Too Many Fishing Poles

Fishman Fishman

Well-known member
#1
Today January 28th I fished at Seal Beach pier. I arrived at 6 a.m. At the end of the pier was a couple who were fishing with 8 rods! All 8 lines were baited and in the water. I notified DFG via text along with a picture. I received a text response from DFG at about 8:30 a.m. DFG said they do not check text messages on their Caltip line until 8 a.m.
Clearly posted on the pier is signage restricting fishing - 2 rods. Good news they didn't appear to be catching anything and they left at 7:30.

I caught several short sand bass and two keepers @ 15 inches. They were released too. 1 round ray and a few jacksmelt. I only used 2 poles!
 
#4
Dont blame CalTip. Its the same as everywhere. Look, if you know of someone who is selling fish to restaurants or someone who is routinely poaching LARGE numbers of fish or game, then call them. They WILL respond. Fishing extra rods or taking a short fish? Never. We are living in a time where a person can walk into an establishment in SF and take merchandise and have no consequences. Fishing violations?! I advocate policing your own area. You decide what that means.
 

Rusty

Well-known member
#5
When i see people with multiple rods in the water, i will casually let them know it is not fair to everyone else trying to fish, let alone taking 20 feet of rail. And i am civil when approaching strangers. Most people will respond as politely as i approached them, and most always will claim they didnt know and stop. Some will claim they dont speak english, well they can understand “2”. I then tell them even if they didn't know, its not cool to take that much rail space away from others. I dont see it as being a tattletale, and ive only had to call caltip one time because of a habitual poacher, never saw them come around again.
However, i did have a guy pull a bait knife on me one time after i told him to stop flicking his cigarette butts into the ocean, it wasnt a good situation but nothing i couldnt handle with this specific situation, in the end he put his knife away and left the pier pouting, i agree with you it is not worth saying anything sometimes, but sometimes someone really has to say something. But now im at a point where i will only speak up if it is extremely necessary. I only wish everyone could follow the rules, then we wouldnt have a problem, but that will never happen.
Nothing says dumb better than addressing lawlessness with...more lawlessness. I think some folks ought to put down their tiki torches, turn off FOX, and just go fishing.

The only way to deal with cheaters and poachers--aka pier denizens--is not to enable them further. I observe lots of anglers griping about the shady practices of others, yet they are fine with sharing beers or other substances with them. Don't lend them tackle, don't give them bait, and don't let them use your net; but stay civil and (I know this really stings) mind your own business. Self-appointed law enforcement people are too often more dangerous than offenders. Unless you are planning to leave a pier and never return, it's childish and ill-conceived to burn your bridges by being a tattletale. You could wind up with slashed tires or a trashed car. Sure, you could catch up with them and mete out your righteous punishment--but your tires are still slashed and your car is still trashed.

Wouldn't it be better to avoid that in the first place?

Lead by example and shun vigilante bravado.
 

Fishman Fishman

Well-known member
#6
DFG provided the following telephone number to report in progress violations. (888) 334-2258

I plan to use if and when appropriate. Good luck with your fishing.
 
#8
Dont blame CalTip. Its the same as everywhere. Look, if you know of someone who is selling fish to restaurants or someone who is routinely poaching LARGE numbers of fish or game, then call them. They WILL respond. Fishing extra rods or taking a short fish? Never. We are living in a time where a person can walk into an establishment in SF and take merchandise and have no consequences. Fishing violations?! I advocate policing your own area. You decide what that means.
Reporting people has never seem to have gotten me anywhere, and if you frequent the same piers often, you may notice that it's the same sort of people or individuals each time. Really bad problem at the Antioch (Bridgehead) pier especially. You'll find guys by themselves with half a dozen rods in the water at once, and coolers full of undersized stripers. One particular guy has been doing this seemingly every day (or at least nearly every time I happen to be there) for practically twenty years. It's a waste of effort to educate most of these folks, as they either don't care, or pretend not to hear you. I've seen DFW walk right past them and then only talk to the guys at the end of the pier that happened to have a fish on deck, or see them dump the cooler in the water as soon as they see the uniform. It's ridiculous.

Folks keeping dungeness of all sizes caught at the piers in SF is another one I seem to see each time I'm there too.
 
#9
Hmm. Not sure what you were going for there songslinger. I never advocated for anything illegal. To ME policing your own turf means telling people that poaching is not acceptable and telling them you will report, and then report, even if it does no immediate good. To you it sounds like policing your own turf means look the other way which in my opinion does not help. If people threaten you, or brandish a weapon, call the cops. That is a different game than CalTip. If you are afraid to say anything, that is understandable in this day, but If you and other regulars use this strategy consistently, it will make an impact. Fox news? Go out fishing? I'm not that political, and I fish plenty. My fishing resume is documented. Im just saying that someone has to advocate for what is right and it starts in your own backyard.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#10
Ethical Angling — The OLD, OLD thread — #1

Here are three +2 classic threads all of which deal with the theme of doing what is right. But what is right? Are there white-gray-black areas when it comes to the regulations. legalities, and ethics involved in angling? Tough questions lead to diverse answers as these threads proved.

September 29, 2002; To: PFIC Message Board; From: BigUnInDaBoat; SC pier and skiff report...more skiff, pier's dead — [Edited]

BEAUTIFUL DAY best conditions I have been out on yet...Ok here is the deal. I know a lot of Asian cultures rely heavily on fish as a part of their diet. But why is it time and time again (not only on the pier but also on the skiffs) does it seem that the majority of limited English speaking Asian anglers are also poachers? I saw a group of three keeping dozens of perch along with ANY other fish they could catch, anchovies, croakers and perch, not to mention the ling. Is it a LANGUAGE barrier? If you live here you should HAVE to be able to speak the English language. I think its time for the DFG to spend another $X amount of dollars printing the REGULATIONS in every Language in the world OR TO START PATROLLING AND FINING THESE POACHERS. If not then WHY should I throw back lings that are less then 1/8th" short?

Sorry for the rant, and no I am NOT singling out Asians...I JUST CALL IT LIKE I SEE IT. Peace BUIDB

Posted by fisher23

I agree strongly, there should be copies of regulations in all languages. It always seems to be the people who DONT know English who tend to keep undersized fish. I think they know but use it to their advantage of not knowing English so it looks like they don’t know better...just a thought. fish on

Posted by break_the_bank

And Asians killed off all the buffalos too!

Posted by cal5525

Oh that makes it ok!

Posted by pEsCaDoR5312

Didn’t BUIDB just say...that he wasn’t singling Asians out. or anyone for that matter? Then why are you, BTB? That sounds a little more than a politically incorrect mistake made innocently as part of a fishing report. WHY ISNT HE GETTING CRAP FOR IT? I think I need a break.

don't bother me... I'm fishin. <*)))>=<| pEsCaDoR5312

Posted by pescare

You could tattoo the regs in the native language on every fisherman and poaching wouldn't be reduced one bit. I'm a firm believer that most people who poach all the time (as opposed to those who truly make mistakes) know exactly what they are doing. They poach because they know there is virtually no chance that they will be caught. The only answer is to step up enforcement, and there is no indication that it will happen any time soon. Ed

Posted by typewriter2000


Some poachers really doesn't know better, I have personally met and taught a few poachers about the rules and the next time I saw them, they really were following the rules that I had explained. At least that is what I saw.

Posted by Red Fish

That is my experience too. True, there should be some type of formal test or information administered before someone is able to fish or given a fishing license. Most people on this board speak on this issue based on personal encounters on their individual fishing trips. This is a way that many people derive many of their personal convictions (from personal experience). With that said, personally, I have seen poachers (one's that I thought knew what they were doing and others who I was sure were unaware of their errors) get busted eventually by D.F.G. Both parties "learned" after being approached by the D.F.G. and both parties are no longer poaching (at least in the area where they were accosted by D.F.G.)

Posted by caffeinehigh

This may help…I tend to think we are all at fault here. I'm sure there are English-speaking anglers that poach too, along with non-English speaking anglers. If we print regs on different languages, I'm sure 'some' of the non-English speaking anglers will start following the rules. Also, it is our duty to share this info to the ones that don’t follow the rules. If we see someone taking in undersized fish, politely inform them. If they don’t listen, try calling DFG. Do what we can do. That's my 2 cents...

Posted by flyaway182000


Fishing is a fun sport and I do agree with all you guys that some fishermen out there fish for food to put on the table. I think that this country has kept everybody fed so I don’t think that food here is the issue. For those fishermen out there who keep all the fish that they catch despite their size, I hope you will meet a DFG and hope you will get a big fine for your greediness. Stop being greedy and keep the environment safe people. Keep the fishes there for our future generation to have some fun too.

Posted by corbinaman1

DFG Enforcement Is The Key! I don't like to generalize; however, most of the “Non-English” speaking fishermen I see do keep everything they catch. Some may know what they are doing, but the language barrier is a big part of the problem.

Posted by BigUnInDaBoat


This is what I was afraid of. I speak of what I saw. I have MANY, MANY Asian friends, believe me or not. Listen, a fisherman is a fisherman and a poacher is a poacher—everyone has excuses now a days, point being you don’t drive without knowing the rules...do you? So why fish and take what you don’t need? There is a huge language barrier; I don’t blame them for taking fish that they can use. I have a problem taking fish that are not legal size bro. It’s great how much of an anti-poaching family we have here, let’s not turn it racial. Peace BUIDB

Posted by Mikey

Down here (San Diego) it's pretty amazing to hear, say, an Asian or Mexican speak perfect English, but then when you confront them about poaching or the illegal activities they are participating in, how quickly they forget how to speak it...just an observation. I'm sure it goes for all who don't speak English “too” well. Mike

Posted by COPENHAGEN_FLU

My 2 cents…there's a line between legality and morality. I don't believe in catching anything just to watch it die or go to waste. Therefore it’s hard to dog someone who is catching food for the table. The Department of Fish and Game is designed to manage all species from anchovies to marlin and to guarantee their survival as a species and I back them 100%. But with the rising costs in California, morally I can't be pi….off at someone catching undersized fish for survival. Yes, it does upset me as an angler to see someone keep undersized fish, but you have to understand the individual's circumstance, .I don't mean to ruffle feathers, I just wanted to shed a different light on the subject. mike

Posted by kevinlai

Posting regulation will help…Most of the public piers do not post the limit and sizes of the fish that people can keep or have to be released. Some are common sense such as halibut and barred sand bass. There are several other kinds that have size limits but it’s difficult to remember them all. It is true that non-English native speakers, especially Asian and Hispanic, are less likely to catch and release because they grow up eating fish. They can eat fish both big and small. In Asia, most people keep everything they can catch. I hate to waste any fish that I do not eat.

Posted by lucy

Subsistence fishing = B.S. The whole idea that anybody HAS to fish to “put food on the table” is B.S. and I'm tired of seeing it mentioned as an excuse for poaching. No one HAS to fish to “put food on the table.” For one thing, we have countless public and private charity programs to ensure that anyone who needs food can get it—from federal food stamps and commodities distribution down to local church soup kitchens. Second, fishing is the most cost IN-effective method of obtaining food there is. Anybody who is genuinely impoverished and having to squeeze pennies is NOT going to be wasting what little money he has on bait and tackle; instead, he's going to spend that money on food. And if he has no job, he's going to be spending his time looking for work, not hanging out on a pier. Now, granted, there are plenty of bums who scrounge or steal fishing equipment and hang out on piers catching everything they can in hope of selling it—which makes them doubly poachers. But what do you think they're going to spend the money on? Food? No, food they can get for free at any of a dozen charities. Any cash they get, they'll spend on booze, cigarettes, or other drugs. The idea that they should be allowed to poach to support their bum lifestyle is absurd. Finally, EVEN IF someone is out there fishing to feed his “hungry children”—and I dispute the statement that anybody really is in that position—he STILL isn't entitled to break the law, especially in view of the fact that he can avail himself of dozens of other methods of feeding his rug-rats. Bottom line: there is no one, absolutely NO ONE, who poaches because he HAS to. Every single poacher you see out there is doing it because he WANTS to. Either he doesn't know the law, or he doesn't obey it. Period!

