Editor's October letter

We have been receiving interesting comments on the publishing of images of dead fish in

the publication – while it is our policy to try and use fish that are photographed alive and

returned to the water to fight another day, it is not always possible. Many of our readers do keep

the odd fish for the pan and there is nothing wrong with this as long as we stick to my favourite

fishing saying of ‘limit your catch, don’t catch your limit’.


In line with trying to instill the catch-and-release ethic, you will see that we have aligned

ourselves with the RASSPL Competitions; the format is awesome, with the emphasis on catch-andreleasing

as many species as possible. These competitions are completely non-consumptative and

no dead fish count – fish are measured on a protective weigh mat , photographed and returned

to the water. This format of competition could in fact, with a bit of tweaking and lateral thinking,

work in all facets of angling.


The species-specific competitions like the galjoen derbies, grunter competitions and couta

classics offshore all put a lot of pressure on a specific target species in one area. One must

remember that a huge number of anglers fish in a relatively small area for trophy-size fish – which

are of course the breeding stock – then catch, kill and bring to the gantry to be weighed. This

can have devastating effects on localised populations, especially where we are talking about our

national fish, the galjoen, which by all accounts seems in dire straits. The concentrated efforts

of anglers partaking in these catch-and-kill compos can do untold damage.


New methods of hosting and scoring these competitions need to be sought. Sponsors of events

that promote kill compos should also take a hard look at what they are supporting; every angler

should take a good hard look at what they are actually fishing for and try and support efforts

to make competitions more fish-friendly. If we don’t, legislation may soon follow banning these

competitions completely.


With those thought-provoking words, I hope you enjoy this edition and remember: limit your

catch, don’t catch your limit!


Always fishing

Dean Pretorius