Sea An­gler

Sea Angler (UK) - - WELCOME - Cliff Brown, Edi­tor

Isug­gested in this col­umn in our pre­vi­ous is­sue that there would be a lack of sup­port for the Sea An­gling 2017 sur­vey and, sure enough, the An­gling Trust is ask­ing an­glers not to sup­port the Gov­ern­ment-backed pro­ject.

The sur­vey, com­mis­sioned by Ce­fas (the Cen­tre for En­vi­ron­ment, Fish­eries & Aqua­cul­ture Sci­ence), will build on the re­sults of sim­i­lar data col­lec­tion ex­er­cises car­ried out in 2012 and 2016.

As re­ported in Sea An­gler 538, the pro­ject is de­signed to ful­fil EU re­quire­ments for the UK to pro­vide data on recre­ational catches for a num­ber of species. An­glers will be asked to use log­books de­tail­ing their catches over the course of 2017. How­ever, many be­lieve that the in­for­ma­tion could be used against an­glers.

Ear­lier this year the An­gling Trust stated that its con­tri­bu­tion to any fu­ture data col­lec­tion ex­er­cise would de­pend on bet­ter data col­lec­tion, par­tic­u­larly from com­mer­cial land­ings.

You can’t fault the logic of the An­gling Trust spokesman, who said: “In the mean­time, catches by recre­ational an­glers get closely scru­ti­nised and used to re­strict mem­bers of the pub­lic fish­ing for pub­licly-owned fish stocks.’’

As this is­sue goes on sale, an­glers should be find­ing out the rules for bass fish­ing dur­ing 2017. In 2016 we were lim­ited to catch and re­lease for six months and then the op­tion to keep one fish a day for a sim­i­lar pe­riod. Pro­pos­als for 2017 were re­vealed in our pre­vi­ous is­sue, which could see a monthly bag limit and lim­it­ing com­mer­cial fish­ing to hook and line only.

Such a monthly quota would cer­tainly help char­ter skip­pers who saw a se­ri­ous de­cline in busi­ness as some bass an­glers de­cided a one-fish limit was not worth the ex­pense of a char­ter trip.

Ian No­ble, chair­man of the Pro­fes­sional Boat­man’s As­so­ci­a­tion, which rep­re­sents many of the UK’s char­ter boat op­er­a­tors, has urged our Fish­eries Min­is­ter to sup­port the liveli­hoods of char­ter boat own­ers. He said: “We be­lieve that no con­sid­er­a­tion was given to our sec­tor when the 2016 EU fish­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties were agreed. It is es­sen­tial that a fairer deal is reached for the recre­ational an­gling and char­ter boat sec­tors in 2017.” I hope th­ese pleas don’t fall on deaf ears.

While some con­cen­trate on the ‘pol­i­tics’ of an­gling, many of you are out there catch­ing fish. The team here at Sea An­gler is get­ting re­ports of plenty of big bass and cod caught from boat and shore. Th­ese in­cluded a 24lb cod for Robert Moore and a 16lb 4oz bass for Bob Booth (find out more on page 104-107). Our con­trib­u­tor Dave Barham caught two dou­ble-fig­ure bass, too, and you can find out how on page 54.

Hope­fully, good fish will be show­ing in all ar­eas dur­ing the Christ­mas and New Year hol­i­days. You may even get to catch on some new gear you might get for Christ­mas. If you are look­ing for a piece of new kit, my col­league Paul Fenech got his hands on the new Okuma ALC-20CS Mag reel (he’s pic­tured test­ing it on this page). He reck­ons it’s a real win­ner (see page 88). Paul’s also tak­ing a look at nine of the lat­est head­lights too (check them out on page 92).

I know an­glers have a wide range of opin­ions about tackle, so why not vote for your favourite kit of 2016 in our awards and you could win a rod. You’ll find de­tails on page 100.

As usual, we’ve pro­duced an is­sue packed full of in­for­ma­tive and en­ter­tain­ing ar­ti­cles for shore and boat an­glers. Our pop­u­lar Sea School ad­vice sec­tion in­cludes a 10-page rig spe­cial (start­ing on page 32) as well as the usual seven pages of ex­pert an­swers to your an­gling ques­tions.

Fi­nally, a few con­grat­u­la­tions from all at Sea An­gler. Well done to Ire­land for tak­ing two team golds in the World Shore Champs. Both the men’s and women’s teams won their events, held in County Wex­ford. Eng­land’s men se­cured team sil­ver. Find out more on page 106.

Con­grat­u­la­tions as well to the Garry Evans Match Team, which won the Na­tional Sea League fi­nal held on the North Nor­folk shin­gle beaches on Novem­ber 26-27. The team of An­drew Hutchins, Phil Ge­orge, Ger­ald John, Chris Read and Stephen Smyth took the ti­tle with 73 penalty points, to push last year’s win­ner’s Team Break­away, from Suf­folk, into sec­ond place. Zzi­plex Match Squad, from Hast­ings, fin­ished third.

Well done also to Ply­mouth an­gler Nick Green, who won the 20th Na­tional Two-Day Floun­der Cham­pi­onships, at Teign­mouth, Devon, with a spec­i­men fish of 2lb 12oz 8dr.

Thanks for your con­tin­ued sup­port dur­ing 2016, and we look for­ward to shar­ing more great sea an­gling with you in 2017.

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