Posted by dunbarton dave

Well said Lucy.

Posted by pikachu

Anyone remember seeing a nice, old homeless guy, Brent(?), who lived on the Pacifica Pier last year? He had 3 crab rings and was always sleeping covered in his sleeping bag 3/4 ways out on the pier during the summer. I’m not gonna say if he poached or not but he needed whatever he could catch. Poor guy, haven’t seen him at all this year...

Posted by Predator

I knew a guy in Antioch that was poor, too. And he would break into people's houses and steal things and sell them. He would also rob kids trying to buy drugs. He would also cheat and steal and rob anything he could just to get some money, for rent, for food, etc. I'm not gonna say if he killed or not, but he needed whatever he got. Poor guy, huh? What if he broke into your house? Would you still sympathize with him? SORRY PEOPLE!!!! Some homeless folks CHOOSE to live like that. Rather than deal with responsibilities or answer to a boss, they want 100% freedom. So, me and you and the working "sucker" should pay the price because HE wants to live it EASY. He.. no.

Posted by lucy


Oh, yeah, I feel so SORRY for them...NOT. Down the street from me is a little restaurant. It's owned and run by a man and woman who came here about 25 years ago from, I think, Cambodia, or maybe Hong Kong. When they arrived, they had no education, had no money, had no skills, and could not read, write, or speak English. They went to work at whatever menial jobs they could get—the man in a restaurant doing scut-work, the woman doing house-cleaning. They worked as much as they could and saved their money. The man learned everything he could about restaurant management and worked his way up to chef. When they had saved up enough money, they opened a tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant, and then they spent the next several years working 16- to 18-hour days, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, to make the restaurant succeed. When a business next door closed, they took over the space and expanded their restaurant—and continued working 16- and 18-hour days, seven days a week, year after year. Eventually, they opened another restaurant, and then another. And they're still there, working 16- and 18-hour days, seven days a week, year in and year out.

Around the block from me is another restaurant run by a couple from Korea. Very much the same story. They've been there 20 years now, working 14- and 16-hour days, seven days a week. They have three sons who are in medical school.

Around the corner is a little dressmaking shop owned by a woman who came here about 25 years ago from Vietnam. She, too, worked for years to save up to open her little shop, and she's worked long hours, six days a week, ever since to make a success of it.

Look at them... and then go to a soup kitchen or anywhere else the "homeless" hang out, and listen to all the “hard-luck” tales and sob stories. This guy here lost his job years ago when the company he worked for went out of business, and he somehow has just never managed to find another job that would pay him what he thinks he's worth... and oh, boo-hoo. That guy there never really had a chance because his father, who was paying for his college, died before he finished, so he had to drop out and go to work, but that was so awful that he started doing drugs, and oh, sob-sob. This other guy over there wanted to be a writer, but couldn't find anybody who would pay for his incoherent scribblings, and so what choice did he have but to become a drunk?--oh, boo-hoo. And then there's poor old Joe—helluva nice guy, his wife up and left him one day and he just never got over it and has been a bum ever since, whimper whimper.

Scratch the average bum, and what you find is a self-pitying loser who has spent his entire life looking for excuses rather than opportunities, making bad decisions and refusing to learn a thing from his own mistakes, blaming his “misfortunes” on anything and everything but his own stupidity and laziness, and refusing to take responsibility for ANYthing.

And even worse—99.999% of them were born right here in this country, which means that even if they came from poor families (which most of them didn't) and even if they had dysfunctional or abusive parents or whatever, they STILL started out way ahead of the immigrants mentioned above... and if they are now living on the street and sleeping in doorways and so on, it really and truly is their own damned fault.

Posted by Predator

It is of their own WILL, Lucy. Surprise. Most homeless “bums” out there CHOOSE that life. Rather than answer to a boss, they have 100% freedom and 0% responsibility to society. They are selfish. --> BUM, unhealthy balance, all focused on his freedom without wanting to contribute to society but expecting something from them.

A normal member of society has a balance of 50% responsibilities (rent, job, kids, etc), and 50% freedom (after work, on weekend, etc.) -->normal person, healthy balance.

A workaholic contributes TOO much to society and not enough to himself. 100% responsibilities (work, work, work) and 0% freedom gives all to society and nothing to himself. --> WORKOHOLIC, unhealthy. Give too much of himself and doesn't treat himself.

Posted by Predator

Can I live in your house, please? Come on, I can't pay my rent. So, I'm going to break into your house, and eat your food. Before I go, I'll steal your money, too. That's ok with you, right? You said "but you have to understand the individual's circumstance". Alright then, you should understand mine. I have no job, no money, but I'm hungry. I'm coming to your house to STEAL YOUR STUFF. After all, aren't you sympathetic to MY needs also? Or do your sympathies only extend to the poachers? (Disclaimer: I'm not REALLY going to his house, for the buffoons that like to take things literally.) “PREDATOR, a man of many words.”

Posted by COPENHAGEN_FLU


Look, this has gotten blown way out of proportion. I don't know how the topic of keeping undersized fish got turned into, breaking into someone's house. The only point I was making was if I see a family of people keeping some undersized fish, I'm not gonna go crazy on them. I do not support poaching, it is illegal. but keeping an undersized fish shouldn't be punishable by death like you all make it sound. In fact I've tried to call CALTIP a couple of times on people fishing illegally, but it is a recording and there's no way someone could get down there in time to bust anyone. I’m sorry we disagree. mike

Posted by Predator


Cope...Man, we don't disagree that much. Breaking into a house because you're hungry IS a crime. Poaching because you're hungry IS a crime. Neither one is punishable by death, unless they're in my house when I'm home and I "fear for my life" and put 000buck into them. Now - the disagreement you and I may have rests on one thing only—whether or not being hungry or poor should be an EXCUSE to commit crime, and it would be an emotional justification, not a logical one. If you choose that YES, it's ok for hungry people to steal, poach, whatever, then we disagree. I feel everyone should follow the law, regardless of their circumstances. The only emotional exception to that I take is murder, when a parent kills a molester or rapist of their child. I think that is TERRIFIC. “PREDATOR, a man of many words.”

Posted by Songslinger

Missing A Key Component In This Discussion. Poaching occurs because there is a market to support it. The alleged subsistence fishing is overstated, really. Most people who fish to feed themselves work well within the rules. Storage is a factor for them and that is why they fish every day. But there are those who fish to support themselves financially and their strategy is "more is better." It's probably a better idea to target the stores that buy illegal fish. If there is no market available, or if the risk seems too high, then people will tone done poaching. I'm not saying don't enforce the law individually—we all want that. But law enforcement likes a bigger bust to make it worthwhile to extend resources and manpower. If you really want to put a dent in the black market, then go to fresh fish markets. You will see illegal fish in many of them. Mention it to the proprietor, politely. Stir things up gently. And call the authorities.

Posted by Predator


Well done, BigUn. I stand by you 100% on what you say. “I” am an immigrant myself. “I” had to learn English, so I shed no tears for anyone. Cry me a river, NO EXCUSES!!! While others come here, and go out and play (read as rape our resources), my family stayed home and practiced pronouncing words like “three.” I will not be emotionally persuaded to grant any excuses for ANY culture, or ANY immigrants. I am an immigrant, so nobody can tell me I'm being racist. To them I say: My family has no excuses, what are yours? “PREDATOR, a man of many words.”
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#11
The OLD, OLD Thread #2

Round 1—Bluefin Tuna—Poacher?

A guy on the East Coast catches a bluefin tuna from the surf.

It’s illegal, but unexpected, and the catch of a lifetime. What should he do?

Date: October 1, 2002; To: PFIC Message Board; From: corbinaman1; Subject: 80# Bluefin Tuna From Shore!!!

Saw this on allcoast...didn't believe it until I read the newspaper article. Truly a catch of a lifetime from shore!!!

Posted by OB Pier Rat

Wow!!! Incredible story...Thanks corbinaman! Makes ya think anything is possible.

Posted by COPENHAGEN_FLU

Makes me wanna break out the surf rods again!!!!!

Posted by SD Fisherman

Speechless.... Now that is a great catch!!! Now wouldn't that be something if a CALIFORNIA angler landed one of those bad boys from the beach! I can only imagine. An epic catch indeed. Tuna from shore is almost out of this galaxy. Thanks for the info Corbinaman! I'm psyched up for my next outing for sure! ~Don aka SDF~

Posted by mmmmfiiiish

How intense would that be?

Posted by Sinker

Big Surprise. Now wouldn’t that just make your day. Talk about a catch of a lifetime.

Posted by pEsCaDoR5312

And I just bought my surf rod!!! let's do this!!!

Posted by break_the_bank

He is a poacher. He needed a special license to keep that bluefin tuna. He is no different than people who keep greenling and cabs illegally.

Posted by BigUnInDaBoat

BS dude, yes I read it. But the law is there FOR COMMERICAL fisherman, so they cannot illegally sell their catch. I for one would like to see you release that fish if you had caught it in the same manner pal, not to mention the fish exhausted itself during the fight and it would of NEVER been able to survive. "Gee I caught a fish of a lifetime, its dead and won’t live if I release it...oh well let the beautiful creature rot in the surf" Is that what should of happened? AWESOME CATCH STRIPERMIKE!!!!!!!!!! You are the KING! BUIDB

Posted by break_the_bank

You are wrong! He is a POACHER! Read the story again! Pay attention to this paragraph: “Brad McHale, a fishery management specialist for the Highly Migratory Species Division of the National Marine Fisheries Service, said landing the fish was a violation of the law” If I land a 20-pound cabezon after fighting it for a long time and the cab is about to die, can I keep the fish just because it's the biggest cab I've ever caught and it's about to die? You think if a F&G warden sees me he would let me go after I tell him that I kept it because it was about to die?

Posted by pescare

But, But, But...There's always a but when someone wants to justify poaching. He poached. Period. From the article: “But there is a slight catch to this catch: A person needs a license from the National Marine Fisheries Service to catch bluefin tuna. Brad McHale, a fishery management specialist for the Highly Migratory Species Division of the National Marine Fisheries Service, said landing the fish was a violation of the law...The licenses are meant mostly for commercial fishermen or those who fish off boats...Bluefin tuna caught accidentally are supposed to (be) returned to the ocean. McHale said the (NMFS) or the Massachusetts Environmental Police will decide whether Cragin should be penalized.” The license is clearly NOT only for commercial fishermen. If so, why would the organizations be considering charges? What else could, “Bluefin tuna caught accidentally are supposed to (be) returned to the ocean.” possibly mean? It's just like taking stripers here without a stamp, or abalone without a card. He poached. Period. Doesn't matter how extraordinary the fish was. Ed

Posted by Red Fish

Question for you Pescare...since you are well informed on the regs. A few more buts here. If you fight a fish and the line snaps right near the shore as you are lifting it up and you step into the water and grab the fish, is that violation. Second scenario. You have a “hitch-hiker” and you net the fish, is that a "fair catch."

Posted by pescare

I'm not any better informed than most that use this board probably. I'm just more vocal than most about the violations we see discussed here, I think. To completely explain why would take far too long to be practical, but it boils down to two main reasons. I have always been a staunch protector of our environment and resources and I believe poaching is a direct assault on a valuable and fragile resource. Also, I'm a very straight-forward type of guy and I like to look at things simply and clearly when possible. I get very p****d off when I see people try to make poaching seem acceptable by confusing the situation with lame excuses and questionable details. If the limit on salmon, stripers and lings is two each, how many can you take? Pretty simple question, but we've seen many cases here where people try to make it complex. Think of the many times over-limit fishing on boats has come up here. Lots of lame excuses brought up every time it's mentioned. We'll talk more about it while fishing someday.
“If you a fight a fish and the line snaps right near the shore as you are lifting it up and you step into the water and grab the fish, is that violation?”
I can't think of a reason it would be illegal. There are only a few regulations regarding how you land a fish and I don't think "Hand-Landing" would be a problem. It's just like reaching into the water to lift a fish that is still on your line, right?

“You have a "hitch-hiker” and you net the fish, is that a “fair catch?”

