A Big Fish for ScottNE and an Assault on Community

07_21_05_MerrimackMorningSk.jpgFirst off, congratulations go to ScottNE on his 53lb. striper.  It’s great to see a guy that spends the time on the water and freely shares information like Scott make a nice catch like that.

Speaking of community and sharing, this introduction is getting to be a yearly topic, and I’m pretty much tired of writing it.  This past week we had yet another instance of a well-meaning angler posting a report about a spot, in this case the Hooter off the Vineyard, and he predictably was taken to task by the fish nazis.  "How dare you mention a spot like the Hooter!"  These complaints always tend to come from people who, when you look at their posting history, haven’t posted a report in forever, even though they fish often. 

The end result is also quite predicatable.  Now there are numerous reports posted with the names of the spot deleted.  Something like this bit (which I cooked up, it’s not off the forums):

I was fishing at rock pile off eastern Massachusetts and I found stripers mixed with bass.

Community is just that, a group that is made better by shared experience.  The problem is, there have always been and probably will always be, those that wish to keep the cover on things.  They believe that by imposing their standards on everyone else, they can keep the secrets.  The truth is, as Caleb Slater pointed out, that most of the named spots are available off Capt. Seagulls charts, and that places like Roffs will sell you a temperature chart, noting which of the named spots have had good tuna bites this week.  So then the end result of attempts to stifle discussion on RT is simply that we keep the newbies and those that can’t afford to buy information a little more in the dark.  Yet, by walking into a tackle shop, etc., they’ll probably get the same information.

This whole thing makes me consider the same knee jerk reaction that always comes to mind: putting my whole navigation log online.  Information is meant to be shared, and someday, I just might do it.  Believe me, I’ve probably got every stinkin’ rockpile from Jeffries down to Fishers, and then some…  The best protection from overfishing anyone spot is spreading the traffic over all the spots, not simply refusing to share info.

Should you post about every single rockpile you know?  Definitely not…the true value of these reports comes from the general trends that can be gleaned out of them, such as bait, types of areas, general areas, etc.

Perhaps with time, sanity will prevail.


Mark N. Cahill has been writing and editing for Reel-Time.com since 1995. He started fishing in the mid-1960's and caught his first striper off World's End in Hingham in 1966. From there on in it was an obsession. He loves fishing for tuna, and fly fishing for striped bass. In a pinch, anything with fins will do...

Posted in Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Introduction

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