1 year ago



One thing the EU most

One thing the EU most certainly is not is a collection of equals, and therefore political bullying is rife, such as by the French not wanting the minimum size limit for bass to go up from thirty six cm, at which stage bass have yet to reproduce, to forty two cm when some of them might have replaced themselves, because believe it or not, a thirty six cm bass supposedly fits better on a dinner plate. Forget the science. It's house wife and restaurateur driven, which could very easily be satisfied by hatchery reared fish, were it not for the fact that there is a premium paid for wild fish, and more especially in posh nosh gaffs, for large wild fish, where customers prefer a bigger, meatier, bone-free lump on their plate. For these reasons and more, commercial exploitation is never going to go away until the economics of cost in pursuit of catching bass is out-weighed by the income they deliver. The law of diminishing returns. Adding further insult to injury here is the blame culture of finger pointing by the EU at anglers, holding us responsible for the bulk of the species decline by imposing a three fish per day bag limit from April 2015. I have no problem at all with bag limits as part of a package of measures aimed at rehabilitating the species, providing they are universally applied. But to single out rod and line fishing is ludicrous. Like most anglers, I would not want to take three bass per trip anyway, and would be happy if I could occasionally catch three in a session these days. So in that sense it doesn't affect me, and I dare say many other anglers. Yet now incredibly, I find myself opposing bag limits, simply because of the implication they carry in terms of blame. Being a recreational fishing representative on the Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority (IFCA), as you might expect, I get bombarded by arguments and counter arguments on the current bass situation quite literally on a daily basis. It comes from being on so many interested parties block email lists. So I think to an extent I do have my finger on the pulse. Equally, I also have my own opinions, which I can say without fear of contradiction will ruffle a few feathers amongst the angling community. But before I give them, let me first say that they have been well thought through, so at least give them a fair hearing, even if you disagree. The first thing I want to say in connection with this is that I feel I have done as much as the next man to champion the cause of the bass, which is something I will continue to do, even though it invariably feels like swimming against the tide. At the time of first daft writing here, and flying in the face of all the scientific wisdom, bass could still legally be taken at thirty six cm in length, despite the fact that forty two cm probably represents a fish about to spawn for the first time, with forty five cm a more responsible figure to ensure all have done so at least once. To its credit, the Irish government has just announced a proposal for fifty cm. Yet despite the fact that the various regional IFCA's have the legal right to unilaterally change size limits, providing they are raised and not lowered, and let's face it, why would anyone with even half a brain want to lower them, still nothing is done. Certainly not by my regional IFCA, other than to complain about work loads, though by the time I was proof reading the final draft here, realising the species was now finally looking over the edge of the abyss, the EU through a majority vote, finally but reluctantly agreed to up the minimum size limit to 42 cm. Not only that, this time it would apply to everybody. Meanwhile, in the face of dire warnings from the International Council for Exploitation of the Seas (ICES) in 2014 saying that unless there was an eighty percent reduction in bass landings to allow some 170

ecruitment in the face of imminent stock collapse, having investigated the problem, the EU's technical committee for fisheries concluded that 25% of mortality was down to anglers which was the driver for the three fish recreational bag limit, then as previously mentioned, applied no penalties at all to those responsible for the other 75%, the commercial sector Prior to the 42 cm size limit coming in, I contacted my IFCA CEO requesting information on how to take the first steps on the long arduous road towards drafting a by-law proposal to protect bass within the North West IFCA's six mile coastal jurisdiction, which is sandwiched between the Scottish and Welsh borders. I knew in advance that when or if it was ever presented to the assembly for approval it would be defeated. But that didn't matter. Four double figure Bass, Guernsey At least it would put the topic onto the agenda, forcing the commercials to think about it, and hear another point of view before black balling the suggestion. I didn't even get the courtesy of a reply. So I personally approached the director of enforcement to sound him out with regard to a forty two cm minimum landing size; a two fish bag limit applicable to all as most of the commercially caught bass along the Lancashire Coast are rod caught, and for a slot limit where all big bass which have ducked and weaved their way through to proven spawning ability are put back, and he looked at me as if I was trying to steal the food from commercial fishermen's plates. The answer I received was that any suggestion of change would be vigorously and emphatically blocked every inch of the way, citing amongst other things, a lack of resources to enforce it. Putting the bag and slot limits aside, I politely pointed out that as his fishery officers were already legally obliged to enforce the thirty six cm minimum size limit, which it still was at the time, how much more man power would it take to stretch a tape measure out an additional eight cm. But I might as well have been talking to him in Latin. It was water off a ducks back. Well now at last we are going to find out. The obvious answer to man power deficiencies, and to the current plight of the bass, would be to make it a recreational species only, which in the current climate is never going to happen. Alternatively, exit the EU and reclaim control over our own legislative powers, because as it stands, despite claims to the contrary, the UK government continues to insist that its hands are tied. Ireland on the other hand, which is also a member of the European Union, has had a two fish bag limit for years; operates a minimum landing size in excess of what is required to allow all bass to spawn at least once, and has made fishing for the species recreational only, yet still retains its EU membership. In terms of catching bass, I've had mixed results over the years from a number of locations, both boat and shore, and using a wide variety of tactics and baits. Numerically speaking however, one specific type of mark, and two approaches to fishing it, have probably accounted for a good 90% of all my success. 171

