The notion that bass do not inhabit the inshore zone has been much publicised in recent months, by those opposed to any increase in the Minimum Landing Size for bass.
They claim that all bass over the current mls of 36cm go offshore – out of the range of those who fish from small boats.
The fact is, this alleged mass-migration is a complete myth and if we allow bass to grow to larger sizes, by way of an increased MLS, we will once again be able to catch bigger bass from the shore and from small inshore boats.
If you don’t believe, that bigger bass were once available to anglers and commercial fishermen, then please take a look at this short film (with accompanying soundtrack). It shows how bass fishing used to be – before the decimation of our mature bass stocks – and how good it could be again, if we implement an MLS geared to restoring our bass resource by allowing more fish to grow to maturity, rather than killing them as juveniles, as the existing MLS allows.
Most of the bass in the film were released, once the photographs were taken – how many will have survived the relentless pressure of over fishing?
[NB – for Mac users, who do not have a copy of ‘Windows Media Player (wmv)’ software on their computer, a free download is available from Microsoft.]
[photo – A bass that stayed inshore, Mike Oliver with a 9lb 10oz bass! – photo courtesy Allan Hughes]