What do you think about salmon fishing?

  fourm member 09:12 16 Jan 2014

A fly fishing expert was talking on the radio, yesterday. She said she was glad that a policy of catch and release was now in place because she used to dislike having to kill the fish she caught.

For her, things were better for the fish.

But is it that simple?

If you catch a salmon and use it for food there is a natural element to that, even if the method of hunting/gathering is highly ritualised.

If you catch a fish just for the pleasure of the catch isn't that the more selfish way of behaving?

I'm not taking sides. I just wander what people think.

  Quickbeam 10:17 16 Jan 2014

Fishing for salmon with a fly is quite an active pastime as opposed to course fishing that involves staring at a float for hours on end and certainly makes watching paint dry seem like an exciting alternative.

I used to participate in fly fishing for trout, and ate what I caught. I don't have any problem with blood sports that involve cleaning and eating what you've killed, and killing sufficient for ones immediate needs. But in my case, I would have starved to death before I caught sufficient food for my own needs.

Anyone that lives in or near to the countryside will be well aware that there are plenty of cruel blood sports actively being pursued just for fun. In my area, the old relandscaped pit tips are active at night with doggers (in the original meaning) working lurchers on hares, rabbits or anything that moves, to feed their ferrets to catch more rabbits for just for the fun of it.

Cruel countryside pastimes are still just as much alive and well in the 21st century, as they were in the 18th century.

  Mr Mistoffelees 11:02 16 Jan 2014

Hauling a salmon out of the water with a sharp hook, then just throwing it back, with a hole ripped in it's mouth is just as barbaric as any other blood sport.

  spuds 17:58 16 Jan 2014

We have trout lakes around my way, so does the same thing apply. Usually two or three trout caught, you keep is the limit at certain times?.

But my concern would be more of deep sea fishing quotas, and the amount of fish thrown overboard. With a heavy financial penalty or even a prison term is applied.

  morddwyd 19:44 16 Jan 2014

Are you seriously suggesting that we should stop catching and injuring living creatures for fun and relaxation?

Thin end of the wedge when we did away with bear baiting.

  csqwared 19:54 16 Jan 2014

What the salmon do in their spare time is no concern of mine, if they want to go fishing it's OK by me.

Or have I misunderstood the question?

  Aitchbee 21:19 16 Jan 2014

Our distant-past, ancient, ancestors had to contrive ways of catching anything that could be eaten in order to survive, so, I say that any edible fish that is caught by an angler, should not be thrown back into the water with injuries to it's gills and mouth but should be 'landed' and consumed and then the anglers can talk about the whole procedure so as to pass on their fishing techniques so's it doesn't 'die-out' like almost everything else does because of stupid [man-made] EU rules which no-one agrees with.

  bumpkin 22:19 16 Jan 2014

Never been an angler myself but have friends that are. I have been given fish that they have caught that day and if you cook it and eat it straight away it is the best fish you will ever taste, so called "Fresh fish" from mongers or supermarkets is not in the same league. Catching fish for the sake of it and then throwing them back in I could never understand, to me it seems rather pointless. They would wear all the gear and go out in horrendous weather, drive miles or even hundreds of miles and come back with a few of fish on a good day after freezing their goolies off for 12 hrs. They say it is relaxing, so is laying on Daytona Beach, I know my preference.

  michaelw 08:44 17 Jan 2014

I used to go sea fishing which I found was much more exciting and pleasurable than fresh water fishing and you can eat what you catch. I did go pike fishing once on a cold, wet and miserable day but caught nothing and was totally bored. Fly fishing never really appealed.

  Forum Editor 21:02 17 Jan 2014

I have enjoyed fishing for most of my life. I don't get as much time for it as I would like, but that's the cry of pleasure anglers the world over.

I say 'pleasure anglers' for that's what we are - we fish for enjoyment, not for food, or if we eat what we catch we do so because we can, not because we need to.

Fishing is the country's biggest participant leisure activity by far - over 20% of the UK's population has been fishing at least once during the past ten years, and it's on the increase; sales of rod licences have increased by 35% over the past ten years.

Freshwater anglers have been practicing a catch and release policy for decades. Fly-fishing rivers and lakes all have strict rules about what you can take home as far as trout and salmon are concerned, it's not a new thing. Salmon fisherman don't do it for the fish they eat - it might cost you £400 for a day's fishing on a river like the Tweed, and there are strict rules about what part of your catch you can take away. If you're lucky you might get two 'keepers' in the day, and by the time you've paid your travelling costs and overnight accommodation they will have cost you a couple of hundred pounds each or more.

"If you catch a fish just for the pleasure of the catch isn't that the more selfish way of behaving?" If you kill the fish it is. Fish do not possess a neocortex, and that leads marine biologists to conclude that they do not feel pain, at least not as we understand it. A major study by a team of international researchers which was published in 2013 concluded that fish do not feel pain as we understand it. Anyone who goes fishing certainly understands that they (fish) are distressed when they are hooked - they certainly do their utmost to escape. I suppose that we convince ourselves that the fish isn't permanently harmed in the process, but nobody really knows.

  Flak999 21:46 17 Jan 2014

I think the introduction of barb less hooks has been a great improvement. As fishermen we may loose more fish because of the lack of a barb, but it is without doubt much kinder to the fish.

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