|One Last Point: To snag or not to snag|
|Written by Jef Hatch, Pilot staff writer|
|October 25, 2011 10:35 pm|
I don’t normally write about fishing. We have a great fish columnist in Larry Ellis and he covers everything there is to be covered when it comes to all things scaly.
But a recent discussion about people snagging fish got me to thinking.
ODFW rules indicate that fishermen shouldn’t keep fish caught, unless they are hooked in the mouth, and I get that. I realize that we’re all duty bound to follow the laws of the land whether we agree with them or not, but I don’t like this rule.
I can see limiting the number of fish taken by a single fisherman in a day, and I can understand only having certain seasons during which fish can be caught. But who cares how I take it?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating trying to snag fish, I just don’t know why – if that’s how they got on the line anyway – I can’t keep them.
I’m not keeping more than two. I’m well within my catch limits, and technically it’s harder to catch a fish that way, right?
I would think that catching a fish with the snagging method would be more difficult and in talking with Ellis, he said that fish snagged in the tail are harder to bring to the boat – or shore – because they can swim away and there is no controlling their head.
I’m thinking I should just catch the fish anyway I can, go home and smoke it, fry it or bake it and feed my family.
I guess that is the main difference though. For me, fishing is about food – well, food and friends.
I don’t drink beer, so it’s not an excuse to get out of the house and have a little Schlitz malt liquor.
I don’t particularly enjoy fishing for the sake of fishing, so I’m not a sport fisherman.
I enjoy spending time with my friends, so if they are fishing, then I don’t mind fishing.
But, what I really like to do is eat, and with my new lifestyle, I can eat fish a plenty.
Baked, fried, boiled, barbecued, jerked, smoked or raw, I’ll eat fish any old way, and it’s good for me.
When I fish, I fish to eat. I like to fish for bottomfish because it’s easy to limit out, they freeze well and my wife has a great recipe for fish and chips.
I’ve been fishing for salmon on the Chetco once and I got skunked. My friend Jason caught the only fish on the boat and, while he shared with a beautiful dinner, it wasn’t quite the same. (Actually, I was jealous that I hadn’t caught the fish.)
I can understand those who are sport fishermen wanting to have the best possible time and part of that is catching fish the “right” way. But why the rule? If sport fishermen are so into the sport then they wouldn’t keep a snagged fish anyway – because it wasn’t sporting enough.
For those who fish for food, it shouldn’t matter how they catch their fish.
I’m going to obey the law when it comes to this, but I disagree with it. Protect the fisheries with seasons, and restrictions, and limits, but leave how I catch fish up to me. I’ll only take two and leave the rest for all the real fishermen.
Just a quick shout out to my baseball team, the Texas Rangers.
The Rangers lead the world series best-of-seven by one game, and they head into St. Louis ready to take down the Cardinals at home tonight (Oct. 26). We’ll see if they can get the job done and bring home a crown finally.
I’ve been a fan since I was 13 and I’m looking forward to a World Series championship.