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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seeing all the responses to the present rockfish "situation" in NC I started thinking.

Take a look at the below scenario and answer the questions below it.

Middle of July, You set out of Sandy Point State Park on a Live Lining trip. 6 anglers with you. Each has traveled at least 200 miles to go rock fishing with you on this day.

You find the spot and proceed to put 100 in the livewell.

You get all 6 set up with a live spot and the lines go in the water. All 6 lines get hit and all 6 anglers pull up 17" stripers that are gut hooked and float near lifeless upon release, sure to die. When you look around you there are 5 other boats close by and all 5 each have 6 anglers on their boats and each had experienced the same situation as your boat, 6 fish on deep hooked, floating on release.

What is the legal thing to do?

What is the "right" thing to do?

What do YOU do?



**For those who move to a different spot the same exact thing happens there, and there are 5 boats there that it happens to also.

Then what do you do?
 

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Might be a better example to use chumming or casting small lures.

Not trying to be a smart a$$ but one nice thing with live lining is almost all will be keepers. If a under size is hooked - fair chance it will be lip hooked.

Hear what you are saying though - never good to see a fish killed but not kept.

I can still remember seeing large numbers of dead undersized Rock near Love Point when chumming was the big draw. That is when circle hooks were pushed - idea was to avoid gut hooking little ones.

Thing in NC - the trawl netters are up grading / culling a catch.

Most sport fisherman strive to release fish alive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Might be a better example to use chumming or casting small lures.

Not trying to be a smart a$$ but one nice thing with live lining is almost all will be keepers. If a under size is hooked - fair chance it will be lip hooked.

Hear what you are saying though - never good to see a fish killed but not kept.

I can still remember seeing large numbers of dead undersized Rock near Love Point when chumming was the big draw. That is when circle hooks were pushed - idea was to avoid gut hooking little ones.

Thing in NC - the trawl netters are up grading / culling a catch.
Skip - I hear what you are saying, and thanks for your input, but didn't see any answers to my questions. I didn't want a debate, just wanted to see how many "legal", "illegal" or "ethical" anglers we have on here. Also, based on answers received, wanted to get a "visual" of what the water (or coolers) would look like.
 

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OK , legal thing - clear cut ,undersize can not be kept - whether gut hooked or not.

Right thing is to follow the law - move if too many little ones are being caught or switch lures / hooks to avoid hooking them deeply.

What would I do ? Move and hope to find slightly bigger fish.
 

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Cut the line to the hook and slip fish back into water. The law is the law, no sense keeping the fish so the police will fine you according to the law. I'm sure no one fishes with the intent to kill rockfish undersized. Now culling rockfish to go home with the biggest of the day, some probably do that.
 

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The right thing to do oftens conflicts with the legal thing to do, Quite a quandry you posted. There are times when life gets so complicated that you simply have to adjust. The only "legal" and "right" solution for your problem is to cease and desist the action creating the problem. Time to go bluefish and perch fishing.
 

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With a gut hooked 17 incher, about all you can do is cut the line leaving the hook in the fish. Release it and hope for the best. To me, that is both the legal and right thing to do. If you see it floating on the surface, there really isn't much you can do. Although tempting for some, I really don't think most would keep the fish and risk loosing their license. A real noble fisherman may also voluntarily count it toward their limit. The NC case just underscores the need for a multi state coordinated management program coupled with strong enforcement.
 

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Y'all are being trapped by the scenario. I wouldn't live-line or chum. Not saying that those who do aren't ethical, but it's just not something I would do.
 

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Only one thing to do. Throw them back and move until you find legal size fish. Like RJ said:thumbup:............Gary
 

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I'd yell over to the slobs to start fishing like true sportsmen. They would get online and complain about a rude fishermen yelling at them on the water. Then the whole board would self police them and tell them, you know if you are gut hooking everything...you are doing just about everything wrong.
 

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Anytime you talk fishing ethics it's a sliding scale. Fact is, what's ethical to one person may not be to another. I don't see anything wrong with anyone working to convince others to agree with something they consider ethical or unethical, or working to change a law that they consider unethical. In fact, I wish more people would do just that. Just because you disagree with someone on an ethical issue doesn't mean one person is bad, or the other is a snob. It just means you have an opportunity for discussion.

I think your question is a good one. In my opinion, the answer is to optimize your methods so you don't get in that situation in the first place.

