So many times we walk along beaches and river banks and see tangled clumps of old fishing line, lead sinkers attached. People are just now beginning to be aware that the lead is a hazard and the line will tangle around the necks, feet and wings of birds, be ingested by larger fish and generally cause havoc.
Overfishing is a huge problem and that needs to be legislated and policed by all countries with a coast. Aquaculture goes a long way towards preventing this as the white fish (eg. McDonald’s Filet of Fish materials) can be easily raised in the cooling ponds adjacent to power stations.
As Spring approaches, it is tempting to go out and bag a few fish.
Before you go fishing, get to know the fishing regulations for the body of water – sea, creek, river, lake, pond – to be visited. Do you need a licence? Get a fish recognition chart and don’t haul in anything that is protected. Lures, lines and sinkers should be made of safe materials. These days it is possible to avoid digging or wasting tiny live worms, leeches and minnows by using recyclable lures which are quite brilliantly made. A lot of tiny fish are wasted in the quest for bait. You see them dead on beaches all over the world and the seagulls don’t even eat them when they have been left to rot.
Rex Hunt had a policy of kissing the fish and returning it to the water. Too bad if that fish had a wound from a hook’s barb in it. You can buy barbless hools for catch and release sporting fishing expeditions. These are a little tricky to set but don’t hurt the fish as much. Clip the hook with scissors rather than pulling it out. Imagine the pain if that were in YOUR cheek? The dangers of hooks left in lines on beaches are well known. Many kids get stabbed by rusty old hooks which shouldn’t have been left there in the first place.
When you visit the anglers’ store to purchase your gear, check the new rubber based nets that prevent tangling(reducing the fishy pain). As well, you should handle the fish only with a wet terry towel, not your bare hands so that the fish’s skin is not rubbed clean of its slimy protective coating.
Don’t ever fish out of season. You can ruin the spawning season.
Obviously take a ruler to stay within the correct sizes and don’t kill undersize fish.
Some products that are useful to know about:
Dr. Drop tungsten sinkers (lead free)
Bioline Biodegradable Fishing Line which is based on the same technology used in soluble stitches used by doctors. This fishing line comes in different weights, is as tough as premium quality fishing line and is 100% biodegradable.
Bioline comes in spools of 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 20 pound test, as well as fishing line leaders and fly fishing tippets.
Use this biodegradable fishing line for applications which do not require a specialty line or lines exceeding 20 pound test. Bioline works extremely well for most freshwater fishing and light saltwater fishing. Any clumps left on the banks or shores will melt as fast as stitches. (around a fortnight).
Pick up rubbish: when you see a clump of discarded line, pick it up and bin it.
This site is a great reference for products you will need: www.greentackle.com
Plus, as experts in the business, they have a useful blog and lots of information you can learn from.
Think of the fish! Keep the waterways green, (but not with algae…).
Thanks to Climate Shift for the image!