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Room 101: Anglers - dirty and irresponsible, scourge of our countryside.
Member Name: excavator
Advantages: Can be peaceful and relaxing .....
Disadvantages: .... if it weren't for the dirty and irresponsible behaviour of others.
Of course, not all fishermen are like this. I'm not. That is, that I'm not dirty and irresponsible, not that I'm not a fisherman.
As a lad, more years ago than I care to remember, I lived on the south coast and would divide my time between birdwatching and fishing (I think schooling also fitted into the equation somewhere, but this was not high on my list of priorities). With the former comes an appreciation of all that lives in our beautiful land and a deep respect for it. And so it was always with the utmost care that I went about my other passion, and would always ensure that I tidied up after myself.
In recent years and now residing in 'middle England' my grown up lads have taken to fishing. I tried it myself, but coarse angling just seems dull by comparison. The thought of sitting for hours on the muddy bank of a filthy man made lake overstocked with interbred and grotesquely oversized fish pumped full of growth hormone and god-knows-what other chemicals and scarred from battles with dozens of former hookings somehow just doesn't appeal. That you're then charged exorbitant fees for the privelege of doing so whilst sharing your environment with countless tin cans, plastic bottles, crisp packets, dog faeces, foul mouthed youths, and trees adorned with floats, hooks, lines, and the occasional ensnared bird or mammal in various stages of decay just adds insult to injury.
And so in the past two years I've introduced my lads to the (relative) delights of sea fishing. Not easy, given that the nearest sea is 100 miles away, but they appear to have seen the light. And all was looking good, that was, until three weeks ago, on our annual pilgrimage to the west country.
We decided early one morning to pay a visit to a well known mark, Mackerel Rock, by Porthcurno. It was a beautiful morning, and the conditions were ripe for catching a tasty breakfast. We had only just descended the slippery rocks to the little ledge that would just about accomodate the three of us in comfort. I was disappointed to find plastic carrier bags and other rubbish stuffed down gaps in the rocks and lengths of line and rusting hooks adorning the ledge, but I found a spot and sat down against the rock wall to the rear of the ledge - and to my utter disgust, found I had sat in human excrement - not a pile as such, as I would have spotted that, but a foul smelling watery puddle of it, having been broken down by the previous night's rain.
Believe me, fishing for a further three hours with the nausiating stench of human excrement pervading the air and the horrible feeling that every part of you is contaminated with it is no pleasant experience, and three hot showers later you still feel dirty.
So, than you to the disgusting animal who thought this was appropriate behaviour. I have long thought that fishermen should show more care and respect for the environment, the wildlife, and their fellow anglers, but this has plumbed new depths.
So, to the person responsible for this foul deed, go to room 101, do not pass 'Go' and do not collect £200. Because, believe me, that would be a far better fate than if I was to lay my hands on you.
Summary: Take a rubbish bag. And toilet paper. And use them.