Catch-and-Release - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 10-24-2000, 05:21 AM
artb artb is offline
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Catch-and-Release

In this Sunday's Providence Journal Sportswriter Tom Meade wrote an article mostly about one man's opinion of seeing one person foul-hooking undersize stripers in Charlestown RI. It is a poor representation of a flyfisher in general, but " A Few Bad Apples Spoil The Barrel" The article is available I believe on the projo.com website. I have alreeady sent in my displeasure to Tom Meade. I think he was wrong in publishing the article as it is one mans opinion. My belief is that surf fishermen mortally hurt more fish, with plugs with 3 treble hooks, which are ripped out with pliers, and then the fish is thrown, or kicked,heads or tails into the surf. The article also states that flyfishers should be licensed, and tested for proficiency. I don't dare piyt the article on the board as it might be copywrited. I personally cannot remember of foul-hooking any stripers. I believe that the article is a detriment of flyfishing. I would like to see comments, am I right or wrong?
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Old 10-24-2000, 05:38 AM
artb artb is offline
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RE:Catch-and-Release

I forgot to give the address. http://www.projo.com/cgi-bin/story.pl/04417321.htm Mr. Meade, in my opinion should have never put the article in the paper.
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Old 10-24-2000, 06:20 AM
JenH JenH is offline
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RE:Catch-and-Release

You're right, Art.
This guy's editor covered his butt by titling the piece 'Reader says...' but he should have pulled the essay altogether.
Mr Mead got lazy: this irate fisherman sent him an email, and he annotated it and reprinted it. (Lord knows, we all get irate sometimes) Mead could have done some research, talked to some catch-and-release proponents (like CCA, as just one example), shown both sides. (Or at least taken a stand, shown us where his own opinion falls in relation to the quoted "source.")
It's amazing what passes for journalism!
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2000, 07:37 AM
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RE:Catch-and-Release

I have not read the article yet, but maybe a letter to the editor is in order. Certainly from someone who is better than me with words & stuff.
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Old 10-24-2000, 07:46 AM
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RE:Catch-and-Release

This is what I just wrote to Meade (Art I copied it to you):
<font size="3">
Mr. Meade,

In response to your article in the ProJo:

<!--http--><a href="http://www.projo.com/cgi-bin/story.pl/04417321.htm" target="_blank">http://www.projo.com/cgi-bin/story.pl/04417321.htm</a><!--url-->

The incidence of foul hooking stripers with flies is extremely low. It was irresponsible of you to portray the activity as part and parcel of the sport. Louis Beatini is entitled to his opinions, but I feel you were negligent in your failure to represent the other side of this issue.

Since anecdotal evidence seems to be the main staple of this line of discourse, let me offer my own: I have witnessed plug and bait fishermen literally kicking stripers back into the water after having ripped three pronged treble hooks from their mouths with pliers. In the Chatham inlet, I witnessed a spin fishermen fight a 32" fish for 30 minutes(about 20 minutes too long), drag it up on the sand to admire it, leave it there for another 15 minutes, and then attempt to release it back to the water. And this type of behavior is far, far more frequently observed in bait and plug fishermen than in the fly fishing community. To allow Mr. Beatini's lunatic rants to go unchallenged is bad journalism. Yes, there are fly fishers who need to learn to get their fish back in the water sooner, but from what I've seen, fly fishermen only need to hurt one fish to learn this important lesson, whereas most plug guys go on for 40 odd years senselessly killing one fish after another in the most barbaric fashion. I urge you to write a second piece that accurately reflects the true state of affairs in the angling world.

Sincerely,

Al DeLuca
</font><!--3-->
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2000, 08:43 AM
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RE:Catch-and-Release

Mr.Meade is not a fisherman. No fisherman would print that, unless he were without conscience and chose to use this article to create a debate. We all know how debate causes increased attention, it's happened in our internet community several times. The difference is, we are fishermen and that was not our intent. It would not surprise me if Mr.Meade was trying to be clever behind his smug smile.

I have foul hooked a striper exactly once, and it was from a boat on the open ocean last month with BobP Jr. Clearly the fish attacked the fly and missed it's mouth. The odds of the fly and the fish finding each other between South Beach and Portugal would defy mathematica.

Starting from the top: not only are single (typically barbless) hooks less lethal than plugs - flies are far less lethal because they are not in the fish's gut like bait hooks.

Clearly it's the bait fishermen and anyone using barbed multiple treble hooks who need to be tested for proficiency in fish handling.

Even the fact that flyfishermen wear waders or wet wade makes us more 'proficient'. Guys who are lined up on the tops of rocks at low tide in sneakers just don't do a good job of releasing the vast majority of undersized stripers for every one they bonk. Their intent is to catch and kill, therefore the mortality for sub-legal bass is higher due to handling and 100% for legal bass. Do the math Tom!

Fish who are injured in the sea do not develop fungus nearly as often as they do from being dragged in the sand, stripped of their mucus by terry cloth towels, or as we often see - getting stepped on or even kneeled on! I have caught fish injured by seals who have recovered fully despite scars. I agree this is much more rare than in the faster growing species like salmon and steelhead, which heal even when torn violently by sea lions. Nonetheless the slow growth rate of stripers would imply that their ability to heal from serious injury is much lower and for every scar-recovered schoolie I have seen a hundred healed pacific salmonids. I believe it takes careful handling like flyfishermen offer to allow fish to survive their long lifetimes.

Mr.Beatini's comment about freshwater bass fishermen proves his ignorance. Freshwater bass fishermen (1) cull fish (2) keep them in livewells all day to be touted at the weigh-in shindig several hours later and thrown in at the dock (3) fish for money. There is no lesson there.

