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Fishing and Nigeria’s 2020 Goals

The image is a strikingly ironic symbol of the state of Nigerian fishing in general. The country enjoys more than 850 km of coastline, besides an enviable number of well-stocked rivers, inland lakes, lagoons and creeks. The topography, soil composition and rainfall patterns in this portion of sub-Saharan Africa support an abundance of aquatic life across freshwater, brackish and saltwater ecosystems. However, tilapias, catfish, carp and other freshwater species make up 80% of all cultivation in Nigeria, with commercial maritime trawling and deep-sea fishing remaining relatively under-exploited operations. Though credible data on the sector is extremely limited, media reports indicate the fishing business contributed $60 million to the national economy in 2008, or roughly 4% of total agricultural output. The sector currently accounts for 40% of the country’s total animal protein intake and offers employment and livelihood to more than 3 million people, although its contribution to the economy is minimal.

Estimated annual fish cultivation was pegged at 120,000 tonnes in the 1960s. The figure had halved by the beginning of the next decade and continues to fall; current domestic production hovering around just 400,000 tonnes. The sudden change in fortune came about with the oil boom of the 1970s, when the discovery of vast oil and natural gas reserves radically altered official priorities. Economic diversification was stalled as Abuja kept pumping back millions in oil profits into further exploration, to the neglect of all other sectors. Endemic poverty descended over large parts of rural Nigeria as traditional livelihoods began to wither away. The absence of inclusive growth flared ethnic tensions and provoked decades of civil war and recurring military takeovers towards the end of the last century. Despite its considerable foreign exchange earnings, human development indicators plummeted across the board as the Nigerian economy grew increasingly oil-dependent and unsustainable.

National ambitions were renewed with the reinstatement of civilian rule in 1999, when Abuja embarked on an extensive programme of economic reform and restructuring. The government under former president O Obsanjo adopted a comprehensive roadmap premised on the objective of making Nigeria a significant player in regional and global affairs. Specifically, Obsanjo’s Vision 2020 document mandates sector-wide initiatives to propel Nigeria into the top 20 global economies in a time-bound manner. The present dispensation under President UM Yar’Adua remains committed not just to achieving the 2020 objective, but also the UN Millennial Development goals of universal basic human rights.

It is in this connection that the fishing sector presents unique opportunities as both a poverty alleviation strategy and a tool for rapid entrepreneurial growth. Present levels of fish cultivation satisfy only a fraction of local requirement, with exports having to fill in for almost 95% of annual demand. Nigeria is in fact the top importer of fish in the African continent, sourcing more than 1.5 million tonnes of fish annually from international markets. Unofficial estimates suggest less than 10% of the country’s fish farming potential is currently being utilised, with as much as 60,000 hectares of unused land available for expanding the sector. The fact remains that Nigeria’s vast natural resources and human capital can be leveraged to promote extensive fishing as a means of ensuring not only exports but also food security. In principle at least, the Nigerian fishing industry has a lot to look forward to.

Because of its extensive coastline and tropical climate, Nigeria has the potential to develop a diversified ecology for a range of commercially viable varieties of fish. The economic appeal behind fishing is tremendous, considering the secondary and tertiary enterprises it can generate. More efficient methods of inland cultivation and coastal trolling, executed in an export-oriented environment, can spur rapid growth of down-the-line industries. Fishing, by itself, has the potential of driving considerable enterprise development, transforming rural economies and generating direct and indirect employment opportunities in the process. Abuja’s primary responsibility lies in providing opportunities for export of fish and fish products to international markets. Although viable data on the subject is lacking, the aggregate economic loss due to reduced local fish production is significant and needs focused policy initiatives to correct.

The enterprise potential of this sector is made doubly significant by the nature of the business. Fishing relies heavily on small and middle scale ancillary industries like canning, net-making and boat building, while supporting an additional base of activities in storage, processing and marketing. The net scope for employment generation, business development and poverty eradication through these allied activities make fishing deeply relevant to Nigeria’s quest for inclusive economic growth.

Here are some of the most pressing arguments in favour of a rapid expansion of fishing activities:

I. Aquaculture provides opportunities for optimal land use, allowing areas unsuitable for crops to be developed into economically productive ponds and fisheries.
II. Focussed expansion of artisanal and small-scale fishing can help turn around rural economies rapidly by generating jobs and sparking enterpreneruial activity.
III. In development-deprived areas and among rural communities, sustainable fish farming can help improve both nutritional and living standards.
IV. Nigeria’s highly diversified tropical ecology makes fishing in brackish and fresh waters almost a zero opportunity-cost endeavour with infinite growth potential.

