Posted by jd on June 25, 2003 at 22:04:19:
In Reply to: Re: FLW vs. bass population posted by Glynn on June 25, 2003 at 19:23:07:
Touchy subject! If we all stricly cared about the life of a fish, we should all quit fishing. I have hooked some fish in the river and in my pond that end up with foul hooks in the gills. There is a certain mortality associated with the sport that I have learned to accept. I have kept crappie and bream in the past that swallowed a hook and were swimming sideways that I would not have otherwise kept. However, I always release bass and hope for the best. It seems that bass below the size limit seem to be the worst to get foul hooked. Bass seem to be stronger so I just cut the line or the hook and hope for the best.
There is no doubt it is harder to catch LARGE bass stringers based on stories like that of Tom Mann and old film footage like that of Jerry McGinnis on ESPN Outdoors. I am not going to argue the economic aspects of fishing vs. golf vs. whatever. I would love to show up and be the only person at the ramp, and catch bass all day, but those days are gone. Maybe the fish have changed tactics, and maybe they feed at night. Maybe man's introduction of non-native baitfish and non-native aquatic species has changed things alltogether. Millions of dollars are being spent by our government to make sure our resources are not depleted. I hope, and believe, that these guys are making some positive impacts. I know older people that talk about the old days of fishing muddy bottom river channels on Guntersville with similar success as now, even on good days.
As a human race, we have many issues to resolve. One example is that Huntsville, Alabama is possibly going to abolish smoking in public restaurants and bars. I hate smoke, but this is a large burden on business owners, some of which may not survive some people's method of finding a loophole in the system with patios, rooms, air systems, or whatever they can afford. I would like to see some relief, but do not want to see the competition get burried by policy. Some will argue that Wal-Mart kills competition, but many people like the low prices. In a similar manner, fishing has become very commercialized and driven strongly by economics. Many great local ammenities depend on the degree that the "sport" has evolved.
Numbers can always be skewed to emphasize the study funding goals. I think it is a tribute to the sport that so many practice catch and release in bass fishing. I hate being cutt-off, but have learned to swallow my pride and keep fishing. It has made me a better fisherman in fact. It is usually better in a good pond, but even a pond with great pressure and low catches can suddendly produce good catches.
I guess I am just glad that I don't have as much time to argue these issues and get my blood pressure high. I am spending my days putting your tax dollars to good use, and spending my sparse, free nights sharing views with others that have developed a similar passion.
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