Originally Posted by buzzmcmanus
• The Park needs to rethink their “no bait allowed” law. People that aren’t required to have a license (young and old), should be allowed to use bait in the park. 25 years ago, when I was 13, it was about the quantity of fish that I could catch, not the quality of the experience. If someone was to hand me a fishing pool with a single hooked artificial bait and I caught 1 fish in 2 hours, I would never go on to fish again. Hand me a fishing pool and a bucket of crickets and I catch 15 fish in 2 hours, now we’re talking. I know that Gatlinburg has youth fishing areas, but why would I want to fish there when I can hit the arcade just around the corner. And exactly how much damage can a handful of kids do to the streams in the Smoky’s? When was the last time you saw a group of kids fishing in the Park?
Buzz, I'm with you on making exceptions for the young, at least, for using live bait, but with the stipulation it not be carried into
the park and not in buckets, which normally translates to styrofoam cups.
My young grandson and I were on MP Little Pigeon recently. In short order, he had gotten bored with fishing and was on all fours stalking "crawdads." In no time at all he managed to snatch one of the decapods by hand without, at least to my knowledge, flipping a rock. He was absolutely thrilled!
But now... what to do with the fiesty little crustacean? Rules say catch and release, if catch at all. I imagine there were many a youngster who, in the park's storied past, that would have turned him into bait.
In a perfect world my grandson would have legally caught a keeper size trout using the resident crawdad, taken it home, cleaned it and shared it for dinner with his family, and then... gotten environmental kudos from his science teacher.