When it comes to fishing I tend to take it quite seriously. It is not something to be taken for granted. Like anything else that man decides to become involved in, there are consequences for his involvement.
The fishing community is generally one that appreciates the outdoors and wildlife. It is probably safe to assume that the fish were here before we were. Their life is dependent upon the water and its condition. Pollution, overfishing, and the introduction of invasive species, all affect the fish and the sport of fishing. To ensure fishing is available for generations to come it is important to take care when it comes to man’s impact. Fish as a food supply is also effected. Nobody wants to eat fish that contain poison or other hazardous contamination.
Catch and release is an important subject. Sport fishing revolves around the idea of catch and release. A trophy fish released back into the water gives someone else a chance to enjoy the same experience you just had. Cameras and video cameras have come a long way recently so there should be no problem getting a snapshot of that fish, so you can show it off. Sure we all hook a fish deep in its mouth, or the fish swallows the entire bait and damaging the fish is unavoidable. But, whenever possible it is imperative to handle the fish appropriately so that it can continue its life after being released back into the water. A few obvious pointers include not keeping the fish out of water for extended periods of time, and not mishandling the fish by dragging or dropping it on the ground. Sure accidents happen, but an effort on the part of the fisherman to do a good job getting the fish back into the water unharmed helps fishing for everyone.
Fish are living creatures. They deserve respect as such. They provide a food source. They provide entertainment. They provide a learning experience. The more you respect fishing, the more you will get from it.