Tom, you ask what I think... I think you and your friend ought to go bait fishing with Mike Barnacle.

Juro
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2000, 11:46 AM
ronl ronl is offline
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RE:Catch-and-Release

Tom Meade was probably just trying to justify the continuation of the article; therefore his paycheck. I have foul hooked an occasional striper but I have to think that they had a hand in getting hooked by bothering the fly enough to make it feel like a hit. I generally fish dead drift style and the fish that have been foul hooked have been so in the area of the head- ooops they missed. If the concentration of fish is great enough then the chances of "snagging " a fish also inceases, but with a quick release these fish are better off than one hooked in the mouth because they can still eat- they'll just not play with their food first. Just my $.02. ronl
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2000, 01:08 PM
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RE:Catch-and-Release

ok, here's my $.02! Mr Meade is among the lure/bait slinging guys that resent flyfishers for a few reasons, which I believe are:
1.) we get in the way/ take too much space on the beach and jetties
2.) don't know the sport, and as we all know, there are those that resent and fear anything they can't quite understand
3.) there are those in our sport that do have an air of superiority about them(ok they're snobby). it doesn't take many of those to foul some attitudes toward a whole sport.
4.) and this is a BIGGY!!! GUILT!!! if you know that you are killing many fish by bad handling and your equipment lends itself to that, seeing others being very careful, and releasing healthy fish will pound home the guilt. If someone makes you feel guilty, your usual reaction over time will be to hate them for it!!!


as I said, just my take on it. Tom D
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  #9  
Old 10-24-2000, 01:29 PM
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RE:Catch-and-Release

Tom -

I agree with what you say except for taking too much room... when I want to FF a beach and there are guys fishing chunks, their line sweeps 100 yards to the left or right with the current. They stand far apart to compensate leaving no room to FF even on a huge beach.

We need room behind, and that's not interfering with other anglers. I'd be more sensitive to innocent passersby than fellow anglers anyday when FF.

We do require a little bit more room than light tackle spin guys though.

BTW - I have no problem with spin guys who use single hook sluggos, kastmasters, poppers, etc. I think light tackle lure fishing is sporting and the next best thing to FF. Of course they might think otherwise and since they catch so many fish they may have a point - if it were just about catching. I think a dedicated FF does it because he/she likes to.

(Anyone else notice how Mary and Jen start to post and all of a sudden we're PC around here? )
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Old 10-24-2000, 01:38 PM
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RE:Catch-and-Release

Another source of jealousy may also be our catch rate. There have been many times I have started fishing next to a spin/bait fisherman who was going fishless and proceded to pull in multiple fish. Sometimes it gives me a chance to teach and "sell" the sport of fly fishing but more often I am given nasty looks.
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  #11  
Old 10-24-2000, 01:46 PM
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RE:Catch-and-Release

In defence of the Largemouth Bass fishermen, it's a fact that they were the first to employ "C+R". IT was that southern guy(name escapes me) who started Bass tournaments and made a fortune. He was also a friend of George Bush Sr. Unfortunately his motives were purely mercenary ($$). Back in the 50s his tourneys were wiping out ponds of there bass and making many locals angry. So it was either adapt or loose millions.
I beleive the original C+R idea in this country was by Lee Wulff. Here's a blurb on him.

"<i>He was astute enough to see the danger to his beloved salmon from exploitation, development, netting, poaching and pollution. Long before most American and Canadian anglers realized these grand fish were endangered, Lee was lecturing politicians and preaching conservation to anglers groups. It is his everlasting credit - as a farsighted conservationist and a devoted angler - that these marvelous fish are on the way back.

"The fish you release is your gift to another angler,"Lee once said.

It was not just words to Lee Wulff. It was a way of life.</i>"

by Jack Sampson

So while Lee Wulff may have thought it up, Mr Bassmaster used it first. It's a great way to poke fun at the elitist flyfishermen.

Terry
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  #12  
Old 10-24-2000, 02:31 PM
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RE:Catch-and-Release

you're right Juro, I didn't mean to lump the light tackle spin guys in with the others, they do use single hooks mostly. and I've been known to toss a sluggo or two in high winds...lol Tom D
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  #13  
Old 10-24-2000, 02:35 PM
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RE:Catch-and-Release

Interesting stuff Terry -

But the point being made, not to discount your input on the matter, was that we SWFF guys could learn something from freshwater bass fishermen. I beg to differ from that statement - we do not hold our fish captive in livewells while we continue to fish. We do not gather in crowds to cheer as we play draw poker with our fish weights against our competition on TNN. We fish for passion, not money.

I thank bass fishermen for practicing C&R early in American history; but I did not learn anything from the way they fish. I would C&R stripers regardless of any hawg-crankin' mentors or for that matter any regulations. In fact we so often live up to that by releasing our so-called keepers. It's great to keep a fish now and then now that the populations are strong, but as a general rule our "keepers" swim away.

All that being said, credit where credit is due! If indeed Bubba invented C&R then I need to kiss the next bass I catch
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Old 10-24-2000, 02:59 PM
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RE:Catch-and-Release

Ok, I sent the author some email. That article is so rediculous.

TerryW
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  #15  
Old 10-24-2000, 03:37 PM
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RE:Catch-and-Release

OK, you've got me in on it now... After reading the article I must agree with Juro.. But there is no way this guy is a flyfisherman... I mean " Special license" and "Proving proficiency". Who thinks about this kind of stuff??? and why in the world would a "journalist" print this... I think louis has not really spent 35 years flyfishing but more than likely 35 years of too much sun.
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