I throw back most all my fish and I often wonder what they do and where they go. They probably don’t go anywhere, or they continue to move as they did before they got caught. One thing, they won’t be as easy to catch next time. They aren’t as brain dead as people may think (although some fisherman I see are apparently brain dead who can only follow other boats). No they remember being jerked out of the water, handled, thrown back or hauled tens of miles to a weigh in. It would be nice if they couldn’t remember, then we could just keep catching the same fish over and over all day. But they go back to where they were and refuse to bite. They may bite the lure, but won’t eat it. I wonder what kind of affect this has on the other fish in the same area. Surely they must communicate somehow to be able to stay in schools while swimming in dirty water and always being able to find there way back after being hauled into a weigh in. I think they have good navigation because sounds travel so well in water, they can hear all the bridges, highways, trains etc. but they must also be able to communicate with each other when it comes to traveling, feeding or not feeding.
You can tell when an area is getting pressure, you get a lot of bites without catching anything. Now fisherman can’t catch all the fish but they can catch the aggressive fish up feeding. One way to catch these fish is to use something different. That’s why things change and new type lures become popular all over the country, because it’s new and the fish haven’t seen it as much.
Next I wonder how much damage this does to the fish. They become reluctant to feed and so they don’t get as big, or worse, they starve to death. So what is the answer, we don’t want to be regulated to the point that we can’t go fishing when we want to. There is alternatives we can do. One is to realize that fishing doesn’t need more promoting, the people who want to promote it are making money from it somehow. Next, do we really need all these tournaments? I used to fish tournaments myself, back when it was on Sunday about once or twice a month. These days it is every Saturday and Sunday and there is often multiple tournaments in one day. It is so out of control a person can’t even go out and enjoy fishing on a weekend without finding fish that have already been caught and released, boats every with aggressive fisherman desperate to win the tournament. The waves sometimes never stop. Water in the face, coffee spilled in the boat, fish that only bite without being caught, landings all full, every spot being covered by one boat after the other. And if you think going during the week days is better then you haven’t seen all the boats running around prefishing. If they see you fishing a spot, they have to go check it out while you are there or after you leave. They put it on a list of spots to check.
I have been fishing lately and it saddens me that all the spots I used to fish are now common knowledge and I can’t even fish them without several other fisherman trying to catch the same fish. I try going to areas where the fish are smaller to get away from the crowds and there is no place to get away. If they see you they come and fish where you just left or fish in font of you or come back later after you leave to check your spot. Next weekend there they ae jerking the fish and hauling them to some distant weigh-in site.