It’s all about the Bass. The reality of a 6 month ban

Sean McSeveny
  · Sean McSeveny  · December 17, 2015

If there is one subject that has created more interest in sea angling this past year, it has been the changes in the laws regarding Bass fishing. The European Parliament and the Council on the common fisheries policy, met on Monday and Tuesday this week to consider a number of proposals on the conservation of marine biological resources and the management of fisheries. These resources included shellfish and species such as Cod, Hake, Haddock, Plaice, Sole and most importantly to the recreational angler the Bass. The objective of the common fisheries policy is to ensure that we have sustainable stocks of  fish for the future. Since 2009 the commission has increased the number of species allocated Total Allowable Catches (TAC’s) for Maximum Sustainable Yields (MSY) from 2 to 36 in the Atlantic, Baltic and North seas. The MSY is the amount of breeding stock that is required to ensure the species not only survives but thrives, after the catch allowance has been met. As anglers we have seen a direct result of this in the increase of Cod and Plaice catches over the past two years.

In this article we are going to focus on the changes to the policy that affect Bass fishing and try and put into simple words, what this means for the recreational angler.

George EusticeOur representative for the UK was fisheries Minister George Eustice, MP for Camborne and Redruth in Cornwall. George Eustice was able to secure a number of concessions and amendments to the original proposals set out for the meeting. The original proposal suggested a total ban on Bass fishing for the first six months of 2016. This included all commercial fishing and a total ban for recreational anglers. After the six month period recreational anglers would only be able to take one Bass per day. The rules for Southern Ireland were to remain the same as they currently are with a limit of 2 Bass per day.

The main changes are that recreational anglers will be able to continue to fish for Bass on a Catch and Release basis for the first six months of the year. After the 3oth of June, recreational anglers will be allowed to keep one Bass per day as long as it meets the minimum landing size of 42cm.

Commercial fishing will be restricted to low impact fishing for the first six months. It is unclear at this point exactly what is considered as low impact fishing. It is believed that it will be a measure to allow under 10m rod and line boats such as the majority of the Weymouth Bass fleet to continue to operate during this period with a catch limit of 1.3 tonnes per month. It is also believed that it will allow under 10m Gill Netters to operate for part of that period, but not during the main breeding months of February and March.

Larger vessels  will be allowed to land by-catches concerning demersal trawls and seines up to a maximum of 1% of the weight of the total catch of marine organisms on board. This is in line with the current regulations to prevent fish that are already dead, being dumped over the side because they are not allowed to land them.

Since the announcement yesterday, the new regulations have been the hot topic on social media. Many anglers are very distrustful of commercial fishermen, blaming them and foreign commercials for the dwindling stocks. The UK commercials blame the Spanish and French and I am sure they have the same opinion of the British. Let’s take step back and acknowledge that the bounty of the sea is a harvest that we can all share if we manage it carefully.

I spent a large percentage of last year working as a commercial rod and line Bass fisherman on a number of under 10m boats operating out of Weymouth and Portland. As a Bass fishing guide I got a fair amount of stick for sleeping with the enemy. Part of the reason I chose to fish commercially was to find out what it was like to be on the other side. Where your livelihood depended on you getting out in weather that was sometimes just too close to dangerous, so that you could put food on the table for your family. I wanted to see if undersize fish were returned and how  much fish was actually landed by one of the largest of the low impact fishing fleets in the UK.

The days were long, exhausting and often dangerous, but like most of the other fishermen, to me that was part of the attraction of the job. Over the past few days I have read that the 1.3 tonnes that each of the under 10m boats are allowed swallows up a huge amount of the Bass stocks and how that as commercial fishermen, they have made the choice to rape the seas of its bounty, so pleasure anglers don’t care if they suffer financial hardship and loss of livelihood. I want to set the record straight for these fishermen.

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Most rod and line Bass boats don’t even catch a tonne a month. Unlike pleasure anglers they are heavily regulated and frequently checked by the inshore fisheries patrol boats. If a Bass is even questionable on size it it returned. The average Bass fisherman is a share fisherman and makes around £4 per kilo of fish that they catch themselves. If they make £2000 a month that is normally an exceptional month. Never mind the months between February and May that they don’t even go out at all because of weather and the fact that the Bass have moved to the South West approaches to breed.

