Angler debate: catch and release versus catch and drop in the grease

The entire aspect of catch and release versus catch and keep has been a hot topic among  anglers. As a young angler, I would go out with my father and chase all types of species of fish. We kept these fish for the pan and would not think twice about keeping what we caught.

Growing up I was taught that my actions not only affected me and those around me, but could also the affect future. Learning this at an early age left an impression on me. A new world had been opened up and it soon became apparent that it was my duty to be a part of the conservation.

It was apparent that the times were changing and that a new type of angling was evolving. The catch-and-release angler in me was born. I do like to keep my share of fish for the pan, but a trip on the water does not necessarily mean that we are going to keep everything that makes it to the net.

There are people out there who are very aware of what it means to protect our fisheries and to keep the balance in check on certain bodies of water. However, sometimes they go about it in incorrect ways. Small fish are often let go and the larger ones are harvested because they have more meat. This works well on some bodies of water, however, it is important to keep the smaller fish and let the larger ones go. This will eliminate competition for food and allow larger fish to thrive and reproduce.

As a sportsman I was raised to utilize selective harvest when in the field. Keep only what you will use and don’t kill it if you don’t plan on eating it. Not everybody shares my views, however; I have learned to respect that.

Being within the law is one thing, but being within the thoughts of conservation is another.  If we as fisherman do not do our due diligence and learn more about the impact that we have on the bodies of water that we fish, many of our local lakes could become devoid of any good fishing.

Think about it for a while and come up with your own rules and plans. What can you do to help promote selective harvest? Enjoy the outdoors and all that we have been given to use.  Remember that it is a privilege and not a right.

Categories: Blog Content, Illinois – Cory Yarmuth

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