Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bag Your Limit, But Limit Your Bag!

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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Well my friends,

Afghanistan is still the same dirty and dusty crap heap it was when I left last time! Some things never change...

But, I think often about all of you back in the states, and fishing is right at the top of my mind.

I'm guess that many of you have either been out, or are getting ready to start hitting the water looking for some fish to peel line from your reels. I am willing to bet that lots of you are accomplished fishermen, that actually catch fish, unlike me, who spends a lot of money so that my kids can show me up! But to make my point, when you boat one, what are you going to do with it? Are you going to keep it, or release it?

I rarely keep anything I catch. It seems that when I am prepared to take something home, the fish don't cooperate. And when I have an empty and iceless cooler, the fish practically jump up on shore... Go figure.

Anyway, some folks are real good at catching fish, but not so good at releasing them, good eating fish or otherwise. On the fishing piers I see lots of undersize fish, inedible fish, and out of season fish, lying on the hot concrete, or head first in a plastic pail.

I've seen it on lakes too. Largemouth Bass on a stringer. I don't know about you, but runoff fed lakes in Florida are full of fertilizer and pesticides, are you really going to eat that bass?

Catch and release, that's my thing. Unless it's a redfish that's in the slot, or a Spanish mackerel that I can sushi slice right there, it all goes back in the drink after the fight. With the kids I am a little more lenient, they know that in the evening the fish they catch are going to be on the menu.

I'm not against anyone keeping their catch, quite the contrary, I like to see folks cleaning their catch and icing their fish. But it's the wasted fish that drives me mad.

And it makes the Game Warden of FWC mad too! In Florida we are very fortunate that the FWC patrols the piers and jetties frequently. I have personally seen them ticket plenty of folks for fishing without licenses, having undersized fish in their buckets, and my favorite, getting clobbered for about $300.00 for having a juvenile Goliath Grouper.

Before you keep that fish, think about what you are going to do with it. Don't put too many fish in the cooler or on the stringer. Think about next year and the fishing you are enjoying today!

Until next time!

Albert A Rasch
Member: Kandahar Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles


Doug said...

Albert, We eat what we catch.. One of the things I try to teach the kids is, if we are gonna take it, we should try to take it for a reason.

I don't have any problem with releasing - we often do if the catch is too small for a meal. But even fish stick appetizers taste good.

Take care of yourself.

Bion said...

As a native born, I've fished in Florida for about 60 years, figuring I started at about 6-7 years old...And catch and release goes against my grain. And my grain is like an old lighter knot, hard enough to knock a hole in the blade of your axe.

Except for releasing illegals, which is still a shame, if you are going to eat them, everything I fish for I eat. And any fish that isn't edible, is usually bait for a fish that I keep them, too.

Now, why would I bother hunting if I released the deer and hogs I hunted! Maybe the next game is going to be hunting with tranquilizers? Same name, different game.

Yeah, I guess south Florida is filling up with jerks that don't eat them, or use 'em, but I'm damn glad I don't have to fish around them. It's just too damn crowded down there there to think right! Just don't send 'em up here, cause there's enough of 'em moving up here already!

Whit Spurzon said...

We'll be putting some trout on the BBQ tonight. I too rarely keep what I catch but when I do, it is a meal to remember. Raising a glass in your direction. Stay safe!

LSP said...

Good to see you're a member of the KTC - I have a friend at the airport there - he tells me it's miserable...

God bless.