I've got no more rights over my local coastline than you do, and vice versa
I tend to work on the assumption that roughly 99% of people on this earth are pretty lazy when it comes to getting properly out and about, and it was with this in mind when I was speaking to a lad recently who was telling me that he is seeing more lure anglers around and about his local coastline than he used to. Now this bloke has forgotten more about bass fishing than I will ever know in a hundred lifetimes, but the simple fact is that more anglers are getting into lure fishing and are therefore going looking for fishing spots, and wow do we have so much info at our fingertips these days before even heading out there for a real life look - whilst of course we face the perennial problem of not exactly having an abundance of big bass swimming around for all of us to catch on a regular basis.
Anyway, my argument if you like to this bass fishing wizard was thank god that in my opinion there’s only about 1% of people who are really prepared to get out there and have a proper look around. Imagine if the other 99% suddenly took it upon themselves to walk many miles up and over a coastline looking for fishing spots? In my mind it’s the same as going to the beach with the family - most people will flock like sheep to the same and easy to get to spots, but if you are prepared to walk and explore, finding nice quiet areas of the coastline ain’t exactly hard. And yes, my girls are well used to walking up and down the coastline with rucksacks, surf boards etc.
But to be honest it’s the “ownership” thing of one’s local coastline that I will never understand. I am no different to any of you here in that I enjoy fishing with various friends, but I don’t want to be fishing bass marks that are crawling with anglers. I will do all I can to keep the spots I get to fish as “secret” as possible, whilst accepting that however secret I think a few spots might be, you can bet your bottom dollar that various anglers have been fishing them for years before I ever turned up. I live here in south east Cornwall and I love how we can go fishing and rarely come across other anglers, but just because I live here doesn’t then give me any more rights to my local coastline than you. I ain’t about to divulge the exact spots I fish, but there’s nothing stopping anybody using whatever resources they can come across to try and find bass fishing marks around here and then going out to fish them. Good luck I say, and why not? Nothing on earth gives me more right than you to fish my local coastline, but still I come back to 99% of people who can’t be arsed to do the hard yards……….
I am aware of a bunch of fairly localish anglers around me who are into lure fishing for bass, but still I rarely come across any of them. Now either this means I’m fishing the wrong spots, or else there’s actually plenty of coastline for the numbers of dedicated anglers who are really into this stuff. The same when we go over to Ireland. My friend John Quinlan who I do this co-guiding work with down in Kerry, well he’s been working as a professional fishing guide for years now, and he’s bloody good at it - think of the sheer numbers of clients who have passed through their Thatch Cottage doors (lots). Yet when I was over there in the middle of August, as per the year before we basically saw no other anglers out and about save for a couple of visitors that John knows anyway.
And it’s pretty much the same when we fish around the Dungarvan/Tramore/Copper Coast area on the south coast of Ireland. We cover a lot of miles and we are happy to walk as far as we need to try and find some fish, but for the talk I sometimes hear of more and more anglers now bass fishing the coastline over there, still we aren’t coming across them on most of the marks we might fish. Sure, we would expect to see anglers on some of the more well known bass fishing marks, but as where I live, it’s a big coastline with a lot of ground, and for all the lure anglers and for all the talk, I can’t help but wonder how many lure anglers really do put the hard yards in and get themselves properly out and about. Us anglers love to yap as it is, but how many anglers talk a good talk but then don’t actually get out there very much?
I hear the odd sad story of a bit of conflict between anglers who mistakenly believe that they essentially “own” their local coastline and visitors haven’t got the right to come and fish it, to which I say balls. We want to go fishing and we want to have the place to ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we have any special rights to what we might call our local coastline. I am not about to do so for any number of different reasons, but if I wanted to go and set up a bass guiding business say in Dungarvan, I am as within my rights to do so as an angler who might have lived there all their life. And if visiting anglers want to come and fish or indeed guide the coastline around where I live here in south east Cornwall, well I say good luck to them and I hope they enjoy it and find it as beautiful and peaceful as I do. Still you can’t get away from the fact that most people are bone idle and the thought of long walks, steep cliffs and no mobile or internet connection puts them off, to which I say yippee.
Bricking myself about the England v Australia game tomorrow night. Are we going out of our own World Cup?