Tough one here. Don't think there is a specific regulation against this, but of course, the fish didn't voluntarily take the bait or lure (YOUR bait or lure) either. I believe the law is in place to protect against snagging though and seriously doubt that anyone would get nailed for this.

What are your thoughts on these two Red? Ed

Posted by Red Fish

I think both are stretching the law...”It's just like reaching into the water to lift a fish that is still on your line, right?” O.K., it's like reaching into the water to lift a fish that is still on your line, but the difference is that know the fish is no longer attached to your line.

On the second one, I am reading into exactly as the fish did not voluntarily take the hook. When a fish is snagged in the head while plugging, it did not voluntarily take the hook.

Is one offense lesser than another? In many cases, it would be considered so. Something for all good anglers to think about.

Posted by pescare

Red, we don't have to read too deeply between the lines to see what you are getting at here but I think it's a bit of a stretch. “O.K., it's like reaching into the water to lift a fish that is still on your line, but the difference is that know the fish is no longer attached to your line.” Yeah, but I still don't see how this could be considered a violation. What regs do you have in mind here? Say you hook a perch and just as you are lifting your line over the rail, it shakes off your hook and lands on the deck. If you had intended to keep the fish are you now going to release it because you didn't physically remove the hook? Don't think anyone would.

“On the second one, I am reading into exactly as the fish did not voluntarily take the hook. When a fish is snagged in the head while plugging, it did not voluntarily take the hook.”
Well, you'd have to look at specific regulations and species to use that argument. It is not illegal to keep a foul-hooked fish of most species. Ed

Posted by Red Fish

The terminology landed...to me that means the fish touched land first. True, certain fish can be “foul-hooked” legally. True, just as snagging is perfectly legal of certain types of fish in saltwater. But still, a “hitch-hiker” is not voluntarily taking the hook.

Posted by Predator

So, what's the point? “But still, a ‘hitch-hiker’ is not not voluntarily taking the hook.” And???? So what? Does the “voluntarily” verbage apply to the fish in question? If not, case closed. I think you already know the case is closed. People often start a sentence with “But still” when they know themselves that the facts are out and the case is closed. “Landing a fish to me that means the fish touched land first.” REALLY RED? Come on, now, buddy. Think about what you just said.

#1: Now, think about salmon fishing and wading in the water up to your chest. Think of catching a salmon and “LANDING” it while you're still waist deep in water. It never “touched land.”

#2: How about on a boat, you get the fish to the side of the boat and you net it. It never “touched land.”

#3: You're fishing for stripers at Crockett, off the rocks. You reel in a striper, and without a net - are you going to swing him up by the line? Heck no, you're going to reach into the water and lift him out of the water. Then, you may take the hook out and set him free. He never “touched land.”

I've said enough - I think if anyone here wanted to be a judge, they could pass verdict right now.

So, Red. I think I've given YOU something to think about this time, no? “PREDATOR, a man of many words.”


Posted by baitfish

Angling definition is not applicable. The whole argument is based on the definition of “angling” This definition does not apply to shore fishing, only pier fishing, and that will be removed in 2003 anyway. The term used is “take”, and therefore voluntarily taking the hook does not apply. The catch was legal. Adam

Posted by Red Fish

What method of take is applicable...netting fish? Fishing with your hands?

Posted by baitfish

Take is the method

1.80. Take. Hunt, pursue, catch, capture or kill fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, crustaceans or invertebrates or attempting to do so. It is legal to catch fish by hand, or to hand net a fish, but there are restrictions on net size of course. Sport licenses allow spearing as well, hooking a fish is not the only method allowed when fishing in saltwater. Hitchhiking fish are 100% legal. Adam
I fish therefore I... spend too much money on gear.

Posted by Red Fish

O.K., I will remember to bring my spear with me the next time I go fishing and my nets. Agreed.

Posted by Predator

Fishing with hands....Gunni Gu Gu

Posted by Predator

Good thoughts, RED!! I love it. Stimulate the mind and make us think. Thank you. Now if I may comment since I'm the center of attention with both of these "scenarios"(as they are BOTH the exact situations that I have personally been in.)

The first situation Red is referring to is my sturgeon that broke off at the very end, snapping the line and I went in after him. To truly take a stance on the legality of this, we'd have to liken it to other situations and verify if we feel they are the same. Is my situation the same as when someone nets a fish, and it spits hook while in the net? Or how about when someone gaffs a fish, and the line snaps after, but they get it in? Gaff/Net/Hand - what's the difference? I'll tell you what the difference is right now—a gaff or net WILL hurt the fish, for sure 100% no doubt about it. A hand may not hurt the fish. So—the handjob (pardon my French) should be the favored method.

Second: Hitchhiker fish vs. snagging. You ask “Is one offense lesser than another?” The answer is a very easy and solid YES. My fish, the hitchhiker, is taken out of the water and measured. He does not have a scratch on him, not even a hook hole in the lip!(LOL) So, if he came up short, I could release him in 99% perfect condition. However, anytime you snag a fish, you damage it—sometimes in a way that may cause death later on. So I think that one is a no brainer: SNAGGING is a MUCH GREATER offense, IF hitchhiking is even an offense to begin with even. “PREDATOR, a man of many words.”

Posted by lucy

Stupid and stupider. Stupid to poach...and DOUBLE stupid to go bragging about to the point that you get your picture in the paper and splattered all over the Internet.

Posted by pescare

The Testosterone Thing Again. The idiot is okay with being labeled a poacher as long as he can show how big it was. Ed

Posted by lucy

Oh, don't go blaming the poor hormone. Got nothing to do with hormones, and everything to do with stupid beliefs and attitudes.

Posted by prometheus

I doubt he knew the regulations on tuna considering he was shore fishing. Too bad he wasn't from a pier where licenses are not required.

Posted by break_the_bank

If you shore fish in Southern California, do you know that Giant Black Sea Bass have to be released?

Posted by baitfish

Black sea bass must be released no matter what, not just from shore...Adam

Posted by BigUnInDaBoat

Ok But...this is still in PLAY: I for one would like to see you release that fish if you had caught it in the same manner pal, not to mention the fish exhausted itself during the fight and it would of NEVER been able to survive. “Gee I caught a fish of a lifetime, it’s dead and won’t live if I release it....oh well let the beautiful creature rot in the surf.” Is that what should of happened? AWESOME CATCH STRIPERMIKE!!!!!!!!!! You are the KING! (whether he released it or not it’s still one helluva catch and the skill it took to land that fish is more then most here have). BUIDB

Posted by break_the_bank

Last Sunday you were complaining about Asians keeping all the trash fish they catch and not knowing the F&G regulations. But today all the sudden you feel it's okay for this guy to break the law by keeping the tuna. Come on BUIDB, let's keep it consistent. Try not to pick and choose who you want to blame.

Posted by pescare

“I for one would like to see you release that fish if you had caught it in the same manner pal,”

Would have done it without a second thought. You HAVE to if you care about your integrity.

“not to mention the fish exhausted itself during the fight and it would of NEVER been able to survive.” We only have the angler's word on that, don't we? ""Gee I caught a fish of a lifetime, it’s dead and won’t live if I release it...oh well let the beautiful creature rot in the surf." Is that what should have happened?" Yes. Isn't that what the regs state? “AWESOME CATCH STRIPERMIKE!!!!!!!!!! You are the KING! (whether he released it or not its still on helluva catch and the skill it took to land that fish is more then most here have).” Sounds like FishSniffer stuff again. Ed

Posted by BigUnInDaBoat

Please you had to try and troll me with the Fishsniffer comment eh? What a guy. Trash fish? I never once said trash fish, I said they were keeping undersized lings and over limits of perch.

The regs back there do say he was supposed to release it, I have seen big fish die of exhaustion when you try to release them from trout to salmon...that fish would of died.

There has to be a medium here, the regs were not written for shore anglers (although it does state blah blah blah). He thought it was a massive striper or shark. I personally would not let a creature of its size and awe lay in the surf to become an 80-lb rotting piece of flesh. Poacher or not.

The problem I have is with the people who abuse the resources, like keeping 40 3-5 inch barred perch or under size lings when the regs are printed two feet away on the side of the skiff.

“Pescare and BTB you both seem to hound me and my every post.....if you have a problem with me email me..this is not the place.” The fishsniffer comment was juvenile. FYI, not everything written over on Fishsniffer and Anglernet under BUIDB was written by me...no I wasn’t an angel. But I know of one of you that writes here that is trying to do whatever he can to tarnish my image. And his website proves it. Dude will not email me and talk it out like men though. That’s ok I am sure I’ll bump into him one day and then we can talk. Keep it civil not juvenile. BUIDB

And you still wouldn’t of let that fish go....say what you want. You, like him, would of never read that deep into the regs to know that a bluefin (a species not targeted by shore anglers) would be illegal. You can say YES I WOULD HAVE, but innocent ignorance must be excused.

Posted by pescare

“Pescare and BTB you both seem to hound me and my every post...if you have a problem with me email me, this is not the place.” This quote made me think because I really didn't know what you were talking about. I went through the archives and only found three times that I responded to something you posted. Those include this thread, a question I asked about your recent Santa Cruz report, and a thread where you repeatedly accused many of us of calling the guy that caught the record salmon a liar. You ignored that fact that NOBODY questioned whether or not he caught the fish and repeatedly posted messages claiming that we did. Yeah, I got on you for that one. I think your quote may be just a bit of an overstatement. "And you still wouldn’t of let that fish go....say what you want." I like this one even more. You have never met me and know nothing about me personally. Do you really feel qualified to call me a liar? Do you know me better than I do? Ed

Posted by Predator

BigUn, a quick perspective for you. You listen to me, and then you make up your mind, ok? Pescare: He's not the "type." He won't hound you due to some hangup, and sit there and TRY to find something wrong with you to make you look bad. TRUST ME - because I have had my fair share of people that have done that with me. Plenty of folks here can vouch for that! Pescare is focused on the TOPIC at hand. You are a variable. Please understand that anytime you're discussing regulations and poaching Pescare will be there. And ask me what I think? I'm GLAD he's in every thread. Why? He's a great guy, and he has a very good interpretation of the regs. He's a man of honor and principles. Morally correct and firm in his judgement, swayed not by emotional pleas of circumstance. THAT is why I like the guy, and THAT is also why you should take his comments as though you're two adults discussing something, not fighting. Break the Bank: Seems to me this is the guy that's "hounding" you, but just barely, because he does have a bit of a point. Notice I say "bit" because there is a difference between filling buckets with fish and not caring vs. landing one fish, being overwhelmed and making the wrong decision. Am I excusing the guy? Nope. But I'm defending your original post below about poachers. Now, BreaktheBank is he Asian? Probably. Did he take it personally? Probably. He probably felt like many liberals do when they TRY to get offended. They hear a buzzword of race, and immediately think you're labeling 100% of that race as poachers. Additionally, he tried to rationalize it by saying that if there is an emotional circumstance, that it may be used as an excuse for poaching. No, no, no - on both counts. You merely made an observation. I stand by you on that. He got pis..., and now you're feeling the burn from that. Good luck, keep it cool, and everything will flow smooth again soon enough. “PREDATOR, a man of many words.”

Posted by BigUnInDaBoat

OK your right and I am sorry Pescare. It’s just when things get out of hand (I think this thread is done and we are not going to agree) I get ruffled. Pescare, you are a smart guy and I agree with you a lot. I really got pis... at the Fishsniffer comment, you knew that would incite me bro.

BTB whatever, why comment.... Predator said it right. AND FYI Asians didn’t kill the buffalo...it was the white man. (tongue in cheek) Things are not always said here straight across and I have a bad habit or good (depending on how you look at it) of reading in between the lines. I love to fish and I like my fellow fisherman. Only the guy who caught that fish knew if he made a honest mistake or not, if he did the good for him. If it turns out he knew the reg and disobeyed it then that different. I don’t believe that though. Thanks for making me realize the errors I made predator...your a good guy. BUIDB

Posted by pescare

No worries! Not a big problem.

Posted by johnr

Spirit of the law vs. letter of the law....Most of what I describe below is just things to consider and think about...no need to respond back. It's not directed at anyone and certainly not intended to start anything. I think what Big Un is referring to is "the spirit of the law".

