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#11039200 - 08/13/15 08:42 AM Catch and Release - Why?
Lloyd5 Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 327
Loc: Bosque County, Texas
Why do you practice catch and release?

My reasons are pretty straight forward. My wife is from west Texas, meat and potato country, and she doesn't care for fish, so I don't bring a lot of fish home. Since she doesn't care for it she doesn't know how to cook it particularly well, and that's fair enough. If I brought fish home I'd have to fix myself a separate dinner, and that's just anti-social. I bring home some fish now and then, and fix it for myself, but not often.

And I love to fish. I love to fish obviously not for the meat, but for the thrill of catching fish. I love to have a fish on the line and fight it in. So I catch them and I release them. I pinch the barb on my hooks for two reasons - reason one is that it does less damage to the fish and makes it much easier to release them. Reason two is that it does less damage to me and makes it much easier to release myself.

I release about 99% of the fish I catch - and I believe that except for the few that get gut hooked they all live. I think even most of the gut hooked ones live as I no longer try to remove the hook, just clip the line and release them. The studies that claim a high percentage of released fish soon die, are in my opinion, full of BS. Yes you can damage a fish to the point that they will die after you release them - but you would really have to work at it hard. Really hard. That's my opinion based on a life time of fishing and releasing and observation. Call me what you will, I know what I've seen with my own eyes, and for longer than those who did those studies have probably been alive.

Some catch and release is dictated by law. Catch a fish that is undersize or out of the slot and you have to release it. That's the law. So every law abiding fisherman is doing some catch and release.

But here's a fact that no one can dispute. 100% of all fish will die, of some cause, sooner or later. When they do they become food for turtles, crawdads, other fish. Their remains go right back into the system, nothing is wasted. It's a very well designed system. If I kill a fish that I haven't taken home to eat - something else gets to eat it instead.

The main reason I fish is for the thrill of having a fish on the line. I will continue to maximize that thrill as much as I reasonably can. I will continue to release fish most of the time - unless my wife has a change of taste and starts liking fish, in which case all bets are off - and I will continue to treat them reasonably well in the process of catching and releasing them.

What I won't do is spill tears over the rare few that I release and that die later. They don't go to waste any more than the ones I eat go to waste.
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#11039212 - 08/13/15 08:45 AM Re: Catch and Release - Why? [Re: Lloyd5]
rrhyne56 Offline



Registered: 02/16/01
Posts: 13192
Loc: McKinney TX USA
Well said and thank you! I add that I am a lazy butt and don't want to go to all the hassle of properly caring for and cleaning the fish etc. That's why I like going fishing with Capt. Scott, he cleans and bags 'em for ya.
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#11039380 - 08/13/15 09:55 AM Re: Catch and Release - Why? [Re: Lloyd5]
robert hunter Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 06/14/10
Posts: 3353
The only fish I will keep are from the private lakes I manage. one I have to keep the little fish culled out to keep my big fish fed. Two I don't trust what's in the water at to many public places these day. the only exception to this rule is Walleye. People look at me like I'm crazy with all the places I travel to fish and don't keep them.
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#11039830 - 08/13/15 01:20 PM Re: Catch and Release - Why? [Re: Lloyd5]
Charlie B Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/01/05
Posts: 75
Loc: Dallas
I need to try Walleye, I hear nothing but great things about the taste including that it is even better than crappie and bream which are my two favorite fresh water fish to eat.

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#11039862 - 08/13/15 01:30 PM Re: Catch and Release - Why? [Re: Lloyd5]
robert hunter Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 06/14/10
Posts: 3353
They are the best fish hands down in my opinion!
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#11039915 - 08/13/15 01:53 PM Re: Catch and Release - Why? [Re: Lloyd5]
hook-line&sinker Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 8993
Loc: Bryan, Texas
Fishing & hunting for many of us has become more about doing something challenging with mostly positive feedback. I fully understand the blessing of having enough of everything so that fishing can be simply for fun.

