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Bit disappointed - friend at work pointed out this month's Field magazine (fly / hunting publication) had a big article on spearfishing for Bass ... even worse the fish in the centre pages with a huge spear through it's noggin looked all of 2lbs ...

Surely they could have done a feature on fly fishing for Bass instead?

I have nothing against spearo's but hitting small fish just isn't cricket!

:evil:
 

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Alex,
The Field is one of the more forward thinking mags, I was involved in organising a fly fishing bass article for them 10-12 years ago.
Spearfish, Hmmmmm Differcult one for me, very mixed feelings about it. But you would have thought they could have come up with something alittle better than 2lb.
 

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I've got no problem with Spearo's. We'd be even more upset if it were a 'double' ! If it was 'insize', then let them get on with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Alex,
The Field is one of the more forward thinking mags, I was involved in organising a fly fishing bass article for them 10-12 years ago.
Spearfish, Hmmmmm Differcult one for me, very mixed feelings about it. But you would have thought they could have come up with something alittle better than 2lb.
I thought that too! hence the whinge ...!
 

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Bit disappointed - friend at work pointed out this month's Field magazine (fly / hunting publication) had a big article on spearfishing for Bass ... even worse the fish in the centre pages with a huge spear through it's noggin looked all of 2lbs ...

Surely they could have done a feature on fly fishing for Bass instead?

I have nothing against spearo's but hitting small fish just isn't cricket!

:evil:
A few years ago these people had a championship up at the bill & the damage done to the fish population was not nice! These people can do more damage than you think!!!
 

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Same thing goes on in a couple places around here (brighton Marina recently). Everything that comes within range getting shot regardless of size. In full view of the anglers on the marina wall- Harsh words and a couple of 6oz leads have been exchanged!! So far!!
 

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Those spearo's whom you might see with a lot of fish are just like those anglers you see with a ton of just in size schoolies. The EXCEPTION to the norm.

I have a good many friends who are spearos. They shoot only what they want to eat, never more, normally less and always of a "slot" size, they often also choose to just watch, when the visability is good enough to shoot or watch that is. They also get to choose which fish they take and when done properly it is a method which kills the fish instantly if shot correctly.

Exercised properly it is very conservation minded. i.e. selective, controlled and humane.

Just my view of course.
 

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Exercised properly it is very conservation minded. i.e. selective, controlled and humane.
I was going to stay out of this one but i agree with Andy here.

In fact, self imposed size limits are adhered to in every comp i've had knowledge of locally.
 

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Andy and Keith,
Completely agree, done correctly I see no problem at all with Spearfishing. Just as with angling, all it takes is a few bad apples to spoil the repuation of all the others.
Trouble is that Brighton seems to be the current location for the bad apples!!
 

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... Just as with angling, all it takes is a few bad apples to spoil the reputation [sic] of all the others...
I was a keen spearfisherman for many years and Dave has hit the nail on the head.

I make no bones about it, I enjoyed eating whatever I took home, but now there are spearfishermen selling commercially.

So long as there is money to be made people will look to make money!
 

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I have come across a couple of spearos on marks I fish and some are to be respected and some are numpties (as in most walks of like I guess). One guy I saw last year seemed proud to have gut-shot a mullet of less than 1lb and was showing it to his kids. He seemed confused as to why I was shaking my head as I walked past. "Let them get a bit bigger, mate" was my reply. I can't publish his response. Low-life!
The other guy had a very nice mixed bag of mullet and bass of 3-6lbs, all head shot bar one which he was disappointed about to have gut-shot one. He was happy to exchange information about tides, marks etc and I had nothing but respect for him. I was a bit jealous of his catch tbh!
I guess Alex's point is that in publishing the article, The Field had a responsibility to encourage sustainable, ethical fishing practices and to respect size limits (yes, I know a 2lb bass is in size but you know what I mean!).
In principle I have nothing against spearos as long as they use their discretion on what to shoot and keep. They have the ultimate selection capability after all!
 

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There is no better way of scouting and working out fish activity Tim. Although a lot of spearfishing for bass is done when they are less active it still provides a lot of information that can help massively with observations from above surface later. I've found more bass marks by spearfishing than I have with fishfinder.
 

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Have to agree with Andy they are no different from us anglers and have the same rights...

I struggle to see where competitions comes into it though. If they are eating what they take then competitions drive them to take more...that doesn't add up. It's not as if they can put them back afterwards.

Other than this there are bound to be as many Dick Heads spearfishing as we have angling...they all need to be educated or run out of the sport...:wink::wink:
 

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In Jersey we tried to bring in specimen comps rather than pure weight comps but they fell by the way side, possibly when the "top" guys stopped winning. I certainly preferred spending a few hours looking for a big Dover sole than taking a dozen small pollack!

Trouble is the international comps are run on a pure number of fish basis, so there is no incentive within the sport to change....
 

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If we as anglers want bigger bass then anything that deselects the bigger bass (and their genes) from the population would not seem a smart idea, therefore specimen comps only seem to add further pressure to the top end of the population pyramid. I appreciate each has their right to do as they please (size limits excepted): I chose to do my snorkelling reconesance armed only with an underwater camera.

My limited experience of spear fishermen is one I met in Cornwall 5 years ago. He emerge from the water in the bay/beach I regualrly snorkel & fish with around 20 bass strung up around his waist. He could barely get out of the water with the weight despite several being obviously under sized, he said he flogged most of them. I pointed out that several were undersized at which point he pointed his (admittedly not primed) spear in my direction and told me to f*** . I took his car number licence as he left and told him (from a distance) I worked for the inland revenue and he was going to have fun having all his accounts gone through in detail. It was a blatant lie yet I was livid and it was all I could come up with. Its good to know there are others more conservation minded about spear fishing as that individual did not appear to interested in anything more than his income.
 

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Sorry if I didn't explain that better Matt. The whole point of the specimen comps was to encourage and enable competitors to look for specimens of all species that might command as many competition points as bass which commanded a basic premium for many years (even though it is one of the more common species) over several other species including flatfish which used to be easy to find and catch but are now much rarer. So for example specimen points enabled a decent sole to rank on par with a very good bass and they were probably equally hard to find.

In fact from a competition outlook, it turned out that bass were almost the last fish to look for, as a high % fish was almost an impossibility, whereas there were other occasions when we would come across shoals of other species containing fish that exceeded rod caught record size (time and location logged I can assure you). All three mullet species, various flatfish, red mullet, triggerfish etc............Unfortunately the logic and the diversity of that approach and its appeal to novice competitors (who could not swim 3 miles and did not want to bang out small pollack for 6 hours at a time) met no favour with the hardened competitors especially the "big white trophy hunters" amongst them and the idea was shelved. My involvement ended soon after.

So there are people trying to improve the ethics of spearfishing and there are bad apples in the barrel too, just like angling. Tossers stand out wherever you find them, but I hope nobody judges either activity by the actions of 1 person. Hopefully we can encourage the participants in all sports that impact on the environment to act more and more responsibly.
 

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Great response Paul.

And again to posts above, the exact same aplies to angling competitions. Specimen size fish taken, as well as several smaller ones that are kept in case you don't get bigger.

Swings and roundabouts with bad apples in both courts.
 
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