Some background. There are white, grey, and black areas of the law.

white: clearly within the law

grey: unsure

black; clearly unlawful

Some interesting examples...is a person allowed to harm another person...Usually No (in the black)... BUT what if he is defending himself or another person. Then it is allowed (in the white). In this case a “BUT” changes the law.
As opposed to the “Letter of the Law” the “Spirit Of the Law” usually refers to when a person is in the grey or black but their act does not violate what the law was intended. Example if someone is going 67 in a 65. Most people including law enforcement officials would consider this not breaking the “spirit of the law.” Law enforcement does consider "the spirit of the law" especially for minor offenses. That is why many times there is inconsistency in enforcing some laws.

Going over the speed limit, jay walking, drinking under the age of 21, etc... (in the black) clearly against the law but most consider minor offenses and law enforcement takes into consideration the “spirt of the law” whether or not to enforce these laws.

Speaking of BigUn's position, BigUns was assuming the fish was dead...so anyone considering his position needs to also assume this fact. It appears to be within the “letter of the law” (black area) that an infraction occurred however is there a “BUT” that could make it a grey or white area? Is there any case law or interpretation of the law suggesting one way or another if the fish is clearly dead, what should the person do? What is the reason for a law that requires a fish be returned? Some consider that usually it is because the species numbers are down. Does returning a dead fish extend the species numbers? Most would consider no....impossible that a dead fish could reproduce...therefore the "spirit of the law" is considered not broken.

Another person may consider that other people could make the same argument when they catch a similar fish AND it is not dead and they kill it and claim that is was previously dead, therefore the “letter of the law” needs to be enforced to prevent and discourage similar events from occurring.

There is a difference between the two...in some cases the" letter of the law" will be enforced and in others the "spirit of the law" it depends on the circumstances and the people making the judgments and the person involved. Prior acts or the person's character is also considered.

Some interesting food for thought not related to anything in particular but more of an ethics question:

Should a person be given a negative label (like poacher) before all the facts are known?

If we are technically violating any laws be it a minor one like the speeding example I mentioned, is it fair to label someone else a violator or Poacher? Would that be a double standard? Do we only get louder when laws we are most interested in are broken? I'll have to admit I do. What if poaching or environmental laws are broken but in other parts of the world? Would one be as eager to condemn as opposed to in one's back yard? If no, is it a double standard? If one has had a child killed from a speeding driver, can this person label all others (including me) who exceed the speed limit a "criminal" or violator? Again I had some very rare free time on my hands and this is not intended at anyone.... wish I was fishing... just some things to ponder on. John

Posted by Predator

Good question: “What if poaching or environmental laws are broken but in other parts of the world? Would one be as eager to condemn as opposed to in one's back yard? If no, is it a double standard?” Well now. Personally, I would not. Why? Because you are right, it does not affect me, my country, or anything that I or my country have power over. You see, you can only get upset about the things under your control. We, all of us, in one way or another “control” our country, so to speak. SECOND: Influence. Most people get “into” things when they will have an influence on them. Most of the stuff going on outside our borders—we have no influence on. But, here in US, we've got influence. therefore we get upset. It's pointless to get upset and heated over something if you have no influence or control over it. “PREDATOR, a man of many words.”

Posted by surfstriper

Re: 80# Bluefin Tuna From Shore!!! OK I think this is the time for the Common Sense to kick in. I don't disagree with the fact that yes it was technically illegal to keep this fish. Listening to the Fish and Game people it sounds like they will using some common sense and not try to prosecute this guy. I would not be adverse to having this guy buy the necessary license after the fact. I think if the guy has been fishing for as long as he has and it turns out he has been following the laws in the past then common sense should prevail. This is an extremely rare occurrence!!!!!!! Treat it as such. This is very different situation from poachers who are trying to catch fish or crabs knowing it is illegal and then keep coming back and do it again. If you can't see the difference, that is too bad. Bottom line is that either you are trying to do the right thing or you aren't. If you are, good for you and if you aren't, you can start now. See you in the Surf SurfStriper

Posted by BigUnInDaBoat

Right on the $ SURFSTRIPER..you said it better.

Posted by Ken Jones

My 2 Cents Worth...It sounds pretty simple to me. You catch a huge fish that is illegal. Yes you should be proud of the great catch. But as soon as you've landed it you know you have to let it go. Maybe it's a once in a lifetime fish but you have to let it go. Did he try to hook it? No! But it's still illegal. If you were to bring in a huge black sea bass out here on the West Coast it would be a great shore/surf catch but as soon as landed it should be released. The guy back there on the East Coast also had a great surf catch but he should have known it was illegal and released it. There really isn't any gray area, it's pretty much black and white. What makes it tough is the fact that it was a great catch and I'm sure he wanted to show it to his friends, get credit for it, etc. But no matter if he knew or didn't know it was illegal he is responsible for his actions and since he didn't release the fish he deserves a ticket. We discuss this all the time and I thought everyone agreed that ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law. Would it be tough to let such a fish go, especially if it may not survive the long fight? You bet! But it is always the tough decisions like this that determine the true character of a person. I do not think he deserves a ticket for catching the fish (and he probably wouldn't get one) but he does deserve a ticket for keeping the fish once he saw what it was. And, I imagine he will get one.

Posted by baitfish

My 2 cents...I think they should ticket him, and he should fight it in court. If he loses then he is a poacher, if he wins, then he is INNOCENT. The man is still innocent until proven guilty.

People are screaming poacher, poacher, poacher. They are not ticketing him so far, because that would be bad PR, but even if they did, it would most likely be thrown out. From the article the extra permit is in regards to commercial fishing, to prevent the sale of bluefin without a commercial license. The spirit of the law is very important here, this one fish will not effect the fishery, and this will not be a common occurrence creating the argument well if he caught and kept then everyone should be able to. You could probably count on one hand the number of times this has happened in the last 50 years. Black sea bass is different, because these fish were caught with some regularity in previous years, they are not migratory and they take numerous years to grow, while bluefin are highly migratory, grow extremely fast and weren't caught from shore with regularity in the past. So, ticket him and let him have his day in court, or realize the inevitable and leave it as a freak occurrence, and be amazed at the guy’s ability to land this fish. Adam

Posted by pescare

Adam, are you on medication? Man, that post really doesn't sound like you. There is a big difference between being innocent and not being convicted. The guy caught the fish, he KEPT the fish, and he did not have the required license to do so. How do you see that as being innocent? The article makes it clear that the license is NOT just for commercial fishermen. As I said before, it that was the case why would the agencies involved be considering charges??? They can't just make up laws. Ed

Posted by baitfish

Adam, are you on medication? I know, I know. But sometimes there are special circumstances, and this is one of them. That is the reason judges are there, to decide whether this person was in violation of the laws intent. Like I said the guy should be ticketed, because he did break the law. But I think he should fight it because it is really not violating the intent of the law. This is only in regards to this particular species, which is where the judge comes in.

I just am annoyed that people seem so eager to scream POACHER!!!!!! Somebody said it was jealousy, it is not jealousy. This board follows the regs very closely, and that is good, but I get annoyed by all the postings that take somebody and feed him to the starving mob. I know you don't see a difference between this guy and someone who snags 20 salmon, but there is a difference. There are different degrees and extenuating circumstances, which is where the spirit of the law comes in.
All I'm saying is let the guy have his day in court, and if he is proven guilty, then label him poacher and hang him from the nearest tree etc... But this is a pretty weak offense. It would be like me catching a striper down here. I really can't think of a proper analogy for it, because of the species. The only thing I can think of is if I caught a striper here and kept it even though I did not have a striper stamp, (although I do have one). Personally, I would release it because I would want it to live and make more stripers way more than because I didn't have the stamp. BFT's are not endangered or rare in that area, it was just in shallow water rather than deep. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate the offense as a 1, and if I was the judge I would either dismiss it or give the guy a measly fine of maybe $25. Adam I fish therefore I... spend too much money on gear:

Posted by Predator

Spirit of the law—Pescare. That's Baitfish's medicine. And he does have a point, I think. Not a winning argument, but definitely a valid point that should not be swept under the carpet. (I noticed you didn't address his concept of the "spirit of the law" and how it pertains to the focus on the commercial guys selling these fish.) CLEAR AS DAY—the article does say that the licenses are “MEANT MOSTLY” for commercial guys on boats.

Please, if you would consider this comparison of the law about loitering. “LOITERING”—it is meant mostly for homeless people, to give us a law to get them off our property if we own a business (bum sitting at table meant for my customers). However, imagine if you and your little daughters merely stopped for a minute and sat at one of the tables. Most likely, you wouldn't get kicked out like the bum would. But technically, you loitered! This is sort of a "selective" law, like “we have the right to refuse service” type of a thing. But still, I think it helps add light in respect to the concept of “meant mostly” for. Let me remind everyone that I am not sticking up for the guy with the tuna, but rather trying to aid in putting forth the perspective that I feel my friend, Baifish, is coming from. “PREDATOR, a man of many words.”

Posted by baitfish

I am not saying the guy is not a poacher, I am just saying that he is not this "evil-doer" that this thread has made him out to be. When you look at the whole picture, which a day in court would do, I think it would either be thrown out, or a measly fine would be given as a gesture of nice fish, but don't do it again. Adam

Posted by Red Fish

Label him poacher and hang him from the nearest tree, etc.. Wow, you sure do take fishing serious baitfish, LOL

Posted by baitfish

Well that's what has happened here...

Posted by pescare

That's worth more than 2 cents! Thanks for trying as I did, to keep this issue as simple as it really is.

Posted by Red Fish

Ken, It would nice if we had a knowledgeable representative of the D.F..G to field questions instead of people making their own interpretations of the "letter of the law." Misinformation can be a real shot in the foot. It seems like Rick Powers is going to have some company. Integrity does seem to be the question. Things like keeping an over-sized fish, an unfair catch or rounding a fishes weight up to the nearest placeholder.

Posted by Ken Jones

My assumptions...

(1) No matter what area, East Coast or West Coast, anglers are supposed to follow the rules.

(2) Even though I primarily fish from piers I know what the other species are and their limits—size and number. I assume most pier and surf fishermen are the same, they have a fairly wide knowledge of the different species and of the rules.

(3) This angler appears to be an experienced surf fisherman.

(4) As such, he should know and follow the rules.

I never called him a poacher. I think he hooked a fish of a lifetime and decided to keep it. He may or may not have considered the consequences of his actions. However, he SHOULD have considered the consequences.

In addition, the blurring of the lines between recreational and commercial has been a problem for years on the East Coast. For many years it was a common practice for "sportsmen" to catch a large quantity of fish and then sell them. States over the past twenty or so years have been trying to change the situation but have not totally stopped the practice. I do not know how this catch relates to that issue but I can see the Fish and Game of that state being concerned.

Posted by Hyok

I think you put it well, Ken. It does take a lot of character, and it would be very tough to let the fish go. What I object to is the Puritanical, holier-than-thou condemnation of this guy as a poacher, because he did not do something that we all agree is very difficult to do. If one is to be castigated for being less than 100% courageous and gutsy in life, well... then we all are guilty sometimes.

Posted by corbinaman1

Let's End This “Poacher” Witch Hunt! I didn't expect this thread to morph into some sort of "poacher witch-hunt" on this guy!? While technically, he may have “poached.” when I think of poachers, what comes to mind is people who knowingly and willingly take mass quantities of illegal sea life (ex...buckets of undersized abalone, many undersized bocaccio, numerous short halibut, etc.) and will repeat the process MANY TIMES AGAIN in the future. This is different in that he hooked one highly "freak" migratory fish, and will NEVER catch one from shore again in his lifetime due to the rarity of this catch. He will get a slap on the wrist for his catch if even that...truly a lifetime catch from shore!





 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#12
The OLD, OLD Thread #3

Round 2—Bluefin Tuna—Poacher?

People are still figthin’ over this one. What is the right thing to do?

Fishing Ethics...Guilt, Shame, Etc.