It is once the Bass are in their breeding areas that they are targeted by the netters. Even the under 10m Gill netters are landing in excess of a tonne a day on some days. Not to mention what the Pair and Seine trawlers are hauling up every time they shoot their nets.

Do I think the commission has done enough and this is good news? I think that it is great news, but I would like to see a full six month ban on all netting

So back to the issue in hand, what does this really mean to the pleasure angler? I want to take a few questions that I received via social media yesterday and answer them:

When does this come into force and does it affect all of the UK?

It comes into effect from the 1st of January 2016 and it covers all of England and Wales. Parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland are not covered under the ban. We will update the information with a map once we have full clarification of the areas.

Ruari Taylor writes: So what should you do if you catch a bass and its swallowed the hook, and it’s not going to survive or will be dead by the time you get the hook out. still put it back to suffer and slow death, or dispatch it humanly?

Ruari I am afraid that unlike the commercials we have no bye-catch allowance. You will have to return the Bass even if it is dead. A way to help combat fish fatalities is to use barbless hooks. If you are lure fishing then it would be a good idea to consider removing your trebles and going for single barbless hooks.

Mark Loader commented: this will never work – most people don’t even know there is a size limit so if maybe 5% of anglers know the rules it will make very little difference

In a recent survey that we carried out it was clear that less than 50% of anglers were aware of the size limits of our most common species. The graph below shows that many anglers do not even know that there is a Minimum Landing Size (MLS) for Mackerel, our favourite summer species. The MLS for Mackerel is currently set at 30cm (Ed: 30cm North Sea 20cm other UK waters )

q1

This is an issue that must be addressed. Fishing Tails continually try to educate anglers in size limits and the number of Bass that they are allowed to take. Organisations such as the Angling Trust and B.A.S.S that are funded by anglers for the preservation of future angling should step up and take responsibility for creating a campaign that will better educate existing anglers and newcomers to the sport.

Jan Griffiths makes a passionate comment:  If it’s purely catch and release for recreational anglers (which I don’t agree with in the current/proposed format), then surely catch, photo and release should also be banned as reduces the chances of fish survival? Get those bass straight back in the water, you really don’t need that egotistical self-publicising photo!

Most predators tend to be tough fish and if you handle them carefully and be quick about taking a picture, I don’t see any harm in it. I think it would be a bit of a boring world if we didn’t get to see the increase in size and numbers in a picture format, of the fish that we are trying to help prosper.

Adrian Crawford ask’s: How will the ban be enforced?

There are strict measures in place for the commercial sector already. The main problem is that no one seems to know who is responsible for policing it amongst pleasure anglers. This in reality should be down to Fisheries protection. In these times of austerity, where is the money going to come from to fund the increase in budget needed to enforce this?

Gavin Meade emailed me: How long will it take before we see the results of the ban and how long will the ban be imposed?

As Bass are such a slow growing species it is unlikely that we will see any significant changes to the numbers for a couple of years. The trawling ban imposed earlier this year will help. It believed that as the Bass increase in number and size the TAC will be increased. This should benefit everyone in the long run.

An angry Charlie Taylor posted on Facebook: i am really not fussed about how much fishermen earn. If its crumbs…then get a different job. It just adds more weight to the argument that the majority of the public shouldn’t be punished just so a few can scrape a measly few quid together by depleting our fish stocks.

Harsh and passionate words Charlie, but the reality is that no one group should have a monopoly over the fish stocks. We all should share and work together for a better Bass fishery that we can all enjoy in a few years time, whether that is through our passion for angling, or making a decent and honest living.

We certainly have a hot topic on our hands and we want to hear your opinion. Leave a comment in the comments section below and tell us what you think. I want to leave you with something to think about.

 

Let us not squabble over who has raped the sea and her bounties 

It matters not if they are foreign, or come from our counties

We need to move on and work with our neighbors

The stocks and the shoals, we can save with our labours  

 

Commercial or pleasure, boat or shore.

