Opinion – Gone Fishin’ – By Ben Carey.
I was involved in a most interesting discussion recently.
The topic this time was about social media and Facebook, but not just about any Facebook page, but in particular New Zealand hunting and fishing pages; and the problems and mistakes that occur on social media when someone posts pics of their biggest snapper, kingfish, marlin, or whatever on a public platform, and the drama and negative feedback that can occur for doing so.
One case in particular, which was of great interest to me, concerned a father proud as punch posting a great pic of his child with what was a very nice snapper indeed. It wasn’t a trophy snapper by any means, but it was a great snapper none the less, and the father and son are happy.
On the fishing page, the father in question post’s his son’s best snapper to date.
People start posting messages of support and congratulating the young bloke, and everyone is happy- how cool is that!!
A few people then ask where he was fishing and what he was using, than a dozen or so people come out of the woodwork and blast the old man for incorrect handling techniques, and even a few posts pop up of how the kid should’ve thrown it back because “they’re breeders”.
A slanging match occurs between those for and against it and personal attacks between members get nasty, and so the page moderators have to get involved to try and settle things down.
All the bloke wanted to do was post a pic of a father and young son enjoying quality time on the water together and then we had everyone getting a big rule book about fishing etiquette, and 80-90 comments debating about the breeding sizes of snapper and how to treat your catch correctly.
In another instance (but back in October of 2019 mind you) big game fishermen were ordered by the sport’s peak body to stop posting their catches on social media. That came after a hate campaign by animal rights activists left an eight-year-old boy rattled by the barrage of online abuse targeting him and his family after a picture of him catching a 300-odd kg tiger shark went viral.
Another storm in a teacup ultimately ensued about how beautiful and majestic the fish was and how cruel the boy was. To see grown adults nit-pick about the boy’s looks and whatever else took their fancy was really is the lowest of the low if you ask me.
Whilst Facebook still reigns supreme in social media circles here in New Zealand, you just have to remember it has now given every single Tom, Dick, and Harry in the world the ability to post their thoughts and opinions, or to vent on a social media platform. They would not have that opportunity in the general media.
As we come up to the end of August and into the beginning of September ,the days are definitely getting longer, and the great run of big spring snapper off Kawhia are not that far away.
Here’s to great spring fishing.