Catch-release system like ‘perfect little town’

BIG ONE: Anthony Friend with a 83cm garrick he caught at Skulpies on the Swartkops River
BIG ONE: Anthony Friend with a 83cm garrick he caught at Skulpies on the Swartkops River

THE Swartkops continues to produce quality fish only because it gets a daily flush from the ocean that is so vital to its threatened existence. This flush is crucial to all life forms existing in this system.

The “leervis” or garrick is one of the migratory species that frequent the estuaries and are very tidal by nature. They usually come and go with each tide. However, the juveniles remain in the system until adolescence is reached.

Anthony Friend, a regular contributor and accomplished garrick angler, caught a fine specimen which he released after the photograph at Swartkops recently.

The fish was not tagged, however. If any readers would like to know more about the tagging system they can contact me on the above mail address. I have personally tagged nearly 400 fish, with a number of them being re-caught. There is no thrill like catching a fish that you have previously released. I have even re-caught two of them myself.

I would like to share a thought with you about the perfect economy of a town which I can compare an estuary to, where fish are caught and released much the same as money passing hands.

A little “platteland dorpie” had a tinker visit and, being unsure as to whether he would stay in the town, he decided to inquire at the local inn about accommodation first. However, the inn was full and the innkeeper said he could provide a room in the loft at a reduced rate.

The tinker, concerned about whether he would have a bed for the night, decided to leave a deposit of R200 just in case he decided there were prospects in the town.

The keeper took the R200 so long and decided to relieve his R200 debt with the butcher, who in turn decided to do the same with the hardware store, who did the same.

The blacksmith then did the same until a lady of leisure eventually received the same money and decided to pay the innkeeper for the use of the room that month.

Later that day, the tinker came around to the hotel and informed the keeper that there were no prospects in the town and that he was passing through.

The keeper refunded the R200 and the whole town was paid.

It is much the same when we release our fish. One fish released can give many an angler that same thrill and all are happy at the end of the day.

The Tuna Classic saw a record fish on the scale and what an occasion it was, considering the past few years have generally disappointed. The fish have not weighed much these past few years, bringing real concern about the future of this prestigious event on the game fishing calendar.

The fish are out there, but not in abundance as they were years ago.

Spiraling costs make participation in these events difficult without sponsors who also want exposure – and this unfortunately only happens at the scale. –  Reel Time, with Wayne Rudman

 

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