Fishing and the Rona

April 30, 2020
0 Votes

The corona virus has left many fishermen unable to enjoy time with friends, leading to a lack of social distancing and fishing. The pandemic has caused less fishing pressure, potentially leading to cleaner waters, healthier habitats, and more fecund fish stocks. However, many fishermen have been unable to get out, and the impact on ecosystems will be seen over time.

What to do, what to do? Damn this corona virus. I feel like a caged animal watching the world from behind glass, unable to get out and enjoy some time with my friends. My only solace is fishing the farm pond on the corner of our property. With so much rain this winter and early spring, the water is super high and the bite terribly slow. The whole quarantine bullshit needs to end. The numbers do not support the draconian measures we find ourselves living under and it is time to pound the water.

In all seriousness, fishing is one of the premier social distancing endeavors. Nobody wants another angler standing right next to them. If you are casting, you need room to maneuver. When doing battle with a nice fish, you need deck space or shoreline to move around. The lynch pin is being with your fishing mates. The camaraderie we share is the juice. I just love talking shit or delving into a deep conversation on fish behavior, habit, seasonal transitions, ideal presentations based on conditions or just fishing in silence. Being with your fishing friends makes the world a better place.

With so many fishermen unable to hit the water, I wonder how fisheries are faring with far less fishing pressure than normal. That is one good thing that will come out of this pandemic, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and oceans have had a bit of a respite. Waters may be a tad cleaner, habitats healthier and fish stocks more fecund. Given that the Rona came when many freshwater fish were starting to spawn, perhaps fish across the country were able to spread their eggs far and wide unencumbered by boats and fishermen. A lot of the saltwater guides I know have seen business dry up, due to the virus. Maybe the ecosystems needed this time off. Don't get me wrong, I know many fishermen have been going at it strong. But, a lot of anglers have not been able to get out. Maybe, just maybe most of the googans that mishandle fish and disturb bedding areas have not be able to wreck their havoc. Time will tell.

Before too long, we will all be back out hammering away and this ridiculous scare will fade into the past. Thoughts of spawning fish being given a brief reprieve will disappear. Or, maybe we will learn a tough lesson on how to respect the environment and our fellow man a little more. We can all be a little more responsible with the environment. I know most of the guys I fish with are solid sportsmen and conservationists. Even we, can do more to advocate for healthy waters.

As with most every other pandemics, the Rona will go away like the seasonal flu. It will be the lessons we learned that will stay with us. At least for a little while. Let's try and remember how much we missed getting out on the water to do some fishing with our friends and family. Be conscious that our favorite fishing holes need to cared for with the tenderness we show young children. Pick up trash that others left behind. Handle fish with care, making sure they swim away in good condition. Don't exhaust a fishery by taking more than you really need.

This may have been a rant, more than anything else, but I just needed to get this message off my mind. I hope to see many of you out there soon. Sharing moments with other fishermen make for sweet memories. Cherish those times and spread the wealth of your fishing knowledge.

Catch 'em Up!

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Seth Horne In The Spread,
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