Coming off the ice last week I was checked by a game warden. When he asked to see our fish I told him we released them, but caught about a dozen. While I didn't know him, he called me by name and said he liked my show and those fish were lucky, as they might have been the only limit released today.
A guy loading up next to us overheard this and couldn't believe that we would just release our fish and questioned if we really caught any. He went on to say that they are there to catch their limit and then go home. I asked if getting a limit was the most important thing, to which he responded yes.
In Ohio we have a four-fish limit in early spring and a six-fish limit for the remainder of the season. So when I asked him if he catches four in May it's then considered a failure? But it's OK in April? That got me a well-deserved funny look.
Yes I'll admit I was messing with him, but at what point does a real sportsman allow a number of fish to control his or her idea of success? When the fish are really biting do you really want to just pick up and leave just because your limit is filled? I guess this is where the majority of bass anglers differ from those of us in the walleye world—in a good way.
While I won't say a word about a guy keeping his legal limit, I do wonder how many fish a guy can eat, and at what point it becomes waste. I have seen anglers just bury fish after showing them off to their buddies because they were either spoiled or too lazy to clean them.
That is ridiculous, get a camera!
My mentor, the late Capt. Jim Fofrich Sr. told me at an early age: "We are selling a day on the lake and a get away from the normal daily grind, let the other guys sell a limit of fish."
I never fully understood this until later in life, but anyone that ever fished with Jim knew no one would question his success.
To each their own, I guess. I know I enjoy a day on the lake with or without a limit—but catching some isn't so bad either!
Capt. Ross Robertson