To keep a trophy or not... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: To keep a trophy or not...

01-20-2005, 01:22 PM
Let me pose a question. For background, you're fishing on your local fishing hole and don't have a livewell or other way to keep the fish alive.

You hook a brook trout that you know will take the state record. Do you keep it or not?
What if it was a landlocked salmon?
What if it was a largemouth or smallmouth?

Ultimately, I guess this breaks down into two questions:
1. Would you keep one period?
2. Would you keep one if it was a certain species?

I wouldn't keep it, even if I didn't have a camera to take the picture. I'd measure it against my rod for length, and use my hands to measure girth, and put it back. What what you do?

Dble Haul
01-20-2005, 01:24 PM
I'd grab it by the gills. :lildevl: :razz:

01-20-2005, 01:33 PM
I'm with Mark. The only difference is that I would use vice grips. No sense in getting gill slime on you. :D

Like Mark Iím just kidding. I would let it go. A picture never hurts though. :roll:


new yawk
01-20-2005, 01:38 PM
funny answer above... but seriously, i would'nt (and haven't) killed any trophy fish i catch. i am not a vegetarian, and i love to eat fish, i just can't see killing a gamefish unless they will die anyway. i killed a snook 5 summers ago, she was gonna die, (she ate a plug really badly and upon release was just not swimming, upside down, the whole 9)... and it was either we eat her or a shark does. i kept her and she fed 6 adults. i release everything i catch, and as posted in the "gill" thread, try never to even take them out of the water.

01-20-2005, 02:53 PM

Our fine State encourages it

01-20-2005, 03:22 PM
:roll: :roll: :roll:

01-20-2005, 04:38 PM
I've come awfully close to a bass state record, but I realized whats it worth.... especially in my neck of the woods, I might get my name in the papers, but the last thing I need is more pressure..... and a national press wouldnt care less about a bass that would be "average" in any trophy fishery....... long story short, I ended up releasing the fish as quickly as possible, and haven't told anyone where it was... If I HAD to ( :wink: ) catch a fish like that again, I'd do the same.

new yawk
01-20-2005, 04:48 PM
funny, i caught two largemouths about 12 years ago, one in april and one in october, that might've come close to the ny state record. a guy i was with for the april one (april 1st actually, but no april fool) suggested that i keep it, and drive over the ct. state line and have it weighed in. (it was out of season in new york). he said it would be "worth a lot of money". i released both fish. i also never fished with that guy again. i feel good about that.

01-20-2005, 06:47 PM
i catch 18"-20" crappie but i dont care if its a world record i let them go :)
besides when u tell the world where your record fish was caught everyone will be fishing there next time out.

01-20-2005, 07:28 PM
No I won't kill a fish just for the record book.

That's the reason why I won't join IGFA (not even for free). Killing a fish for the sole purpose of getting your name on a piece of paper seems a bit sad - there are far better ways to win the aprobation of one's peers. The practice gets really stupid in the lower line classes.

How about getting into a big school of yellowfin and playing out almost 100 to the point of death only to have them break off before boating. Just to be able to land one and claim the 4lb test category? You don't even get to eat the sashimi!That's the way they do it down Baja way. All completely legal and within the rules. It's pathetic.

01-20-2005, 10:06 PM
I generally do not keep any of the fish I catch. I don't eat fish, but on rare occasion -- I haven't done it since 1987 -- I will keep a fish that I know my freinds would like to have as a treat.

The only record fish that I would have second thoughts about throwing back would be a 23+ pound largemouth bass. In short, I can be bought. Since it is estimated that fish would be worth somewhere near $1 million, I guess I have established my price. I would, however, feel guilty all the way to the bank.

01-21-2005, 09:08 AM
A local river did the opposite (I think it was an initiative of the Salmon Federation).

For each adult Salmo Salar released, your name went into a hat for a draw for a nice Sage Salmon rig (model, wt, etc, ... I can't remember).

Helps some.

01-21-2005, 09:58 AM
If a good angler releases a hundred healthy fish, kills five by accident keeps two to eat, and keeps one as a "trophy"....well, in the grand scheme of's not really a big deal. Not my bag but I think that "trophy fish" are no reason to get on a high horse. Let's always keep in mind the REAL dangers to the resource: over harvest, habitat degredation and pollution. This distraction pits anglers against anglers.

01-21-2005, 10:13 AM
Closing thought, ...

I will keep an occassional trout or salmon for the grill, but one DOES have to remember that the skillet IS only 12 inches across. Why keep a 24 inch trout ??

01-21-2005, 11:05 AM
Closing thought, ...

I will keep an occassional trout or salmon for the grill, but one DOES have to remember that the skillet IS only 12 inches across. Why keep a 24 inch trout ??

The smaller ones taste better anyway!

Besides the obvious reason of letting it breed and create more monsters, I would feel bad about keeping it because the darn thing is definitely smarter than me if it lasted long enough to get that big!

Smolt makes a good point though. If I had a fish that I knew was worth that much money, I'd have a heck of a hard time letting it go. :devil:

01-21-2005, 01:34 PM
When is it OK to kill a fish?
I've been a C&R FFisher for longer than I can remember, mostly because of the chance to maybe catch the same fish again.
I do kill some fish to eat and very few at that, but it depends of the species, the waters I fish in.
Put & Take (read stocked for the purpose of catching & keeping) lakes =I always take my limit, because if you do not, there will be a lot of sub-standard fish without enough food to sustatin a good fishery and good quality fish

Threatened waters & species, e.g. steelhead rivers, I never keep a fish

Great waters & fisheries e.g. my home waters, I never kill a fish, particularily the largerspawners, it's simple, the genetic strain must be maintained, not killed

Visiting Waters, e.g when I go to the East Coast, I never kill a fish unless OK'ed to do so by Juro for sushimi!

01-21-2005, 01:44 PM
French creek,

When is it OK to kill a fish?

(IMHO), first off, when it's legal ... and secondly (following the same context), when you do it on purpose.

As I mentionned earlier, when it's just too hot (for example), and C&R is the order of the day, we might just decide not to fish. The added stress of release on thermal stressed fish just might be too much. The release mortality just might be too "likely".

Dble Haul
01-26-2005, 08:25 AM
Let's always keep in mind the REAL dangers to the resource: over harvest, habitat degredation and pollution. This distraction pits anglers against anglers.

Now this is something that I can agree with. :wink: