Good question Cdog. It's a tough call on a fish that you can let go or kill. For me it varies from fish to fish. A red I would turn back (and now I have to by law ) but a cobe I would go ahead and harvest.
On some fish we're lucky enough to be able to kill <I>and</I> claim the paper.
Here's my two cents. In my recent experiences catching those monster bull reds, there's a sense of satisfaction releasing something that big and beautiful. If it was a cobe, I'd be tempted to keep it but at the same time I'd prolly just get a bunch of pictures and then release it. Besides, it's fun to watch the people who like to keep anything and everything regardless of regulations fume while I release the fish of their poaching dreams.
I think what steams me down here (in NC)is the way our citation program works on some species.. You can get a release citation on a cobe or a drummie,but when it comes to false albacore or jack crevelle,no release citation.. No citation at all on false albacore,and with jack you have to kill it first,30 something lbs,I think it is.. Who wants to keep a jack?? Those two species,IMHO,are about the hardest pulling inshore fish there are.. They should both have a release citation. Probably the worst tasting inshore species as well,so why are they encouraging keeping a jack crevelle,for paper??
For me I take it from fish to fish Like a large bluefish goes back in after a picture is taken and the same for a Striper, but I have yet to caught a trophy Striper and I think I might have to think about it. Now if I caught a large blackfish(or Tog as some of you call it) that meat is too good not to eat
what type of fish it is would determine my decision. I have never caught a trophy striper let alone a keeper. So if its my first one i might be tempted to keep it. Now a cobia would be different because everyone talks about how good they taste. I would definitly have to try it out since i never caught one before. Thats just my take on the subject.
Let's just say got my first "keeper" striper at Assateague Island November 15, 33", got some pictures and let her go. Guess it was me trying to influence the "Fishing God", and it wasn't my last from the surf. Also let my first blue go at 21". That said, neither was my last catch of the species, and still have pictures on my desk. Something special about those "First" ones.
I see no point to a citation as far as my personal satisfaction. I do see where it helps the fisheries keep track of the fish.
So there is no question here for me. Either I keep it to eat it or I release it. I don't even consider a citation. Someone could be there next to me ready to give me a citation on the spot and I'd tell them to get lost and stop killing trees you PETA lover.
I throw them all back except thru/thru eye and or head hooks--they wont make. The fish I dont eat, I use for cut bait.
I ate my first Jack last year--WOW it is really a bad eating fish, but is at the top of the list as a bad attitude on steroids fish that fights better than anything I have ever caught. Real shame to do anything with them other than thank em for the battle and let em go home.
That's a hard one.As much as a conservationist I would like to think I am,I would be dining on Cobia steaks on the Grill,especially Sharkslayer's.
But if I caught the same species on a consistant basis,Catch-Take Pic-N-Release would be my option.
Take a picture of you eating the cobia and get a Sharpie permanent marker and crown that picture a citation quality meal. No apologies, there are just some fish that are destined to the batter bowl & grease pan. (a little corn-bread doesn't hurt either)
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