be an angler as well as a former commercial fisherman, but comments like 'sticking hooks in fish for fun' do rather give away where his sympathies lie.

Of course there are some casualties with catch-and-release, but the numbers must be minute compared with the thousands and thousands of fish killed daily by commercials. How many fish caught in gill nets or trawls are carefully returned unharmed? We have all seen footage of commercials kicking dying bass back over the side or even chucking them back one at a time for the benefit of the camera, not because they care about conservation but because they want to make a point that they should be allowed to keep all they catch. I have read that for every pound of sole landed, NINE POUNDS of other marine creatures are discarded dead. So don't talk to me about the odd bass that may not survive release. It has a far better chance of making it than one caught in a net. PH
I am a realist, what passes muster and might be popular on an angling forum doesn't always translate too well when taken into the real world, it is what we do so why pretend otherwise?

Just as "Commercial fishermen have practically stripped the seas bare" and "depriving anglers of one of the few species left for them to catch" and other such nonsense is like something from the land of make believe, it's embarrassing.
 

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You 'don't perceive any stock issues with bass? REALLY? This is a species that can grow to 20lb+, but one half that size is now a rarity and the vast majority of bass landed by both anglers and commercials weigh much less than 4lb. The fact is that bigger bass have been stripped out of the stock by relentless commercial pressure. It's like cod, a species which can grow to 100lb+. These days, if you catch a 3lb codling you have had a good day. In reality it's a baby, too young to spawn. If you are a former commercial fisherman, can you put your hand on your heart and say bass (and cod) have not declined, both in size and numbers?
None whatsoever.

We see big numbers of Bass up here like we have never seen before, you can genuinely catch them like mackerel three at a time some days.

Cod have definitely declined in my memory but given that the starting baseline was the unnatural unlikely ever to be repeated event that was the Gadoid Outburst no real surprise there.

Bass have escalated around here, they were a rarity but are now so common the challenge in catching them has all but gone.

I was a commercial fisherman for 40+ years but have never targeted fish, my only fish targeting has been for pleasure.
 

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except despite all that they are not "our wrasse" anymore than they are "commercials wrasse" and as for Mr Chapman i believe he doesnt even live in the UK so the certainly arent "his wrasse"
 

· WSF 2021 Bass C&R Lure Trophy joint winner 80cm
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I am a realist, what passes muster and might be popular on an angling forum doesn't always translate too well when taken into the real world, it is what we do so why pretend otherwise?

Just as "Commercial fishermen have practically stripped the seas bare" and "depriving anglers of one of the few species left for them to catch" and other such nonsense is like something from the land of make believe, it's embarrassing.
This is why some anglers have switched to lrf, which is just basically tiddler-snatching.
It used to be that Slapton beach in the South Hams of Devon would throw up lots of species in the winter, including cod, big dabs and flounders.
Recently a big open shore competition was held there, with well over 100 anglers fishing good conditions. What was caught? Dogfish, whiting and two small rays. The winner had a ray of 3-4lb and a whiting. This is the best all those dedicated anglers could do with good bait and quality modern tackle.
I started fishing 60 years ago with a centrepin reel, crude line and a solid glass pier rod. I couldn't afford two rods so I also used a handline - off the beach. Some of the catches we had then despite no transport, no expertise, crap gear and a few worms or slipper limpets would make modern anglers faint. My brother and I fishing little spinning rods over the side of our local pier, caught 49 flounders in a day. One four-hour boat session, fishing single hooks, gave us 75 plaice. Of course, most of these fish went back. Today, fishing with much better gear, more expertise and good bait, what would we catch? A tiny fraction, that's what. The fact is that too many fish have been taken out of the sea, and for every one extracted by an angler, I bet hundreds if not thousands have been caught by commercials. PH
 

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This is why some anglers have switched to lrf, which is just basically tiddler-snatching.
It used to be that Slapton beach in the South Hams of Devon would throw up lots of species in the winter, including cod, big dabs and flounders.
Recently a big open shore competition was held there, with well over 100 anglers fishing good conditions. What was caught? Dogfish, whiting and two small rays. The winner had a ray of 3-4lb and a whiting. This is the best all those dedicated anglers could do with good bait and quality modern tackle.
I started fishing 60 years ago with a centrepin reel, crude line and a solid glass pier rod. I couldn't afford two rods so I also used a handline - off the beach. Some of the catches we had then despite no transport, no expertise, crap gear and a few worms or slipper limpets would make modern anglers faint. My brother and I fishing little spinning rods over the side of our local pier, caught 49 flounders in a day. One four-hour boat session, fishing single hooks, gave us 75 plaice. Of course, most of these fish went back. Today, fishing with much better gear, more expertise and good bait, what would we catch? A tiny fraction, that's what. The fact is that too many fish have been taken out of the sea, and for every one extracted by an angler, I bet hundreds if not thousands have been caught by commercials. PH
I can only sympathise but we don't share your issues around here, bar a lack of big Cod locally (I have caught big Cod in UK waters in recent years but not here) the fishing seems to improve all the time, the variety of species is incredible.

I remember when I was a kid Sea Angler magazine did a shore article here and were gobsmacked that they had caught a couple of Rays from the shore, nowadays in the summer months there are places where you could catch them from the shore until you were fed up doing so, just carpeted with them.
 
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