Learn to Fish Eat more Fish

On how the Hastings Bill could throw a wrench in the re-authorization of the Magnuson Stevens Act…

“We have to remember that what really matters is [TOTAL] mortality, which is the sum of all mortality, whether or not fishing-related.” – John McMurray.

red white fly grouper texas coast

Dinner Sized Comb Grouper on the Fly

When I read this, I stopped… grabbed at the stubble on my chin and thought to myself…

“Precisely! This signifies what we should do when factors “outside our jurisdiction” cause a [calculable] negative impact on fish species populations.”

Maybe there is some rough factor in the equations already that account for this, but I bet not everything is taken into account. I’d like to see a list but I am no expert in those things. It seems though the obvious proactive measure would be to reduce quotas across the board in order not disrupt the natural ebbs and flows of a balanced fish population.  Human impact factors are the greatest of all in the list of measurable conditions which negatively effect a fishery. There is endless amounts of data for that! avoiding the use of plastics every moment you have is one example of a counter measure to pollution.

I’ve been known to say, “If you want to eat ( the freshest of) fish, learn to catch it yourself!”

Not only will it taste better than any fish you have ever eaten, the sense of accomplishment when serving your meal will be absolutely amazing.

redfish, fly fishing,

Not dinner to go? Let it go!

My philosophy when fishing for the table is to simply realize that I do not need to take a “limit” of fish. Nor do I need to kill the most fish and the biggest of fish that the law allows. Especially if just because it is allowed.

Compare the amount of fish on your plate at a restaurant to the size of the fish on your plate at home. As a frame of reference, restaurants only serve 6-8oz portions and most of the time its in the 6oz size. A 20.5 inch redfish will feed two people nicely with some rice pilaf and grilled asparagus. That’s full enough for me. Thank you. Maybe on a hungry day I throw in some GMO korn.

On the occasions when I want to take a fish home for dinner, and especially when the fridge is bare except for a few vegetables I routinely don’t catch a keeper. The idea though if you do get into boatloads of fish is that you can carefully select the fish that is appropriately sized for your dinner that night without even risking swamping your boat because you killed limits of fish. Nonetheless, certainly respect the current laws in place. If these laws didn’t exist we wouldn’t have any fish for which to go fishing. This practice also helps reduce waste of fish after it has been taken for the table.

Only taking species which have a stable population is a good practice, and letting go all the ones that are big fish because they produce the largest reproductive biomass and especially those that are currently reproducing. And hell, if you caught tons of fish, after a long exhausting day you might pass out and forget to clean the fish. Doh! The gills should be red when you go to clean them. If the are dead too long or if they get hot too fast, the gill color fades considerably. That is exactly what Granddaddy taught me as a kid. Red gills are a sign that the fish is fresh. Any other color gills was a a waste of that fish’s life. Grandaddy was right. Make sure your fish has gills, then put it to your own taste test!

happy camping redfish texas coast

Vic with his keeper redfish that fed 4 people well.

If you know me, cleaning a tons of fish for a few hours is not my favorite thing to do. When only taking one or two fish for a single meal you will usually have a few cold pieces of fried fish leftover from the night before to snack on for breakfast!! Just dash on a little powdered cayenne pepper and hit the door to go catch some more!

Keeping the hooks sharp
Captain Ken Jones