Date: October 2, 2002; To: PFIC Message Board; From: Ken Jones; Subject: Fishing Ethics...Guilt, Shame, Etc.


The following passage is taken from the excellent book by Paul Quinnett titled Pavlov's Trout, The incompleat psychology of everyday fishing. It is a book I highly recommend.

Guilt, Shame and Ethics —

Fishing gives the average bloke the perfect occasion to measure his own integrity. The rules are easily broken, the temptations great, the witnesses few and the justifications for wrongdoing ample. What better circumstances to plumb the depths of one's character? Or is it the shallow of one's character?

I have often looked hard into the nature of people and often found a great deal less nobility than I'd hoped for; sometimes more, but frequently less; a scruple here, a virtue there... It seems many Americans, including fishermen, have stumbled down that slippery slope where one's code of conduct is no longer governed by guilt, but by shame.

There is a big difference between shame and guilt. Shame is what you feel when they catch you doing something wrong; guilt is what you feel when you do something you know is wrong, period. One requires law enforcers. The other requires only the presence of that still small voice deep in the old nervous system. Both can be wrongly conditioned for in a psychologically dysfunctional home, and you can, through no fault of your own, end up feeling guilty over nothing and shamed for the wrong reasons. Still guilt and shame and their associated emotions of fear and anxiety are the only known internalized tools for self-control.

With an operative, guilt-affected conscience, you need never look over your shoulder to see if the law is watching as you angle along a stream catching fish. You are the law. And as a law-abider, if you respect yourself, you will respect the law. This is a simple formula. An ethical angler needs a game warden like a trout needs a parachute.

Shame is another matter. To be shamed you have to be caught and at least threatened with punishment or embarrassment. Some people are able to stay on the straight and narrow out of fear of shame, but as the odds of getting caught go down, so does the effectiveness of shame. Shame works, but it takes at least two people.

Legal Versus Ethical —

Being legal is not the same as being ethical. To equate ethics with legality is to adopt the morals of a swindle...As ephemeral as they are, ethics go where laws dare not...

As of this writing, it is lawful to gill net on the high seas and clear-cut above salmon and steelhead spawning streams. It may be legal to take spawning northern pike while they are vulnerable in the early spring, but it is ethically wrong to take even one if the fishery can't stand it, or if you don't need the fish.

These days sportsmen complain about the complexity of fishing regulations, but without tighter external controls to protect the fisheries, unscrupulous anglers would clean out the streams, haul away the spawners, and otherwise decimate the wildlife, something mankind has a bloody history of doing very well.

In a perfect world you would need no laws, just the following guideline: Enjoy yourself, but please do not harm the fishery. Here and now, to protect a threatened fishery you need either biologically sound regulations and strict enforcement of those regulations, or a highly ethical fishing public.

The fishes need ethical fishermen. More, they need ethical fishermen to defend against the stupidity, arrogance, and the unmitigated greed of the unethical. We cannot legislate morality and ethical behavior any more than we can legislate the human heart, so it is up to each fisherman to take a long and sometimes painful journey, not to points of the compass, but inward.

Posted by pescare

I love that!

Posted by lucy

VERY well said!!!

Posted by mola joe

Excellent!! Not even sure what all the fuse is about. I think Surfstriper said it the best. This is a rare occurrence and should be treated as such. In my mind this is not even in the same league as poaching. Sorry folks, I would shake the guys hand any day on a extraordinary catch. Not even sure if I could sleep at night knowing that I pushed a dead bluefin into the surf to rot and go to waste. Personally, I would probably be on the phone to DFG or Fisheries Management to find out what they recommend to do. Seems from the article that Fisheries Management wasn't too worried about this isolated catch. Take one look at some of the overseas fish markets that move tonnage of bluefin taken from those waters each day. This guy a poacher? Not in my book.

Posted by kaster

I 100% agree with you mola! Everyone making so much fuss about one tuna when so many are killed each day — Kevin

Posted by corbinaman1

Right On Mola Joe! I didn't expect my thread on that Bluefin to morph into some kind of “poacher witch-hunt” on that guy. Technically, he “poached,” but most poachers knowingly and willingly take mass quantities of illegal species (ex...buckets of undersized abalone, dozens of undersized bocaccio, numerous undersized halibut, etc.) and will repeat the "poaching" many more times in their lifetimes. The circumstances are different here because this is truly a once in a lifetime “freak” catch of a highly migratory species, is only one fish, and will NEVER be repeated again in his lifetime! Truly, a catch of a lifetime from shore!

Posted by Ken Jones

Can't agree on this one...The fact that he caught a great fish, a once-in-a-lifetime migratory fish, is irrelevant. He broke the rules by keeping the fish and probably knew he was breaking the rules. Those are the only facts that matters. Unfortunately his action in keeping the fish tarnishes his truly remarkable angling accomplishment—as seen in discussions such as took place on this board. What if a boat angler had caught a world record size marlin but marlin were against the law to keep. And suppose it was obvious to the boat's skipper that the marlin was not going to live. Would that justify keeping the fish? I think not.

Posted by SD Fisherman

Look at it this way...whenever I go fishing, whether it be from a pier, shore, rocks, full day boat, etc., I always make it a point to fillet my own catch and return the carcasses to the sea, where a myriad of wonderful creatures may have the opportunity to nourish themselves....~Don aka SDF~

Posted by SD Fisherman

One more point...when I mention my “catches” in the above post, I am referring to legal catches that I choose to keep to feed myself and my family. I mostly practice catch-and-release these days anyway. In my humble opinion, if the law requires that a fish in a condition such as this one be released, it would be great if the authorities in charge would be kind enough to tow it out to deeper water. This would ensure adequate disposal per my above post. ~Don aka SDF~

Posted by carlos

Exactly Ken... there would be no more fish to catch if everyone would just claim the fish was gonna die when they caught it and kept it no matter how big it was or how rare, I don’t usually get into these discussions but I had to speak up on this... I Respect Your Opinion Ken!

Posted by corbinaman1

You are right that technically he broke the rules, however I can't assume for certain he knew he was breaking the law since he never caught a bluefin from shore. Sounds like from the article, he was waiting for someone to come by so he could just get a pic of the fish...his intent may have been to release the fish based on this. I know the size of an “illegal” fish probably doesn't matter, but an 80 pound bluefin would feed a lot of people, and in your marlin example, it would seem a terrible waste to release a thousand plus pound marlin that would surely die (and rot), rather than donating the fish to charity to feed hundreds or thousands of homeless/impoverished people to help mankind and society. It is a tough issue with many opinions based on the long threads, and that is my two cents worth.

Posted by Leapin Bass

Again...”he was waiting for someone to come by so he could just get a pic of the fish...his intent may have been to release the fish based on this.” I thought catching a fish (that wasn't a shark or ray) from a tube that was over 50 pounds was quite an accomplishment. Sure, I would've loved to get a picture of it (with me in the picture) but that would've surely meant its death. And like I said before I wasn't sure of what kind of fish it was, I wasn't sure if it was something I could keep, so I released it.

Catching a bluefin from the surf on the East Coast is not totally unlikely. It has happened on S. Cal. piers! It's probably about as likely as catching a yellowtail from the surf (or pier) in Southern California. And believe me if there was an extra stamp or something you had to buy in order to catch/keep yellowtail from the surf, pier, or float tube in California I would buy it every year. Man, just thinking of catching a yellowtail from my tube gets my blood pumping!!!!

There is also the 20-inch smallmouth I caught last summer in the Brandywine River. Which is quite a large fish for that river. In fact, if I was only a little ways downstream—in Delaware instead of Pennsylvania it would have been a contender for the state record (unfortunately Pennsylvania has Lake Erie). Keeping freshwater bass is something I will not do (ethics), legal or not I feel it is wrong. Did I wait for someone to “come by” so that I could get a picture? No. Are there people who don't believe that I caught the fish? Probably. Do I care? No.

Posted by corbinaman1

That Was A Great BSB Pete! At least you got a picture of it before you let it go which is great (for memories)...that was a "lifetime" catch as well from the float tube! From what I remember, you said that BSB was in great condition and swam away vigorously...the icing on the cake. Don't think the tuna was that lucky (it was basically dead on the beach). Both were incredible catches though. You should post that pic back here for all to see again!

Posted by Predator

But we can ALL agree on THIS — MOLA said it: That if you caught a fish like this—get on the phone with DFG and get their opinion! Most likely, they'll buy in and LET you keep it. Truly folks, who can disagree that this is not the most solid, sound, ethical, and practical solution?
“PREDATOR, a man of many words.”

Posted by baitfish

That is what happened in this case, they are not fining him and they are chalking it up to a rare occurrence, which is not why the laws were written. Anyway, I am glad that this discussion came up and that there are various opinions about this. It shows that we are not all sheep that look at each other and nod in unison. Adam

Posted by Ken Jones

No we can't all agree... If the fish was dead and you call Fish and Game they are still going to say you can't keep it. After all, what's to prevent people from saying live fish were dead? If it is alive you need to return it to the water as soon as possible so that it can live. If you phone F&G, in all likelihood by the time a decision is made the fish will be dead. Is it a waste of the fish? Yes, but so is returning some of the rockfish and other species to the water once you realize you have an illegal fish. Sounds dumb but it's the only way you can prevent fraud by some anglers.

Posted by Red Fish

I'm with you on this on Ken. Back it goes after I get a few pictures, I'm not fishing for subsistence like some others. “for all men are equal before fish…” Herbert Hoover

Posted by Predator

If they say no, then we should comply. But I would make an effort to call them and ask anyway with such an exceptional catch. Can't hurt to ask, right? If they say no, I'd comply. But what if...
“PREDATOR, a man of many words.”

Posted by Hyok

Fishing Ethics...Guilt, Shame, Etc I respect your opinion. As you said, ethics guide us in areas not covered by laws. Indeed, there are things that are legal, but not ethical. By the same token, I feel this is a case where it is illegal, but I find it difficult to call it unethical.

Indeed many people fight laws that are unethical or archaic. There are many archaic laws on the books. For example, there is an obscure law in some state that says it is illegal to make farm animal sounds on the phone. Would anyone advocate prosecuting someone breaking this law? The bluefin license requirement was never meant for someone like Striper Mike. While it may not fall into the same category as making mooing sounds into a telephone, it is pretty darn close. One shouldn't be condemned so harshly for making the call that he did.

Posted by corbinaman1

Very Well Said Hyok!
____________________​

Illegal vs. Ethical & A quote revisited—ethical anglers

I’m not sure if we ever reached agreement on the question of the shore-caught bluefin tuna. However, the question of ethics came up once again a year later.

Date: November 27, 2003; To: PFIC Message Board; From: Ken Jones; Subject: Illegal vs. Ethical & A quote revisited—ethical anglers

The following is a repeat of a passage taken from the excellent book by Paul Quinnett titled Pavlov's Trout, The incompleat psychology of everyday fishing. It is a book I highly recommend.

Guilt, Shame and Ethics —

Fishing gives the average bloke the perfect occasion to measure his own integrity. The rules are easily broken, the temptations great, the witnesses few and the justifications for wrongdoing ample. What better circumstances to plumb the depths of one's character? Or is it the shallow of one's character?

I have often looked hard into the nature of people and often found a great deal less nobility than I'd hoped for; sometimes more, but frequently less; a scruple here, a virtue there... It seems many Americans, including fishermen, have stumbled down that slippery slope where one's code of conduct is no longer governed by guilt, but by shame.

There is a big difference between shame and guilt. Shame is what you feel when they catch you doing something wrong; guilt is what you feel when you do something you know is wrong, period. One requires law enforcers. The other requires only the presence of that still small voice deep in the old nervous system. Both can be wrongly conditioned for in a psychologically dysfunctional home, and you can, through no fault of your own, end up feeling guilty over nothing and shamed for the wrong reasons. Still guilt and shame and their associated emotions of fear and anxiety are the only known internalized tools for self-control.

With an operative, guilt-affected conscience, you need never look over your shoulder to see if the law is watching as you angle along a stream catching fish. You are the law. And as a law-abider, if you respect yourself, you will respect the law. This is a simple formula. An ethical angler needs a game warden like a trout needs a parachute.

