Proficiency test for anglers!

markg

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There has been a post on cyclists should have a proficiency test and certificate before they are allowed on the road. Should the same be required before you are allowed to fish? This question came to my mind by the commercial thread but I thought it aught to be a separate subject. I can see some advantages, it may ensure better anglers and would placate the anti brigade a bit or would it just be that after passing the test everyone would just do their own thing good or bad like many car drivers. It could be a written and a practical exercise, say a half hour of fishing demonstration and a half hour of questions. The EA or the AT could organize it, more likely the EA I would have thought. I certainly see it would do some good for sea angling, the amount of novices who turn up where I live that have not a clue, some can't work out how to put a reel on let alone what to do if they hook a fish and most likely not a clue about any sort of fish welfare.
I think initially it would have to be just for new anglers say under 18 years of age or 16 or something, there just would not be the scope to make every angler in the land have one to start with.
I don't know, just thought I would put the thought out there.
 
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wumfi

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I would wholeheartedly agree. I’m a complete beginner, and certainly didn’t just buy some gear and stick a line in the water. I went on a basic course to learn the ropes. Learnt technique, fish care and how to treat and look after the environment.

Even as a beginner, I’ve witnessed fish being treated badly. Hooks ripped out. Being held on the bank too long for a photo opportunity. We should all be taught the correct way to do these things.
 

wetthrough

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For the most part I would think it's a lack of awareness rather than deliberate bad practice. The body that represents the tackle industry could print a booklet, 'Going Fishing? Things you need to know' to be given away by tackle shops.
 

mikench

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In principle yes but practically it would not work and would lead to more bureaucracy and regulation. How do you judge proficiency in Angling. Is it tying beautiful knots on spade end hooks, spooling a reel. How well and how far you cast, how you riddle GB or maggots , bite detection, bait presentation, good tackle, how you set up, how you dress or just how many fish you catch and how you excercise care and consideration for them . If it's catching fish I might fail and if you had seen the terrible line tangle I had yesterday and my feeble attempts at re- threading the line through the rings , you would have failed me on the spot. It's very clear that there are some very experienced and highly capable anglers on this forum who can satisfy all the criteria I suggested and then there are a few who don't. Where are those golf clubs? 😊
 

markg

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In principle yes but practically it would not work and would lead to more bureaucracy and regulation. How do you judge proficiency in Angling. Is it tying beautiful knots on spade end hooks, spooling a reel. How well and how far you cast, how you riddle GB or maggots , bite detection, bait presentation, good tackle, how you set up, how you dress or just how many fish you catch and how you excercise care and consideration for them . If it's catching fish I might fail and if you had seen the terrible line tangle I had yesterday and my feeble attempts at re- threading the line through the rings , you would have failed me on the spot. It's very clear that there are some very experienced and highly capable anglers on this forum who can satisfy all the criteria I suggested and then there are a few who don't. Where are those golf clubs? 😊
I suppose your right, there really is not that much to it so why do so many seem to struggle. Out of your list these are the only ones that I think are relevant. Tying knots and spooling a reel, could affect losing fish, how well you cast avoiding hook ups and breakoffs etc., proper striking maybe, how you exercise care and attention, a bit of etiquette possibly but the rest don't seem to have much relevance to proficiency. But the complete novices I often see on the sea wall, just bought a rod and reel and then cant work out that the bail arm needs to be open before they cast for example which is dangerous, it just makes me wonder if something should be in place. But then it would have to be policed etc., probably not a good idea overall.
 

theartist

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You see some mental fishing of a pier or sea wall sometimes but then it's the same everywhere in the world, the caveat with most of that is they are generally taking for the pot.

I don't see the point in teaching things like knots and spooling etc, but maybe fish care, etiquette and leaving the water as you found it, it's not going to happen though other than in the advice given out on forums or on the bank from volunteers, and that's how it will be
 

rayner

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A proficiency test for anglers would be absurd. It not like anglers put lives at risk with bad angling. Poor cyclists certainly do put lives at risk. To try and put a comparison between angling v cycling is ridiculous.
It is very easy for new to angling recruits to glean all the knowledge they need from forums if they have a mind to search it out.
Knots and hook tying can come from the tube.
There is plenty of advice from fisheries, just ask and they will tell you everything you need to know.
I never had any proficiency test when I was a lad just a rough idea of how to behave, it would not be needed now. Just common sense and a little caring experience will follow.
 