One thing is certain we want to see more

An ocean of species, rich and diverse

This fighting amongst us, is only perverse

 

To look to the future, we all must unite

Against greed and stupidity, we all must fight

Forsaken species, the Cod, Bass and Sole

Survival of them all, is our only goal

 

Fishing Tails > All Articles > Reports > It’s all about the Bass. The reality of a 6 month ban

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35 Responses to "It’s all about the Bass. The reality of a 6 month ban"
  1. andy george says:

    A lot of fair & passionate comments from both sides, but you cannot get away with the fact that commercial fishing has been, & still is, the main reason for declining species of most fish. If you added up all the fish caught in a week at Chesil, I doubt very much if it would add up to the amount of fish caught in one drop of a trawl net. You only have to watch programmes like ‘The Catch’ to see how many fish are being caught. So to conclude, I do feel the majority are being punished because of the actions of the minority.

  2. Peter King says:

    I would have a complete ban on landing bass, only farmed bass for sale in retail shops.
    I know it would mean the demise of the small craft fishing fleet for bass but frankly I don’t care. We see 1000s being made unemployed in the steel and other heavy industry a few fishermen would make no difference and I am sure they like others will find suitable employment elsewhere and would be able to come back to bassing once the stocks had recovered. They are part of the problem so the only way they can become part of the solution is to stop all commercial activity.

    • Sean McSeveny Sean McSeveny says:

      Farmed Bass bring a whole host of problems themselves. The amount of Sandeels and other small bait fish that go into the production of feed pellets beggars belief.

    • Billy says:

      FARMERS GET BAILED OUT ! BANKERS CAN DO WHAT THEY WANT! LETS SUPPORT OUR OWN SMALL BOAT FISHERMAN!

  3. Andy F. says:

    Hi Sean,
    I go fishing most weeks, I travel a 200 mile round trip from Swindon, do they honestly think that after spending £40 on fuel, between £20 -£30 on bait plus terminal bits . Car park charges then trudging across the shingle at chesil to try and catch a few fish then if I unfortunaltly caught a Bass that I was not targeting
    I would be expected to put it back, I think not , !!

  4. Trevor Hare says:

    I’m not able to put a Bass on the table for the first six months of next year while the commercial boats will continue to depleat Bass stocks with increased quotas. Please view the attached video of a Calais boat doing a good job. I would only fish for Bass on one or two days a year and normally take home only 4 or five on each occasion.
    https://www.facebook.com/trevor.hare/posts/10153366402373174

  5. ian Gruncell says:

    I still think the pleasure angler has got a bit of an unfair deal Sean. I’m not convinced that with the new size limits and one fish bag limits imposed on pleasure anglers that putting a 6 month ban in place will make any real difference. I also don’t think the amount of money that pleasure anglers put into the local economy has been taken into account. I should add that I’m all in favour of the new size and bag limits, but just think the 6 month ban should be reconsidered. As someone who lives 60 miles inland and probably only catches one or two takeable bass a year, I’m beginning to wonder if the expense of bait and fuel etc needed for a days fishing is really worth while with what seems like such unbalanced rules in place. I release the majority of fish that I catch, including trout, but its nice to have the option of the odd fish for the table. Other european countries clearly do not follow size limit rules. You only have to watch cookery programmes like Rick Stein to see how many undersize fish are sold on markets and used in fish stews in countries like Spain Greece and France.

  6. Chris says:

    I think Peter King should loose his job, after all the investment the small scal commercial fishermen has invested he got the cheek to say he don’t care, we all got responsibilities in rebuilding the stocks, let’s do it fairly shame on you.

  7. David Sullivan says:

    Hi I’m a commercial fisherman from jersey with a 15 foot Orkney it’s not people with small boats like us that have buggered up the stocks we try to earn a decent and honest living and when the weather breaks and we can’t get to the offshore reefs to do our lobster pits we fall back on to a bit of netting for a few bass my yearly catch on bass would be between 300/700 kilo which is nothing in comparison to trawlers taking 40/70 odd ton a night I think people need to understand more that little boats are doing no harm to the stocks at all and banning bass for 6 months off the year commercially would leave us out of pocket we have bills to pay and ect and I’m only 21 we don’t get everything handed to us on a plate like some people do or get everything given to us like the rich do its a hard and dangerous life but a good way of living a good life people moan about us catching fish yet half of u people that moan and call for silly laws like this are more then happy to sit in a restaurant and stuff your face with local lobster and bass that we have risked our lives for to catch which some of our fellow fishermen have never come back as had to push the weather to put food on the table or in the market to pay the bills so next time ur eating seafood just think about how much effort and danger it has been to catch it and I think people should understand more about the small fishing fleet especially in jersey the Channel Islands before jumping to conclusions and trying to ruin small boats incomes and lives

    • Billy says:

      Good article and slightly better than the original blanket 6 month ban! I have fished for bass both commercially and Sport for 25 years and this is a complex subject, Dave has Some good points!