I can only speak for myself when I say I need the chance to be successful based on my own choices and skill in a more natural pure environment where bosses and worldly obligations don't matter. Fishing & hunting fills that wanting very well and always has for me. Fishing to me has become so much more than catching fish but more about what happens in the quest. Almost everyone starts fishing with the thoughts of how to be a better fisher and catch more fish. For the fortunate few there is much more than fish to catch when fishing..
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#11039950 - 08/13/15 02:11 PM Re: Catch and Release - Why? [Re: Lloyd5]
robert hunter Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 06/14/10
Posts: 3353
Hey Hook line that reminds me you hunt have to get y'all up for some duck action this winter at the ponds. No catch and release there lol
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#11040019 - 08/13/15 02:42 PM Re: Catch and Release - Why? [Re: Lloyd5]
hook-line&sinker Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 8993
Loc: Bryan, Texas
Yes there is C&R on ducks if you shoot a Canon wink
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#11040040 - 08/13/15 02:55 PM Re: Catch and Release - Why? [Re: Lloyd5]
robert hunter Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 06/14/10
Posts: 3353
Lol guess your right on that note.
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#11040176 - 08/13/15 04:19 PM Re: Catch and Release - Why? [Re: Lloyd5]
Dtheg Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/28/14
Posts: 198
Loc: Wylie, Tx
Most of the time I release my fish, except when one of my twin daughters catches a small gill looks at me with a smile that says this aint gonna be right but it will be fun! Then nods at the blue heron and throws the fish to it and it catches it in the air. Then it becomes feed the bird game until I feel bad that maybe the bird wont be able to fly due to the number of fish it ate.

I love the thrill of catching the fish but sometimes the adventure getting there is more important to me.
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#11040649 - 08/13/15 07:49 PM Re: Catch and Release - Why? [Re: Lloyd5]
2FlyFish4 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/02/10
Posts: 1335
i often wonder what the catch and release mortality really is. I haven't completely settled on my opinion yet but I have to wonder why TP&W stocks 7-9 million largemouth across the state every year. either a) their bag/possesion limits and lengths are not set correctly or b) catch and release mortality is really that high. shoot they are even getting to where they are stocking speckled trout and red drum in the bay systems at an incredible rate.
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#11040926 - 08/13/15 09:43 PM Re: Catch and Release - Why? [Re: Lloyd5]
robert hunter Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 06/14/10
Posts: 3353
That is why bassmasters will not be back to Zapata and lake falcon. When Paul Elias set the heaviest tourny record. The fish were not cared for well and a lot of 7-10 pound bass were killed. But a lot of that goes on the angler and time of year.
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#11041074 - 08/13/15 10:59 PM Re: Catch and Release - Why? [Re: Lloyd5]
jonesy_84 Offline
Angler

Registered: 09/16/10
Posts: 377
Loc: San Antonio
Generally I'm too lazy to keep fish. Sometimes I do like pulling a few slab gills from the river for some bluegill Parmesan though. And if I catch a keeper flounder they don't usually go back lol
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#11041090 - 08/13/15 11:16 PM Re: Catch and Release - Why? [Re: Lloyd5]
Anchorman Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/02/15
Posts: 1172
Loc: Small Town NE Texas
I enjoy fishing more than anything. I enjoy fishing more than eating them, and I love to eat them. But I usually only keep them if I'm planning a fish fry. I'm not one to stock the freezer. I have ponds & lakes all around I can go catch a mess anytime I want. I rarely prepare fish for dinner because my wife isn't on board either. Long story short...if I'm planning a fry I'll keep them. Even bass. I can prepare bass to be darn close to crappy and just as good as catfish. If I'm not planning a fry I release them...ALL. I have a personal rule even when planning a fry; I don't keep any bass over 3 lbs. Everything over 3 lbs ALWAYS goes back into the water and I care for them as well as I can when removing the hook, etc. If its a nice one I may take a few extra seconds to snap a pic then its back in the water. I've done it this way for 25 years. I thing C&R is just one thing among many we can all do to practice responsible conservation.
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#11041702 - 08/14/15 11:00 AM Re: Catch and Release - Why? [Re: Lloyd5]
FWBanger Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 07/13/11
Posts: 735
I catch and release probably 90% of the time. I like to keep enough fish in my freezer for a good meal or two but beyond that I like to leave them to reproduce or for someone else to enjoy. I have eaten Largemouths and I've released keeper sized crappie. It just depends on whats in my freezer at the time of the catch.
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