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Old 04-09-2008, 11:14 AM
Buddy Sanders Buddy Sanders is offline
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Catch and Release=Cruelty....

We all dance around this.

We all like to fish. Most of us 'catch and release' or, as it used to be called, 'throwback' most if not all of the fish we catch.

Sometimes you have to pull the blinders and actually recognize what we are actually doing:

We are enticing a living creature to take into it's oral cavity something it 'believes is' or 'reacts to as' food, that really is not food. It's a fake that contains a sharp steel hook, that, after the fish 'bites' it, we pull on to jam it into the flesh of the fish's mouth. We keep tension on this penetrating instrument so that it won't, ideally, come out of where it's lodged until WE decide to take it out.

One end of this hook is tied to a line that the fish can't be aware of. We pull on one end, and the fish, having no clue or experience with such things, fights for it's survival against us. The fish struggles not because it wants to give us 'good sport' but because to not struggle means to perish. The fish knows not that we will 'let it go', it only knows the mind numbing terror of being dragged about by unseen forces beyond it's control that are surely leading it to it's demise.

At the conclusion of this struggle, the poor fish is often lifted from it's natural domaine, where it can't breath, often for extended periods of time (remember that the fish can't breath. What seems like a quick dive into the bag for the camera for you can seem like an eternity to a disoriented creature that can't breath and has just exhausted itself in a life or death struggle). We take proud pictures, hold them up for admiration, and then, feeling somehow merciful and noble, place them back into the water....

Now, mind you, we do this to a creature that many of us profess to hold in high esteem, if not look upon with great love and respect.

Do we take the time to consider what damage that hook point may do? Do we know how it might effect how the fish feeds, how it tastes or deals with it's food.

Do we take the time to consider how that massive expenditure of energy might damage the fish itself, effect it's ability to grow, to reproduce, or to even survive? We blindly put it back, feeling good about it, even. But is that fish now too exhausted to avoid a predator? Heal from a wound? Did we stunt it's growth?

Will the fish even survive? Many don't. Catch and release is not without it's mortality rate. In warm water environs, it can reach ten or fifteen percent, but is almost always at least in the five percent area. In cold waters it can average less, but most trout are more delicate than most warmwater species and improper handling can cause this rate to skyrocket. AND, you never 'see' it, as these fish die slowly and don't become the 'floaters' that many associate with mortality. Many of those fish we released died a slow and painful death.

And, even more troubling, we did this for FUN! Not to feed ourselves, not to take our rightful place in the circle of life, but just for the shear enjoyment of it all. We are all enjoying the terrorizing of a lesser creature.

We do pay for the priveledge. It's our own dollars that support the habitat, stockings, and regulators that keep the fishing reasonable and safe. But, can we justify it?

THIS is the argument that damns us in the eyes of those who seek to stop us. How can such a thing be 'fun'?

It's certainly something to think about.

Buddy

Last edited by Buddy Sanders; 04-09-2008 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:53 AM
aztightlines aztightlines is offline
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Just read an old story, the Good Old Days, when all big marlin were taken, about a crew releasing a huge black marlin in Australia. The angler, a Texan no less, decided to spare the fish at the last minute. The crewman described the "look of defiance" in the eye of the great fish while they stil intended to gaff it and kill it.
I saw the look in the eye of a great black marlin the boat had hooked and I was fighting, still remember that look in the huge eyeball, but putting that look in human terms is impossible for me, and foolish to even try - we are projecting our attitudes on a wild creature, surely folly.

I thought C&R was pretty much a "done deal" - the health of the fishery and our own future fun certainly benefit from releasing fish, rather than killing them. I don't know who, other than PETA folks, you are referring to, in citing our opposition.

At the risk of being anthropomorphic - 3 dollar word - myself, I think the fish appreciates it. If the bass, trout, marlin, pike had a choice in the matter, what do you think they would choose? They have struggled pretty hard to establish life, can't imagine they would give it up willingly.

