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Catch and release

Started by shanook, September 05, 2010, 15:30:37 CET

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As usual on a Sunday I like to go to Bugibba pier,mainly to see the launching and retrieval of boats which is a spectacle in itself. I also like to take a stroll along the pier and as everyone knows this time of the year we start to see imsell near the end of the pier. A quy was fishing for vopi but a spectator showed him how to fish for them.....so he started and he was catching these imsell about 12cm long and about 5mm in diameter. If he was trying to catch some to use as bait for fishing it wouldnt have mattered but he was asking how to cook them..........unbelievable........he was told to tie them and boil them and eat the whole thing.........when are we going to learn to catch and release the fish that are too small to be of any use for human consumption.... i have seen bucketfull of vopi thrown at cats........
Fishing is a relaxing hobby where one spends sometime in the open air with the thrill of seeing his rod bending with a fish on the other end.......If its small release it..if u are not going to consume it then release it.....it might give u another trill another time u come back fishing.........

There is only one problem with this post ..........All MFF members, at least I hope, release fish that are not keepers........how can we educate, teach the fisherman or make the authorities realize that something has to be done with all the pariti near the shore and the catching, by individual anglers, of small fish.

I am writing because same place but different date, there was this kid with a triple hook trying to catch the fish by dropping crumbs of bread a then jerking the rod to hit the fish with the treble hook.....there were cawl mostly BUT there was a fellus ta cerna with them.......I tried to explain that the greenish one with rounded fins will grow to be very big and I spread out my arms........I dont think he believed me, most probably thought I was some crazy old man...


All true Shanook but lets be frank. When we were beginners we all used to be very happy with the smallest fish we catch and would never pass from out minds to throw it back. As we get more experience we try to target bigger fish and do release back the small fish.
The real problem for fish are the nets of all types and not the rod and hook.
Petecraft 20 - twin Mariner 150HP EFI


The first few fish are the hardest.  In summer my only obsession is fishing for leerfish with spinning surface lures. I'm absolutely addicted to it. I've had some very reasonable fish by maltese standards for this species.  The average nice specimen is in the 3-4kg range.  I catch loads of little ones the size of a 300g sawrella, they all go back to swim.  The larger ones i only keep maybe one of every three fish I catch.  That means that in a whole summer i might keep only 2 fish.  however, I have grown a huge respect for this fish and most of the time i look at the fish on the Kitchen sink and say to myself ... I should have let it go too.

Sometimes seeing such a fish swim away after a big successful fight, gives a bigger sense of satisfaction than seeing it in the oven cooking off with potatoes and onions. You learn to have respect for such a beautiful creatures.
Official Molix, Major Craft, DUO and SeaSpin agent for Malta.


Quote from: FREEDIVE on September 06, 2010, 05:44:46 CETThose around me thought I was foreign and you should have heard the crude comments when I kept throwing back all the AJs.

It is this sort of Mentality that must change in this country.  I beleive that as a forum with over 1600 subscribers we can make a change towards the awareness of conserving our marine friends.  What amazes me is that large renowned local companies who sell fishing tackle targeted to sport fishermen, do not emphasise catch and release, or at least the legal size limit of fish.

I think we should push forward and propse that the Ministry responsible should issue a informative leaflet on the legal fish sizes and C&R. Maybe even produce a small educative campaign, like they do with healthy food.  ONLY THEN, can we have a case in forcing the government to issue laws that control the fishing with nets along the immediate shoreline.

Let's not shoot ourselves in the feet.
Official Molix, Major Craft, DUO and SeaSpin agent for Malta.


Its true, when i started i used to keep the fish and i agree with all that has been said above. Also re the treble hook, when i had done that as i kid, the hasla i got at home from my father who doesn't even fish, was phenomanal and never left my head.

Spearfishing thought me how to be selective, and to just enjoy the time away from everyday hassle. Fishing has thought me how to soak in and enjoy the little things like being with friends on a beach and dreaming about the big catch or remembering past catches. Then i must say spinning has thought me how to not give up. Coupled all together I must admit that releasing a fish, or letting one go has become a great sensation which gives an amazing feeling of satisfaction. Dont get me wrong, I would like to take a fish home here and there, but going back home knowing that I had some time for me is worth more than any fish in the world. So I am happy with that. I also can really understand Clutch_kick when he talks about respect for the prey (although my few catches really don't compare to any of you guys contributing to this thread)

I think here in Malta, apart from the ignorance (in the sense of not having a clue of marine life and/or conservation), it's the mentality that screws everything over. The mentality that if I spend 1 euro on tackle I have to minimum catch 2 euro worth of fish – even if just to throw it to the cats. That kind of expression which in maltese states 'biex taqwista!' Not to simply have fun, relax and enjoy some time outdoors! 

Don't know if what I am writing makes sense to you guys, but it's the way I feel about the matter. Also, a good thread on how to handle the fish when practicing C&R would be great (tipo at the beginning of the forum), as I always get doubts about it. Re talking to government and all, I agree in full, but I think that especially the tackle shops should really play a big role in this!


The problem in Malta is selfishness.

Those who know me know how fond I am of diving and I think all of you are hearing about the conservation effort going on at Cirkewwa.   

Ironically the laws exist but enforcement?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Last week I dived on the bottom external reef and it is full of old and new nets, nassi, long lines, squid jigs etc.  The problem is that nets remain active and cause loads of damage to the small grouper popuolation present. 
I believe that it is the only place in Malta were groupers are abundant and can be aproached easilly and as such they grow big have babies and restore the population.

Interestingly enough on Discovery World the programm called Big Fish during August (Shark Month) said that we should relase the big mums and keep the males as the big mums are healthy enough to produce loads of eggs and keep the population stable.  BUT how are we going to explain that...............  we do not even manage to release a 5cm cernetta let alone a 5 ft one.

Education is key but please be careful as I do not want to finish like the hunters with loads of restrictions and loads of enemies.   


care and attention when discussing catch and release .... the last time we were discussing this issue it ended up with inspectors from environmental division saying we can not even keep small fish in keep nets!

most probably shore fisherman will be the first to pay the price as goverment has no money to invest in offshore patrols ....

As i always say nets and illegal fishing is done in very early and late hours when most of us are sleeping ... so who is going to patrol such irregularities!

.... but most of the comments are very valid! i always insist on catch and release but we have to be very careful as we are a very easy target!
the fishing gods might have something for me tomorrow I'll be fishing


i really think there is nothing to discuss. whoever wants to release fine,whoever does not is equally fine. this is just an individuals preferance. so for gods sake,please,lets stop this silly crusade against those who likes to keep fish to eat like myself! rest assured,im not going to eat the ocean out of its fish!


Catch and release is fine but so is eating freshly caught fish! Of course one has to be reasonable and at least as a beginning one should strictly respect the legal minimum sizes.

But for those who are avid fish eaters like myself it really makes no sense to throw back freshly caught fish and then to go to the fishmonger and buy fish which is much less fresh at an expensive price. I eat fish almost daily so any decent fish caught are a very welcome alternative to frozen or canned stuff!

Of course it does not mean taking more than one can eat (never the case with me since catches are always very modest) or making a massacre out of baby fish. However eating the fish I catch is an integral part of the whole fishing experience. In fact you will never find me fishing in places like ras hanzir where  fish caught cannot be eaten. I do release many small fish, even those not covered by legislation but if the fish are of decent size, I much prefer catch and eat to catch and release!



Its worth reading up on what fish can be safely caught & released, with any chance of surviving the experience, it appears that once handled, mackerel species will develpop "burns" on their body & die within days unless they are "shaken" off the hook without any human contact.
There are other species that we get over here (whiting & pouting) that suffer much the same fate, & we have for years been slapping ourselves on the back for being "environmentally friendly" by practicing C&R, when in fact we have been doing more harm than good! :o
We are having to look closely at what we do nowadays, because many "green groups" are proposing NTZs around the coast of the UK, where ALL fishing is going to be prohibited because they see C&R as a practice that is not acceptable in terms of conservation. Just a bit of a "heads up" in case you start using C&R as an argument, which can be pulled from under your feet! ;) 


Yes I agree. It is a personal decision, and it should not be imposed either.  However, most of the anglers i talk to are not aware what the legal sizes of the fish are.  I am pretty sure that it is more satisfying to keep a 300g Sargu rather than a bucketful of 80g sargi. I love keeping Barracudas because they are just too good grilled on the BBQ, but i only keep the ones larger than 800g. Basically if they are as long as my rod's handle they are pretty much over that weight.

It is all down to some common sense and respect towards our sea. My worry is that we might soon end up like our cousins the hunters, because as somebody else mentioned, WE are the easy targets here, not the large fishing companies.
Official Molix, Major Craft, DUO and SeaSpin agent for Malta.


lizzijiet personalment ma nafx kif qed ssemu catch and release ghalihom, il bahar mifquh minnhom u qed jaghmlu l hsara ukoll fuq speci indigeni tal mediterran, l m gahndhomx s sahha ta barracuda. barracuda tatakka spnotta u marspann rajta. u s sikek ta barra mimlija cudas

peronally i wouldntcatch andrelease barracudas, as the sea is full of them andthey cause havoc with local species. the outsidereefs are full of cudas
Good season so far.....


Is-sikek ta barra ma tistax tilhaqhom mill-art.  Nisgurak li l-erbgha hutiet li jintelqu min xi spissjat bhali mhux se jghamlu differenza kontra il-mijjiet l-ohra li jinqabdu :) imma il-kuxjenza teighi hekk tghidli.  Il-lizz hija speci prolifika hafna, u sabet kundizzjonijiet tajba hafna fill-mediterran dawn l-ahhar snin kemm ila li sahnet it-temperatura medja tall-bahar. Izda xorta hija huta endemika tall-mediterran.

the outside reefs cannot be reached from land. I assure you that the released fish by some fanatic will notmake a difference compared with the thousands that are kept.but thats what my conscience tells me to do. the cudas is a prolific species and it found ideal conditions here, especially since the water temp has gone up. But tis still an endemic species in the med.
Official Molix, Major Craft, DUO and SeaSpin agent for Malta.