This is how a burn dies…

Aye, you know it is Autumn when you get to a burn and some shopping trolleys are emerging on the banks.

I arrived at the burn and quickly set up my wee Tenkara outfit. The burn was at a good height and I fished a few pools without any success. This was weird however I kinda thought it may have been because the trout were not happy  at the burn height being so changeable over the last few days, I was not overly concerned.

A common “Shopinuss Trolleyus”

I only became concerned when a young guy who works at the Golf Course wandered over and asked if I had caught any fish. I have spoken to this young guy a few times in the past, he is always interested and likes to have a chat while I fish. He knows I only have a short amount of time however on this day he had a “look” about him.  A kinda concerned look.

I told him that no, today I was not having much success and he shook his head and told me he thought he knew the reason why. He told me that in the last week a guy had been down fishing with a wee float and maggots and had killed well over a dozen trout. The young guy asked him why he had killed them all and the fisher told him they were for Pike bait. The young guy told me there were a good few big trout in his Asda shopping bag and he had told the guy he did not think the wee burn could sustain that amount of trout being killed, the “fisher” shrugged and said there were plenty more wee burns like this one for him to get bait.

I fished on for a half hour and caught a few wee ones – none of the big ones came out to play. Of course they did not come out to play as the majority of them were in some guys freezer to be used as bait for Pike. He descended on that wee bit of burn like a plague of locusts killing everything in his path. He was at best a pollution incident and at worse an irresponsible asshole who quite frankly should not be allowed to fish for any species. I like to think that gone are the days that Pike get chapped on traditionally “trout waters”  in fact now they really promote the sporting qualities of Pike.

I suppose like litter, urban pollution incidents like the inconsiderate fisher without any real sense of  conservation is just another reason why we cannot have nice things in the city.




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  1. Ronnie · September 23, 2012

    It’s sad that in this day and age some idiot has to take young trout out of a burn to use as Pike bait, what’s wrong with buying some cheap oily fish for bait. In my youth it was normal to catch Fish, Rabbits and Hare but we were feeding our families as money was tight.

  2. Jim · September 23, 2012

    No place for cavemen like these in the fishing world,he probably kills the pike he catches as trophys.Sadly there is stil a lot of people like this around…

  3. Peter · September 23, 2012

    We were down there a few weeks ago, took my wee 5ft 2wt fly rod for an outing. Lent my mate my 7ft 3wt, we both took quite a few small trout, biggest being just about 1/2lb. Saw a guy sitting with a 9ft spin. rod, using a stick float and maggots, he had a poly bag beside him, might be the same guy, then again maybe not. Fecking shame, numbnuts like that everywhere unfortunately.

  4. Alistair · September 23, 2012

    Bloody tragic guys I am gutted!

    Peter, I am glad you had some action on the wee burn it is a real wee gem! Sounds to me as if it is the same guy. Jeesh a nine foot spinning rod would probably reach to the other side!

  5. Campbell S · September 23, 2012

    Sounds like the guy I met fishing in hi viz who killed everything from his wee burn to feed to his ferret, fucking bonkers! he obviously liked fishing for them, loved his wee burn but couldn’t put two and two together to realise that he was damaging what he liked.

  6. robbie c · September 23, 2012

    Tragical.Sometimes i think Germany is over regulated,but you can not put a hook in the water unless you have a valid anglerscheine which is like a driving liscence,inasmuch as you must pass a test (300 euros )before you can even buy a permit to fish,and if you are caught fishing without either,its a hefty fine or off to the local equivelant of Barlinne.Dont forget that the people who control the water are mostly armed.Bit extreme,but wouldn’t it work wonders on the Kelvin,Cart,etc.??

  7. Alistair · September 23, 2012

    Is that 300 euros a one off payment?

  8. robbie c · September 23, 2012

    Alistair,Before you can legally fish,you have to do a course and pass a written examination which takes in every aspect of waterside etiquette.Every type of fish that you could encounter,Size limits,close seasons,allowable equipment (a disgorger is a must)allowable fishing methods,and a respect for the enviroment.I know that this sounds a little bit like a Gestapo set up,but wouldn’t all the decent anglers on the Kelvin be happy to be rid of the setliners and the other tosspots.The 300 euros is an average price between different regions,and is a one off thing like a driving liscence,but without this you can not join a club or buy a permit.Whats also a dicouragement,is that you are handled exactly the same when you poach a 200 gram perch or a 100 kilo deer.Like i said,a little bit extreme,but a buffer for decent anglers.

  9. Alistair · September 23, 2012

    Robbie, I actually like the sound of that!

    I am surprised some of the guys I meet can get some change together to pay their bus fare!

  10. esuk96 · September 23, 2012

    What’s the point in killing a fish you would eat to catch a fish you wouldn’t ?, far better to go fly fishing for pike or lure fishing/spinning, much more enjoyable than drowning a deadbait, I suppose, it’s hard to get drunk on cider when you’re fly fishing. I caught a few young lads fishing for trout on there dads orders last season, killing them for pike bait, either the dad was too lazy to go catch his own bait or he knew the kids wouldn’t get done for fishing without permits, either way it’s a sad state of affairs.

  11. Alistair · September 23, 2012

    Hey Douglas, I do not understand how so little of trout can be thought off 🙁

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