In fisherman, conservation, and rough fish

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Susquehannock's picture
In fisherman, conservation, and rough fish

I was paging through an old issue of in-fisherman recently when I found a little column on how to correctly handle fish. It showed how trying to hold fish horizontally by their lips can break their jaws, explained that overhandling can cause a fish to die of fungal infections, and illustrated some correct, acceptable, and unacceptable ways to hold a fish. In-fisherman has also pioneered the concept of sustainable harvest, brought catfish into the spotlight as a "game fish", and even ran a few sucker fishing videos on the TV show. The fish handling column was nice to see, though, especially in a magazine with hundreds of thousands of readers.

And then I read the magazine and found thirteen pictures of fish being handled "unacceptably". Well, baby steps, I guess.

andy's picture
In Fish

I grew up with a subscription and piles of In-Fisherman magazines and VHS tapes.  Met those guys and chatted suckers in the past few years, and it was pretty cool.  I just wish I would have been able to meet Toad Smith, that dude was awesome.


Roughfishers are generally some of the most careful with the fish they catch.  I dislike seeing fish in the sand or rocks or holding fish badly.  Personally I like using a rubber-coated net - it keeps the fish pristine, without scale damage and also doesn't get tangled in hooks and the best thing is that it doesn't soak up slime and never smells bad.  I can keep the fish in the net in the water while I get the camera set up.  You'll notice that in most of my photos the fish is dripping water because I only take them out briefly for the shot.