And to be serious for one more moment (not my forte) hasn't that always been the enigma, predicament of hunters, fishers and humnans - loving , admiring respecting our quarry while we seek to destroy its life? That is what is so great about flyfishing C&R, we get all those jollies without killing something as valuable as a trout , bass, or tarpon. Taking a fish for the table is no sin, either, is a delicacy, as long as there are plenty of them in the fishery.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:01 PM
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trico22 trico22 is offline
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Thanks Buddy,
I too think along these lines off and on and you are 100% right. For me, I have to start with the premise that I will fish. Pherhaps this is not a fair starting point for the conversation, but I grew up fishing, and I spent several years without touching a rod and I can honestly say that I am less sane in the absence of fly fishing. That being said, I like to think that if given a choice between being hooked, fighting for its life, and then being released vs. hooked, fighting, and then being killed, most fish would choose the release. Would fishing with hookless flies provide my psyche with the needed release that catching fish does? Perhaps, but I don't think so. So I catch fish, I try to be as concious of and limit the effect I have on the catch, and for each fish I catch, I jab a #2 hook through my lip. Well, I at least try to be thankful.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:02 PM
Buddy Sanders Buddy Sanders is offline
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If you want to go 'anthropomorphic' (good word!),

I think the fish would appreciate just being left alone.

I can get the whole 'catch it, kill it, eat it' thing. Food chain, circle of lfe, whatever you want to call it.

Where it's dicey is 'getting all those jollies' while subjecting another creature to unknown levels of stress and terror. We 'know' the fish won't die at the end, but the fish has to respond as if it will (otherwise, no 'jollies').

PETA aside, what about the little kid who doesn't want to 'hurt the fishies'? Can we, with a straight face or any level of conviction tell them that it doesn't 'hurt' the fishies?

Buddy
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:29 PM
aztightlines aztightlines is offline
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I think it's good for them - good exercise - to dance at the end of line.
That's right in middle of my Circle of Life.
Maybe they even appreciate it.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:32 PM
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On The Fly! On The Fly! is offline
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I lose sleep over this issue. What happened to the good old days when it was cool to wack 'em with a billy club? Now I have to coddle the slimey things. How about electro shocking programs? Think the fish dig that act? Who cares....

Buddy, I'd like to throw a toaster in your tub. Are you suggesting we give up terrorizing fish! How do you come up with this crap?

Don
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:47 PM
aztightlines aztightlines is offline
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I swear I heard a bass last week, in the net, say "Take your d*mned hands off me, you filthy ape!"
I read somewhere that we were Taking the Soul of a fish when we catch and release them, better to kill the one bass out of 10,000 to survive fryhood.
C'est la vie, like the recently departed Charleton Heston - the Ten Commandments in hand one day, captured and enslaved by apes the next.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:47 PM
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SJDrifli SJDrifli is offline
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Settle down Don, you know Buddy comes at every issue with love in his heart, this time is by anthromorphizing the fishes feelings. I don't know, I am kind of up in the air on C&R. I see that maybe we are not doing it for the benefit of the fish or the resource, but for selfish reasons. What do you guys think? Are we losing our souls?
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:49 PM
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CHLuke CHLuke is offline
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I would really like to think this whole thread is a bad joke, but I am not really getting that vibe. We play other sports with the intent to hurt, but not kill the opponent. Boxing, football, hockey, etc. Should we stop and think about the "cruelty" involved in these sports as well? If you really spend time worrying about this than maybe you shouldn't be fishing at all or eating meat, or swatting a fly or .... I don't mean to completely belittle your post, but this is a flyfishing website and I think we have all been around the block enough to realize what we are doing. It's insulting to say that we have to "pull off the blinders" thanks to you in order to really know what we're doing to the fish. I know exactly what I'm doing and I venture to guess so do most of the other guys on this website. That's my 2 cents. Probably not worth that much, but there you go.
CHLuke
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:49 PM
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Mr.Smith Mr.Smith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddy Sanders View Post
If you want to go 'anthropomorphic' (good word!),


PETA aside, what about the little kid who doesn't want to 'hurt the fishies'? Can we, with a straight face or any level of conviction tell them that it doesn't 'hurt' the fishies?

Buddy
Anthropomorphism; the attribution of uniquely human characteristics to nonhuman beings, inanimate objects, or natural or supernatural phenomena.
Assuming fish have feelings and senses similar to our own is the first mistake. One only has to look at their nervous system and brains(size of regions) to determine that they experience no such feelings or emotions. Having a strictly biologica; perspective of the world I certainly can straight faced tell anyone that I am not hurting the fish in the sense that we humans consider hurting. There may be indirect harm/ crippling if the angler is not concientious and careful however, pain and fear are not emotions or thoughts thgat fish have. If I had to speculate I image a fish thought process like this:

Theres something. Can I eat it?(will it fit in my mouth) Will it eat me?(it is too big to fit in my mouth)

Thats about it.


I fish a little pond locally and know for a fact that I have caught the same fish ten times. Most of the time on the same fly. If it was so traumatizing I am certain he would have learned to avoid that fly.
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Last edited by Mr.Smith; 04-09-2008 at 12:52 PM.
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