Early in 2008, the fishing industry in the coastal Nigerian state of Akwa Ibom was paralysed in a wave of extortion and boat capture unleashed by sea-borne pirates. The attacks forced trawlers to go on an indefinite strike, bringing the local economy to a standstill and causing terrible loss of revenue to the regional council. While this particular situation was eventually resolved, security remains just one of several momentous challenges restraining the expansion of Nigerian fishing:

o The absence of a sustainable and progressive fisheries policy represents a fundamental hurdle, with lax government regulation routinely forcing small-scale operations out of business.
o Population expansion in coastal areas is giving rise to over-fishing and unscientific practices, destroying marine ecosystems and threatening underwater environments.
o Organised fishing attracts high capital expenditure in Nigeria as most of the necessary equipment, boats, feed, technology and know-how has to be imported.
o Infrastructure deficits severely hamper the storage, transport and marketing of fish in rural areas, making profitable urban markets unavailable to traditional fishing communities.
o Despite specific government efforts, commercial deep-sea fishing is out of reach for local entrepreneurs; the activity remains limited to the purview of foreign-owned companies.

Although the sector continues to receive sporadic government nudging and funding, the impact of these measures has been considerably restricted thus far due to lack of insight and effective implementation. Special schemes to promote fishing in target communities have also failed because of a low awareness about profitability in the business. Turning around this mindset could well prove to be one of the deciding challenges facing the Nigerian fishing industry. The nation’s history and unique circumstances will undoubtedly test its resolve to achieve formidable goals. Hopefully, the fervour of the Argungu fishermen and their quest for the biggest fish will provide some creative inspiration!

Peter Osalor is a multi-skilled director, chairman of trusts, proprietor and consultant. Peter Osalor has been a successful entrepreneur since 1992 when he formed Peter Osalor & Co and which has since grown to a very large client base with a turnover of millions. He is currently a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Nigeria (ICAN). Peter is also a member of the Chartered Tax Advisors and the Chartered Institute of Taxation in Nigeria (CITN).

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Should You Use Stink Bait Or Live Bait For Catching Big Catfish?

A long-lived debate amongst catfish anglers concerns which bait is most effective for catching big catfish: stink bait or live bait.

The answer is both.

This is why: Catfish possess a sense of smell more powerful than a bloodhound’s and they target wounded prey with shark-like ferocity.

But this is the bottom line: Stink bait catches the most catfish, but live bait catches the biggest.

Favorite live baits include night crawlers, minnows, crawdads, shad, menhaden and freshwater clams. Bluegill can also be used as live bait where it’s legal to do so. Live baits also include chicken livers, shrimp and cut bait–such as shad, anchovies, carp, sardines or mackerel–even those these baits aren’t technically “live.”

The type of live bait used should be dictated by the type of catfish you’re fishing for. Flatheads are attracted to bluegill, whereas big blue or channel catfish prefer minnows, shad or menhaden. Catching big catfish can be as easy as using bait like crawdads and waterdogs.

If you’re using cut bait, it can be aged for a few days to until it becomes sour bait, which adds stink bait attraction. Just place a few chunks in a canning jar and leave an inch of air space below the lid. Add a few drops of water, close the lid fairly loosely, and bury it in the ground in a sunny location for a few days. It’s quite stinky, but it’s a delicacy for catfish. Sour bait is particularly effective in early spring, when catfish are naturally feeding on other fish that have died over the winter.

Anglers typically use single hooks for live bait. But treble hook rigging is also possible.

As for stink baits, they come in a variety of pastes, dips and nuggets. If you’re adventuresome, you can experiment with making your own, or they can be purchased.

Dip baits require a special lure, which is usually a treble hook equipped with a sponge to absorb the stinky bait. Paste baits are typically squeezed from a tube into a soft plastic lure that’s attached to double or treble hooks. And of course, nuggets are threaded directly onto single or treble hooks. Limburger cheese is considered a type of stink bait!

Stink baits can be placed on a leader behind a swivel and a sliding sinker. Alternatively, they can be placed off a three-way swivel or dropper loop above a weight, or simply on the main line with split shot. The variety of rigs, swivels and weights used is basically the same as those used with live bait.

Then, of course, you can enjoy the best of both worlds and double your chances of success by dipping live bait into stink bait! Then you’re likely to catch a load of fish and the big one. Many locales allow using multiple fishing rods or multiple-hook rigs, so you can even use stink bait on one rig and live bait on the other to experiment with which is working better at a particular location.

Beyond stink bait and cut bait, some anglers use dough bait. They may roll white bread into dough balls or include cereal flakes or flour in homemade stink bait recipes. Carp are attracted to dough baits, and catfish sometimes school with carp.

