A little marvel: this gorgeous bass came to visit during prefish for a kayak tournament on Lake Macdonald in Queensland.
Pulling our ‘yaks out after exploring an estuary on Kangaroo Island, SA, where farming has massively changed the environment.
Sharing our love for the environment, our passion for healthy waterways and fish habitat, our fascination for the entire eco-system and symbiosis of the species that share it is a fantastic way to engage with those who don’t fish. I find that these conversations fascinate our non-fishing friends, often exciting them and easily break down any adverse judgements they have. I do occasionally meet anglers who do not share the same ideals, which always intrigues me. Usually, after a little digging, I find that they just haven’t thought about it all that much. When they do reflect on their interactions with fish and the environment, they quickly realise how much they understand about this alien world on Earth, and they develop a respect for the fact that they’ve learned most of it through their own observations. And when they realise that a deep understanding of all things fishy; from fish behaviour, to habitat, to food chain, to eco-system, etc. is one of the defining ingredients to an elite anglers “talent”, and further that healthy fish populations depend on healthy waterways, the fire of passion for conservation is lit. It’s little wonder that keen anglers like myself get offended when other conservation-minded groups brand us as threats to the environment. Such blanket accusations are blind, ignorant and downright unhelpful… especially in times like these when all conservationists should be working together, regardless of their ilk.
Many think of the word “love” as a noun, but it’s also a verb! If you genuinely “love fishing”, it will show in your actions.
I thought this comment from one of my Inner Circle cohorts, Keith Chessell, was very insightful: “I just watched a video Steve [Starling] put out (see video here-abouts), saying “no” to a [proposed] marine park in the Hawkesbury area of Sydney, which would ban recreational fishing in key areas. “It makes a keen observation that an angler’s ability to observe and interact with the environment is unique and unsurpassed in clarity. It could easily be suggested that a keen recreational fisher is truly an unbiased monitor of the environment. We want the environment as it’s meant to be… that is, with plenty of fish in it! “Whilst watching that video, I realised I could recall the state of local (and some not-so-local) rivers, coastal areas, bays and harbours, creeks and waterholes across the years. Not only could I recall the state of the waterways, but also the fish, insects, birds, animals, weather, people using the resource for recreation, boat traffic, ramp facilities, road constructions, housing developments and a whole host of other observations around our most precious resource — water. “If the government are serious about monitoring the changing environment and genuinely want to have their finger on the pulse, they really shouldn’t bypass (or worse still, punish) the keenest observers they have at their very fingertips — the passion driven recreational angler!