Lure Fishing – Mark Barrett is Building Bridges
Mark Barrett learns first hand the problems Eastern European anglers face – and tucks into some seriously good Polish sausage.
Building bridges is a simple phrase but one with many meanings. ‘Building bridges’ but with whom, and why? Well, in this instance the bridges that are looking to be erected are those between the English angling community and the recent influx of Eastern European anglers.
This website’s forums, indeed the forums of most angling sites, have burned hot with the subject of EE anglers taking fish home for the pot for some time and it was partially in response to this problem that the rules on the taking of fish were recently changed in the Marine Bill. However, whilst the topic is one of the most hotly currently being debated it has always been noticeable, to me at least, that there is a lot of shouting but a conspicuous lack of doing, or ideas as to how the subject can be tackled responsibly rather than by force.
One way of getting the message across has to be through those members of the Eastern European community that are already practising catch and release fishing, a larger number than most people give that community credit for. Over the last few years I have got to know a number of anglers from Poland, Georgia, Lithuania, Uzbekhistan, Georgia and Bulgaria and what they have in common is an absolute love of fishing and many are keen on predators first and foremost, with lure fishing for them very often their favoured method. So what better way to get the two communities together than by the staging of a lure match on the Great Ouse River at Denver?
So it was then that 32 adults and one junior, representing a myriad of nations met at the famous Denver Sluice to await the draw at 8am on a cold, dreary March morning. Organiser Radislow Papiewski from the Angling Trust talked us through the rules and informed us of the prizes before 33 anglers buzzed off in different directions upon the two mile match length.
I had for company my nephew Adam and Mike “Swamp Monster” Dewey, this year’s apprentices, and all of us were hoping to pocket a bit of cash at the end of the day. Sadly after just twenty minutes of the match my winnings, should I have got any, were badly dented when one of my Rage spinning rods exploded on the cast!
I could go on to recount a series of woes that befell our merry band but by the end of the five hours, in common with over two thirds of the field, we returned home fishless. Well not exactly home, as the final act of the day was the prize giving and barbeque, featuring the best in Polish cuisine which included some of the tastiest sausages that I have ever encountered - and I am somewhat of a connoisseur in the matter!
The winner for the day, Grzegorz Pawlak, came from the Polish camp and managed two fish for twelve pounds in weight, scooping both the heaviest bag and the biggest fish (8lb) prizes; which included a £160 rod from sponsors Fox Rage and over £160 in cash, not a bad day’s work.
The second prize of £100 went to Alan Manastrean from Romania and the third prize of £65 went to Renatas Vaidila from Lithuania; no Brits on the scoreboard – bad luck or perhaps a reflection of just how good some of the Eastern European anglers are at lure fishing?
It was at the post-match festivities though that the serious discussions took place and I just wish more UK anglers could have been there as the problems that these guys from Eastern Europe encounter are just the same as us and they care for the fishing in just the same way as we do. In essence we have far more in common than we have differences and if we could drop some of the ‘Little Englander’ attitudes that exist in many parts we may be able to get to grips with the problem.
Plans are already being hatched for another match next year and hopefully I shall be there again, when I get the broken rod replaced!
By the Same Author
- The Angling Trust, an ‘Unbelievably Weak Governing Body’ - Not Just Teeth: December
- Fishing in Sickness and in Health - Not Just Teeth: November
- Jigging for Zander and Deadbaiting for Pike - Not Just Teeth: October
- Autumn perch and catfish - Not Just Teeth: September
- Catfish, Carp and Kids – Not Just Teeth: August
- Paying your Dues?
- Zander Fishing - Shadows in the Moonlight: Part 3
- Zander Fishing - Shadows in the Moonlight: Part 2
- Sounding Off
- Zander Fishing - Shadows in the Moonlight