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Old 02-03-2006, 10:34 AM
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Default Age old question : catch/release or catch/keep ?

I know that this is a delicate subject for some , but thought I'd give it a shot on the Forum. ( I have not viewed this on this website) I am curious if it is being practiced throughout the country, or just in certain areas ?

How many of you practice strictly : catch & release ? Or do you catch & keep some ? What is your determining factor for keeping or releasing ? Do you keep the big ones only, or release the bigger ones to produce more fish &
keep the intermediate ones ?

One thing I was taught by my father was that if some fish are not removed, then there is the possibilty of stunted growth especially in a lake situation.

How do you feel, give me your thoughts, or what you were taught.

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Old 02-03-2006, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: Age old question : catch/release or catch/keep ?

I practice C.P.R. (Catch Photograph and Release). I release every fish that I catch. One of the main reasons that I fly fish is for the joy and relaxation of the sport. So, I really don’t want to have to worry about cleaning a mess of fish during or after my day of fishing enjoyment. I do enjoy a good fish dinner. But I can just pick some up at the store.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not a tree or fish hugger. I am definitely not against keeping fish. I do believe that fish must be harvested in order to preserve a healthy fish population. So, catch and keep is an important part of the promotion and preservation of sport fishing throughout North America.

I just feel that there are enough catch and keep folks that will make up for all the fish that I catch and release.

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Old 02-03-2006, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Age old question : catch/release or catch/keep ?

If Steve's response hadn't landed first, my response would sound a lot like his, with some minor exceptions. I'll keep fish occasionally, but only if i am going to eat them within 24 hrs. If i'm not gonna treat myself to the delicacy of FRESH fish, I'll let the grocery store deal with the dirty work. That being said, its been over a year since I kept a fish.

I also agree that there are enough limited stringer toters out there to make up for my releasing of fish. However if somebody asked me to come out to their pond and thin out the bass or sunfish population, I would remember mother's advice about it being rude to turn down a gift. I might even put a small sunfish on a big hook and see just what size catfish there were in that pond.

All in all, I generally prefer to catch and release, but will not turn down good opportunities to eat a wild animal from a healthy population every now and then, because they taste mighty good.
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Old 02-03-2006, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: Age old question : catch/release or catch/keep ?

I tend to fish in areas where keeping my catch is not an option. I do enjoy keeping a few when possible because we do enjoy a freash catch dinner. It just tears my wife up to see me release a good fish. If I were to keep some of the exceptionaly large ones, she sees it on the table, I see it possibly on the wall. 95% of the time, they live to give another the same thrill on another day.
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Old 02-03-2006, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: Age old question : catch/release or catch/keep ?

I also think that we should not assume that all folks who release fish are doing it properly. I've seen guys gill grab a trout for a photo and then pitch it back into the water.

The following is a good set of guidlines to safely release fish... especially trout.

Catch & Release Guidelines

These guidelines are generic but remembering them will give all species of fish a greater chance of survival. A fish is too valuable to be caught and enjoyed only once, be responsible.

Use barbless hooks, or pinch the barb flat with pliers.

If you use a net, use one made for catch and release. It is less harmful to fish, scales, gills and eyes. Only net your fish if it is the only way to control it.

Wet your hands when handling fish. Dry hands and gloves will remove its protective mucous (slime) coating and scales. These protective layers help prevent infection by waterborne disease.

Do not beach a fish or let it flop around the deck of the boat.

Try not to remove the fish from the water. If you must, be quick and gentle, do not squeeze the fish.

Do not hold the fish near the gills or eyes. Needle nose pliers, hemostats, de-hookers etc., will speed up the removal of a deep set hook.

To revive the fish, hold it under the belly and by the tail, keep it in an upright position underwater and do not move the fish back and forth. There is a currently difference in opinion amongst the experts about whether or not to move the fish back and forth when reviving. We will keep you posted with any statistical information as it comes available. (this is also a good time to get a measurement and take a photo).

If you are fishing in a river or stream, hold the fish facing the current. Be patient and give the fish as much time as it needs to recover and swim away on its own.

Use the right tools!



The most important survival factors are:

Line test - Always use the heaviest line possible for each species of fish. Again: the longer you fight a fish, the more lactic acid is built up, the more exhausted it becomes, the greater the chance it will not survive.

Hook Location - It would be ideal if all fish were hooked in either the upper or lower lip, unfortunately, this is not always the case. When fishing with small flies the chance for hooking a fish deep in the gullet or in the gills is present. Try to back the hook out the way it went in. Never pull on the line when the hook is lodged deep in the gullet. Cutting the line and returning the fish to the water as quickly as possible will give it its greatest chance for survival. The longer a fish is out of water and the more you practice your surgical techniques, the less the fish has a chance to live.

Water Temperature - Playing a fish for an extended period of time in warm water increases its chance of dying. When the water temperature is high fish tire much more rapidly due to the increase of lactic acid that builds in their system. When fishing warm water get the fish to you as soon as possible, use a heavier line test than usual.
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Old 02-03-2006, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: Age old question : catch/release or catch/keep ?

Crappie and sandbass go in the skillet 95% of the time. Goggle eye and Kentuckys gets a free ride most of the time unless a fish fry is in order. Most all others are released especially smallies and trout, except spillway creek trout are dinner a few times a year. If I'm catfishing then I'm really meat fishing so all legal cats get ate. All carp are released on the bank..j/k
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Old 02-10-2006, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Age old question : catch/release or catch/keep ?

Here in Hawaii, with the large Asian population, EVERYTHING is eaten regardless of size or species. There is no law enforcement to speak of and any fishing method goes..... traps, gill nets... etc.

The largemouth and peacock bass populations in Lake Wilson were about gone. We were able to change the law to catch and release about 6 years ago and now the fishing has never been better.
There is still some poaching, and I see bass sold in several fish markets..... totally illegal..... remember the lack of enforcement?

But all and all the freshwater fishing is 1000% better.
(now if we could just do something about the salt water fishing.......)

Aloha,
Stan
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Old 02-11-2006, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: Age old question : catch/release or catch/keep ?

When trout fishing mine is catch and release. Crappie is catch and keep when legal. Bluegill and bass is catch and release unless I want some for supper.When catfishing it is usually to keep.
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Old 02-11-2006, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: Age old question : catch/release or catch/keep ?

I am mostly a C&R kind of guy. Mostly this is because when I flyfish I tend to cover a lot of water and hate the idea of dragging a stringer of fish along with me.

I do love to keep a couple of brookies when I am camping though. Fresh on the campfire is fantastic.

I also keep the catch when I take the kids out fishing.
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Old 02-11-2006, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Age old question : catch/release or catch/keep ?

To me, Catch & Release, is a term I have trouble with ... I've watched far to many people catch and kill simply because cleaning a fish is a problem.

Regret to say that this World holds lots of liars ... A liar in this sport is a guy or gal who kills their catch by improper handling and then claims to be a supporter of conserving our fish resources. These are folks for which I hasve total contempt ... Never did like liars.

Catch a nice 5 pound rainbow ... by all means keep and eat if you love trout as I do. Just don't keep more...

Doug
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