Shame is another matter. To be shamed you have to be caught and at least threatened with punishment or embarrassment. Some people are able to stay on the straight and narrow out of fear of shame, but as the odds of getting caught go down, so does the effectiveness of shame. Shame works, but it takes at least two people.

Legal Versus Ethical —

Being legal is not the same as being ethical. To equate ethics with legality is to adapt the morals of a swindle...As ephemeral as they are, ethics go where laws dare not...As of this writing, it is lawful to gill net on the high seas and clear-cut above salmon and steelhead spawning streams. It may be legal to take spawning northern pike while they are vulnerable in the early spring, but it is ethically wrong to take even one if the fishery can't stand it, or if you don't need the fish.

These days sportsmen complain about the complexity of fishing regulations, but without tighter external controls to protect the fisheries, unscrupulous anglers would clean out the streams, haul away the spawners, and otherwise decimate the wildlife, something mankind has a bloody history of doing very well.
In a perfect world you would need no laws, just the following guideline: Enjoy yourself, but please do not harm the fishery. Here and now, to protect a threatened fishery you need either biologically sound regulations and strict enforcement of those regulations, or a highly ethical fishing public.

The fishes need ethical fishermen. More, they need ethical fishermen to defend against the stupidity, arrogance, and the unmitigated greed of the unethical. We cannot legislate morality and ethical behavior any more than we can legislate the human heart, so it is up to each fisherman to take a long and sometimes painful journey, not to points of the compass, but inward.

Posted by johnp

Great topic. My greatest concern is Illegal vs. Moral: A gut-hooked fish, even if dead, must be discarded. That's the law. But I believe that's immoral. (I don't feel like debating this issue, btw.) Unfortunately, shame controls my actions here, not ethics. I don't keep the fish, because I'm afraid of the law.

Posted by neko

I agree with JohnP...I have caught many short white seabass. And as every anglers know, when they fight, they give it their all. And while this is a good thing for the angler, it’s not so good for the fish. Sometimes they don't have enough energy to revive themselves. And I'm guilty of killing three shorts. You drop them in head first and hope for the best, sometimes they just float right back up and I think to myself, what a waste. And they just drift away.

Posted by Songslinger

And Neither Of You Gets It. Think about this. Too many people would use the excuse that the fish were bleeding in order to keep short sizes. You and johnp may be ethical anglers but many others are not, and you really need to think beyond your own framework. Bigger picture, gentlemen. This is how ethical systems function. Oh, and johnp, nice try. There is nothing so feckless as putting out an opinion and saying it is not something you do not wish to debate. Sorry, slick, but in a public forum, what you post is indeed open for debate and discussion—or else you do not post it.

Posted by johnp

Debate. What I didn't want to debate was one aspect of my argument: *My Belief* that tossing killed fish is immoral. I still can have my own beliefs, can't I? Your argument that “I don't get it” because someone else might use this as an excuse to keep shorts is off the mark. I wasn't talking about other people's ethics (yours included). I was talking about “my” personal ethics. The point of Ken's post was, “what people do in secret when only their conscience, and God are watching.”

Posted by blahblahblah

JohnP, you are right. Slinger also is right. You are most certainly and undeniably entitled to your own beliefs. And you can state them and then refuse to elaborate if you like. But on the other hand, you have no standing to prohibit others from discussing something you brought up in a public forum. You don't have to talk about it anymore if that's what you want, but you can't say that no one else is allowed to talk about it. And you can't say that they can't tell you they think you're wrong. For what it's worth, I agree with what I think is your sentiment about throwing back an already-dead fish (there's a “but” coming later). Despite doing 12 years in Catholic school I'm generally not much for the concept of sin—but wasting food and wasting a life *is* a sad and terrible sin. Am I correct in thinking that what you meant was along this line?: “I know I didn't target an out-of-season or undersize or overfished fish. I know I did my best to return it unharmed, but it didn't work. Since that fish is already dead, I ought not to waste it, but should be able to put it to some use and eat it.” If that's what you meant, I think you've got a good argument, except for two points. First, Songslinger is right on when he says the law is necessary to prevent abuse by people who DO keep any fish they catch and who DON'T care what harm they do to the long-term health of the fishery and the environment to which it is tied. Many people would unethically and illegally claim fish were dead or dying already—I've seen it myself plenty of times. Second, dead fish are not necessarily wasted. Fish deliberately caught and killed only to be thrown back ARE wasted, but an accidentally or incidentally taken fish can ethically be thrown back. Other organisms will quickly put that dead fish to good use.

Posted by johnp

Not refusing…Honestly — I wasn't trying to refuse debate. I just didn't want to go through the stress of defending “why” I believe the way I do. Besides, today's my favorite holiday. This morning, while fishing, I really felt *Thankful* that I could be out there. It was just so beautiful. btw- there's a real reason why I posted the way I did. This morning, I threw back two throat-hooked greenlings. I cut the hook, and they were in 'good shape' when I tossed them back. But the entire drive home, I was thinking (honestly)—“I wonder what they feel like with the hook in their throat... How will they eat???” I stopped fishing altogether after the second one. Coming home, I felt like less-than-a-man: I really felt guilty that I didn't have the balls to keep them, and when I saw a warden, to honestly say, “Yes sir, I know it's against the law, but I believe it's right. Yes—I'll pay the penalty.” Instead, I tossed them back.

These particular greenlings should be OK. I hope so. When I came home and checked the board—and saw the topic—it really struck a cord. I don't want to be a pest on this wonderful holiday. Slinger—I sincerely wish you a great holiday weekend! Peace.

Posted by blahblahblah

johnp, I think there's no harm and no foul on anyone's part with this exchange—you have an understandable reason for making your original post. If it makes you feel any better (and I hope it does), not too long ago I found an old, rusted hook inside a greenling I had caught and brought home to eat. It looked like it had been there for a good long time, and it not only was rusted, it also had been partially encapsulated in some sort of organic-looking substance. That's just one fish, and it may even have eaten the hook in its rusted state instead of being the survivor of a catch and release, but to me it's pretty good evidence that at least some of the time fish do in fact survive a deep hooking and release.

Posted by johnp

Circle Hooks I did a search of the archives and saw your post on circle hooks. I think I'll give them a try. They would be a step towards addressing two out of my top-three fishing-related problems: lost rigs in kelp and rocks, plus deep-hooked fish. The third problem—lack of fishing time—I'll have to resolve some other way.

Posted by dompfa ben

To quote something I wrote a few years back for the DAILY TROJAN at USC: “If God is all-powerful and can do anything, could he create a boulder so large that he would not have the strength to lift it?” The answer leans more toward a faithful and logical interpretation than a scientific one. That is, God—at least in the Judeo-Christian tradition—would not and could not do something that defies reasonable logic and contradicts his nature. Therefore, the idea of God presenting himself with a nemesis directly nullifies what we as a human species have come to know as an all-powerful, all-knowing God. (DT, 9/20/1996)

So, too, is it with anglers. We are bound by our nature as both humans and as anglers to act in certain ways, to define our nature by examining our purpose. As a group, we choose to go fishing for a variety of reasons: enjoyment of the outdoors, spending time with family and friends, obtaining nourishment, or earning a livelihood. However, at its core, anglers have a unifying purpose: to catch fish.

When we begin to weigh our respective personal needs and philosophies against an all-encompassing body of laws, we will find countless variations of personal ethics. When those laws are based loosely on the “best available research,” or when the laws by which we are bound are suddenly changed, mid-season, without rhyme, reason, or explanation, then it is natural for us to question the validity of the law, as it is within our angler-nature to catch fish. Any new regulation placed upon our existing code of ethics will create a shift, or at least, cause us to reexamine things.

Is there any difference between keeping a gravid sand bass, and keeping one that has already laid eggs? In both cases, the fish is being removed from the gene pool, and will never reproduce again. The sand bass is neither endangered, nor fished commercially. In this case, our emotions mingle with our ethics, as somehow, we feel the “cute” factor, akin to baby ducks vs. roasted duck. This then, is not so much an ethical issue, as it is an emotional issue.

However, by deep-hooking a short sand bass, we have terminated its life. The law demands that we release the fish, assumedly to prevent people from keeping otherwise healthy short fish and saying they were already dead. This may seem wasteful to us, as a dead fish will also never spawn again. But is this view too myopic? Are we not a part of the world ecosystem? It is easy to play “what if,” sometimes easier to play god, and say that the fish was “wasted.”

But I would argue that our actions, though weighted more heavily than other predators of the sea, are just as valid as that of other creatures. The law may not make sense, but that short fish, floating down to feed the benthos of the deep, will not be wasted. It will be recycled into the ecosystem from whence it came.

Are there exceptions to these things? Of course there are! Certain actions—littering, reckless destruction of habitat, cruelty or wanton disregard for the value of ocean life—is arguably ALWAYS unethical. And EVERY fish we catch is an ethical dilemma. Just as the population, recruitment, and reproduction of fish change, our needs, wants, and desires change daily in this life, too.

Furthermore, we are but human, and at best, we are susceptible to errors in judgment and moments of weakness. Mistakes will be made. The enlightened angler will learn from these things, and adjust to avoid future transgressions.

It seems, then, that our actions as sentient beings on this rock should not be governed wholly by the law, or wholly by ethics, but rather, by a careful and balanced analysis of the two philosophies. Continued good fishing to you all. Ben

Posted by gyozadude

In a perfect world I dare say we wouldn't live with overpopulation, which strains our resources, and prevents us from providing a superior level of personal education to each member of society. Unfortunately, the quote falls on deaf ears because most of the people who would fish unethically by the author's standards, couldn't give a hoot about being an 'ethical fisherman'; these folks would only care to get as much of the limited resource for themselves because from their perspective, they're deprived. Any arguments that would tend to equate humans as a valid predator of the seas that should and does belong within society simply fails to recognize that humans use technology to circumvent the constraints on overpopulation that Nature puts on all other species. It's a vicious circle. Ken, ironically, in our current system, if we are to preserve our fisheries, the legal system MUST be ethical.

Posted by pierhead

That Thoreau quote …Just found this through Goggle ... Henry David Thoreau once observed "Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." In his book, “Pavlov’s Trout: The Incompleat Psychology of Everyday Fishing,” psychologist and outdoor writer Paul Quinnett, Ph.D., takes an entertaining and illuminating look at just what it is people go fishing for. And as Quinnett relates, the fish landed is indeed secondary to the challenge, optimism, excitement and freedom which the pursuit embodies. “It is better to fish hopefully than to catch fish,” he observes. “Some young anglers might disagree, but no old fisherman would. Fishing is hope experienced.” Just thought I would share.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#13
The OLD, OLD Thread #4
Since we are now ethical anglers, one and all,

shouldn’t we all be able to come up with some good regulations?


Date: January 3, 2002; To: PFIC Message Board; From: mobilesuit; Subject: You know what would be nice? Our own little regs.


Hey guys, do you know what I think would be kinda nice? If the really experienced fishers here could kind of share or make up some modified fishing regs that we could follow or keep in mind. In my opinion, if I take as many fish as the regs allow these days I feel like I am hurting the fishery. I understand that probably the best regs would be to catch and release all fish but I’m the type that kind of likes to eat what I catch. I’m sure there are others that are like that too. But yea... I’m thinking that there can be simple limits made that make sense. Perhaps one legal hallie a day… or 2 bass a day… these are just numbers that I’m just saying in random. I’m also thinking that there can be specific limits made that take into account the fish spawning size and what not. I was reading the Fish Trap lures site and they were talking about how not to keep the trophy-sized bass for they spawn… and to take the smaller 12-13 inch ones. Then perhaps a good rule is to take no more than 2 bass that are 12-13 in only. This is just an example. Again, I’m just trying to give some sort of example with numbers. I’m sure that there are lots of things to take into account and stuff like that. I was just thinking that I’d be kind of cool if there could be some regs the readers on the site can keep in mind. I think it would make rookies like me more knowledgeable without having to have to learn from mistakes from the past, and other benefits like that. What do you guys think?