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    THE ACTUAL BUCKET LIST 100 species

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    Colin Penny: skipper of the Weymout

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS Page The Actual B

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    Long Rough Dab 153 Turbot 154 Brill

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    Introduction to the Gobies 251 Blac

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    Bitterling 322 Gudgeon 323 Bleak 32

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    Spain 479 Thailand 479 Tunisia 484

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    As always, with any sort of ambitio

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    Working in conjunction with these i

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    viviparous reproduction, and the me

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    possible, use a landing net, and th

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    Only when a world record claim was

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    pectorals, with the second dorsal d

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    The harbour itself completely dries

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    Nor can weights be estimated by usi

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    shark and porbeagle exploits, all o

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    Mincing also makes demands on the m

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    Plymouth and some of the surroundin

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    That however isn't the entire story

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    Mark Ward, 71 pound Norfolk Tope I

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    off around Shell Wharf to the south

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    Network (SSACN), and it was on thes

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    COMMON SMOOTHHOUND Mustelus mustelu

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    But you would be wrong. Because exp

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    There are lots of good smoothhound

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    But it was a long hard fought campa

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    The object of the exercise was to c

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    One of the few occasions when I can

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    When they were more numerous than t

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    With its recent history, can there

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    Getting back to the history of thos

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    Ross Johnson, skate from the shore

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    From the shore, obviously, it won't

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    I remember one particular fish that

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    have a lot to do with numbers, dist

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    That said, I have on occasion been

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    I once took a bucket full of live m

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    With fast tides, a profusion of ban

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    igger than ten pounds, then it's a

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    Spotted Rays also lack rough prickl

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    A strikingly beautiful fish which e

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    An occasional specimen might even t

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    Most of the time we spent fishing i

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    Another of those at best rarely rep

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    A much smaller fish of more souther

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    As with all species, and for a rang

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    Our first trips didn't exactly ligh

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    etween Christmas and the last big t

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    The Fylde would fish best after a b

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    Muppets too began to appear in a ra

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    own boat over there to fish the rou

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    Colouration and lateral line are tw

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    Deep diving plugs too, providing th

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    pollack have a protruding lower jaw

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    The upper flanks and back have been

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    From my own experience, certainly f

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    photograph of a whiting he'd caught

