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SilverCreek

Is the FF Industry Sacrificing Ethics for the Hero Shot

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Further, on the highest moral standard, is it at all ethical to catch fish you don't intend to eat?

 

The Germans and Swiss would say "no" but then again, they don't have the fisheries we do because they are REQUIRED to kill and not release the fish they catch.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch_and_release

 

"In Switzerland and Germany, catch and release fishing is considered inhumane and is now banned.[5] In Germany, the Animal Welfare Act states that "no-one may cause an animal pain, suffering or harm without good reason".[6]This leaves no legal basis for catch and release due to its argued inherent lack of "good reason", and thus personal fishing is solely allowed for immediate food consumption. Additionally, it is against the law to release fish back into the water if they are above minimum size requirements and aren't a protected species or in closed season."

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In 2015, I had an article on a Michigan lake published in Eastern Fly Fishing. The thing that was special enough about this particular lake that the magazine thought it warranted a feature article was that it has very strict regulations on the fishing there--artificials only, 100% catch-and-release on everything, all season long, no motorized watercraft, etc.--and that, partly because of those regulations, this lake grew lots of big (for this latitude) bass, pike, and bluegills.

 

I fished there on and off throughout the summer, taking photos for the article and, naturally, hoping for a nice big-fish picture to help sell it. I saw lots and lots of big bass, but couldn't get them to show any interest in my flies. Finally, it came down to what would be my last trip there before the article had to be submitted, and I still didn't have my big-fish shot. I was starting to feel a little desperate. Would they refuse to run the article (and pay me for it) if I didn't have at least one "hawg" photo?

 

What ended up happening was this: I discovered that, if I caught a bluegill on a fly--which is of course easy to do--the big bass would literally come tearing in from seven different directions trying to attack the bluegill and eat it off my line. It got to be ridiculous--at one point, there were a half-dozen or so large bass actually following my kayak around the lake; it's clear and shallow and I could see them easily. If I hooked a bluegill, it was game on--like throwing chum into a school of sharks.

 

I knew what I was doing wasn't ethical. I was essentially fishing live bait; strictly verboten on this lake and part of the reason the lake was good enough for me to be writing an article about it in the first place! I also knew that I needed a photo of a big fish, or I likely wasn't going to make a dime selling this article.

 

Finally I landed one of the bass. When it came in, the bluegill was gone, and the little foam spider I'd caught the bluegill on was stuck in the bass's mouth. We took the picture. I submitted the article, but I included a note to the editor about how the bass was caught. They ran the article without the photo, and docked my fee by $100. I felt both disappointed and relieved.

 

I have officially retired from writing fishing articles. Like Saltybum said in his earlier post on this thread, the minute money comes into the picture, somewhere, somehow, a human being is going to prioritize money (or something it represents to him/her) over the fish and their habitat.

 

I don't want to be that human being.

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Ethics is about right and wrong, not about what is legal or legal. Although laws are most often derived from ethical arguments.

Sure it is almost a given that violation of laws also bend or breach ethics, but, the foremost factor is the violation of Law.

Violations of fish and game laws are poaching and should be reported and prosecuted. Most states have a "hotline" for poaching reports and most of us have cell phones.

 

 

The Germans and Swiss would say "no" but then again, they don't have the fisheries we do because they are REQUIRED to kill and not release the fish they catch. https://en.wikipedia...tch_and_release

From that page also;

 

In the United States, catch and release was first introduced as a management tool in the state of Michigan in 1952 as an effort to reduce the cost of stocking hatchery-raised trout.

I believe the German view will eventually prevail in the USA, we have most of our roots in Europe. Most of our populace don't fish and most that fish are not wholly vested in catch and release. Practices in the tournament fishing will likely garner the most protest.

But, as it says, C&R in the USA started out being about money, not at all about ethics, even though some notables like Wulff had promoted it for decades.

 

Sorry, I didn't read all of the linked articles because they are slow to load for me,

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So, on more tries everything but chug's link did load, country phone lines. The first blog article does come across as sour grapes, imo. It does bring up that guides and sports sometimes bend the laws and stretch the ethics to improve the show; that is hardly new or surprising, every TV fishing show I've seen has the a change of wardrobe or tackle between the opening cast and the catch supposedly the result of that cast.

The forum pages all target a single guide as far as I could tell, so, the gist of what I think I read is one guide is accused by another of violating some laws and the authorities got involved? One guy, not all guides nor all flyfishers, a poacher like poachers have been for centuries.

Some recommendations were made some where that I agree with; follow the laws yourself and report violations you witness.

 

Pictures don't harm a fish any more than eating it and in some cases less. C&R is not as fully successful as we are sometimes led to believe, in Mo. we have a number of spring fed trout hatchery/parks that accommodate hundreds of anglers during the summer and are C&R through the winter months; these areas have high enough C&R fatality that they require restocking monthly to maintain numbers of fish. Released fish may not die until several days have passed.

Consider though, if hero pictures kill one fish on every outing, that is still less dead fish than if the angler kept a limit. Even if the trout in question is invasive there.

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So everyone on this board is ok to fishing without a license? Fishing a closed season\area? If I become a guide does that mean the rules don't apply to me?

 

Where are you even getting that from? Myself and others have all said the main issue is not the hero shot pic it is the fact he was breaking the law (no Wy license and fishing in an closed area). Did you even read any of the replies posted?

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So everyone on this board is ok to fishing without a license? Fishing a closed season\area? If I become a guide does that mean the rules don't apply to me?

