Is It Worth It? – asks Steve Pitts

Trust me, I’m a politician! It’s always been my view that fishing and politics don’t mix. One of the reasons I go fishing is to get away from the telly, the radio and people who like to tell me what’s good for me. The world can fight amongst itself, for all I care, as long as it leaves me to fish a remote beach somewhere. Trouble is that as much as I love the solitude that fishing offers or the camaraderie when fishing with a few mates, the main reason I go fishing is to experience the thrill of catching fish, especially bass.

So what happens when I’m in danger of losing that essential part of the pastime that has taken over so much of my life? Well, I guess I could shrug my shoulders and say still, there’s always the scenery to enjoy or I could be content to catch smaller and yet smaller fish. I could even take up golf!

But rather than let myself sink to those depths, I am prepared to swallow my pride, put pen to paper and express my concerns to my local MP or anyone else I feel needs to hear my views. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am the least politically-motivated person imaginable, but I have to admit that the wholesale destruction of the bass fishery has got me annoyed. I took the advice of Malcolm Gilbert and John Morgan, both seasoned politician hasslers, and wrote to the 30 or so MPs on the list that was circulated to BASS members. Then I sat back waiting for the lack of response that I expected.

I was amazed that within a few days I had received several replies and over the course of the next two weeks all but three had acknowledged my letter. True, some declined to get involved on the grounds that I wasn’t their constituent but what I found so encouraging was that about one half of the replies were very positive in agreeing with the points that I had made and promised to press for action to halt the offshore bass fishery. I still feel that the majority of politicians need to be prodded into action so will keep on writing to those that have pledged support.

If we all do the same, make our views known and our voices heard, we can turn the tide and get back with our fishing once our sport has been restored.