Granted, it's inevitable that everyone will have to make a decision like the ones in your example at some point. I think you have to consider the situation in each case. There are a often gray areas. Fortunately, our system is designed so that even if you make a decision that is illegal, you are entitled to a hearing. Sometimes, rarely, an illegal decision might be justified. That's why we have judges, juries, and sentencing options. There's also the court of public opinion to consider. That, as we often see, can be far less merciful.
 

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What is the legal thing to do? Obey the law and return fish.

What is the "right" thing to do? Obey the law and return fish.

What do YOU do? Cut line with hook in fish and release. I then would switch out to a circle hook or bend barb over and continue fishing.
 

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The law is the law

My biggest question - no matter how you are fishing, who wants to sit there catching undersized, small fish anyway?

I'd release any undersized fish but i wouldn't catch very many of them before i moved on looking for something bigger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
OK , legal thing - clear cut ,undersize can not be kept - whether gut hooked or not.

Right thing is to follow the law - move if too many little ones are being caught or switch lures / hooks to avoid hooking them deeply.

What would I do ? Move and hope to find slightly bigger fish.
Is the "right" thing to follow the law? In all situations? Or just this situation? What about the NC situation?

Just because it is legal - does not make it right.

Lot of nice fish there that will not spawn come spring time.
Is this the same "Sailfish"? Those 16"er's won't spawn in a couple years will they?

The legal thing to do is throw it back.
the right thing to do is the legal thing.
I would do both.
Rich - just an FYI I posted this based on the above quote…….note some think the "right" and "legal" are different……apparently in some situations.

The right thing to do oftens conflicts with the legal thing to do, Quite a quandry you posted. There are times when life gets so complicated that you simply have to adjust. The only "legal" and "right" solution for your problem is to cease and desist the action creating the problem. Time to go bluefish and perch fishing.
Kevin - someone who knows the "right" thing to do.

A real noble fisherman may also voluntarily count it toward their limit.
At least you know what you SHOULD do.

Y'all are being trapped by the scenario. I wouldn't live-line or chum. Not saying that those who do aren't ethical, but it's just not something I would do.
Trapped them? They can't answer as to what they would do? If you don't live-line (or can't put yourself in that situation) then don't answer. If you do then where's the trap?

Only one thing to do. Throw them back and move until you find legal size fish. Like RJ said:thumbup:............Gary
Gary - Ok that's good - doing what is "legal" (but might not be right) and also the reason for my post……ref - Skips quote at the top and reason for post

I'd yell over to the slobs to start fishing like true sportsmen. They would get online and complain about a rude fishermen yelling at them on the water. Then the whole board would self police them and tell them, you know if you are gut hooking everything...you are doing just about everything wrong.
OK - Someone who may sometime get a clue

Anytime you talk fishing ethics it's a sliding scale. Fact is, what's ethical to one person may not be to another. I don't see anything wrong with anyone working to convince others to agree with something they consider ethical or unethical, or working to change a law that they consider unethical. In fact, I wish more people would do just that. Just because you disagree with someone on an ethical issue doesn't mean one person is bad, or the other is a snob. It just means you have an opportunity for discussion.

I think your question is a good one. In my opinion, the answer is to optimize your methods so you don't get in that situation in the first place.

Granted, it's inevitable that everyone will have to make a decision like the ones in your example at some point. I think you have to consider the situation in each case. There are a often gray areas. Fortunately, our system is designed so that even if you make a decision that is illegal, you are entitled to a hearing. Sometimes, rarely, an illegal decision might be justified. That's why we have judges, juries, and sentencing options. There's also the court of public opinion to consider. That, as we often see, can be far less merciful.
Shawn - I'd give you an A- only because you didn't actually answer what YOU would do with that fish, but you provided an answer as to the "right" thing to do.

What is the legal thing to do? Obey the law and return fish.

What is the "right" thing to do? Obey the law and return fish.

What do YOU do? Cut line with hook in fish and release. I then would switch out to a circle hook or bend barb over and continue fishing.
Don - even though I don't agree with your "right" thing to do you reinforced my starting of this thread. (See Skip's quote above)

The law is the law

My biggest question - no matter how you are fishing, who wants to sit there catching undersized, small fish anyway?

I'd release any undersized fish but i wouldn't catch very many of them before i moved on looking for something bigger.
Almost "right" (IMHO - and since it's MY post that's what counts in my mind) at least you would move on.
But this post was about the "LAW" and what is "RIGHT" (See Skip's quote above)
I understand different people "want" to do different things. I was asking for responses in ref to a certain situation.
 
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