Monday, 15 April 2013

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Cloth Eared Paddlers, Meetings and Appointments

St Mary’s loch and the loch o the Lowes are most definitely places of great beauty and attract a wide variety of people seeking some recreation on their days off from the mundane but usually essential requirement of work. As such we see many a diverse hobby taking place at the lochs, with a surface area of over 700acres you would think there is ample room for all to enjoy their pursuits in peace, yet today demonstrated quite clearly for some there is not!

Two canoeists prattling and paddling in a completely aimless fashion oblivious to all around them paddled through the lines of two my four rods today unclipping two of the drop offs! Naturally I responded pointing out to them in a mildly irate state that they had impinged on my space, upset my sport and were guilty of crass carelessness and acting in a fashion of self-gratification to the exclusion of all other water users, or words to that effect!

Their response left me completely exasperated - a mere shrug of the shoulders followed by ploughing through the other two of my lines! I was left musing just who do these people think they are? They do not pay a fee to participate in their sport, they just drive up launch their canoes anywhere and then go and do as they like. Oh don’t get me wrong there are some canoeists who are clued up and keep their wits about them and their eyes peeled, but not this pair of jesters!

Staggeringly when I nipped up to the Lowes for a blether with one of our members Paul R they had done exactly the same with him and after he verbally informed them of the error of their ways they blundered on and did the same to me at the “Graveyard”!

Unfortunately this was not a one off occurrence it has happened many times before!You see it is really quite simple if an angler casting his bait with 4 ounce lead attached were to hit the side of the canoe the velocity of the projectile would be more than sufficient to hole the craft probably on both sides what then? It doesn’t happen because as responsible anglers we ensure that care is taken to avoid this happening, why isn’t this duty of care reciprocated?

I will tell you why, it’s because they have not researched their sport to any extent, even the most basic canoeist should be familiar with the countryside code of conduct which states that canoeists should be aware of other water users and not disrupt their sport, in other words this pair behaved like floating Muppets with tunnel vision which is exactly what they are! Like the Muppet Uranob in an earlier article, these people have no respect for others whatsoever, they live in their own little worlds and to hell with everyone else!

What is to be done about it? It doesn’t appear that there is much that can be done, as they are all individuals and do not come under the banner of an umbrella organisation, they can launch their craft anywhere and apparently do as they like! Since they can launch from any point on the lochs notices would be of no use because where would we put them? There is no governing body like the Federation of Clueless Canoeists to write to and complain. No, one day a canoeist will really screw up an angler’s day, it will be the straw that broke the camel’s back and the consequences could be serious! So let’s try and avoid this scenario. Here are some common sense guidelines for canoeists
(1) Do not canoe within one hundred and fifty yards of the bank unless there is a compelling reason to do so, that way at that distance it is unlikely you will inconvenience an angler!
(2) If you must canoe close to the bank keep your eyes on the bank side looking out for angler’s rods usually the first thing you see
(3) If you are in close to the bank and see rods in front of you, you should immediately stop and back paddle for 100 yds then turn at right angles and head out at least one hundred and fifty yards paddling calmly and not thrashing the water to froth!
(4) Anglers are not fishing at the tip of their rods (as one female sailor thought and said to a colleague of mine) for goodness sake what would be the point of that, fishing in three inches of water! Typical distances can range from 10yds to 130yds from the bank.
(5) Fish are easily spooked by turbulence above them; you will completely ruin an angler’s day by paddling about above their baits! Now you can maybe see why anglers get narked when such an event occurs!
(6) If you do cross anglers lines at the very least apologise profusely, it’s simply a matter of common courtesy and more importantly please learn from your mistakes!
If you are an angler you must re educate these individuals every time they disrupt your sport this is the only way that their errors can be pointed out and rectified!

A considerable amount of ill feeling has been generated by canoeists who are oblivious to the rights and wishes of other water users, there are over 700 acres available to canoeists there is absolutely no need for these instances to occur! As anglers we pay for the privilege of fishing on the lochs, we do not take kindly to having our day’s sport ruined! As anglers we do not disrupt your sport of canoeing please do not disrupt ours! Its time to get this sorted!

MeetingsA committee meeting will be held on the 21st of this month at Glengaber Cottage starting at 19.00hrs. Letters have already been sent out.
Members should be reminded that the AGM will take place at the Tibbie Shiels Inn on Wednesday the 28th of this month commencing at 19.00hrs.

AppointmentsWe are pleased to announce the assimilation of two further committee members to augment and further strengthen the existing team, Alistair White who has been acting as interim club secretary and biology advisor, and Les Henderson who brings with his appointment a wealth of experience in all matters to do with fishing. Welcome aboard lads we very much look forward to working with you both!

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