Posted by lucy

Better idea. How about cracking down on commercial fishing? How about prohibiting the sale of fish caught in California waters to the gluttonous overseas markets? How about requiring DFG to halt commercial fishing of a species BEFORE the numbers drop to crisis levels—instead of waiting until the commercial fishery has nearly killed off the species and THEN imposing harsh restrictions on the sport fishermen who didn't cause the problem in the first damn place?

Posted by Frenchy

I think that would cause conflict due to the fact that opinions vary between each person here. The opinions of the members on this board vary greatly from what I have read. Some are strictly catch and release, some keep everything they catch. I like to think I am somewhere in-between. This summer I have caught, and kept, limits of fish on some trips. Other trips I have released every fish I have caught. I think setting personal limits is very important. Setting up regs on this board for members to follow would just cause problems. Again, say you set the limit of Calico Bass to 2. Maybe I go out tomorrow and keep a full 10 limit. Some people would say I was bad because I did not follow the “Board Regs.” Even though say the two trips before and after this one I released 10 bass each trip. That would average out to 2 fish a trip. Personal limits are the key. Personally I do not keep more then I will eat in 1 or 2 meals. Occasionally I will keep limits, and have a BBQ with family or friends. It is good to set personal limits to help out, but until the commercial fisherman are stopped, you releasing a fish or keeping it really wont matter one way or another. Remember commercial fisherman take 98% of all fish caught (Maybe 90% if you don’t include baitfish). Just read Mola Joe's post regarding the Totuava, once the commercial fisherman took over they wiped them out of existence. Even if every recreational fisherman took limits on each trip down there. the fish would not be almost extinct, like they are now. Same story with rockfish, halibut, white seabass, and most other highly sought after fish! It's all perspective. Andrew

Posted by stinkyfingers

GENUIS!! Ken, are you reading this? LONG POST. “There comes a time in every man's life where he chooses his destiny and seals his fate.” —stinkyfingers, just now... Mobilesuit: You just thought of an incredible thing, and I'd like to add to it, if that's cool. Again, I'm glad I logged on at home because I'm in the right mood right now. Here are the ideas that jumped into my head:

#1: Instead of calling it “rules.” which people tend to have negative vibes with, let's call it a “pledge” of honor. Yeah, let's all take an oath, pending a majority rule agreement and sensibly imposing self-regulations, where we all vow to abide by the rules we set forth in our pledge.

#2: This “pledge” will contain a very well developed pamphlet that specifically deals with fish, by species by photos, and it will outline exactly when those fish spawn, what all the regs on them are, and exactly what OUR version of WHAT IS RIGHT is (we can work on that in another thread). A quick, and easy-to-read interpretation of the DFG rules as well, dated so you know when the “null” times are.

#3: The pledge would contain a section where we all swear to respect nature and the living things around us. That means we all pledge never to waste fish, never to trash any piers, and never do things that just plain WRONG. I'm not asking to argue about the definition of “wrong.” because I end that fight by simply stating that no matter what’s inside all our heads there is a voice that whispers...it's just a matter of whether or not you listen.

#4: Should Rich and Ken be willing, perhaps we can employ a system of recognition for taking “the pledge.” All the folks that take the “oath” will get some kind of a graphic next to their tag-name, every time they post. Consider it an “insensitive” to pledge, as well as a constant reminder of the oath we took.

#5: “What if someone lies and just takes the oath and continues to exceed the rules or even poach???” - - - Well, I got an answer for that. Simple, actually. Consider the very first sentence in this post, that quote of mine. Now, picture yourself on your deathbed, when you are 90 or so. Consider what will go through your head. You think HONOR is a positive thing? Sure, I think it drives a piece of us all. CONSCIENCE? Oh yeah, baby—we got it...that little grasshopper does not go away. INTEGRITY? Yep, we all strive to achieve it, and it's something that stays with us forever, and makes us respect ourselves, or hate ourselves. Consider it a pledge to ourselves, not to the board. The board merely serves as the vehicle for us as the executor of such an oath. All in all, I say sure, people CAN lie and do it, but so what? Who are they really lying to? Not the board—but to themselves. But, even if we do have liars on it...***Does that take away from that fact that YOU are being TRUE?*** And that's what really matters.

#6: On that last topic, I'd like to point out that this pledge should NEVER be used a means for any witch hunts or public persecution. We don't need to be looking around and "eyeing" people like a nut, and we don't need to be PARANOID when someone neglects to leave out a detail that can determine guilt. We will always give benefit of the doubt, and assume that any details left out are favorable. However, that's not to say that if a pledge knowingly does something that it is out of line...well, I imagine Ken and Rich can make decisions like that.

#7: Fish populations change, the world changes for crying out loud, and therefore our "rules" will be subject to change, according to the “State of the Fisheries,” kind of like “State of the Union” address, you know? Nothing is set in stone forever, a fish can overcome an area or be depleted—QUICKLY.

#8: Add to the benefits of a pledge—we can even order shirts or something. People see us out there, ask about it, see the Pierfishing.com logo, and they get on and log in and we get more members. Power by people count, they say.

#9: Perhaps it's just me, but I feel we're onto something here. You see, it's all about self-discipline. Think about it. Regardless of the rules DFG has, they don't have the resources to enforce them. Therefore, it's ALREADY a matter of self-discipline. This pledge simply takes it to another level, that does not deal with red tape or bribed political bs! Our decisions are based on what's best for the fishery, and we consider our enjoyment as secondary to what's right. The DFG is limited, you see. If they go too far, everyone will ignore them. That, in combination with the wrong people administrating things and making biased decisions, gives us what we have today—a DFG with good intentions hindered with too many bruises of bad officials and bad decisions, as well as a lack of funds and manpower to execute the law.

#10: Every situation is different and subject to interpretation. What may seem like one thing can really be another. Being flexible is a must, and being stubborn is a flaw.

So there, I offer ten commandments—just kidding. But seriously—I think this is exciting and I think we're on the verge of setting new standards among our fishing community. Perhaps we can set a trend that will catch on throughout the nation. "A man can dream, can he not?" — stinkyfingers


Posted by Songslinger

The Pledge...must supercede even the Law. Our ethics demand no less. All I Want Is A Fair Fight

Posted by stinkyfingers


Forgot to add one thing. Perhaps a portion of this site can be devoted to this “pledge” thing, where we keep a roster of the pledges, as well as online copy of pamphlet. By the way, I am more than happy to devote 75% of my free time to this. I figure between us all, we've got enough of our own pictures to not have to go around and ask, we've got enough talent to get it done for free, and we've got the spirit and tenacity to go through with it. Folks, Martin Luther had a dream, and this is “Martin” Stinkyfingers' dream...(Ken/Rich: I'm willing to contribute on a financial level.)

Posted by mobilesuit

Wow, guess this is what you call a split in opinion. I don’t know what to say. I think everyone is right Well, I guess the only thing I could do is just express a few of my opinions. I guess the biggest thing that I thought people could gain from this was a bunch of really good knowledge regarding keeping the fish population alive. I’m sure that commercial fisherman are keeping more fish than we could ever imagine catching and depleting the fish population... but I think that doesn’t mean that we as other fisherman should take that into account when we take fish. I was just thinking that making some sort of online pamphlet or whatnot would spread really good information about fish taking, and that this information would make everyone more knowledgeable about fish and their population. Then I was hoping that the majority of fisherman, knowing this information, would take it into account greatly when they keep fish. Basically it’s like those GI JOE cartoon endings. It spreads knowledge, and knowing is half the battle. It’s like them telling kids not to cross the street without checking both sides of the roads because it’s dangerous. Then hopefully the kid will check both sides of the road before he crosses. If the kid didn’t know that it was dangerous, then he'd probably cross it without checking. If the kid knows it dangerous and he doesn’t check the roads, he’s just one of them kids. You know, nothing wrong… just another personality I guess. That basically is how I'd be. If I knew that a 15-in bass was in its prime spawning age, then I definitely would not keep it. But as of now, I have no idea whatsoever the size bass that you really need to leave in the water. I don’t think the regs right now are that knowledgeable. It seems like randomly chosen round #s to me and/or they aren’t too specific. Maybe, that’s just my opinion. As a final note, I just wanted to add that the GI JOE cartoon never went beyond stating knowledge.. it doesn’t really have the power to I guess. But I mean hey, if they had the power to make kids take a pledge or something great but how many loyal viewers would actually take one? Also, would it be good to separate the pledged GI JOE viewers from the unpledged ones? Again, just my opinion. I think everyone had great ideas though. Well whatever happens count me in!

Posted by stinkyfingers

Good point, however I still beg to differ. I didn't consider the negative aspect of the concept of “separation,” as in drawing a line between some of us, and “the rest.” I see your point because it's PR, and it is a valid point...But I still do not agree. In society, when you work hard and earn money you drive a Lexus. That's life. Excerpt from Simpsons-Teacher—“Now class, what do we call it when you treat everyone equally even though they are not?” Class (in unison)—“Communism.” I'm not callin' you a commie, Mobile, just trying to lighten things up a bit here, it just reminded me of that Simpsons’ episode and I thought I would share. I'm simply pointing out that some people DESERVE to be recognized for striving to be the best. (Ever see a bumper sticker that read "My child is an honor student."? Do the other parents complain? No, they just buy ones that read “My kid beat your honor student up.”) After all, aren’t the value of our lives directly proportionate to how well we do at making the best of ourselves?

Posted by stinkyfingers


Consider this quote" All men are created equal

My version is “All men are created equal, but their actions create their inequality” —stinkyfingers, on a roll...

Posted by mobilesuit


Heheh, that’s a funny excerpt. Anyhow I think your idea is a good one. I wasn’t disagreeing with it. I wasn’t disagreeing with anyone’s idea I guess. But yea, it’s PR so its not black and white. Just wanted tell everyone what I thought, since I felt the need to reply.

Posted by PierHead


I'm with you, Stinky!

Posted by stinkyfingers

Thank you, Pierhead! And I want everyone that agrees with this idea to know just how much it really means to me, and I'm sure to a lot of our finned friends as well.

Posted by bigdaddycat

Interesting idea, all good points. I strongly agree with leapin’ about the people who take the pledge already do what is right. I see a lot of time and long posts to follow if we go through with this idea. I think it’s going to take a lot to come up with majority rules regulations. Does that make sense? Not just one person can say “okay 2 Calico's can be kept between 12-14.” I really like the idea of the pamphlet with the fish species and regs and some interpretation of them that would really help. I would also like a list of prime spawn times and size that would be great to help set personal limits. Even if I set all the rules, I still wouldn't take the pledge! I'm not perfect and I never ALWAYS do the right thing. This is a frustration that has been building, it does seem that a lot on the board never do wrong. I'm happy to see some people saying they keep their limits, set by DFG, on occasion. Anyway, back to the right/wrong, for example, I know its wrong and unsafe to travel above the speed limit, however I very seldom abide by it. Now don't get me wrong, I don't go weaving in and out of traffic 20 mph faster than everyone else. I also never make a promise that I can't keep, therefore I will not “pledge” to always follow the board regs. I would rather be seen as a bad person, or a non-pledge member long before I would want to be considered a liar/cheat. There would always be that occasion that I may give away a fish, or use a fish for cut bait, is it wrong...yes, do I know it yes, will I still do it...yes. Don't get me wrong 90%...85% of the time I do right, but not always. I am far from perfect, and I may make enemies by saying so but I strongly doubt that anyone here always does the right thing. Does everyone here recycle, no one here smokes (I do)? Sure no law says we can't smoke, but is it hurting our resources, yep, other people around us, yep. We always have are own little quirks, our likes/dislikes that is what makes this country so beautiful, the fact that we can. I will be more than happy to devote my time and efforts to an information pamphlet. When me and the dude found this board we got blasted for keeping a pregnant smoothhound and trying to use the babies for bait. After someone spoke up, we were finally educated and not blasted. “Knowledge is power” I say educate as many people as we can, but you can keep your pledge. Ken

Posted by stinkyfingers


At least we make up a pamphlet with pictures and such, huh? And educate in it, so that way—at least you are aware of spawns and fragile species. At that point, you can set your own rules for yourself—how about that? You see, my fellow man, you have already denied a pledge that does not yet exist...and what if the pledge turns out to be something that is NOT harsh and rigid, but rather loose in it's constraints—what if it turns out to be nothing more than a pledge to yourself that you will always TRY to do the right thing? Redundant, huh? I know... I understand what you say about never knowing 100% what you will and will not do in the future. Just like right now, I cannot promise you that I will never get drunk again, BUT certain things I can promise you for 100%, the first one that comes to mind is that I will never hit a woman.

