Went to one of my favorite spots this morning with my son to find some nice flatties. Thought it would be good with the small cold front that just passed. We got there and the tide was real low. We were pleasantly surprised to find three keeper flounder shallow then the bite stopped all of a sudden. We couldn't figure it out since we knew if we had three in 30 minutes that there were more for sure. So we waded a bit farther down from our spot to try and entice a bite where the current was moving a bit faster. We saw a pipe sticking up out of the water a bit further up so we waded to it and it was a #$%^ GILL NET!!! The net was tied to the pipe and was probably anchored to some rocks nearby. Now we knew why the flounder were not where they should have been. We pulled the net up to the flats and counted 40 flounder dead or dying tangled in the mess. We managed to save maybe 2 out of four we cut loose but they didn't swim far away as they looked almost dead. Nothing makes me more angry than to see this #%$^ happening where I and others fish often. Made my son and I sick to our stomachs to see this. To think that all 40+ of those flounder would have made it to our spot for us to catch and cull but they got stopped by that net set by a poacher. That is the part that really ticked me off. It ruined a perfectly good wade... We called the game warden right away and he came out about 30 minutes later and dragged the net to the shore and burned it with the flounder. I was told I could get a reward if they catch the scum that did it. I just want them to get caught and stop!
I called the game warden FIRST upon finding the net. That is what you are REQUIRED to do. The GW asks first for tags or markers as THEY sometimes put nets out themselves. (bet some of you didn't know that). Since no markings, the GW told me I could pull it up and throw them all in the nearest trash dumpster on the beach and they would dispose of it since there were no markings or tags to identify who placed it. I told him I didn't want to drag it 300 yds to the beach as it was heavy with all the dead flounder and I was loaded with gear and he said he would just come out and burn them. No problem. He was happy to help and I was too. They get this information from the caller and they tell them what to do next. I do not recommend touching or moving a criminal violation until you speak directly to the authorities. They in turn direct you as a good angler what to do to help.
Got this video and some pictures...be warned...it is sickening to see...
USAF Retired and Fishing!
Loc: Grand Prairie, TX
If you look at it from another perspective, the wade went well as you helped to ruin a poacher's attempt to illegally harvest fish, destroyed the gill net and probably deterred him from going to your spot again.