  • Page 119 and 120: s monofilament to help eliminate se
  • Page 121 and 122: fishermen, presented as a flapper,
  • Page 123 and 124: mouth is noticeably dark. There can
  • Page 125 and 126: LING Molva molva Bucket List status
  • Page 127 and 128: Mac McAllister, Whitby Ling Now, th
  • Page 129 and 130: GREATER FORKBEARD Phycis blennoides
  • Page 131 and 132: In common with all the rocklings, t
  • Page 133 and 134: SHORE ROCKLING Gaidropsarus mediter
  • Page 135 and 136: I used to tag along to collect dise
  • Page 137 and 138: As with the more familiar flounder
  • Page 139 and 140: fish, little realising that they we
  • Page 141 and 142: Though it was still very early in t
  • Page 143 and 144: A fish with a distribution potentia
  • Page 145 and 146: aits, and a tiny sliver of squid or
  • Page 147 and 148: e enough to push them right out wit
  • Page 149 and 150: Hooks obviously can be bigger where
  • Page 151 and 152: He also uses this description for t
  • Page 153 and 154: I spent some time chatting to Paul
  • Page 155 and 156: fin extending right around to the h
  • Page 157 and 158: Whatever the reason, it did actuall
  • Page 159 and 160: From the shore it's slightly differ
  • Page 161 and 162: 161 And if you are not holding your
  • Page 163 and 164: MEGRIM Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis B
  • Page 165 and 166: Colouration is brown with some dark
  • Page 167 and 168: Dan Burrows, Fleetwood Because of m
  • Page 169: Where there are still a few bass le
  • Page 173 and 174: As ever, there was always the dange
  • Page 175 and 176: The EU is relying on existing enfor
  • Page 177 and 178: The total reduction in fishing mort
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  • Page 181 and 182: A fish with a large mouth and power
  • Page 183 and 184: weaning these otherwise algae graze
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  • Page 187 and 188: Ollie Stenning, 8.7.4 Thin Lip reco
  • Page 189 and 190: Despite living nearby in Hampshire,
  • Page 191 and 192: Simply fold the pectoral fin forwar
  • Page 193 and 194: Otherwise, a family of fishes of vi
  • Page 195 and 196: epeated off the Yorkshire coast. Ye
  • Page 197 and 198: were forced to remove their fightin
  • Page 199 and 200: So far as I can ascertain, this is
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  • Page 203 and 204: everywhere as was once the case. Wi
  • Page 205 and 206: Quite an unusual visitor to our pat
  • Page 207 and 208: Four of us we were drift fishing a
  • Page 209 and 210: Physically, the almaco is a slightl
  • Page 211 and 212: Already we are seeing that, not onl
  • Page 213 and 214: the end of the trip, still with no
  • Page 215 and 216: I've had it happen to me on more th
  • Page 217 and 218: What clinched that line of thinking
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    Mike Thrussell, Gilthead Bream I ha

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    BOGUE Boops boops Bucket List statu

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    AXILLARY BREAM Pagellus acarne Buck

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    Caught out, instead of reversing th

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    The biggest of the four was put at

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    So there I am winding in, certain I

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    CUCKOO WRASSE Labrus mixtus Bucket

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    For deliberately targeting them, th

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    The scientific wisdom suggests it t

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    As is the trend with most of the gu

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    In this particular case however, re

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    Although I've never caught one myse

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    So you can expect to see them in mo

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    The knock on effect would also sign

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    Phill Williams, Shad on fly Unusual

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    THE GOBIES Potentially quite a larg

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    Colouration varies between reddish

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    TOMPOT BLENNY Parablennius gattorug

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    BLACK FACED BLENNY Tripterygion del

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    A very dark blue-grey fish over its

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    If it's a conger, the eye will be l

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    Yes, conger can be a handful. Dange

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    to make a short flowing 10/0 hook t

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    Anyway, a good hour went by without

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    More recently, that trend has given

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    A fish well capable of weights well

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    eam covered in a mosaic of heavy sc

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    Trigger fish are not overly demandi

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    Distribution extends throughout all

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    exaggerated long filaments stretchi

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    sometimes lighter vertical bars on

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    GREATER WEEVER Trachinus draco Buck

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    The anal fin follows a similar patt

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    Colouration is sandy brown with a s

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    By far the biggest numbers I have e

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    RED BAND FISH Cepola rubescens Buck

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    After spawning, the adults drop bac

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    So not a likely repeat prospect for

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    As for mirrors, commons, leathers a

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    That was it. We would film a demons

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    Granted, Richard Walker was from a

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    Anglers however tend to have mixed

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    It took us some searching to locate

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    RUDD Scardinius erythrophthalmus Bu

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    Match anglers love them too, as all

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    ait on their heads and immediately

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    BARBEL Barbus barbus Bucket List st

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    In addition to that, Mike also had

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    More towards the back-end however,

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    Looking at recent reports of catch

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    Let's start with the feel of the fi

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    distances on a regular basis to fis

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    I'd never been to East Anglia befor

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    Phill Williams, small Zander locati

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    Not exactly a fish to set the world

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    Dave and Paul went straight for the

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    For a whole range of reasons you co

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    Let's also not lose sight of the fa

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    You only have to look at the wider

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    villa I stayed in. Using worms boug

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    Included in the adipose finned spec

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    Other boats also came ashore with s

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    Theoretically, a very straight forw

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    particular tenkara fly fishing come

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    A scale count from the adipose fin

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    Living in a three dimensional world

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    the hook inside a small ball of the

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    Colouration is typically dark green

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    In Grayling circles, I have to say

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    around one hundred and forty or so

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    across the lake, and would therefor

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    There were certainly less fish abou

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    One day, Bob Fitchie and I decided

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    Inspired by Wally's catch, John and