      I agree 100 % that it is the Trawlers especially the Pair Teams targeting spawning bass that have done the majority of the damage in the English Channel, this has been taking place since the early 90’s. It is shocking how this has been allowed to continue for so long without any enforcement or law changes until recently.

      Just do the maths! Say 5 Ton a night for each Trawler x 20 (Amount of Boats on any one day) then by 60 days (just 2 months of targeting Bass that’s 6,000 tons a year and this would just be for the Western Channel. This is still probably a massive underestimate because i believe there are more than 20 Trawlers targeting Bass at any one time in breeding season (Just log onto marine traffic.com and see the horror for yourself) and often they will land more than 5 Ton especially in pairs and they are also likely to target bass for more than the 60 Days.

      There is no way small commercials or recreational anglers could catch fish in these numbers, lets say there are a 100 small commercial bass boats on the south coast of the U.K who net and rod fish and land say 2 Ton a year Max that’s still only 200 Ton.

      I also feel the inshore Gill Netters and small commercial bass boats get a lot of undeserved bad press, Yes it looks bad when you see them sorting there catch on the docks or you are a recreational angler who’s favorite spot has been netted 200m out when you turn up for a shore fish. But the real culprits are these Trawlers who go unnoticed often leaving and returning in the Dark, all the fish are nicely hidden in the depths of the boat then sometimes sold for stupid prices as low as £1 a Kilo in some dodgy french port who probably don’t keep the correct figures of there quotas. This is the reality. But i don’t see why small commercials should suffer from the damage these million pound plus vessels/Companies have done.

      l think the recent amendment from George Eustice the UK minister is not too bad, but it will only be as good as the policing out there from the Fisheries Departments.

      Oh yeah you can also blame the Thatcher government for letting every man and his dog into British waters to within 6 Miles to fish.

      Well lets hope were are going in the right direction with this and fingers crossed the new breed of catch and release lure fisherman who can do no wrong don’t go eating any fish any time soon as that would be very hypercritical !

      Happy New Year!

  8. Gareth says:

    In my opinion this is a well wrote and fair article.

    I have worked commercially catching bass in the past and am also a keen angler who loves catching bass for sport/table. I would have loved to make a career as a commercial fisherman but due to many factors I couldnt so ended up in the Merch.

    The slaughter has to be stopped for sure and I think these rules are going in the correct direction! The anglers bag limit is fairly tight but I think it is a temporary measure and will improve over time.

    As for the netting my main concern is how are the fisherman going avoid catching bass less than 42cm, this could lead to a huge discard problem.

    A lot of anglers moan bout commercial fishermen but at the end of the day they catch fish because people want to eat them. Its the same reason we rape the world of most of its other natural resources. People are willing to turn a blind eye to the rain forests though because that foesnt make for good sport on a sunny afternoon in June!

    As for people saying they couldnt care less about the fishermans jobs, shame on you! Would you feel the same way if your chosen career, investment and skill set were taken from you and rendered usless overnight? fishermen graft for years to build up their buisnesses. They graft on a daily basis like most people would never graft in a life time!

    A lot of people have no idea how it all works but jump on the band wagon without hesitation! I remember a few years ago when all these so called recreational anglers were landing tens and hundreds of bass a day illegally to earn a few quid! It still happens now to a lesser extent but only because there are less bass and its harder to get away with.

    The pair trawlers have been stopped, in my opinion that is a massive stride forward. With a bit of refining overtime these regulations will inmprove the bass stocks for us all to enjoy. Fish stocks along with any of the worlds natural resources are the priority! Not our personal requirements!

  9. Robert Gallacher says:

    good article but some incorrect information in there. the recent upturn in stocks has nothing to do with any fisheries management methods, eu or otherwise.remember these management rules only forbid landing of fish, not the capture so TAC quotas only vary the amount landed, not caught. fish caught without quota are discarded, usually dead.

    in the case of the plaice stocks were underestimated ,some of the plaice that are appearing in numbers in recent years are ten to twenty years old. plaice stocks are at their highest recorded levels for some time ,despite commercial effort, targeted and bycatch being at a similar level for years.

    the gadoid species ,cod , haddock etc are increasing due to favourable conditions for recruitment. the voluntary real time closure scheme in the north sea made a contribution as areas where juvenile cod were abundant were closed to commercial fishing (to uk fishermen) if they reported catching more than a certain amount of small cod per hour.

