Episode 67: World Sport Fishing with Richard Sheard

I had the pleasure to fish with Richard a number of years ago on the waters of Bjagos Islands archipelago in Guinea Bissau. That is without a doubt one of the highlights of my angling career. 

Richard runs World Sport Fishing, a fishing and shooting holiday outfit. So if you are after a bucket list angling experience, definitely check out their website or simply give them a call!

I probably waited way too long to invite Richard to the podcast. But today, we finally sat down and had a chat about fulfilling your sport-fishing dreams.

The MOST IMPORTANT piece of gear | NITECORE HC30 headlamp, a long term use review

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Episode 58: Shore Fishing in Norway with Irish Angling Adventures

James is a fellow blogger and vlogger on Irish Angling Adventures. We had the pleasure to host him on episode 42. The second part of that podcast was dedicated to his trip to the Norwegian island of Vega. We finished that podcast with James’s plans to come back to this excellent fishing spot. Not long ago he and his fishing buddies came back from their second trip to Vega island. That right there should tell you exactly what this episode is about.

Is Angling a Blood Sport?

Just the other day, my buddy and I were unpacking our gear and were about to take a walk to our fishing mark. A passing family with two small kids waved at us and wished us good luck. This was not an uncommon occurrence. Many times, over the years, I have been greeted by, and even gotten into friendly chats with, non-angling passersby. On that day, while walking to our destination, we began to talk about how nonparticipants accept angling much more than hunting. We agreed that if we had been pulling out rifles, instead of fishing rods, from the trunk of our car, we wouldn’t have enjoyed such friendly reactions. 

So why doesn’t angling spark such negative emotions as hunting? This must have something to do with the arbitrary scale each of us uses to assign value to the life of various creatures. We usually do so based on intelligence (elephants are so smart) or size (whales are so big) or perceived scarcity of the resource (there are not many lions left in the world). No matter how you cut it, fish usually rank pretty low on the scale. They are fairly simple creatures which are not fluffy or cute and in most cases are perceived as plentiful. So the public doesn’t mind seeing a dude with a fishing rod on the river bank.

Unfortunately, with the growth of radical environmentalism coupled with the recreational outrage culture, things have begun to change. Nowadays, anglers are criticised more often than before. The arguments are not new. Anti-anglers use the same rhetoric as anti-hunters: the causing of unnecessary pain to a fish, the allegedly negative impact on the environment, the supposed sanctity of all life, and all the rest of the quasi-ethical arguments. Social media platforms provide a slick echo-chamber for perpetuating such arguments. Alas, many people choose to shape their view of the world based on the shallow and uninformed opinions of their favourite celebrity, rather than scientific evidence.

It is somewhat worrying that this trend can also be seen among the hunting and fishing community. It is becoming more common for sportsmen to criticise each other based on what tackle they use or what quarry they pursue. For example, I have met a few anglers who were very critical about hunting, clearly blindfolded to the fact that angling is, itself, a form of hunting. So if you are a hardcore catch & release angler, criticizing fellow sportsmen, remember that you might be surprised, sooner than you think, to find yourself on the wrong side of this argument.