Posted by bigdaddycat

I already agreed to the helping out on the pamphlet. As far as a loose pledge, yeah sort of redundant, I've already done that, its certain values I live with everyday. That is in fact thanks to the education from the board. I may catch and give away fish, but not catch and give away over my limit. Nor will I keep a pregnant shark to see if the little ones make good bait. I do like your analogies though, I can guarantee I can't promise not to get drunk, lol, I can promise I won't drive drunk. I also agree on the woman beating, I won't do it.

Posted by baitfish

Guidelines and food for thought...I think that this is great in theory, but I can tell you from experience that once a group starts to organize and make even loose rules, animosity will build. It is inevitable, there will always be some people who are alienated because they feel that this rule or pledge should be one way and others feel it should be another way, it is human nature. Besides any rules or changes we make are subject to Ken’s approval since this is his site. This is something that is going to have to evolve over time and experience.

This is what I suggest...First decide a list of fish that we want to include, I would start with a list of the most commonly caught, endangered, and misidentified fish...

Halibut, WSB, Corbina, Croakers, Calico's, Perch, Rockfish etc...

Some loose guidelines should then be made to help inexperienced anglers know what would most help the fishery. How to identify a fish in spawn, or a pregnant fish, different slot limits etc. The market here is fisherman who don't know any better. If someone is an experienced fisherman and knows the consequences, the chances of that person changing their views is slim. We need to help the anglers out there who do not know what a fish is or how to make an informed decision on whether or not to keep it. Just my opinion...Adam

Posted by The_Dude

The MILITIA…I say hell, lets all just give each other our phone numbers, and when we see someone doing something “WRONG” lets just organize and beat them up? Makes a lot more sense to me. Lol. An info paper would be nice, kind of like the ones that are laminated on sharks and big fish that are in the big sports stores. Pledge stuff is BS. Half the people on this board say one thing here and then do another somewhere else. You can shame me, flame me, or whatever else, but get real, people love to have others think they are good and honest. I for one know what I think is right and wrong, but that doesn't mean someone else does. I give myself “pledges” or whatever every time I grab my pole, get in my car, hell even when I wake up. Does this mean I follow them perfect? No, not always to a tee, but I do my best and I can honestly say that I don't have a problem with mirrors. The militia thing was a joke. Please don't take offense, but if you do oh well, at least I try to give this bored some humor.

BTW, if these info papers come out, it might be a good idea to print them in Spanish, Hangul (Korean), and any other language out here that makes a barrier. I will be glad to give out the papers to people like church tracts. But remember all we can do for real is set the example, and educate them the best we can. I don't think the board is the problem, it is everyone else out there to include the bird punchers, poachers, and mis-guided fish handlers.

Posted by Red Fish

(20) lashes with an Ugly Stik.

Posted by stinkyfingers

How about “recommendations?” Instead of FORCING our rules onto anyone, we can provide them with what the DFG limits are, and then provide a recommended limit for the sensible angler. How about that? I think everyone could accept that. Because after reading your post, and Leapin's and Mobilesuit's, I think this would be the best approach. By the way, Leapin', I know it's within ourselves already, I just thought if we made it a public thing people would catch on...

Posted by baitfish

Sounds good to me...Adam Will work for fish!

Posted by Ken Jones


The Pledge...I just read the posts concerning a pledge and must admit I am a little overwhelmed. I also must admit that I am unable to respond with a good, coherent, well thought out response at this time. I have to think about it.

However, I can add a few observations:

(1) I'd love to see such a pledge work but so far haven't even been able to convince everyone on this board to respect one another. I've always thought debate, even heated debate is good for an increase in knowledge and a possible change in outlook. But basic disrespect, calling people names, and profanity (which admittedly happens only a small part of the time) on the board makes me question how effective something like a pledge would be. True we can ban people from the board but often those are the very people we hope will change their behavior/attitudes.

(2) Based on the comments I've seen I can say with some degree of confidence that the board has served as a good educational tool for many people—both in basic angling knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, in viewing the relationship of the angler to his/her environment. So, we have made a start.

(3) There is some degree of danger whenever a group such as this formalizes itself into a group, begins to write out position papers, pledges, etc. The individual is diminished for the (perceived) greater good of the group. I kind of like the freedom of the board as we have it now. But then again, Lenin felt you needed only a few dedicated (and usually well-armed) individuals to change society (or perhaps, more honestly, to impose their views on society). Reminds me of a little group called the Taliban. We may KNOW that our conservationist views are the ones everyone should follow but how far do we go in imposing them on others? I think if you look back at some of my earlier posts (and they may no longer be in the records we can access) you will see that education was a main goal of this board. Acting as the police, whether policing angler’s actions or thoughts, always seems as a little more dangerous.

(4) To produce a pamphlet takes a lot of time and effort and will require work by more people than just Rich and myself.

(5) Like any new ideas, thought on the subject—combined with a little study, more thought, and extra time for contemplation—will probably produce additional ideas. I suggest we all think about the recent suggestions and come up with some new thoughts. Perhaps a new thread could run starting next Wednesday afternoon. That should give those interested a few days to “think and give flesh to the proposals.” It should be interesting.

Posted by Songslinger

Agreed

Posted by lucy

And furthermore…First, there are already plenty of groups, both for fishing and for conservation, so anybody who feels the need to join a formal “group” has plenty of options. There's no need to try to turn this board, with its wide variety of personalities, skill levels, fishing interests, etc. into a “group.” By their very nature, groups are exclusionary—the moment you try to define what the group IS, you exclude all those who don't fit that definition, or at least make them feel that they're not welcome. One of the things that makes this board the wonderful resource it is the fact that everyone is welcome.

Second, I and the other people of this state pay DFG to manage the fishery and establish fishing regulations. I do not need or want (and will not put up with!) any private individual or group of individuals trying to impose on me his/their notions of what the law “should” be. And I have NO desire to see this board turn into a sanctimonious little group run by a bunch of self-appointed arbiters of "fishing correctness."


As for respect and people getting along and whatnot, the behavior of people on this board is generally extremely good compared to what you see on other boards. I have a friend who does 3-D art and participates in a couple of message boards, and you should see some of the flame wars on those boards! They go on for DAYS and get seriously vicious. Compared to that, the people on this board generally behave very well.

I, myself, would like to see a FAQ on the website that answers the more commonly asked questions about regulations, such as where it's legal to use two poles and where it isn't, and that kind of thing. But please, let's not have any "pledges." Put up a “pledge,” and in no time you'll have people patting themselves on the back for taking it and criticizing those who haven't taken it, and arguing among themselves about who's upholding it better than whom, and ratting each other out for breaking it, and blah-blah-bloody-BLAH. Who needs it?

Posted by shorepounder

I agree with Lucy.'s points...If people want to make a pledge, I wish they would pledge to honor Ken's requests of how to behave on and use this site. Influencing others comes through the information that most provide in their reports and postings. Many on this board that contribute regularly here already talk about catch and release fishing, not trashing where you fish, what fish species they feel are in trouble, how to release a fish, etc. etc. If people really want to become better anglers and conservationists, there's plenty of information on how to do so weekly on this site. It starts with caring. When you care about something you'll find out how to take care of it and then do so. Shorepounder <"))){

There it stood, in a Limboland of disagreement, for quite some time:

yes we should, no we shouldn’t, yes we should....

Eventually however we did come up the Pier Rats’ Code,

a reflection on and wishful way of conducting oneself when visiting a pier.

The Pier Rats’ Code

As responsible anglers, we recognize that our actions should always be governed by what is right—ethically and legally—and we understand and agree that the best ways to accomplish our goals is through personal example and education.

We’re dedicated to preserving the pier rats’ environment in the following ways:

We will work to protect all species of fish. Fish that will be kept for food will be killed in a humane manner. Fish that are to be returned to the water will be handled with care in an attempt to assure their safe return to the water. All species of fish—both sportfish and incidental species—will be given the same respect and treatment. We will attempt to avoid the capture of unwanted or prohibited species.

We will work to improve the environments of the piers themselves as well as the waters around the piers. We will dispose of trash in trash containers, make sure there are no lines or discarded tackle on the pier, and clean up bait from the surface of piers as well as the railings. Where possible, we will assist in the removal of lines and tackle from pilings and pier structures. We will not throw pollutants (of any type) into the waters adjacent to the pier. We will always try to leave the pier as clean or cleaner than when we arrived.

As guardians of the pier environment, we will, to the best of our ability, try to reason with and correct anglers observed to be acting in a manner detrimental to that environment. We will, if necessary, report cases of abuse to the relevant authorities. Observations of illegal fishing methods will be reported to the Fish and Game Department (CalTip). Observations of destruction to the pier will be reported to local agencies.

We will encourage good fishing etiquette. We will learn and obey all fishing regulations. We will treat fellow anglers with courtesy and respect. We will endeavor to educate our fellow anglers in sound and safe angling methods and fishery conservation.

 
#14
We are living in a time where a person can walk into an establishment in SF and take merchandise and have no consequences. Straight out of the FOX playbook, and it sounds reasonable, but it it is false. As if any metropolitan area does not have crime. SF has become the talking point poster child for the anti-progressives. It is a tired cliche. (It is just as accurate as blaming the current president for all our woes.)
This is based on my personal experience when I was attending the AGU conference at the Moscone center in December of 2019. I saw this twice in three days. Are you suggesting that this is not currently an issue in SF? Im not sure why you want to tie this to FOX so badly. I dont watch it, but it sounds like you do. Im not sure why if you find it so off putting. I will say that this was perhaps the least of some unspeakable public behavior I witnessed while I was there but my examples have no relevance here. Ask me in private, I will tell you what I saw.. Back to the fishing.

As far as "your own turf," that makes me wince. That's gang speak. Pass. A public area belongs to...the public.
I agree that neatly out of context, that does not sound good, but lets put it back in context of the conversation. My point was always that if the authorities cannot control the blatant public behavior that I witnessed, how far down the priority ladder is fishing violations? Pretty darn low in priority. My Own Turf, would refer to places that I fish on a regular basis. I see the same people often at the fishing grounds where I frequent, ( Is that better than 'My Own Turf"?) We talk, like minds join forces. As soon as we see someone new, we engage, let them know how we feel about the rules and let them know we care, watch and report. No mention of keeping anyone out of public places or being vigilantes. Im not suggesting that a newbie could go to Pacifica pier and clean that place up, that would be suicide, nor am I suggesting that we are super effective, but we have made progress in our area. The majority of people who are regulars where I fish follow the rules. Granted,my most frequent spots are not public piers , which due to the no license requirement can draw uneducated fishermen. I am against this no license requirement for this reason. I was threatened with a gun at the Coast Guard Jetty for letting someone know that they had an undersize Cab in their bucket and that there had been recent visits by DFG. Its not like I was going to take matters into my own hand after that, but if you want to clean up your fishing grounds, it starts with an effort, not doing nothing. That's my opinion.

Side note: I recommend to all to lay off the CNN/FOX/Facebook group think black and white thing. It makes people look for reasons to get their hackles up, when maybe they should not.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#15
I must add that there appears to be no difference (or little difference ) when it comes to breaking the rules between those who have or do not have licenses (at least as far as those who fish on a regular basis). Granted there are some newbies who fish from a pier because it's free, who don't take the time to learn the rules, and may not care if they do break the rules. But, they are usually not the ones on a pier with multiple rods or buckets of illegal fish.

Unfortunately, those on the pier who break the rules are much more readily noticeable than those on a "hidden shore spot" or those fishing from a kayak/boat unobserved. Even more unfortunate is the fact that the Fish and Wildlife wardens do not like to visit the piers. They feel they are outnumbered and often have unsuccessful visits.