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my favorite was by an elderly, well to do, over educated neighbor, she said.. "how would you like it if I put a hook in your mouth"

as she was walking past me with her bag of KFC and I was getting in my truck with my fly rod.

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3 hours ago, Landon P said:

So since were kinda on the subject of fish handling what is the proper way? Is it proper to fight them as fast as possible then get them in a net and leave them there in the water untill your ready to get the hook out and take a picture? 

Really, we all have to decide these things for ourselves. I have decided to be as kind to fish as I can be.

I think if you don't need to take a fish out of water then don't do it, but if you want to take a picture, do it, but do it as gently as you can.

I recent change I have made is a decision to use a net on small fish (I always used a net on big ones). Not so that I can land more fish but because I can handle fish more gently if I use a net. Prior to this decision I felt like it didn't matter if I caught the fish or not, so, why use a net. Then on a resent trip, and after reading comments on this forum (not about me), I realized it's much easier on fish if I used a net. (I have a good net).

We have a lot of pike, really big ones and very liberal limits. Pike are really tough fish so you're probably not going to kill them easily. All that having been said, we felt like we were inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering (and bleeding) on the pike we were catching so we starting clipping hooks and crushing barbs.

Guess what, since we don't have three treble hooks to get out of each fish, we spend a lot less time getting hooks out and more time fishing. We catch more fish, and we injure far fewer fish.

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I cringe when people hold largemouth bass horizontal by the lower lip. Must take a while for the fish to put its jaw back where it is suppose to be.

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I know people that fish to eat and take all until they get what they want. I have seen fishermen "feed the racoons" to cull fish out of their way, panfish usually in both cases, but with the undersized gamefish also. I have fished with, usually only once,  fly fishermen that belittle others from a high pulpit for not returning everything - except they need a picture taken with "their" fish and equipment and have found that we as fly fishers are usually the most righteous and critical. 

In my life I have and probably will continue to kill fish (less now than my youth). White & yellow perch, hornpout, trout, salters, strippers, cod, salmon, shad, sunfish and eaten them. I didn't carry a priest, many where gutted and bled to put in the creel or the cooler, many more thrown on the ice around the tip ups, ethical ?Is buying your fish more ethical, or just easier to let someone else do it.

My pet peeve is not how you dispatch (hopefully quickly) or return your catch as long as you use it or revive it. Or the boaters, I don't paddle on weekends anymore. Or the sportsman on his pulpit, I like my solitude. The only thing that gets my goat is the trash. Want the best spot follow the path to the garbage pile. Here in the east it ranges from bottles & cans to lunch wrappers, fishing trash, condom wrappers, etc. so it is not all fishermen (hopefully) just my rant and my $.02

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1 hour ago, Mark Knapp said:

I have decided to be as kind to fish as I can be.

Anyone ever try TAG fishing?  

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14 minutes ago, chugbug27 said:

Anyone ever try TAG fishing?  

You mean like counting coup?

I think the closest would be fishing for gar with rope or pike with a clump of yarn. A friend of mine likes to take the hooks off of rubber frogs and pull pike right up to the boat sometimes it's hard to get them to let go.

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Here's how I see it and practice it. Always be polite. To the fish (treat the fish with respect as you would any other living being. Release it quickly or kill it quickly), to other fisherpeople, to others you're sharing the water with.  Hopefully you'll get politeness in return from the people and the fishing g-ds will smile on you.  

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I just want to say that I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who thinks about the fish...

I find it amusing that I get less sensitive about it after going fishless for a few hours, but deep down I still care about the critters... : )

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6 hours ago, chugbug27 said:

Conformity is overrated.

CHUG! I mean this with nothing but effection. This is so CHUGGISH. Hilarious! 

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What can I say, we get by with a little help from our friends

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18 hours ago, Steeldrifter said:

Far as fishing close to someone. I hate that. IMO I try not to get within 50 yards of someone else. Not everyone is like that though. Nothing makes my blood boil more than some jerk stepping in with in 20ft of me. That's just rude.

I always ask if I think I'm even close to encroaching on someone. Always be polite.  That's not where I'm going with this though.  This is one of my thoughts. If you can cast 50' you wouldn't want to get within 100' of another fisher, your 50 + their 50 + a little room for insurance.  I think it's human nature to make the assumption that if I can do something someone else can and if I can't another person can't.  Now, If I can only cast 20', I'm thinking that 40' + a little room for insurance is good. The problem is you can cast 50' so I'm too close by at least 30'.  Another part of the problem is that newbies and some oldbies fish one specific technique.  So if I'm casting to risers, I probably need a bit more room that if you're lobbing nymphs. If all you know how to do is lob nymphs there's going to be a space problem. I think, and this is purely anecdotal, that when a person first gets on the water, this it trout fishing, whoever is their mentor/teacher/guide is going to tie on a nymph rig w/ an indicator. The guy catches fish, but he's only fishing maybe 20' of water, 10' upstream and 10' downstream. so now he doesn't think he needs even 20' between you 10+ is enough.  I believe that as new people join the sport their etiquette is not only sorely lacking, but they have no way of learning (unless they are on a forum like this).  It reminds me of the popularity boom of golf in the 90's and early 2000's. The courses got really crowded, play slowed to a standstill, it wasn't fun anymore. Back to my rule #1, always be polite.  Anyhow just $0.02, and maybe not even worth that much.

 

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3 hours ago, cphubert said:

The only thing that gets my goat is the trash. Want the best spot follow the path to the garbage pile. Here in the east it ranges from bottles & cans to lunch wrappers, fishing trash, condom wrappers, etc. so it is not all fishermen (hopefully) just my rant and my $.02

Burns me too. Folks can pack in a full sixer but can't carry the empties out. ( Insert descriptive profanity here)

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IMO distance you can cast shouldn't even come into the equation. We get outdoors to find peace & solitude away from others. So it doesn't matter so much how much room is needed for casting, it's more the respectfulness of not encroaching into someone's space in which they are trying to enjoy their peace is the way I look at it.

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Space seems to be one of the bigger issues when trying to nail down what respect actually means.  Being that I fish in an extremely densely populated area, ones space requirements must be toned down a bit. Western space is very different from SE PA space. Unfortunatly anglers read about space respect issues and want to apply western Montana space here in SE PA. Nothing worse than an adult acting like a petulant child because he doesn't have a 1/4  mile of stream in both directions to his disposal. I know during the shad run you can share your lunch with the three boats closest to you. That's respect. If you expect to have the river to your shad fishing self than that's disrespectful and it's probably best if you don't come out to ruin everybody else's lunch.  Same with the striper run where boats share the same drift and nobody gets upset when you have to change your drift because somebody comes up and anchors alongside it. That's the name of the game and we should all just get along. 

Point being one size does not fit all and space issues have to be weighed with many other factors including sharing the available space with everybody who wants to come out and fish a densely populated area during a short lived premiere fishing time. Is sharing not a bigger part of respect? 

I like my space but if you walked up and fished next to me I could care less. If I find you offensive in some way I will walk away. If I enjoy your company I will share my lunch with you. Is that wrong? 

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Pa is for sure different. That's actually the main reason I stopped going out to Pa to fish Elk and Walnut for steelhead. Having 50-75 other guys with in an arms length was not my idea of enjoyable.

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