Peter Jacobs

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In Germany to obtain a fishing licence (Fischereischein) you first have to pass an exam, (Sportfischerprüfung) answering questions on things like: National fishing rules and regulations like size limits and general angling law . . . .
To prepare for the exams local angling clubs organise mandatory preparation courses and upon passing the exam a pass certificate (Prüfungsbescheinigung) with lifetime validity is issued.
Once you have that then you can apply for a licence at the local Town Hall . . . .
 
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Peter Jacobs

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Why doesn't that surprise me Peter .

There are a few exception. When I was working in Hamburg U enquired about getting a licence and taking the test. I was told as a "foreign" angler I was exempt as long as I could prove I was a member of an angling club in my home country . . . .

There are some other of the 16 states in Germany where the test in also not required for overseas anglers. Also, in Hamburg juniors can fish without a licence or the test as long as they are accompanied by an adult who has done the test.

PS there are some terrific zander in Hamburg Harbour . . . .
 

markg

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Does it produce a better standard of angling in Germany and a better fish care? I suspect they are not as lax about it as well. I don't think I want to see it here though, it may improve things a little bit but would be worth all the hassle.
 

Peter Jacobs

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Does it produce a better standard of angling in Germany and a better fish care? I suspect they are not as lax about it as well. I don't think I want to see it here though, it may improve things a little bit but would be worth all the hassle.

From experience I'd say that fish care in Germany is on average, better than here, but then there are nothing like the number of commercial venues over there . . . . .

I was not personally advocating for tests here just outlining what is done elsewhere as an example, however, if such a test and licence system resulted in better fish care there, then I can see a case for it.
 

steve2

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Not sure if I am up to date but don't fish have to be killed in Germany, no catch and release. If so I wouldn't say that is good fish care.
 

Peter Jacobs

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Not sure if I am up to date but don't fish have to be killed in Germany, no catch and release. If so I wouldn't say that is good fish care.
In some German States Catch and Release is banned, however in all States all fish under the minimum size have to be returned.

The various States also have different Close Seasons for different species.

Note: it has been more than 5 years since I was working there so things may have changed . . .
 

sam vimes

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Not sure if I am up to date but don't fish have to be killed in Germany, no catch and release. If so I wouldn't say that is good fish care.
The last time I enquired of a German based British angler, catch and release was deemed to be unnecessarily cruel by the German Green Party and associated lobbyists. They consider that putting a caught fish "out of its' misery" to be the lesser evil. That's why some parts of Germany have adopted the kill what you catch convention. However, I've been lead to believe that plenty of anglers ignore the kill 'em all edicts. The snag is that without the idea of fishing for the table, angling might actually be banned altogether. The Greens tend not to see purely recreational angling and catch and release as a valid reason to fish.

It's an alien idea to British anglers. There's no doubt it will seem misguided to most on here, it does to me. However, whilst I disagree with the underlying premises, I can see the logic that stems from those premises.
 

liphook

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I can see it happening eventually. Packham and his cronies will insist at some point. Common sense is a very rare commodity these days. 1st thing on the agenda for me would be to take ALL litter home, respect the fish, waters and wildlife. Yes you can learn and lot online but there's also a lot of dross and not everyone will search even basic stuff like seasons, permissions and regulations etc ( there's a few on here that don't and they're already fishing!) I think it could be a good idea but only IF run properly - and there's the crux!
 
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Philip

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Sounds good on paper but will be bad in practice.

More administration & bureaucracy strangling the last drop of fun or enthusiasm out of anything.

Cue more checks to make sure you have what is growing to be a bewildering array of papers you need to do anything …Proof of identity ? …proof of domicile ? ..Fishing Permit ? …Rod License? …Angling Proficiency certificate?

…I literally wont even bother walking out the door..

Doubtless it will also be followed by the introduction of a “small fee” on the license cost for printing booklets and admin of the service. Then there will be arguments about the contents …e.g barbed or barbless .. making Anglers look like clueless clowns who cant even agree amongst themselves whats best. As for the anti angling brigade whatever you do you will NEVER quell them so we should stop pandering to it.

...my life force is already draining away just thinking about it ! …if you have no one to go with that can show you the ropes then the internet is a great source of information.

As for anyone dumb enough to cast themselves off a pier because they forgot to open the bale arm …well surely the law of Darwin has to apply at some point ? :)
 
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