Thursday, April 19, 2012

Catch! ...and... Release??

So it all began with a snide remark from a guy on a message board referring to one of my pictures with a largemouth bass. Somehow he realized that it was a female (possibly because of the size?) and for some reason he assumed that I kept it. Even though I did keep it, I still resent the assumption that I kept it when he didn’t know.

So my conundrum comes here: I never understood why on fishing shows the pros would catch some nice size fish and just release them. I was raised to catch and eat fish. When I was a kid my dad and uncles would catch them, scale them, and clean them to eat them. The only thing I know is to catch and eat fish. I had always heard of catch and release but I never did this unless the fish was undersized or had any other regulation on it. 

Now that I’m older, know a bit more about catching fish and I think a little deeper into it, it does make sense to release some fish. A female that hasn’t spawned yet should be released. I want future generations to be able to catch this same fish. I also want this fish to create future generations. But I can’t lie, if I hook into a huge striper or largemouth that takes me a while to bring in… I can’t see myself letting it go!

New fishers, any experience with the philosophy and practice of catch and release? 

Seasoned anglers, what’s your opinion on C&R? you guys practice it? And if so how often?


  1. I practice catch and release with black Bass, my dad taught me it is better to let them go and catch them again. There are better eating fish, plus you'll get a better tasting fillet from a 12-14 incher than a 6lb female. JMHO

    1. Thanks for the Comment Daniel. I have begun trying to practice catch and release. My last fishing trip we released everything we caught. Plus the freezer is full of fish! lol

  2. Whether I C&R or keep them has a lot to do with two things:
    1. I've started C&R on the first fish I catch that day. No particular reason, just so.
    2. I generally C&R anything bigger than 2 lbs as long as it's not injured. I've found that trout over 2 usually taste dirty.

    I do keep many, but most go to Bob (he and his wife eat a lot of fish) next door so I can get my driveway plowed when it snows. He's the distribution center for the neighbors and my wife and I eat very little trout.

    One guy out at Amador asked my why I release the fish. I told him that if you keep them, you have to clean them. He said then you can eat them. Told him we don't eat fish. End of discussion.

    In most cases I think that C&R is a personal preference. The Bass guys on the shows only catch them for the shows. Even at most of tournaments the Bass are released after weighing.

    I'll shut up now.


  3. J
    I use to keep all the bass I caught, usually those 12 to 16" size. I started fishing some years ago with the fly rod and started landing all these bluegills and realized how good they are to eat. I now keep all the bluegills, crappie, and catfish and throw all the bass back. To me and my wife the bass is not as good to eat as the bluegill, crappie and catfish. I think the catfish is the cadillac of all fish when it comes to good eats. The bluegill and crappie is a close second.