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to keep or not to keep

Discussion in 'Northeast Ohio Fishing Reports' started by TPaco214, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. How many of you keep the whopper bass, pike, crappie, cats, etc when u catch them? I'm talking the true trophies we would all love to catch. Last summer my sister got two big largemouths (22" 4 lbs and 24" 5 lbs). I snapped a few photos and she released them. This summer in that same spot my uncle and cousin each caught the same two bass (i'm convinced they're the same fish b/c the pond is smaller, i looked at the photos, and plus the measurements were exactly the same) I say this b/c we all say throw them in for another day, and in this case another day came and new people got to catch some personal bests! I know some people who are strict catch/eat people no matter the size, type, or regulations that apply. This really irks me. I love to keep fish to eat, but when people are so bent on keeping fish that they ignore size limits, number limits, season regulations, etc, I just get really angry. I mean, how much meat can you get off a 5 inch bluegill or crappie? About the only fish I keep are crappies, gills (sometimes), white bass, and stocked trout. I just feel really guilty if I keep a huge fish b/c I know it has been around for a while. I would feel really bad killing it just like that. I believe in the idea of releasing the whoppers so they can continue to spread their good genes and continue to provide awesome angling fun for others. Just my thoughts. What do you guys think?


    My thoughts exactly!

    It sickens me when I see big,old fish of any species being
    killed for a mount,table or in a lot of cases for no reason at
    all.A good picture is more than enough to honor the capture
    IMO.And as you point out,released fish live to be caught
    another day.

    Sadly,we have too many of these ''look at me's'' around.
    You know the types that come into the bait shops with
    a 8lb bass (filled with eggs) on a stringer.They get their
    pictures but the fish ussualy ends up in a dumpster!

  3. I agree, let 'em live to be caught again! Now days, all you need are a few photos, length, weight and girth. Alot of taxidermists will do exact replicas with the photos and measurements. Might cost a little more, but worth it.
  4. yeh my uncle in florida has had some replicas done of some salt water fish he has caught...n he said the replicas look exactly like the fish when he caught them...he showed me pics of the actual captures and i must agree. cool to know im not the only one who thinks like this.
  5. The real problem with keeping true "trophy" sized fish is depletion of the gene pool. Not all fish have the same genetic make up. Moster fish are a combination of good genes and environment. Removal of these huge fish can lead to substandard genes in an environment and smaller fish. For many reasons it is better to keep smaller fish (above the size limit) and let the bigguns go. I am an avid bass fisherman, and wouldn't think of eating or keeping bass (bad karma), but i have no problem with people who do keep some to eat. It actually improves fishing in most cases.
  6. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    Wow. This is a record. A CPR vs Eater thread has lasted almost 3 hours without Misfit having to take it down because of the fighting back and forth. Good job everyone! :D
  7. I agree with HeadwatersEd it seems when smaller bass are kept, like in slot limit lakes. the lake has a better oportunity to produce more quality fish. Although it does seem funny people have such a hard time morally keeping bass to eat but have no problem keeping other fish walleye, crappie or gills. Maybe others have better taste buds than me but they all basically taste the same to me. I believe the only difference in taste is the thickness of the fillet, the thicker the more fish taste. Still the majority of fish I catch go back to swim another day, who wants to eat a trophy anyway.
  8. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

    I have over the years come to realize the apparently ever reducing volume of quality fish to be caught in our lakes and rivers. As a result I have adopted for myself a standard of generally releasing most fish I catch. Just so that they will be there for the gene pool and someone else to enjoy catching. I keep some panfish and an occasional lobster for the pot. :D

    I will however strongly defend everyone's right who buys a fishing license to make their own choices, and will never think less of them if they disagree with me.
    And I can see what Ed is talking about.

    H2O, it would be great if we have actually developed into a group who can have an intelligent, impassioned discussion without it dissolving into personal attacks and name-calling. :B
  9. Agent47

    Agent47 Trying to pull it in!!!!

    A trophie looks great on a pic and even better in the water, I think its interesting to watch the huge black shadows go by the boat and seeing everyones reaction and discussion on what kind of fish it might be.
    I keep gills and perch and crappie... BIGGER than 5 inches, the lil guys I throw back to grow and maybe be caught again. I dont like the taste of Bass and I dont keep em, I have eatin a few rock bass but not to many.
    I also dont slaughter pan fish, I dont need 50 pan fish in the freezer, 10 are fine and thats usually all I take.

    PS: I do have one mounted, whats neat is I push a red button and he sings...LOL:p
  10. My buddy thinks that if you don't take fish out they will get over populated . I'm not talking blue gill. He takes them all carp, cats,bass . The only good thing is he is not much of a fisherman.
  11. My oldest daughter is 32 years old. When she was 5, she took a 5 1/4 lb largemouth which I had mounted. Times have changed. I now release ALL fish caught, save about 2 trips a year where I keep some smaller, but fat 6-7" gills for the fryer. I have a waterproof digital camera that is with me whenever I fish. I am a believer in the "gene pool" theory as well. I DO however, think that a pond over-run with small gills and/or crappie needs some heavy "catch & keep", but only for THOSE species.
  12. I guess I have a bit of a different view on this one. I dont usually keep bass, bluegill, crappie, pike, muskie, northerns, etc. I have eaten bass when I was younger and actually started feeling bad for them and they didnt taste that good. Bass are a true trophy fish that I would snap a picture for the wifes scrapbook. When it comes to Walleye & Perch I enjoy my meals. Having said that, I also love the way a trophy room looks in a den with fish and animals mounted. If I catch a large enough fish (no matter what it is) I would consider mounting it. It would have to be very large but the fact is if they are large enough, I would much rather enjoy viewing from my den everyday and constantly reliving that experience, than someone else fishing for bluegill or carp for a meal and accidentally catching my trophy that I released and cutting it up for a meal. I would rather have the years of memories. Kind of like a deer. I pass up on many very large bucks that people would love to have but there comes a point when they are going to die, get hit by a car, natural causes or some other event if they are too old. I would much rather have it hanging on my wall. I think the major difference is our perception on what a true trophy is as well as where you caught it. The cool thing about this is now the replicas can be made (but is it the truly the same thing?).
  13. marshall45. i respect your opinion and can understand maybe wanting a few trophies. but there has to be a limit. How many trophies do you really need on your wall. Yes having a mount done from a picture and measurements is the same thing imo I just really believe that the joy I experience from catching a monster shouldn't be my alone. But to each there own and just remember that it is the memories of the fish that should mean more than the fish itself.
  14. joe01

