Originally Posted by Grannyknot
Not to be a downer, but I saw something dissapointing at the Clinch last Sunday that I have been thinking about a lot this week. A guy waded up pretty close to me and yelled "are you keeping fish?" I said no. He pulled a stringer out of the water with 4-5 good fish on it and said "do you want these?". I said that I had no way of transporting them home and advised him to take them himself. He said "I can't because my wife doesn't know I was out fishing". I thought to my self, why did you keep a single fish in the first place?
He waded on toward the bank and encountered a friend of mine, who looked at the fish and said that one was a rather large brook trout. The thing that bothered me most of all was that when I glanced at the fish, one of them looked to be in the 14-20 slot.
I am a catch & release guy, so this affects me a little different than most people. I don't have a problem with people who choose to keep fish, and I understand that harvesting fish helps control their population, I just don't care for waste.
How does everyone handle a situation like this?
That is quite frustrating, and I don't know how I would have handled it. Some people just deeply believe that it totally defeats the purpose to go fishing without keeping something. Growing up, I would go to the Clinch with my dad, uncle, and neighbor every Saturday. They would all keep a limit each trip because they thought they had to. Eventually I asked my dad why he kept fish every trip if we still have bags of fish in the fridge from previous trips. Shortly after that, he became much more selective in his harvesting and only kept trout when he had an empty freezer.
Some guys in the catch-n-keep crowd honestly think that their fish are not in the slot. A lot of these bait guys don't carry tapes with them to verify that they are legal, so they are just eyeballing it. Most people don't realize how long a 20" fish is.