Waters & words

How to count fish

As fishermen, we can sometimes look down on people who count their fish.  There are those who take a little toggle counter pinned to their vest, and ratchet up numbers long after dark while everyone else is around the braai fire. (Not my type!)

Then there’s the guy who says “oh …I got enough of them to make me happy”. (Bloody irritating! …but I think I have said stuff like that before)

I have to count my fish. If I didn’t, what would I write in my logbook?  I know…I don’t have to have a logbook. But I do have one, and I am a slave to it. I am  however, a happy slave, so I keep counting my fish.

Apparently I am not good at it though. On a recent fish stocking foray, I was accused of being out by about 16%. I have tried to defend myself, by pointing out that I wasn’t the guy counting….It was the hatchery bloke. My protestations are in vain it seems. My buddies are sending me fish counting literature like this:

image

image

I just know that when the hatchery bloke doled out the fish at the penultimate destination, he asked me “Where to next?”, and “How many fish for there?”. After my answer he peered in the tank, and that’s when the colour drained from his face.

He had been counting in millilitres. That is how it has to be with these things…you can’t count two inch Browns as “one…..two…..three….”.  The hatchery bloke’s wife does that, but that’s an entirely different thing…she does it in German, and she wasn’t there that day. It’s a bit like my brother in laws idea for counting sheep: Take a tally of the number of legs passing through the gate and divide by four.  It’s damned accurate, and not only in theory.

Marc Petitjean explained the other day about counting the number of times you must spin your fly tying silk in a dubbing loop. “Its exactly like salt on your pasta” he said. “How many grains of salt?”  You will never know, except when you’ve over done it.

But enough of salt and sheep. Back to Trout and counting fish volumetrically…….. you can spin out rather badly, but one thing you can be sure of is that Trout go into the water.

2017-06-14 10.51.37

It does however occur to me, that if you ‘find X’, you will discover  with absolute certainty that the fish on the day in question were either smaller than they should have been; that each prior dam got more than we intended; or that the water between the fish was more dense on account of the rising atmospheric pressure.

That’s the sort of precision I like!

 

PS…to my buddies:  You can stop sending me fish counting literature now.

2 responses

  1. hyltonfish

    Andrew, it is a well known detail that in small fish if counting by volume there will always be around 10% less fish than you expect. Try this one with your hatchery type and tell him to add that amount to what you have and charge you the same or give you a 10% discount!

    Like

    June 22, 2017 at 3:10 am

  2. I measure my fish .. one experience-at-a-time. Size, nor quantity, do not matter. However, for purposes of phenological recording … I will note number, size, fish-condition, weather, season, environmental-conditions … log them for future reference and scientific analysis. “;{ Laird’s eye!

    Like

    June 21, 2017 at 5:13 pm

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