CHAPTER 8 – PROTECT AND SURVIVE
Walls Have Ears
Should you find some good undiscovered or forgotten bass fishing marks, be careful who you tell. It is not a question of being selfish or secretive. Inshore bass are very vulnerable to netting, and to rod and line anglers who have no conscience.
As the inshore bass population can be quite localised, careless talk can lead to a productive area being fished-out within days. The angling grapevine can be a very useful source of information, but information on good bass marks tends to not be given away lightly. However, bass angling develops with experience and ingenuity, and it’s inevitable there will be a certain amount of information exchange. When we have been told about a productive bass area, we respect that we have been brought into that person’s confidence, and would not give that information away lightly. On the other hand, the bass angling fraternity shouldn’t be a secret society, so we need to be pragmatic with a measure of care, because we owe it to those working hard on bass restoration not to give marks away in careless pub talk etc.
We all like to receive good information on marks, but not necessarily on a plate. One of the exciting facets of bass angling is trying out a new mark and experimenting to find the most effective combination of conditions and method for it. The best information is that which points the angler in the right direction and narrows down many of the variables, allowing him to use his experience and reasoning to achieve his own level of competence.
The emergence of Internet has provided a vast number of sources of information, especially in websites for clubs, federations and regional interest groups. These can be very helpful to the angler who is new to bass fishing, or one wanting to know about the bass fishing at a future holiday destination. Some sites include a chat room, which can be an excellent way for anglers to learn about the various bass issues such as the work of B.A.S.S., S.A.C.N, minimum landing sizes, nursery areas and so on. However, there are people who masquerade as anglers who ask where the bass fishing is to be had, and a helpful reply giving precise location can result in the netters clearing it out within 24 hours.
Therefore, the giving away and receiving of information needs thought, consideration and subtlety, but most of all, mutual trust and respect.
Author: Nick Cosford & Geoff Gonella
Photo: Andy Parry
© Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society 2008