Eat that fish, or release it?

How often do you eat/release what you catch?


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bpeterson

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It depends on the situation.
I don't keep and most likely never will keep largemouth bass I catch. I really enjoy both the catch and release
When we go fish for reds and specks, we keep every legal fish we catch.

Ive never been fishing for brown trout, rainbow trout, or any other northern species being in southern LA, but I most likely wouldn't keep any of those fish.

Been wanting to do it for a while now but I'll prob have to wait until I graduate to make that happen. Seeing all of y'all's pictures of the beautiful fish and scenery isn't helping at all either!!
 

trout champ

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I release 99% of the fish I catch back into the water and haven't even taken a hero picture in years. If I am camping I will keep a couple small fish, usually Brookies, for dinner. Fresh Brookies are sooooo good over a camp fire.

Thanks
Randy
 

joebloe

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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.

https://www.facebook.com/CTFishAndWildlife?ref=ts&fref=ts

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 -
 
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stenacron

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My friends often question me after a fishing trip, when I show them a picture of a pretty little brookie or a big lunker brown trout: So did you eat that one? They are often amazed or confused when I say that I released it. But those trout are tasty, they'll offer.
I get the same responses, mostly from friends that don't fish. I'm not opposed to people taking/eating fish, personally speaking - having tried them a few times over the years - I just don't like the taste of stream trout all that much. I'm 100% C&R with respect to fly-fishing.

Ice fishing on the other hand... well, that's fish fry season in our house. I like to chase up panfish ('gills, perch, crappie, white bass) and they eventually find their way onto the fillet board.
 

Rip Tide

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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.

https://www.facebook.com/CTFishAndWildlife?ref=ts&fref=ts
My fishing partner works in that shop (Sundays) and I can tell you that their clientele is "diverse" to say the least. You'll see cops and "gang-bangers" in there talking fishin' together like they were the best of friends.
Gary B isn't the moderator, he's the shop owner and when he says that the guy holding that pike fishes for food, believe me he knows what he's talking about. Before that shop moved to it's present location (across from Wethersfield PD) they were in the Hartford south end and many if not most of their costumers were the city's poor and all fished for food.

That's a nice pike though and right now is the time to go for them.
They're staging on shoals near their spawning areas in the river waiting for the annual spring flood that will open up the marshes where they do their thing.
 

plecain

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I have some relatives who are in their '80s. They love trout. They used to fish for themselves, but no longer do.

A couple times a year, instead of releasing the stocked fish I catch, I keep them and give them to these relatives.
 

CutThroat Leaders

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I release 99% of the fish I catch. The only time I keep one is when my son and I are camping. For a child, catching a fish and cooking it over a campfire makes for some great memories.
 

itchmesir

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When I fish I'm selective in my harvest... Some streams I don't have a problem taking a limit from multiple times a year... other areas I'll keep a couple fish the whole year... One thing people should realize from a conservation point is that it is rarely an angler that is lowering the population of a trout stream... more often than not it's environmental reasons that cause a decline in trout population.... Trout lay 1000s of eggs and plenty of those eggs are fertilized every spawn... A healthy trout stream can support fishing for the table with no issues... Now don't confuse this with commercial fishing... I'm talking about anglers taking their daily limit... Not a net taking 100s if not 1000s of pounds
 

bmvwj

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Sometimes people think that releasing every fish they catch is a good, but selective harvesting is a method and practice and teach my children. The rewarding feeling of putting food on the table by learning a technique, putting it to real life fishing practice application and then finally putting food on the table later on is very rewarding. Teach someone selective harvesting and do research on its impact
 

billyspey

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I release the trout and smallmouth bass but the crappie, bluegill and walleye that's a different they go home to the frying pan.
 

dabluz

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No crappie, no bluegills and no bass in my region. Only brook trout, landlocked salmon, walleye, pike etc.

Here, it's another story. Most of the lakes in my region have too many brook trout. Catching and keeping the smaller brook trout actually helps the brook trout population in these lakes and that is what I do most of the time. The limit for brook trout is 20 of any size. I release any brook trout over 15 inches long except in lakes that are becoming less accessible to fishermen who do not own a cottage on these lakes. There is no pollution in my region either so eating fish is healthy. One place I fish is called Lac St-Jean. In this body of water, the biologists have decided to increase the walleye limit to 10 fish with no size limit. This is being done in order to increase the landlocked salmon population. In the rest of the region, walleye limit is 6 fish between 27 and 42 cm long. A stupid slot limit when I know that people just love to catch and keep large walleye for the bragging rights. Would you release a record size walleye?

The limit for pike in my region is 10 pike of any size.

So....sure....I eat lots of fish. I go fishing often but I don't hoard fish. I like to eat my fish as fresh as possible. What does go into the freezer does not stay there very long.
 

dakotakid

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In response to Dabluz's post, I would definitely release a record walleye.

Largemouth & smallmouth bass - always release
Walleye and sauger - eat
Northern pike - release
Perch - eat
Crappie, sunfish & bluegill - eat, but release any monsters

Saltwater fish (sea trout, mackerel, etc.) - eat
Freshwater trout: eat only if camping or fishing in area where trout are stocked daily, otherwise release
 

smoothie

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I always release fish. I like salmon and sushi, but if I tried to take a trout home to prepare and eat myself...I'm sure it would end up tasting nasty and fishy.
 

Mnflyfish

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Trout done right is amazing. I put some butter n a lite onion in, brush on some lemon juice maybe, wrap in foil n toss on the grill. Delicious.
But I don't keep many either, I feel around here it helps the trout population remain stable following C & R.


Sent from my iPhone
 
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mridenour

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I usually keep some fish in June. I would keep some earlier in the year if I ever got a chance to go Crappie fishing. I hate cleaning fish so I don't keep as many as I would like to.

In June I begin catching some catfish from the neighbor's lakes and also some bass about a foot long. My neighbor wants me to keep all bass in the 12-14" range. Some Department of Conservation guy says they need to be thinned out some but I only keep them at that time of year to prepare for the big 4th of July BBQ, Fish Fry and Redneck Fireworks Show.

Careful and controlled harvest is good for most of the lakes and ponds around where I live. Problem is that I fish till I am too tired to fish anymore and that means I am too tired to clean fish...lol!
 

jgentile

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C&R.... It's not black and white. "Most" of the responders on this thread who are adamant about c&r are referring to trout. I applaud this. I'm 100% c&r on trout. Here in MO our "blue ribbon" waters limit anglers to the harvesting of 1 trout that is greater than 18" per day. This... I don't get. I try to tell people if you want to catch a 20" trout you have to let that 18" fish go.

I think that we are rather fortunate here in MO. We have four trout parks (three State run) that cater to those who want to harvest fish on a regular basis. They grow them, they release them, u can catch them then eat them. Me? I avoid fishing in the parks. There is too much better water to fish.

I would have to say that if I lived near an ocean I would harvest fish on a regular basis within regulations. Fried Speckled Trout = yum. Sierra Mackeral ceviche = really yum! grilled Mutton Snapper? oh hell yeah.

Fishing reg's need to be fluid, changed yearly if needed based on State run survey's and above all else communicated and enforced. All anglers have an inherent responsibility to manage our resources, whether they are bait chuckers or fly fishers.
 
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