Some anglers have reported catching big catfish on nothing at all–just a shiny hook! Shiny lures and spinners work, too.

Catfish are also attracted by chumming, but this method is not legal everywhere. Chum can be purchased in cans, blocks or bags. Other effective chum includes cheap canned cat (as in feline) food, finely chopped bait, ground-up fish innards or even road kill in a weighted burlap sack.

So whether you use live bait or stink bait depends on whether you want to land that trophy fish or need to feed an army of people! For more great tips on catching big catfish, check out the blog below.

To read more great catfishing tips check out this site Catching Big Catfish


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Big Carp and Catfish Bait Secrets That the Famous Anglers Will Not Tell You!

If you use readymade baits, or if you make homemade baits then you seriously need to read this! Having just had a very lengthy conversation with the boss of one the UK bait companies we agreed it is so extremely clear that even really well-known anglers using readymade baits are not maximising the true effectiveness of their baits! So open your eyes and mind and read on now to improve your catches for life!

Apart from giving away trade secrets there are things I can tell you that will improve your catches. Many of these things cannot be simply expressed in a few lines because you need to know the why and how something works and how to combine it in ways to maximise impacts not only on fish senses but in terms of maximised interaction with water! Many anglers ask me for advice on pastes and making boilies.

But instead of giving them some recipes (which is what they most usually want,) I give them a far more powerful suggestion! Fish detect very many substances through actually having substances dissolved in the water actually contact their body, externally or internally. This fact is so central to how I see how we can maximise our fishing success when we truly appreciate and harness this!

When we design baits and adapt all baits so they cause maximum concentrations of attractive and feed-triggering substances to draw fish along their concentration gradients like the smell of a curry or bread luring punters inside a shop or restaurant, then we will catch far more fish! Far too many anglers think baits need to be bound up with a basis of cereal binders such as semolina, and then heated up to coagulate proteins, glutens, but I do not recommend this at all. Instead, I recommend you adapt your readymade baits or design your homemade baits based primarily on the feeding triggers your species of fish are most sensitive to; whether carp, catfish, barbel, tench etc!

Test any boiled or steamed or other heated cooked boilies in cold water against and un-heated paste (even of the same recipe,) and you will notice that the un-heated baits form a solution massively faster than the heated baits. This solution is the prime basis of your baits success, so why on earth reduce the functional capacity of your baits by heating them up and dramatically sealing them? Apparently boiling baits can reduce nutritional values by as much as 60 percent in some recipes and even though this cannot be proven in accurate terms in fishing reality the damaging and detrimental effects of heat upon vital nutritional elements and bioactive factors essential in the biological and health values of foods is very well established!

The next time you think about looking at comparing prices for readymade boilies think how much you want your bait in solution in the water because this capacity of your baits will be extremely essential and vital to your success! Quality of bait ingredients and the recipe etc is so secondary to this and price is of such low importance by comparison! I would rather use a handful of exceptionally potent homemade feeding trigger based highly soluble paste baits fished accurately, than use 10 kilograms of the most well nutritionally-balanced boilies; no matter which potent additives, ingredients, enzymes etc they contain, and no matter what a great priced deal they might appear to be!

By practicing seriously feeling and experiencing like a fish, and not just thinking like an instant angler, you will be amazed at your improvement in your catch results! But it takes the right knowledge and insights to be able to do this correctly and it can take decades to achieve this; but my ebooks are proven short-cuts that will skyrocket your catches by comparison to remaining in ignorance for decades to come! Revealed in my unique readymade bait and homemade bait carp and catfish bait secrets ebooks is far more powerful information so see my unique website (Baitbigfish) for these highly essential details right now!

By Tim Richardson.

Now why not seize this moment to improve your catches for life with these unique fishing bibles: “BIG CARP FLAVOURS FEEDING TRIGGERS AND CARP SENSES EXPLOITATION SECRETS!” “BIG CARP AND CATFISH BAIT SECRETS!” And “BIG CARP BAIT SECRETS!” For these and much more now visit:


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Big Catfish and Carp Baits – Cool Hook Bait Ingredients

Keeping ahead of fish by using new baits, or versions of baits to keep on catching consistently, is so often the key to success, after location! But some fishermen might wonder how and why constantly changing baits has major advantages; there’s more to this than you might expect…

With many big catfish when fished for constantly, over time, many traditional baits can fail as fish associate these baits with ‘danger.’ Often catfish baits will go in a cycle of success before seemingly failing completely at the point where the catfish diet may have changed to predominantly feeding on live fish instead of fishermens’ baits.

