The Connecticut Fish & Wildlife's facebook page recently posted a pic of a guy with huge pike - the pic is obviously taken in the tackle shop - the fish was obviously not released - the comments on this photo are interesting to say the
least - things like "too bad it will never spawn again" and " why would you release and not keep this or any fish that you 'tortured' to the shore with a hook in it's face" and the moderator explaining that the fish was legally caught and kept along with some background on the fisherman.
I've witnessed many incidents and arguments for both sides -
- a fellow I work with is a big game/tuna fisherman and charter boat captain who stated something like: "to hell with rules and limits, I'm gonna take what I can get while I can before everyone else takes 'em all and there's nothing left" !
- another deep sea fisherman I work with who told me about all the fish he had to dump overboard because the Coast Guard were coming, apparently he's a 'back door' commercial fisherman , illegally selling his poached fish to restaurants.
- fish being kept to show 'the catch' to folks at home -but nobody wants to clean or cook them, and they go into the trash.
- People keeping fish and running to their coolers kept out of sight or in the car to avoid the law, filling up and ignoring limits -
- fish being released improperly and violently
- friends that don't understand why you would hook and catch a fish for 'sport' and not keep and eat -
- people fishing near me telling me that I should give them the fish I catch instead of releasing them because I'm throwing back a good meal - (screw you - catch your own fish!)
- this past weekend a fellow in a flyshop showed me 2 pics of a brown trout he caught and released a year apart in the same piece of secluded water, where he's only ever seen one other fisherman, a wormer - by it's markings it was obviously the same fish, a little bigger and a little more colorful - he said he was going on down to that same secluded piece of water the night before opening day to try and catch that same fish again to make him 'gun-shy' to the wormer and thereby 'save it's life' by catching and releasing it again -
- I ate my first steelhead this past weekend, a little guy that bled out and died in a 'catch and release only' section of the river after swallowing the fly into it's gills - I 'smuggled' him out in a ziploc bag I filled with snow and stuffed into my waders - My reasoning was sound but I wonder what the DEC would have done if I got caught with this fish - the fish was very tasty, I thought it was the 'respectful' thing to do.
sometimes it's hard to explain why I enjoy fishing -