    joe01 Functional Fisherman

    I would like to have 1 trophy" of evey species, I fish for. But they have to be the right size for my room. I do a lot of C&R, I only eat gills, eyes, perch, and slabs. I have yet to put a fish on the wall, I know my stanard is very high.

    One day I will have my den full, with my stories to tell. And I hope in the next 30years it will be done.
  15. DanAdelman

    DanAdelman getting jigging with it

    I have never mounted a fish... It is hard for me not to release because no matter how big the fish is i truely believe i will catch a bigger one... Now if i do catch a fish and know that this is truely a fish of a lifetime ( state record or close) then i will have it mounted... most people who see the fish i have caught ask me what i did with it and they are amazed when i say i let it go... these people are mostly non-fishermen and don't understand the concept of fishing for the thrill and rush of the fight and not for food or a mount...everybody is entitled to keep anything as long as its legal...
  16. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

    I release all big to jumbo fish of all species.
    If and when I want to add some to the freezer I will keep average to smaller size fish because I feel they are better eating.
    Big bull redears,bluegill, crappies and sometimes yellow perch go back in (no perch go back in at Lake Erie due to the depth they are taken).
    Largemouth I'll keep 15-17"ers when I want to eat them. Smallies all go back. All pike and muskie (if I ever catch one) go back. I like walleye 15-23" in inland lakes to eat. Any smaller or bigger go back and I don't want any Lake Erie walleye due to the nasty taste.
    Catfish I'll keep 15-20" and the rest go back, especially the big ones.
    I don't feel I need a mount of anything. I usually have a picture and that's good enough for me.
    I keep alot of fish to eat and I don't apologize for that. But I don't decimate a lake of a certain population and I don't keep the big ones either.
  17. krustydawg

    krustydawg KrustyDawg

    HA HA HA ! This is the best one I have seen in sometime !:D
  18. sevenx

    sevenx "I sat by the river" N.Mc

    Great discussion on this thread guys, nice to see one without the bashing going on. My .02 I have several fish mounted from a strugeon that was accedentaly killed while trying to land it. The meat was donated to the Dokis Indians who populated the area and were allowed to keep and eat the fish. All of my mounts were done when I was in my teens and had the urge to have a cabin one day full of fish mounts like I had seen growing up. That need passed when I landed an 11 pound walleye in Canada, I really wanted a walleye mount to add to what I had. We caught the fish in the dead of night and had to head back to the boat house for a pic. When I saw the fish in good lighting and how gorgeous a beast it was after a few pics she back to swim another day not knowing how close she was to being a fixture on my wall. I felt great watching that fish swim free and knew I did the right thing. If I could back and release the mounts I have know I am not sure I would because they hold a special place in my heart and memories of time my dad and I spent together as a kid. Since he has past those memories have become even more important. That story being told I will never mount and catch worthy of one again. If the need is there to hang the fish I will go the replica route. I am no longer in the hunt for big fish I have come to enjoys small stream fishing so much that a big fish would rarely come and would enhance the stream fishery to much for me to remove and the opportunity for someone else, hopefully a young kid with there dad, to high in that environement. If fish being caught for food please keep the smaller fish not the trophies the meat on the larger fish does not taste that good anyways. Another consideration is to keep only enough to eat one meal at a time not a whole cooler full for the freezer, it just give's you an excuse to fish more often;). I fish strictly catch and release because I choose to and many area that I fish the water are catch and release only with other special regulations. Size, creel and other limits are in place for a reason weather it be fish you can or cannot keep. Mother nature is tough and resourcefull and can fend for her self but man can cause her some serious head aches if we don't take the resposiblity before us. Bottem line is we all have the right to choose weather keep fish or not within the letter of the law. That leaves us responsible for the future of our fisheries and this should not be taken lightly. Think of the future in terms of your family. Would you want your kids to grow up in a world that did not have the oppurtinity to go out and catch fish and enjoy the sport we all love so much??? We are very lucky to live in a country where we can fish whenever we want to and again this should not be taken lightly. It all boils down to respect and protection of our resources and it is truely up to each of us to ensure them for future generations. S
  19. Nice post sevenx, as after reading these posts I do think that a replica is the way to go. The fact is if one were to catch a fish large enough to make a replica, and then release it and catch it again a year later 2 replicas can be made from the same fish and that would be two large trophies to have in a den and so on. I dont have any fish mounted yet as i have released all large fish that I have caught. I fully agree with the size of the fish being kept for eating as the smaller fish usually taste better so why waste a large fish. Before this thread I may have kept a monster for mounting (not for eating) but I am fully now convinced that a replica is the way to go. I also agree with keeping what you WILL eat and not wasting any fish. I have never wasted a fish and usually cook it within a day of being kept.
  20. Tom R

    Tom R

    I have released all fish I catch for a long time now. (Since I lived in Maine where I couldn't resist the native brookies.) I'm not sure what I would do if I caught a real trophy, probably throw it back. The exception is carp. They get a wack on the head and are tossed onto the shore.