I’m not alone in experiencing having ‘hits’ often very good hauls of catfish over a relatively short space of time, on one particular bait. Then the catfish simply ‘switch off’ the successful bait, often for an extremely long of time indeed. You can end up constantly searching for a completely new bait altogether.

Making catfish dough baits is an easier option as the ingredients, attractors and stimulators, size, shape, colour, density, texture, buoyancy etc, can be skilfully manipulated to constantly keep ahead of the fish before it ‘blows’ and results significantly reduce.

This has been found with various boilies, squid, and liver, certain pork baits like luncheon meat and Pepperami, even with nightcrawlers, prawns, mussels and cockles and so on. It seems like each has its day, then they can be ignored completely for an amazingly long time. However, dead baits of whole or chopped fish, but more especially, live baits, can really exploit the catfishes’ change in feeding behaviour.

In certain situations with particular fish, the question is how to get around these ‘defence mechanisms.’ Use of natural baits style is one answer but these often just act like a needle in a haystack, like fishing a single bloodworm in a bed of millions of them. Sure, worms, night crawlers, maggots and the like do make catching ‘clued-up’ fish easier initially, especially where fish have been not been used to being hooked on these baits before.

The famous giant 50 pound common called “Herman” of “Warmwell” repute in the UK, was very wised-up about conventional boilies. But this fish was not immune to worm bait… The “Redmire” fish, which could be very difficult to catch, were very keen to feed on tiny baits like various particles such as hemp. Use of new particle baits to a carp water can be devastating and this has been proven again and again.

The “Redmire” carp including Chris Yates’s record fish that stood for years were often tempted by sweetcorn. Often a can of “Jolly Green Giant” can save the day. These days soaking sweetcorn in sweeteners lik talin and thaumatin, or in liquid liver, yeast or betaine might work better. I’ve had good hits of fish on ‘Scopex’ soaked sweetcorn for example. The possibilities just with bait are endles, but it could be tiger nuts, peanuts, or any other bait. But I wonder how many fisherman think how to give the fish what they want but are very difficult to tempt on an individual bait alone.

A hook with samples of various diverse unrelated baits can often produce fish for many reasons, not least because the fish have not previously been ‘conditioned’ to be able to deal easily with it. Various different types of boilies and or dough type baits with particle baits or maggots or worms on the hook can do well for example.

Combinations with seafoods like prawn or cockles, an old fish cube, with some chicken or pork meat, all coated in an enticing paste or dough mixture can really produce fish when an individual bait simply will not.

Even boilie and dough mixes that have done so well on waters previously, can need changing after a long period of success. The revitalised success of the boilie “Active 8,” when teamed with a new maple attractor brought a new generation of anglers their first big fish success, even when the original version of this bait was still available, but it’s effectiveness had tailed-off compared to its early success before fish wised-up to it.

Often bait is still effective in triggering a feeding response, but the carp feed in different more cautious ways on and around the bait. Often the phenomenon of baits being picked-up, off the edge of, or even some distance away from a bed of baits, has worked better than a hookbait fished in the middle of thousands of identical baits.

The amazing way carp can ‘clean-up’ a huge bed of baits just leaving your hookbaits remaining is quite staggering to those fishermen who just do not appreciate how sensitive to every aspect of their surroundings, fish can be. Often it is those last remaining baits, your hookbaits, which are the last to be picked up, if they are at all!

Big fish man Dave Lane has experienced this many times. The question is really, why do the fish still pick up these hook baits at all, when out of possibly hundreds or even thousands of baits, these have been identified by all the feeding fish to be the ‘dangerous’ ones?

Most fishermen might suggest it is the ‘just one more’ syndrome kicking-in, where the urge to feel the effect of one more morsel replaces the instinct to leave those last baits ‘well-alone.’

There are numerous ways to make a bait have this effect, often by exploiting essential nutritional food signals, or by using attractors, enhancers, stimulators etc with highly stimulatory effects, many of which bear little resemblance to any natural carp food at all nor providing any particular nutritional benefits, but work anyway.

There are many ways to add these effects using many ingredients and additives to boilies, meats, and particles like hemp, pellets, and ground baits etc which are highly effective at keeping those bites coming.

This fishing bait secrets books author has many more fishing and bait ‘edges.’ Just one could impact on your catches!

By Tim Richardson.

For the unique acclaimed expert bait making and secrets ‘bibles’ ebooks / books:



Tim is a highly experienced homemade bait maker big carp and catfish angler of 30 years. His bait enhancing books / ebooks now help anglers in 43 countries improve their results – see this bait and fishing secrets website now!

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