  10. Patrick says:

    There are regional differences to minimum sizes of mackerel as I highlighted to Adrian when I gave my answer. A lot of people got the multi-choice answer wrong possibly because they don’t fish those areas where it’s 30cms. I’ve struggled with take sizes allowed for some species that bear little correlation to breading maturity, which is 30cms. In fact we are allowed to take them at 20cms everywhere except the North Sea, http://www.anglingtrust.net/page.asp?section=163
    Of course, Bass sexual maturity is around 42cms so it’s just as well take size was increased from 36cms.

    • Sean McSeveny Sean McSeveny says:

      Having talked to a number of anglers they got it wrong because they simply didn’t know. Most people do not know the MLS for most species.

  11. David Storton says:

    I’ll have anyone a LARGE bet that you’ll still see VERY undersized Bass in every Spanish fish market also sole no longer than 5″. They take everything in their nets. They don’t even understand the concept of releasing small fish to grow on

    • ian Gruncell says:

      Very true, you can also add France, Portugal, and Greece to the list of countries who believe size limits do not apply to them.

  12. Dave says:

    “Even the under 10m Gill netters are landing in excess of a tonne a day on some days”. Given that the current VCL for a netter is a tonne a MONTH it would appear that they will be breaking the law. If that is the case then I hope you are reporting them.
    “Unlike pleasure anglers they are heavily regulated and frequently checked by the inshore fisheries patrol boats”. Come on Sean. There is absolutely no obligation for the under 10 fleet to record or report what they catch. They can sell to the public in lots of up to 30kg at a time. The only time that there is a record of what they catch is when it goes through registered buyers.
    “the reality is that no one group should have a monopoly over the fish stocks”. Sean, bass stocks were never in any trouble until they started to be exploited commercially. Now we have a limit of ONE bass per angler per day for 6 months of the year. At the same time Gillers can net 1300kg. For the other 6 months anglers are allowed to take NOTHING. For four of those months Gillers can take 1300 kilos per month. During the months of Feb and March it will slow down. The inshore netters are netting the pre-spawning aggregations in Dec and Jan. In total gill netters can take up to 13 TONNES of bass per boat per year. If that is not a monopoly then I don’t know what is.
    I’m going to stop there but for once I am far less than impressed with the article.

  13. Dave says:

    Sorry, could I just add that I have no issue at all with hand liners or rod and liners. In fact I would like to see the EU bass fishery made hand-line / rod-line only. It would be sustainable, give best value for the commodity and be much easier to manage. What is not sustainable is the netting of the pre-spawning aggregations and the discarding of dead, undersized fish. Given that last year 64% of the bass landed in the UK were landed by netters it is hardly, “low impact” either. Obviously the 64% does not include the discards. This is not a problem with H&L.
    We all have a choice in whatever career we decide to follow. If commercial fishing is so dangerous and poorly paid there are orther less dangerous and better paid jobs out there.
    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to air my views. I don’t expect everyone to agree but I hope I have voiced them in a ploite manner.

    • Sean McSeveny Sean McSeveny says:

      Hi Dave.
      I can understand your frustration. I am also upset that all netting was not banned, that would certainly have made a huge difference. You are absolutely correct in what you said about the Gill netters landing more than a tonne a day last winter. However they are under the same restrictions as the rest of the fleet regarding landings this year and as you say in a year they can potentially land 13 tonne of fish. However when you compare that to what a pair or seine trawler can do in a single scoop it is nothing.
      I still stand by my comment that the commercial fishermen are heavily regulated. To sell directly to the public or pubs and restaurants they now require a sellers licence that means they have to record those sales as well. I am not naive enough to believe that they are all going to do that, neither do I believe that pleasure anglers also don’t sell to pubs and restaurants.
      If you believe the ridiculous figures that B.A.S.S come up with then pleasure anglers land 25% of the Bass caught each year. You have them to blame for the new limit’s imposed on anglers.
      What does annoy me is the number of anglers that have turned round and said I will still keep any I catch.