I said;

 

 

Violations of fish and game laws are poaching and should be reported and prosecuted. Most states have a "hotline" for poaching reports and most of us have cell phones.

and

follow the laws yourself and report violations you witness.

 

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That came out of left field. I happen to pride myself on being a rule follower and I only hang out with others of the same ilk. My comment focused on the hero shot angle. To call hero shots unethical is ridicules. Breaking rules is more breaking the law then an ethics violation.

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Regulations and laws. I am a firm believer in following them. But I go a step farther. I'm an "eye for an eye" believer.

If you hook a fish out of season or in any other way against the law, then you should have a large hook (barbed) set in your cheek. One hook for each infraction.

Jail time for non moving vehicle infractions ... death penalty for moving vehicle infractions.

 

You know, make punishments REAL. It's only a deterrent if it's REAL!

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Michael, Michael, you best never come to MN for walleye opener. You'd be sure to have a lot of barbed hooks in your cheeks. See, in MN (unless it's changed) the walleye and northern open two weeks before Memorial Weekend. Bass usually open a week or two after that, then Musky open a week later yet. It would be very hard to fish walleye or northern without catching bass in the lakes. Not as common but a musky might well come along for an easy meal. You must release them instantly of course, no pictures or showing every one around you, but by your standards even that accidental out of season catch would result in a hook to cheek, BARBED no less. It is not only unethical to catch bass off spawning beds but it is illegal in MN to target those bass before the season opens. After bass opener fishing the beds is an ethical choice of each angler but not illegal.

 

Like Steve, my biggest problem with this particular case of "Hero Shot" is not the fish, which was in legal water, but the other laws this guide seemed to think didn't apply to the Trout Pro. I have caught and eaten many steelhead and brown trout during their spawning runs on Great Lake Tributaries. This was years ago and C&R was not an issue at that time. Bass tournaments actually try to work their lakes around the spawn to have as many fish shallow as possible to keep the catch rates high and people interested. From a person who did a lot of tournament fishing in the past, kind of like the smoker who quits, I would ban tournaments if it were up to me, but that's really another discussion topic.

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1) You must release them instantly of course, no pictures or showing every one around you, but by your standards even that accidental out of season catch would result in a hook to cheek, BARBED no less.

 

2) From a person who did a lot of tournament fishing in the past, kind of like the smoker who quits, I would ban tournaments if it were up to me, but that's really another discussion topic.

1) I am not sure what you mean. I would never target an "out of season" fish. Accidental catches of such fish is not illegal, only the keeping or 'harassing" of such fish. I don't take many pictures, and I'd not hold the fish up for the video camera ... I DO follow the rules and regulations.

 

2) That's an attitude I don't understand, banning the tournaments you used to fish. Like driving a car all your life, then working to ban cars after you're too old to drive. It was okay for you, when you did it, but now that you're not ... "I'm taking my ball and going home!"

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Mike, you did say "If you hook a fish out of season or in any other way against the law..." That is not always possible to avoid here. I agree targeting out of season fish is a much different story. I do have a problem with anyone doing any grip and grin with oos fish.

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... But I go a step farther. I'm an "eye for an eye" believer.

If you hook a fish out of season or in any other way against the law, then you should have a large hook (barbed) set in your cheek. One hook for each infraction.

 

also...2) That's an attitude I don't understand, banning the tournaments you used to fish. Like driving a car all your life, then working to ban cars after you're too old to drive. It was okay for you, when you did it, but now that you're not ... "I'm taking my ball and going home!"

 

You should put accidentally hooked and fish in that statement. You flat say "hook a fish out of season or any other way" deserves the barbed hook. Even fishing #4 hooks with yarn flies we would occasionally snag a trout or salmon. This was not of itself illegal unless it was a purposeful snag and kept fish. Unhooked and released, we usually did it right in the water with needlenose pliers, it was one of those accidental that didn't become a violation until you made it one by attempting to keep.

 

Ridiculous comparison. You usually make sense but that sentence doesn't. Unless you fished tournaments you would not realize the stress put on fish, the poor handling of fish in states that allow "culling" of fish during the tournament, the dropping and flopping of fish on carpet since many tournaments don't allow nets thinking that's better for fish. I quit my association of bigger tournaments when I realized how we'd show up a lake and take virtually every possible spot to park and the family coming out after breakfast for some time on the lake would not have spot to park. No use waiting for fun boaters to leave since the tourney people were there from 6 in the morning until late afternoon. 5 fish (if you limited) in a plastic carry bag standing in line to get the big weigh in and if you were lucky you got to hold a couple of fish and wave them around for the crowd. There was a big name sports shop owner who'd pay his employees to fish a lake and relocate fish to a small bay. There was an even bigger name who had people sit on spots until they showed up, then they'd leave the spot. This is why I'd ban tournaments. Because I have seen the damage they cause to fish, how they anger the people who paid for those boat launch and parking areas and can't use them, and the damage they leave behind by snagging props, boat seats, and even snagged and broke two of the big super tubes some people had tied to their docks.

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Regulations and laws. I am a firm believer in following them. But I go a step farther. I'm an "eye for an eye" believer.

If you hook a fish out of season or in any other way against the law, then you should have a large hook (barbed) set in your cheek. One hook for each infraction.

Jail time for non moving vehicle infractions ... death penalty for moving vehicle infractions.

 

You know, make punishments REAL. It's only a deterrent if it's REAL!

 

Like this?

 

RebGs6q.jpg

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