It is no secret that carp fishing is a huge sport here in South Africa with dam banks teaming with weekenders trying to catch their bag. However to me the sport in fishing is negotiating what the fish want, hooking them, and then fighting them out of the water (which carp fishing is essentially based on), not keeping them to take home. Yet from our observations many of the hundreds of carp fisherman that we see, on any given weekend, load a significant bag or bucket of fish into their car, after sorting the flipping flopping critters into piles on the floor with the tip of their flip flops. I say fine take a couple home but wouldnt it be better to throw the majority back for another day?
My gripe is that these bag sizes seem a little unnecessary at the best of times in that we often see 10-15 fish bagged and booted. It is not rare when fishing for an equally eager fisherman to come up to you, curious to see how lucky you have been, and say: “the fishing is slow at the moment” or “this dam is over-fished”. What makes me laugh is that 9 times out of 10 these are the same guys that drive home cursing the rest of S.A.’s fisherman because they have over-fished the dam thus rendering them unable to catch, and bag THEIR yearly quota in one weekend.
I’m a huge supporter of catch and release and maybe for the wrong reasons. I support it because it if enough anglers support it then it secures a future for angling as a sport. Also when holding the fish that I catch I cant help but consider that I have literally just yanked the fish right out of its world, and the thought that one minute its going about its daily routine under water and the next I’m taking its life urges me to put the beautiful creatures back where they came from, to be caught again of course. Then again I also believe that dams which are over-stocked have their fair share of environmental problems. Is there a medium here? Are carp over-fished in South Africa? Are our dams over-stocked with carp? Am I over reacting about this? These are questions I’m struggling to answer so please… feel free to leave a comment and answer them for me, PLEASE.
This post is dedicated to the ‘Carp King’ Russell manchip who will live on in our hearts forever… what?… he is still alive?… oh…. visit him here.