      • Owen says:

        Sean, I have always considered you were a recreational angler and a guide for other recreational anglers. That opinion is now changing with your robust support for the commercial sector.
        Blaming BASS is not on. If it wasn’t for them and other similar organisations I don’t believe these measures would be even talked about. It does you no credit to criticize them.
        Before the last minute amendments, I wholeheartedly supported the measures to protect bass. Since Eustice’s back down presumably following pressure from the commercial sector, that support has gone. I believe a huge number of RCAs will feel the same.
        I read on the AT web site that the gill netter’s bass landings amount to some 41%. I wonder how Eustice can justify that as low impact. The whole thing is a farce which I, for the first time ever, intend to ignore. Indeed the netter’s quota has actually increased.
        I totally agree with Dave, above. It’s just ridiculous. Get rid of the hideous gill nets and and make the fishery hand line and rod and line ONLY. Then I will happily comply with all the restrictions but while that netter I see working just off the beach hauls in even more than last year I don’t feel inclined to comply at all.

        • Sean McSeveny Sean McSeveny says:

          Hi Owen.

          My only support with the commercial sector is with rod and line fishing.
          I have never been in agreement with the ridiculous claims that B.A.S.S have made regarding the worth of Bass fishing. When you come up with stupid numbers you cant be taken seriously

      • Dave says:

        Sean, I would like to come back and pick you up on a couple of points if that is OK.
        You state, “neither do I believe that pleasure anglers also don’t sell to pubs and restaurants”. That is a bit of a contradiction Sean. Recreational sea angling is defined as fishing with a hook and a line for non-commercial purposes (Pawson et al 2008). “The catch may be returned to sea or kept for consumption, but not sold or given in exchange for other goods”. Fishermen who sell their catch are, by definition, commercial fishermen as a commercial change has taken place.
        Re: Landings. I refer you to ICES ibp bass report 2014 which states, “For fixed/driftnets, the landings including the Cefas logbook estimates for under-10 m vessels results in a landings series that is on average around three times higher than the official statistics”. This seems pretty unequivocal to me and casts major doubts on the sea angling 2012 report which ascertains that RSA accounts for 25-30% of bass mortality . The EU have currently raised questions about the landing figures for the UK under 10 fleet. The MMO is currently reviewing how the under 10 figures are reported. The scary thing is that these figures are currently being used to manage the bass fishery. IMHO fishery management is a shambles which does not do any stakeholder any favours.
        An enlightening series of responses from all sectors. Merry Christmas to you and all Fishing Tails readers. A fantastic site.

  14. Matt says:

    If a fish stock such as Bass has reached such a critical level that the owners of that stock ie every man women and child of this country can’t catch a single fish for there own consumption then there should be absolutely no commercial exploitation of that stock what so ever and only in the event Bass numbers begin to recover should individuals be allowed to exploit Bass again for there own financial benefit and this needs to come AFTER us the population of this country have what I believe to be a birth right of every one to take a fish for the table reinstated.

  15. Bernard says:

    Well written and fair article. It would be good if we pleasure anglers could be placated with some reasurances that our EEC patners will tow the line.
    We in the Medway have a lot of small Schoolie Bass in our area and because of their ferious feeding they just get decimated by anglers here abouts. I think there should be a barbless hook rule for the first six months fishing.

  16. Cliff Gilbert says:

    According to DEFRA and the Angling Trust the MLS for Mackerel is 20 cm outside the North Sea not 30cm as stated. Where does the 30cm figure come from?

  17. Andy says:

    Hi All ive been fishing for Bass for over 30 years from beaches to rocks,and i can honestly say, ive had more blanks then catches, and so have my mates,ive all so taken the treble hooks off of all my spinners, because if you cant catch them on one hook,you may as well give up,
    i have still caught them on a single hook spinner, easier to remove the hook and to return the fish back to the water with as little damage as possable,over the years ive returned more fish then ive taken home for the pot,so i dont know where they get this 25percent of fish caught by rod and line anglers,me thinks that is made up,cant wait till the end of june now to get back to my sport ,of catching a great fighting fish ,and to return to the waters to fight another day,

    • Sean McSeveny Sean McSeveny says:

      I will stop short of saying it is one huge lie made up by B.A.S.S and the Angling trust, but it is certainly a manipulation of figures by these two groups, that are SUPPOSED to be looking after our interests. Hence the reason I am not a member of either.

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