Sunday, 29 September 2013

Dealing with the problem of fish theft!


Photo 01 - Pike spawning area on the Lowes from the hill.
Dealing with the problem of fish theft!

I am pleased to be able to report that there has been no recurrence (to our knowledge) of the disgraceful behaviour exhibited by groups of "anglers" a few weeks ago. This does not mean however that the problem has gone away, far from it! What took place on our lochs a few weeks back has led to a new way of fishery management for us if we are to rid ourselves of these abhorrent thieves! We now need to continue our random patrols and build up a database of suspect vehicles and/or occupants, highlighted vehicles or individuals being robustly challenged as to their intentions! It will fall on every member to join with us in this venture!

Because of what we have encountered it will no longer be possible to come and fish and be oblivious to suspicious goings on around the loch. The problem is too big for a few committed individuals to cope with effectively. There has to be a joining of minds and bodies with the sole aim of identifying the thieves and obtaining evidence that would support charges of theft being brought against them. Trying to obtain a prosecution under The River Tweed protection Order would be a complete waste of time and effort as in enforcement terms it is but a paper tiger, a completely useless piece of paper that promises much but delivers little!

Our first batch of warning signs are almost ready and I have been chided for the tardy erection of these! In reply I would say that I only have one pair of hands and they have now and then to carry out work completely unrelated to fishing in order to live! Our blog warnings are still in some of the local shops and these surely will reorient some wayward people! With an influx of Bulgarians and Romanians due soon the problem will surely only worsen!
Photo 02 - Looking down on St Mary's.

Like never before our band of anglers must bind together and confront the problem if we are to continue to fish on our lochs with some expectation of landing the odd fish. The fools of the past pale into insignificance with what now confronts us! Our very sport is on the line! Fishing was never meant to be experienced like this but we can only play with the cards on the table! Education will help but it will not solve the problem and whilst we are receiving good help much of it from anglers from other countries , on its own however it is not enough!

Unsurprisingly many members would have us introduce a ban on all anglers from other countries and whilst I can fully see how such a view comes about it would be sheer folly to embark on such a course of action! Firstly and most importantly in my view it would be akin to cracking a nut with a sledgehammer. We have anglers from other countries in membership and they are good decent and law abiding anglers and I would absolutely hate to see their membership terminated because of the actions of other Neds not associated with the club! It would be grossly unfair, indefensible and quite simply wrong! The second reason is that Race Relations Board would haul us over legal coals and we know that under current race relations law we would not have a leg to stand on! There is currently an ongoing situation whereby a fishery owner has banned all east European anglers and we are keeping tabs on this case to see how it turns out. It has also been mentioned that we close off the fishing and make the fishing available only to members but this again brings with it many problems, not least the reduction of revenue received by the club, and loss of trade to businesses in the area serving anglers!

We have not chosen our current path it has been laid out for us, it will be a long haul and undoubtedly will see many people fall by the wayside as the going gets tough but we must prevail! You will have noted that no mention of our AGM has been posted; it is as a result of the above activities that it has been held in abeyance. It will be arranged as soon as is practicable. A few of us are under intense pressure the likes of which we have never before experienced! For the meantime however all energies must be concentrated on the above problem! Many of our members are elderly and some are not in great health and we would ask nothing of these members other than to make the situation known to their angler contacts as it may be their fishery that is next targeted!

To all our able bodied members however I would ask you to get in touch and volunteer your services and talents such as you can to assist us in this campaign if you value your fishing at the lochs, for its very future depends on it! We need help with the odd night patrol which will involve surveillance for a period of a couple of hours in detecting the thieves, actually challenging these robbers will be the duty of the Police! All patrols will be double handed to maximise safety, and you will be able to avail yourself of certain “tools” we have for the job! Similarly we could use help with printing and wooden sign making! If you are of the social networking ilk then get this situation out there and raise the profile of this problem because the more the problem is aired the quicker a solution will be arrived at! These fish thefts unless halted will lead to the demise of our lochs!

Photo 03 - another view looking down on St Mary's
One week to go!

