Competitive fishing is a benefit to the resource

Competitive fishing is a benefit to the resource
Gone are days success was based on catching most
By DOUG PIKE
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

There is a deep sea of difference between recreational and competitive fishing, but in moderation, as for all things, each is beneficial to the resource.

Both activities have undergone evolution during the past quarter of a century.

Sport fishermen have seen broad improvement in their tackle and techniques, more than during any similar period in history. We can get to more places, stay longer and cast all day with featherweight gear, and we have hand-held electronics that rival the capabilities of computers on the first manned space flights.

Angler’s choice
Fishing at the recreational level remains plenty enjoyable, however, because fishermen, deliberately, keep it that way. The casual angler picks pretty days to fish pretty places, relatively speaking. He — and increasingly she — makes the choice as to when and where wits will be matched against whatever fish are within casting distance.

Competitive fishing has existed for centuries, although not in its current, high-profile form. Until recently, folks knew it better as commercial fishing.

Back when, catching the most fish meant earning the most money. There were no trophy presentations and neither were there any time limits or gear restrictions or boundaries placed on participants. The best fisherman was the man who caught the most pounds of fish, and it was he who best provided for his family. Every day was a new “tournament.”

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