You are welcome to accompany me on the beach and I assure you I regularly put unwanted fish back, and it's a rare occurrence they do not swim away. On many occasions I have seen surfcasters heave fish over the breakers in a manner that would do Valarie Adams great credit. I don't reckon much on their chances of survival.
As for keeping fish: have you never seen the piles of fish thrown on the beach by the anglers spinning at Awatoto, or did you read the complaints about a trailer load of kahawhai on the beach at Napier? Have you not seen the bodies of rays left on the beach at Clifton, or the fish cleanings and the bait packets left on the beach. Did you not see the recent thread with the bottles and line left on the beach by surfcasters, it was only a month ago? If one angler decides he wishes to leave his catch in the sun, so what, it's his fish to do with as he pleases and the business of nobody else. Why shouldn't he or she continue to fish, the limit is nine fish exactly the same as for you. If you are implying you catch one large fish and immediately pack up and go home, then you have my admiration, you are certainly a 'one off'. By far the majority of anglers continue to fish on, exactly as would I.
The fishery's minister allows a certain percentage of fish for the recreational catch, to the best of my knowledge he doesn't legislate by what method they should be caught. You like surfcasting, great, so do I. However, I also enjoy using other methods with no preference other than enjoyment. I abide by my limits in quantity and size, how I catch them is entirely up to me. I spear flounder, I net piper and mullet, are these methods also wrong?
If Mr Hardy's message is tongue in cheek then it doesn't start of well by giving wrongful information about the sponsors of this site, where long line tackle will make up a percentage of their business.
The size line is of no consequence, I use a winch to retrieve the line as at my age I am not strong enough to retrieve the gear by hand. But hang on a minute, I seem to recall a fishing show two weeks ago where the anglers (rod and line) were using ... yes you guessed it ... an electric reel winch on their rods to wind in the fish. What on earth is the difference? The basic idea for this wonderful hobby is enjoyment, nothing more and nothing less, other than those who wish to use their skills and chase the big money now on offer in tournaments. My preference is for a couple of hours sitting on the beach, and a couple of fish to take home for my dinner.
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