Updated: Jul 22, 2020
When do you catch and keep?
My wife is all in for my fishing for dinner. I am conservation minded and spend a lot of time on catch-and-release trout streams. This absolutely frustrates my wife. And my favorite captain for striper fishing on the fly in the Chesapeake insists on catch and release, which frustrates my wife even more. Fishing is great, but for my wife, it needs to produce rewards beyond bragging rights.
Humans need sustenance, including produce, so to say that certain fish that can be bought in the grocery store cannot be harvested is understandably questionable. But on the other hand, recreational fishing that is sustainable is also very important. So balance in this pastime is key.
As such, throughout the year I try to find opportunities for “catch and keep” of our favorite fish, which includes trout, striped bass (striper or rockfish) and anything Floridian – especially mahi and swordfish.
Striper fishing was my first exposure to fishing for dinner. I grew up in South Jersey and spent most summers on the Jersey Shore. My family preferred to relax in north-central Jersey at Lavallette, near to Seaside and Point Pleasant, and surf fishing was a regular event. Sand spikes, surf fishing poles, up and down rigs and salted clams were the collective instruments for a date with dinner. We did that most days and have a long list of accomplishments (and dinners) to show for it.
I picked up trout fishing (on the fly, literally) in the mid-90s while on holiday in Scotland and later perfected the pastime in the Lake District of the UK. Since then I have accumulated a dozen different fly rods and numerous destination experiences fishing for trout. Besides my homeland of the Mid-Atlantic USA, the trout fishing territory covered includes British Columbia, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Spain, Italy, France, and Britain (Ireland, Scotland and England). Every year I try to fit in a new experience, such as the limestone steams of central Pennsylvania and urban rivers of Atlanta.