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What is the point of fishing?

(136 Posts)
shysal Mon 20-Jun-11 11:01:53

It has always puzzled me that fishermen (or women) enjoy sitting for hours watching a float in order to maim fish then throw them back. Also you will never convince me that they are cold blooded so feel no pain. Perhaps you grandads can enlighten me. By the way, if you use ground bait, see my comment in the 'thrifty tips' thread.

pompa Mon 20-Jun-11 11:50:44

Shysal, is a way of doing absolutely nothing without realising it!.

I fish for trout and have had several experiences that convince me that fish feel no pain. When fishing at Hanningfield, the guy nest to me hooked and then lost a large fish, minutes later I caught and landed the same fish, still with his fly in its mouth. We also see fish with major injuries from cormorant attacks, they continue to feed seemingly unaffected.

Most of my fish are taken for eating and are killed within minutes of being landed, which cannot be said for any of the fish on the fishmongers slab.

I used to coarse fish, but stopped because of the behaviour of some anglers. litter and discarded line etc. Game fishing does not seem to suffer any of theses problem.

baggythecrust! Mon 20-Jun-11 12:27:23

pompa, can younplease explain the terms coarse and game as applied to fishing to an ignoramus?

Notsogrand Mon 20-Jun-11 14:19:16

There's mention on the thrifty tips thread about using out of date food stuffs for ground-bait, well along a similar line......
Many, many years ago I made a large roasting tin size bread pudding, but forgot it in the oven until it was too burned to eat. My late husband drilled a hole through it, threaded rope and attached a large weight to anchor it, then floated it over his fishing spot. As the underneath softened and disintegrated in the river, bits of bread, suet, sultanas, mixed spice etc sunk down as groundbait. Resulted in a great day's fishing apparently. smile

baggythecrust! Mon 20-Jun-11 20:04:44

My sister once made some parkin that we couldn't even cut with a saw! We soaked it but that didn't help. Thought maybe it would have made a paving slab but she didn't know what she'd done wrong so couldn't patent it.

baggythecrust! Mon 20-Jun-11 20:06:46

Oh, and I once made a rice cake with uncooked rice instead of rice flour. It rose beautifully and smelled gorgeous but when my brother took the first bite, he chewed for a bit and then said: This cake has bones in it! that probably would have made good fish bait too.

grannyactivist Mon 20-Jun-11 20:11:38

Mmmm - parkin, yummy! smile

JessM Mon 20-Jun-11 20:49:50

game = salmon, trout, or in the sea marlin etc - upper class fish. Fly fishing. Expensive fishing rights. Ghillies even.
coarse = muddy tasting fish in canals and ponds. carp, tench etc. Often thrown back in to catch another day. Long poles with bait dangling. Exponents often need a trolley to transport their kit. Working class fish.
Then there is sea angling - the stuff you do off the rocks, the pier and from small boats. Mackerel, bass, dogfish etc. Middle class fish.
DS1 became a fishing addict at an early age. But DS 2 caught a marlin last year - rather larger than he is, and he's not small.
I can understand the eating bit.

artygran Mon 20-Jun-11 21:33:01

I was taught coarse fishing by my father when I was about eight and have enjoyed it on and off ever since. It's relaxing (unless it is peeing down - then it's horrible). I taught my son (then 11) to fish when we lived in Holland (big on angling in Holland). I'll never forget how excited he was when he landed his first small roach. He wasn't very keen to take the maggot out of its mouth though! My husband is not the least bit interested in fishing - says its a waste of time. I always said that when I retired I would take it up again, but I'd like to try fly fishing, so I may have a couple of lessons at a game fair later this year and see how I get on. There is some good reservoir fishing near us.
And I absolutely love parkin!

pompa Tue 21-Jun-11 00:09:13

BtC , JessM is sort of right, not so sure of the class distinction though.

Game fishing - freshwater = Salmon, sea trout, trout, grayling, etc.. Trout fishing is now available at reasonable cost in many rivers, lakes and reservoirs. usually fly fishing. No longer an elite sport. (but some salmon rivers are still very expensive)

Game fishing, salt water = marlin, sail fish, tunny etc - rich man's sport.

Coarse fishing = freshwater, roach, bream, carp. tench.pike.perch etc. Very rarely eaten in the UK, sometimes in Europe. Usually caught with a bait of some sort and returned alive. Nowhere as cheap as it used to be. Some anglers do need a truck to transport their gear !!!

Sea fishing - anything that goes with chips !!!

I fly fish for trout in a local reservoir and river Can carry all I need in my jacket pockets. Cost me less per year than coarse fishing used to.

baggythecrust! Tue 21-Jun-11 09:53:48

Thanks for the explanations, jess and pompa. I have never fished but I always assumed it was an 'art form' that had developed from the need to find food, in the same way that patchwork quilting has developed into an art form from the humble beginnings of trying to keep warm by sewing scraps and bits of old clothes together to make blankets. Trout is my favourite fish, closely followed by Scottish smoked salmon. I lived in Norway for a while and hubby and I didn't think the smoked salmon there was nearly as good as Scottish. I think they smoke it less and they smoke the fish whole. Anyway, we ended up feeding half a fish to the seagulls.

pompa Tue 21-Jun-11 10:00:11

As far as the art form goes, for me that is tying my flies, every fish I catch is with a fly I have designed and tied myself. I tie hundreds of different patterns, but only ever use a dozen or so.