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    Cape Cod is a venue where bass in t

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    The obvious problem was that Dave,

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    So why go to the trouble of fishing

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    It's just a pity that the hundred o

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    This is controlled by a single lock

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    idea was that as the light faded, t

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    You could drop a live mullet or blu

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    Having fished there on a number of

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    getting access to big fish too for

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    and reels supplied on-board, which

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    Paul Bennett hooked up a huge snapp

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    As one local party boat angler put

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    The entrance can get quite busy wit

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    Each morning at breakfast we would

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    407 What we had not expected was ei

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    cameras, this went into a rucksack

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    The fishing itself was straight for

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    ottom. It was all bait fishing with

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    Smaller asp on the other hand tend

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    also run this river in their millio

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    Surprisingly, for the size of these

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    Eventually it appeared within reach

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    On one occasion, as soon as I touch

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    shark, which, along with a fish I h

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    fixed spool reels. Fortunately we h

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    As it would turn out, this was the

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    A stretch of land separated from th

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    The food was very nice. Fresh lobst

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    What you needed to do was cast as f

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    He in turn blamed the local lads on

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    against the concrete above us and h

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    The one remaining option was to go

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    More important still, so too were t

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    Our problem was catching the necess

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    Unfortunately, everything seemed to

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    was emptied, carried to us by scant

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    me there from Calangute where I was

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    In less than half an hour it was mi

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    said, as I'm not one for aimlessly

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    This happened a couple more times b

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    inside edge of the reef. As the sto

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    limited time, we were satisfied, an

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    Phill Williams, Puerto Vallarta Jac

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    Some days he would even walk into t

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    Were it not for the many bite-offs,

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    Gurnards very similar to our tub gu

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    Cod though were always the number o

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    up into the jungle. So late in fact

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    As was often the case, the chat wen

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    things turned out, it was nothing o

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    SPAIN I've only ever been to mainla

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    These eventually turned out to be f

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    In terms of approach, we used a ver

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    Dove-tailing very nicely into this

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    I suggested in my representations,

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    Fortunately, most of the recorded s

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    not mentioned in this section of th

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    Opportunities to realistically and

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    Hamish Currie is the only home wate

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    through holes in bushes, around sub

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    to adjust the working depth, depend

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    One of the recorded audio interview

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    Wels Catfish - now excluded from th

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    Okay, so you can access much of it

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    With this mind we motored off down

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    As a sort of prediction as well as

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    Phill Williams & Johan Burger with

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    Let's look at the pro's and con's o

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    It may surprise some people here wh

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    kayaks tied up to some of the buoys

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    Because of the geography involved,

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    I even tried bottom fishing with sm

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    magnetometer behind the boat as the

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    Luckily, Pete had installed a bilge

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    But endless pages of print unfortun

  • Page 533 and 534:

    And now here we are with the bucket

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    with no relevant qualifications, I

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    Deformed surviving Tope Most other

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    you dip the sampling can in at the

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    acteria feeding on it, or other inp

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    separate bucket for reintroduction

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    RESIDS 0.18 0.16 0.14 0.12 0.10 2 3

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    An asteroid impact 66 million years

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    As a point of balance, I should als

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    a vested financial interest in mopp

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    Podcast Interview 8: Graeme Pullen,

  • Page 555 and 556:

    Podcast Interview 33: Zyg Gregorek,

  • Page 557 and 558:

    Podcast Interview 55: Dave Beecham,

  • Page 559 and 560:

    Podcast Interview 74: Justin Anwyl

  • Page 561 and 562:

    Podcast Interview 95: Sven Hille, B

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    shore, and a 1000 pound fish from a

  • Page 565 and 566:

    Podcast Interview 134: Mike Heylin,

  • Page 567 and 568:

    Podcast Interview 155: Ally Gowans,

  • Page 569 and 570:

    Podcast Interview 176: Terry Mosele

  • Page 571 and 572:

    his job had to fish with many of th

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    Smoothhound at surface: Photo Phill

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    Dave Devine Haddock trio: Photo Phi

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    Gibraltar harbour: Photo Phill Will

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    Anchovy: Photo Phill Williams. Phil

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    Grass Carp: Photo Bill Rushmer. Vir

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    Char in breeding livery: Photo Phil

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    Danny Cove 200 pound Stingray: Phot

  • Page 587 and 588:

    My angling hero & mentor, Davy Agne

  • Page 589:

    The Lesser Spotted curse: Photo Phi

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