Who do you imagine is doing it? is it Eastern Europeans, if so you may well be right, it's just that I don't see them. Admittedly most of my fishin is off the tourist trail. I did see and briefly spoke to some 'Geordie/Lithuanian' people fishing localy last summer and they were returning their catches and even using a 'bed' (their words..it was a unhooking mat). The same week I saw a very English fellow who appeard to be quite 'pizzed' fishing while bbq'ing (in the shadow of Dodd, so you will know where I mean Rich) 'returing jis pike by holding them by the wrist of the tail and lobbing them out as far as he could. I was on my boat with my 10 year old grandson who sadly witnessed this, but at least he now realises that not all who call themselves anglers are up to much.
I was shown how to fish with set lines for pike in the 60s, it was at least on one water a common practice.
As Steve says 'our' pike are good to eat, I agree with him when he points out its due to the water in which they live.
I think this is an extremely naive way of looking at it. Although I wouldn't tar all EE's with the same brush (in fact all that I have met on the bank have been polite, had both rod and club licenses and kept to the clubs rules) I think it's ignorant to say that they are not taking fish. Just because you 'don't see them' doesn't mean they're not there, they wouldn't be very good poachers if you did see them would they.
And because some drunk English bloke gets drunk and doesn't return a fish properly, that condones Eastern Europeans stealing fish does it?
Set lines are not common practice now, just like things like the gaff and weighing a fish by putting the hook of the scales under the fish's gills aren't.
And just because pike are good to eat doesn't give people permission to set crude set lines for them does it? Would you still shrug it off if you saw a swan or kingfisher caught up in the line?
For gods sake how do you think the pike would have suffered if it had taken the bait, tethered to it for hours as it slowly died.
I think there's a balance on these issues. You get the 'the polish are taking all the fish' brigade, but then you get people like you, who are just as bad with their head in cuckoo cloud land thinking that it's the magic fairies setting these traps and that it's ok because pike are good to eat and everyone used to use set lines in the 60's.
Edited by davedave, 15 July 2012 - 10:43 PM.
As famous fisherman John Gierach once said "I used to like fishing because I thought it had some larger significance. Now I like fishing because it's the one thing I can think of that probably doesn't."