Yes it’s unbelievable just how quickly the seasons end rears its head and those of you who do not Pike fish turn your attentions often to things other than fishing. Irrespective of how the last week fishes the season has been a mediocre one with less than average catches and less of the heavier specimens being caught. Much undoubtedly due to the very dry summer we experienced a mixed blessing perhaps but by hell it was good to see our long lost friend the sun! Yesterday Stevie Nimmo and I went down the Yarrow River on what felt like a summer’s day looking for the odd Trout. As is often the case conditions were against us with low water and super bright sunshine.

Stevie opted for the dry whilst I went with submerged flys and when we met up a few hours later we did not need much time to tell each other of the fish caught as we both did not even contact with a fish of any kind! Not a disaster by any means as we whiled away a few hours with tales on a wide range of topics in the lovely sunshine with the background noise of tinkling water! Yes fishing is often a social event which is the way it should be on occasion. I say on occasion as sometimes it’s good to get away alone, lost in the breast of Mother Nature, allowing for replenishment of the soul. There are indeed many joys to be had whilst angling and each of us will have our particular favourite, the crux of the matter however is that one takes from their angling whatever it is that invigorates or calms the spirit depending on your mood! As pastimes go angling takes a bit of beating and with the passing of yet another season it’s “once more once less”! Tight lines to all!

Many thanks for your company yesterday Stevie, very much enjoyed the day a day in the footsteps of old Izaak himself, fishing as it should be!

The wider world in my view!

Is the red flag flying?

I refer of course to the policies mentioned by Ed Milliband at the annual Labour party conference. It looks on the surface that the Labour party is returning to its socialist roots. At last voters have a choice between rampant capitalism that has plunged millions of people into poverty, seeing the shameful formation and rapid growth of food banks and the creation of immense wealth for a select few. Yes Lord Snooty seeks only to look after the old Etonians and greedy bankers whilst ignoring completely the plight of the working classes who as in Victorian times will flourish or perish at the hands of the wealthy!

Milliband has the nickname of “Red Ed” although how he managed to get this is beyond my ken because his policies are clearly more blue than red. His announcement of capping energy prices for twenty months generated huge gains (up to 12 points) in the opinion polls as did the pledge to abolish the “Bedroom Tax”, the policies clearly to the public likes. A populist policy would be a better description that indeed moves the party closer to the socialist end of the political spectrum. For proponents of real socialism this is the first ray of light in a very long time and I must confess music to my ears!

This however is not a return to socialism merely a step in that direction. Clearly capitalism has failed for the majority of the country serving only the wealthy. Milliband now needs to rapidly move forwards towards state ownership of all the public utilities, pharmaceutical companies and financial institutions! Once these objectives have been achieved only then can socialism be adopted into the Labour party’s dictionary! The bewildered Con – Dems continue to wreak havoc with the lives of working class people as usual with bungling at the top of the agenda, if Milliband can now return the Labour party to true socialism then for the first time since the wretched Con – Dems grabbed power there is a chance of this country returning to fairness and equity for all! The red flag is indeed attached to the flagpole but not yet fully flying!

Governance by bungling!

Te colder weather now approaches and heating systems all over the country are being switched on, or are they? Yes a recent survey by an older people’s charity has found that as in the last two years the elderly have to choose whether to eat or switch the heating on! The cost of living is rising at such a rate coupled with disadvantaged people being crippled by the bed tax that these choices now extend out with the elderly sector. What would the millionaire posh boys know of such choices? I will tell you it’s nothing at all!

Yes these fools filling in their days with assorted bungling, ridiculing the good name of the country and punishing the poor on a permanent basis know nothing of the real world! Lord Snooty has already been warned of the serious negative effects of the rushed “Help to buy” housing scheme yet still he pushes forward plunging the country into a further crisis a few months down the line! It’s completely disheartening, from one crisis to another, governance by bungling! I feel desperately sorry for the elderly, the disabled, the poor and the genuine unemployed as they buckle under the inept policies of these ninnies! In the cold light of day when you look at how some groups are suffering it must surely tug at the heartstrings! Governance by bungling is ok in a Keystone Cops film but in real life we really do deserve something better!

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