How much pain does a fish experience during the time you're fighting them? Do you catch and release? Why?
This article from Australia is very interesting. The title alone (FISH FACTS: Animal rights activists blurring the science around fish welfare) is enough to make us quiver a little bit. Let's face it: obviously it's not comfortable for the fish when it picks up a lure or bait and you start pulling it to (what it thinks is) its death. Even if you intend to release it gently to "fight another day" the fish is fighting for its life and it's fighting something (the pull of a line from its mouth) that's not genetically part of its makeup. It has to hurt. Once you let it go we would like to think that the memory is gone in the fish's little brain, but big old and very smart snook looking at my DOA shrimp like it was a car made of soft plastic teach me that fish do indeed learn from their mistakes. On the other hand we've caught tarpon that had tags in them, so some fish do not seem to care.
Here's the story about the Fish Activist world as it exists in Australia. We've been following Australian animal rights activists for years, because there is only one core collective of activists in the world of animal rights. Many times organizations like PETA are not all they seem to be, but that having been said, people who care for animals certaily are on the right path.
We are among them. But we love to fish.