The Great Outdoors by James Murray

Column: When several anglers get talking over coffee

Great Outdoors by James Murray

Get four people, let’s say anglers, sitting around the table at a coffee shop and you are likely to end up with at least five different opinions on any given subject.

The other day a group of us had gathered and were discussing the lack of quality fishing on a lake not too far from here. We were all of the opinion that things have been on a steady decline for the past couple of years.

“Ever since all those powerbaiters started putting in their lines,” one fellow said.

“And to make matters worse, they keep every damned fish they catch,” piped up another. “I mean, you can’t put a fish back when it’s swallowed powerbait. No point in putting it back just to die.”

“They leave their lines in day and all night,” added someone else. “Not a hell of a lot of sport to that.”

“I don’t see why they even bother putting limits on a lake if only a few anglers are going to obey the rules,” said another.

“Two fish, that’s all you’re allowed,” said somebody else. “That’s the legal limit for rainbow trout on that lake. After I get my two fish, it’s catch and release for the rest of the day.”

“A couple of fish for the frying pan is all a person ever needs anyways.”

“Two fish, that’s what it says in the synopses.”

“Once you’ve taken your two fish, that should be it for the day, you should be off the water. That’s the way I see it” another voice interjected.

“What do ya mean? After I’ve got my two fish, I release everything else,” responded the first fellow. “I’m entitled to keep fishing as long as I don’t keep any of ‘em.”

“Catch and release is fine, but what happens when you’ve already got two fish in the boat… an’ even though you fully intend on releasing a fish, you know it ain’t goin’ to survive. Are you still gonna put it back in the water – just to die?”

The cycle of comments and opinions went around the table another couple of times.

Read more: Column: Mourning doves upset morning routines

Read more: Column: Always prepared for that flash of colour

“I only keep a fish if I can’t be sure it will survive. Say if it takes the hook too deep, or I can’t get the hook out properly, without bloodying the fish, then it becomes supper.”

“Catch and release is not a perfect science,” added another guy with a formality to his words. “There will always be a certain mortality rate, no matter how well you release a fish.”

“You could just keep the last two fish of the day,” added someone in a slightly mocking, if not mimicking, voice.

“Or fish for perch – if you’ve got your limit of one species, can you still fish for another species?”

“If you’re fishing for trout, you’re not likely to catch too many perch, or vice versa,” added the guy with the formal sounding voice.

“If you have your limit of trout and you still want to put in a full day’s fishing, then why shouldn’t you be able to go after some perch? There’s more than enough of them in some of our lakes, anyways.”

One opinion led to another, around the table and back again.

“No, two fish and you are done. Once you’ve caught your limit of any species you’re off the water. No two ways about it. It only makes sense.”

“Catch and release – it all boils down to honour among anglers.”

“Except among them powerbaiters”

The conversation went on until one fellow said he had to pick his wife up at the hairdresser’s.

“The women are probably all sitting around having a hen party,” he said, chuckling, getting up from the table, “A real hen party.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

A key in the lock of a door. (File photo)
Sicamous residents say lack of long-term rentals detrimental to town

A couple who have lived in Sicamous for 27 years and want to stay might have to leave

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Brodie Stuart and her mom, Mikel Stuart, gather for the celebration at Parkview Elementary on June 18, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Eagle Valley News)
Three Shuswap parents honoured for combined 34 years of volunteering

Parkview Elementary parent advisory council members surprised by appreciative flash mob

Centennial Field in Blind Bay will be the site of Market by the Bay on Thursday nights starting June 24, 2021. (Columbia Shuswap Regional District photo)
Forty vendors expected for new Market by the Bay in the South Shuswap

Market starting June 24 to be situated at Centennial Field in Blind Bay

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to collect donations ahead of Kristy Handel’s 33-kilometre run for Chelaine McInroy (pictured) to cover costs for a new prosthetic leg after her June 12, 2021, surgery. (GoFundMe)
Salmon Arm woman runs to raise funds for friend’s new prosthetic leg

33-kilometre Run for Chelaine to help athlete cover medical costs from latest surgery

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Most Read