This is my photo submission for the GreenFish and Outdoor Blogger Network Photo Contest.
The subject of this "photo prompt" is to illustrate my view on sustainable fishing. I actually have 4 separate categories for this, and I will share them all separately. The other kicker is that each category is difficult to capture with just ONE photo, so I may post more than one per category.
The first category illustrating sustainable fishing is Catch & Release or CPR (Catch-Photo-Release). This is supremely important!
I've been keeping electronic fishing logs of my fishing "outings" since about mid-2005. Given the average yearly number of fish caught, I realize I could put a BIG hurt on a number of the smaller bodies of water I frequently fish. These are public waters. I can't control how many fish other anglers may or may not keep. I choose to release over 99% of the fish I catch. I'm not against folks keeping some fish occasionally. I generally will keep fish once/year.
At the back of my mind is kids. Kids need to catch fish when they go fishing. If I release my fish, nearly all will survive to possibly be hooked by a kid, who will then fall in love with fishing.
Another reason it is important to release fish is...If I release a fish, there is a chance I will catch that fish again later when it has grown even larger. If I keep a fish, that fish will NOT grow larger, and I will NEVER catch that fish again.
Here is the largest fish I've caught so far on a fly rod...a 36.5", 25 lb Grass Carp (White Amur). I was targeting grass carp when I caught it, and I was very excited to finally catch one. I got some pictures of it, then released it. Incidentally, it was also caught on a BARBLESS HOOK. Given the length and nature of the battle, I'm still amazed I was able to land this fish.
Here are the pictures of the resuscitation and RELEASE.
What an awesome feeling!