The reason for this post is Angling ethics the good the bad and the down right ugly. I have been fishing man and boy for over forty years. If truth be told it is nearer fifty. My God half a century and I’m still learning. I’ll be a blinkin genius when I’m 100.Over that time I have used different methods and watched others develop their styles. After all these years I have come to the conclusion that the one thing that binds us as Anglers is ethics,our primary aim is enjoyment of our sport and the banter that surrounds it. Be you a pike salmon chub or whatever angler,whether you use bait metal or fur, you are an angler who approaches your sport with an ethical inclination to preserve and foster our species and environment.
There are some however and thankfully they are in the minority who abuse these two cardinal rules of Angling Ethics. Who approach our sport as a means of self gratification,are in pursuit of wall hangings and other memorabilia. I do not refer here to the Angler or Hunter who tries for the “one of a lifetime” and has a memento of this,rather I refer to the type of individual who on achieving for most what is a lifetime record then goes on to attempt an even bigger record and kills another animal for his own self satisfaction.
A case in point are the wonderful Ferox trout of the western lakes,these fish like many in the western lakes are genetically unique and are the target of many trophy hunters. I will state here and now that I would not object to an individual seeking out the fish of a lifetime,however I find it repugnant that some individuals continually seek out and target this scarce and threatened species of Trout who have evolved and lived in our lakes since the ice age and are an intrinsic part of the ecosystem.I am no puritan I will and have fished “for the pot” I respect the fact that an angler would like to have a specimen wall mounted for future generations,but once this is achieved I would suggest he has reached his lifetime goal from a finite resource. I should hope that he would accept this and not deliberately target large indigenous species, but rather leave them to procure the future for their species and the future of anglers to follow us.
The results of such an approach are more than adequately proven on Lough Sheelin County Cavan. This lake is noted for it’s larger than normal brown trout where the activities of the local club and the conservative approach of visiting anglers has resulted in an excellent brown trout fishery. Indeed so good is this lake that the home international was held on it earlier this month.From figures I received over 500 fish many exceeding 7lbs in weight were caught and returned on practice days and competition day by the four competing countries.To all I say well done,you proved conservation works.Now let us hope that the few will learn from the many as one well respected angler and noted fly tyer quoted
“The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you caught isn’t someone else’s gift to you”