Education not condemnation – the motto of ECHO, the English Carp Heritage Organization. Recently I have found myself fishing several semi public waters and have had a plethora of anglers of differing abilities and nationalities, from English to Polish and even Chinese. It would be easy to ignore them or to just mutter darkly under my breath when you see them fishing without an unhooking mat, or for pike when it is banned will the 1st of October ( not that I personally agree with this but rules are rules). However the approach that I have taken is one of friendly advice. Confrontation will get you nowhere however a friendly chat and then a discussions about the merits of unhooking mats and rod licenses in my cases at least seemed to have worked. In many cases some of these anglers do not know what they are doing is wrong and when it is pointed out to them ( well the 3 I have spoken to this week) it seems that they do take it on board.
So next time you see someone doing something silly, against the rules or just plain wrong. Remember that they may not know what they are doing is forbidden and a quick chat may make you a friend for life.
Of course it doesn’t help when “official” news sources like the Russian news paper “Angliya” print instructions on where to fish for food in private UK lakes… thankfully they have been corrected but only after lake owners spotted Russian anglers with copies of the news story. Actually this post reminded me of an incident where I had to step in to try to get an Amsterdam group to stop an event where they were going to fish for, kill, cook and eat carp… their Flickr feed of the event shows what they did catch in the end oh well at least they abandoned the carp is all I can say. By the way although the article states they they were going for Snoek ( pike in Dutch) the original title was “Stalking the Urban carp and wort” and there was some amusing back peddling when they realised that what they were doing was illegal (I have screen caps somewhere and if I can be bothered they with the emails that were floating back and forth make amusing reading).