Catch-and-Release vs Catch-and-Eat

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2 men walking beside the Guadalupe river.

Based on personal experience and a few fishing forums I visited, the “release vs. keep” subject seems to be a touchy one. There are anglers on both sides of the spectrum that have extreme views on this matter.

The catch-and-release extremists believe that all fish caught should be released immediately. And if you want to eat fish, you should go out any buy it, rather than depleting a resource. These people have a problem with others that keep their full legal limits and may even confront those anglers with verbal out-lashes.

On the other side, there are those anglers that keep every single fish they catch. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 2 incher or a state record, they are keeping the fish “to eat”. Yet, their freezers are packed full of them. Many of these anglers believe that there is no point fishing if you don’t keep the fish.

Put two of these extremes into one room together and you’re sure to get a fist fight.

What do I think? I fall somewhere in the middle. I believe that as long as the angler follows the law, it’s none of my business if they keep or release. I think that the state fish and game departments do a good job of determining the limits of the fish you can catch. Therefore, I don’t really care if you decide to keep every fish you catch (within the limit) or release them all.

What do I do? I catch and release about 70% of the time, and keep about 30%. I would probably release all of my fish caught because I really don’t like to clean them, but MY WIFE CAN COOK. Every fish I catch is a potential gourmet meal (Pan-Fried Trout with Orange, Mint, and Fried Capers), so you can see why I would keep them. Just thinking about it gets me hungry, even though I just ate.

Plus, I like the idea of providing for my family and having fun at the same time. I go out fishing and bring back food for the table. There is a certain satisfaction I get from that.

What do you think about Catch and Release vs. Catch and Keep? Share your opinion in the comment section below.

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2 thoughts on “Catch-and-Release vs Catch-and-Eat”

  1. Here is the recipe mentioned above, just in case you were wondering:


    5 oranges
    1 cup flour
    2 tablespoons kosher salt
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    6 3/4 lb, clean rainbow trout
    1 bunch mint, 18 leaves aside
    olive oil
    3 tablespoons capers
    1-1/2 cups dry white wine
    3 tablespoons butter


    1. Preheat the over to 200. Slice 3 of the oranges (with rind on) into 1/4″ thick rounds. In bag, combine all but 2 T of flour, salt n pepper, add 2 fish at a time and coat. Put fish on baking sheet. Stuff each with 2 or 3 orange slices and 3 whole mint leaves.

    2. Juice remaining 2 oranges, keep juice. Heat 3 T olive oil in pan, add fish and cook until golden brown. Place back on baking sheet and place in center rack of oven to keep warm.

    3. Toss the capers with remaining 2 T of flour, add some olive oil to pan, and cook capers until crisp, about 2-3 min. Take capers out, drain on towel.

    4. Add wine to pan, scraping up bits. Add reserved orange juice and chopped mint. Cook for 3 to 5 min. Turn off heat and add butter. Top fish with this when serving with salt and pepper. Garnish with capers.

    Mmmmm… Enjoy!


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