Smoking is my job for today, I have about a dozen trout and salmon in my freezer that are going to be hot smoked today. (the salmon were caught in a local river called the river Tesco !!! But whole fish when the are on special offer)

Stansgran Tue 21-Jun-11 10:04:17

My mother used to cut up old clothes so that they lay flat-not in pieces and then layer them to make very heavy duvet type of thing. Her grandmother was from the Shetlands and I thnk they also did that long ago in Oz. Does anyone know about that?

baggythecrust! Tue 21-Jun-11 10:06:57

How do you hot smoke a fish (or several)? Do you need special equipment?

artygran Tue 21-Jun-11 10:08:58

Re you comment "very rarely eaten", Pompa. The two partners at the firm I worked for before I retired were very keen fishermen - one a coarse angler (no he wasn't coarse, just the fish!), the other a fly fisherman. The coarse angler was always complaining that his favourite fisheries were constantly being raided by "fish rustlers" who took quantities of fish by elicit means - species we consider purely for sport and wouldn't dream of eating (though I have eaten pike and didn't care for it) - for the table. This is apparently a recent problem and costs the fisheries thousands of pounds a year in lost income. So someone is eating them somewhere (whatever floats your boat, as they say)!

grannyactivist Tue 21-Jun-11 10:43:13

We have a fish smoker. It's basically a stainless steel lidded box with a rack inside on which to lay the fish, then wood shavings are placed in the bottom of the tray and a small burner is lit underneath. We love smoked mackerel and there's nothing quite like catching and cooking your own. Delicious.

pompa Tue 21-Jun-11 11:16:35

Grannyactivist, that's exactly what I have. But it is quite easy to improvise a kettle style BBQ to use as a smoker. You need a heat source, charcoal, a tin tray directly on top of the charcoal. You put a good handful of damp wood chippings (oak, fruit wood, hickory etc.) on the tray, then the fish, meat etc on a rack above the tray. Close the lid and allow to smoke for about 30 min.

With fish, before you smoke it, you need to brine it. If anyone wants to know more i can point you to a good website.

Artygran, yes, you are right, coarse fish, mainly carp are eaten in Eastern Europe, and fishing there appears to be free to all. Some Eastern Europeans are raiding out fisheries for free food, which has been a big problem in some areas.

Pike is about the only coarse fish normally eaten in the UK, but not that much, cod tastes much better.

nanafrancis Tue 21-Jun-11 16:48:02

A friend of ours ties his own fishing flies - they really were minature works of art. He used a part of peacock feather to make the bent legs for 'crane flies' - I really hate the real things and his fake ones really gave me the creeps! So realistic.

pompa Tue 21-Jun-11 20:40:08

Just got back from the river Box, one trout in my bag, taken on one of my flies.

I have spent many an hour tying knots in peacock tail fibres to make crane fly legs, trout love them.

Banjo Mon 03-Sep-12 13:45:22

For a start, by using a barbless hook fish are NOT maimed, nor do they suffer pain as they have no feeling in of the mouth.

Secondly, a lot of "ledger" fish, to those not enlightened, that is fishing without a float using a swim feeder to keep the hook on the river bed, so you are NOT stariing at a float all day.

Thirdly, one should contemplate fishing if one is at peace with nature, to see a Kingfisher skim the water at speed, to a Coypu swim by with young, to see a heron / roe deer/ cattle/ feeding /drinking are sights you would SELDOM see if you didn't sit quietly on a river bank

Fourthly, fishing is a time when you can let your mind wander, time to be able to reason things out, time just sit in a calm peaceful enviroment.

Fithly, a lot of us go fishing in the hope we MAY catch a fish, ( and return it to the river), those that fish EXPECTING to catch fish are of a totally different breed to us "hopers".

granjura Mon 03-Sep-12 13:52:05

Here (in Switzerland) 'catch and release' is forbidden. All fishermen have to do a course for so many hours before they can get a licence. It includes all safety advice, ecological information, species knowledge, how to avoid hurting fish, etc, etc. Then all fish caught have to be killed quickly and taken away for eating (or selling for eating). I can understand fly fishing by a beautiful natural river, with a lot of skill involved, although I do not personally do it. Sitting by a stocked lake, fishing and releasing the same fish again and again, really does not appeal- and seems cruel to me.

Greatnan Mon 03-Sep-12 14:02:39

Once again I have to say that Switzerland is a very civilised country!
Angling had a great use for me - it took my husband out of my hair for many hour, giving me time to spend on the things I liked doing. He was very interested in wild life and did often see kingfishers and other birds.
On the other hand, he was very selfish - I remember sitting with my girls under waterproofs in the rain on Chesil Beach while he spent two hours catching nothing. He once bought one girl a reel and the other one a rod for Christmas - they could only be used together.
The only time I enjoyed fishing was when we had a small boat on Loch Sween and fished for mackerel in the evening. They would take anything - we were feathering - and practically threw themselves onto the boat. We had them soused, with home-made chips. Delicious.

Banjo Mon 03-Sep-12 16:38:58

Reminds me of when fishing for Mackeral just off the Chesil beach, as you say , easy to catch, providing you were with the shoal, but best of all was when , within an hour of catching them we were eating them, grilled on a fire on the pebbles of Chesil, never more than an hour old, god they tasted good.

merlotgran Mon 03-Sep-12 16:44:18

I quite like fishing but I have no intention of doing it. Like Greatnan it gives me a day to myself while DH has a day's fishing with friends grin

Greatnan Mon 03-Sep-12 16:45:58

I have read somewhere that fish should be left a day or two after catching, but I prefer them very fresh. Of course, frozen fish is likely to be much fresher than unfrozen, which may have taken a week to get from the point of unloading the boat to to the fishmonger's slab.