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THE ULTIMATE ANGLING BUCKET LIST

7DoHoXxkA

All very confusing and

All very confusing and still early days yet in trying to untangle the situation, not helped by the many similarities between the two species. NOTE: From here on in and elsewhere in the book, I am still going to refer to the two as common skate. When I first started fishing, Shetland and Orkney were the top home waters venues for huge skate. There probably are still skate to be caught at both these locations, and as likely as not, access as much as decline will have played some part in reduced visitor participation. I fished both locations when they were in their hey day, and while Orkney fell well short of expectation, Dury Voe in Shetland produced some very good fish, which in the company of a bonus one hundred and sixty seven pound halibut on one of the skate baits, were all brought to the scales, a practise regularly repeated elsewhere at the time. Is it any wonder then that population numbers started to crash, sounding alarm bells in the corridors of academia hundreds of miles to the south in Glasgow. For it was there that the first tentative moves towards skate conservation were made. Dr. Dietrich Burkel & Ian Burrett, Crinan Instrumental amongst other people in all of this was Dr. Dietrich Burkel, who I talked with at length on the subject in 2013 just before his death. A day when with a touch of both irony and justice, his last ever fish turned out to be a male skate of just over a hundred pounds which he and Ian Burrett tagged and released. To cut a long story short, back in those earliest days, catch and release, tagging, and measurement data, were all collected and put on file at Glasgow museum where Dietrich worked. And there they remained for many years, long after his departure back to Germany until Brian Little and Davy Holt took the project over, adding much more data of their own from fish brought aboard Davy's boat based at Lochaline on the Sound of Mull. This ultimately lead to the compilation of the separate weight estimation tables for both male and female fish which most anglers happily use today, and which are said to be accurate to within around 5%. Not that this has cut any ice with the various record fish committee's. They still insist that all fish are brought ashore and weighed on firm ground as part of their record claims procedure rules, putting them squarely at odds with the law, which states that all so called common skate must be returned at the point of capture. Despite this, in the years before legal protection, Bill and Davy pressed on compiling the two separate weight estimation charts, because not only are the sexes proportioned slightly differently, but their maximum growth potential differs greatly too. It's the females that are potentially the big ones. Males rarely exceed around one hundred and forty pounds, and would be more typically nearer the hundred pound mark. Females on the other hand have the capacity to well top three hundred pounds. To compensate, despite the size differential, male fish often give a far better account of themselves when hooked. Another point worth mentioning here is that when you find a productive area, segregation of the sexes can also be evident, with the males forming small pods well away from where the females are foraging. 64

Getting back to the history of those early tagging and measuring days, skate were still a single species Raja batis, and one which was in virtual free fall beyond mere decline, almost to the point of virtual extinction. The Swinbank brothers chartering out of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull were still catching and releasing a few, including the current British record of 227 pounds taken in 1986, which despite the rules laid down by the BRFC, was as I understand it, weighed on a gantry fitted to the boat and later released. They fished both in the Sound of Mull, and weather permitting, out in more open water as far north as Ardnamurchan Point, building for themselves quite a deserved reputation for a range of species of which huge skate were just one. No doubt other people would be fishing for the skate as well, particularly out from Oban at the other end of the Sound of Mull. But it wasn't until Ian Burrett and a few of his friends started taking a serious look at the species Keith Armishaw (Angling Heritage) PB after the Swinbank brothers had sold their boat on to Andy Jackson on Loch Sunart, that the future of skate fishing, and skate as a viable species, would take a very dramatic upturn. Ian chartered back then from a nineteen foot fastliner out of Drummore on Luce Bay over the summer months, fishing for tope and pollack where he has long operated an uncompromising all fish must be returned policy, fearful of the consequences indiscriminate and un-necessary taking of fish can have on vulnerable and localised populations. However, Luce Bay unfortunately does not fish well over the winter and early spring period, providing Ian and his friends with the opportunity to hitch up the trailer, and either pleasure fish or explore. Though I'd done magazine features with Ian previously in Luce Bay, I bumped into him for the first time socially on Loch Sunart, which lies at the northern end of the Sound of Mull. Dave Devine and I had gone up to Laga Bay to do a feature aboard one of Andy Jacksons self drive boats. There we bumped in to Ian at the salmon farm slip where he was putting his boat in, making ready to head out of the loch to fish for big skate. Only having a sixteen foot orkney longliner with an eight hp outboard clamped to the transom rather limited our potential. But before he vanished into the distance, Ian gave us some marks within a few minutes of the slip where he'd taken skate in the past, one of which was, and still is, the biggest fish he has ever had aboard his boat 'Onyermarks', coming out of the weight estimation formula at 235 pounds. A fish way bigger than the current record, though that doesn't concern him at all as all fish regardless of status are returned, which I know only too well having both seen and released record sized fish myself with him over the years. There can't be many places where you can potter off maybe half a mile on an eight hp outboard and expect to catch hundred pound plus skate. But thanks to Ian, plus some guidance from Andy Jackson, that trip produced fish of one hundred and forty and one hundred and five pounds, plus an assortment of spurdogs, conger and LSD's. 65

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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

  • Page 13 and 14: Bitterling 322 Gudgeon 323 Bleak 32
  • Page 15 and 16: Spain 479 Thailand 479 Tunisia 484
  • Page 17 and 18: As always, with any sort of ambitio
  • Page 19 and 20: Working in conjunction with these i
  • Page 21 and 22: viviparous reproduction, and the me
  • Page 23 and 24: possible, use a landing net, and th
  • Page 25 and 26: Only when a world record claim was
  • Page 27 and 28: pectorals, with the second dorsal d
  • Page 29 and 30: The harbour itself completely dries
  • Page 31 and 32: Nor can weights be estimated by usi
  • Page 33 and 34: shark and porbeagle exploits, all o
  • Page 35 and 36: Mincing also makes demands on the m
  • Page 37 and 38: Plymouth and some of the surroundin
  • Page 39 and 40: That however isn't the entire story
  • Page 41 and 42: Mark Ward, 71 pound Norfolk Tope I
  • Page 43 and 44: off around Shell Wharf to the south
  • Page 45 and 46: Network (SSACN), and it was on thes
  • Page 47 and 48: COMMON SMOOTHHOUND Mustelus mustelu
  • Page 49 and 50: But you would be wrong. Because exp
  • Page 51 and 52: There are lots of good smoothhound
  • Page 53 and 54: But it was a long hard fought campa
  • Page 55 and 56: The object of the exercise was to c
  • Page 57 and 58: LESSER SPOTTED DOGFISH Scyliorhinus
  • Page 59 and 60: One of the few occasions when I can
  • Page 61 and 62: When they were more numerous than t
  • Page 63: With its recent history, can there
  • Page 67 and 68: Ross Johnson, skate from the shore
  • Page 69 and 70: From the shore, obviously, it won't
  • Page 71 and 72: I remember one particular fish that
  • Page 73 and 74: have a lot to do with numbers, dist
  • Page 75 and 76: That said, I have on occasion been
  • Page 77 and 78: I once took a bucket full of live m
  • Page 79 and 80: With fast tides, a profusion of ban
  • Page 81 and 82: igger than ten pounds, then it's a
  • Page 83 and 84: Spotted Rays also lack rough prickl
  • Page 85 and 86: A strikingly beautiful fish which e
  • Page 87 and 88: An occasional specimen might even t
  • Page 89 and 90: Most of the time we spent fishing i
  • Page 91 and 92: Another of those at best rarely rep
  • Page 93 and 94: A much smaller fish of more souther
  • Page 95 and 96: As with all species, and for a rang
  • Page 97 and 98: Our first trips didn't exactly ligh
  • Page 99 and 100: etween Christmas and the last big t
  • Page 101 and 102: The Fylde would fish best after a b
  • Page 103 and 104: Muppets too began to appear in a ra
  • Page 105 and 106: own boat over there to fish the rou
  • Page 107 and 108: Colouration and lateral line are tw
  • Page 109 and 110: Deep diving plugs too, providing th
  • Page 111 and 112: pollack have a protruding lower jaw
  • Page 113 and 114: 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

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    s monofilament to help eliminate se

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    fishermen, presented as a flapper,

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    mouth is noticeably dark. There can

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    LING Molva molva Bucket List status

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    Mac McAllister, Whitby Ling Now, th

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    GREATER FORKBEARD Phycis blennoides

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    In common with all the rocklings, t

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    SHORE ROCKLING Gaidropsarus mediter

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    I used to tag along to collect dise

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    As with the more familiar flounder

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    fish, little realising that they we

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    Though it was still very early in t

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    A fish with a distribution potentia

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    aits, and a tiny sliver of squid or

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    e enough to push them right out wit

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    Hooks obviously can be bigger where

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    He also uses this description for t

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    I spent some time chatting to Paul

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    fin extending right around to the h

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    Whatever the reason, it did actuall

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    From the shore it's slightly differ

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    161 And if you are not holding your

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    MEGRIM Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis B

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    Colouration is brown with some dark

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    Dan Burrows, Fleetwood Because of m

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    Where there are still a few bass le

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    ecruitment in the face of imminent

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    As ever, there was always the dange

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    The EU is relying on existing enfor

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    The total reduction in fishing mort

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    south, as it is a common enough fis

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    A fish with a large mouth and power

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    weaning these otherwise algae graze

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    spots, and put in the time both swi

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    Ollie Stenning, 8.7.4 Thin Lip reco

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    Despite living nearby in Hampshire,

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    Simply fold the pectoral fin forwar

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    Otherwise, a family of fishes of vi

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    epeated off the Yorkshire coast. Ye

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    were forced to remove their fightin

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    So far as I can ascertain, this is

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    different scales starting at the gi

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    everywhere as was once the case. Wi

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    Quite an unusual visitor to our pat

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    Four of us we were drift fishing a

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    Physically, the almaco is a slightl

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    Already we are seeing that, not onl

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    the end of the trip, still with no

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    I've had it happen to me on more th

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    What clinched that line of thinking

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    much stronger sharper hooks, and bu

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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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    SHORT SPINED SEA SCORPION Myoxoceph

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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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    FIFTEEN SPINED STICKLEBACK Spinchia

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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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    THREE SPINED STICKLEBACK Gasteroste

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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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    PART TWO BEYOND HOME WATERS THE CAT

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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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    FLORIDA - BISCAYNE CANAL When I fis

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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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    PART THREE INDIVIDUAL TARGETS THE C

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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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    PART FOUR OTHER STUFF PERIFERAL & H

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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

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    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,

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    Podcast Interview 33: Zyg Gregorek,

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    Podcast Interview 55: Dave Beecham,

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    Podcast Interview 74: Justin Anwyl

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    Podcast Interview 95: Sven Hille, B

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    shore, and a 1000 pound fish from a

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    Podcast Interview 134: Mike Heylin,

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    Podcast Interview 155: Ally Gowans,

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    Podcast Interview 176: Terry Mosele

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    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

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    My angling hero & mentor, Davy Agne

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    The Lesser Spotted curse: Photo Phi