As a commercial fishermen I am shocked at the way the "sport fisher" mind works,there is very few commercial fisherman left in the state of Illinois,I never see a commercial fisherman holding a 60 pound catfish in the newspaper but I sure do see a lot of sport fishers pics holding the big cats.I would imagine there is more sport fishers keeping the big catfish then there is commercial fisherman,I am only a 2nd year commercial fisher but been with commercial fishers on several occasions and will say that 90% of their catch was 5-8 pound fish very rarely would you see a 40-50 pound fish in the nets and these was huge nets.My advice is if you have never been commercial fishing then you have no right making these false statements.Just because you go out fishing and don't catch a fish doesn't mean everything in the river is gone,there is a million reasons you may or may not have got a bite.
Why don't we just ban all types of fishing commercial and sport we can have china make us some giant plastic catfish to have our photos taken of us holding them,after all this is what all this is about isn't a photo for bragging rights to our buddies?
As commercial fisherman we care about the water quality and the health of our fisheries just as much or more then you sport fishers,yeah there might be a few people that abuse there rights as a commercial fisher just like there will be a few that abuse there rights as a sport fisher.
You are targeting the wrong people,if you want the quality fishing you are dreaming of you should be targeting barge companies and cities that dump sewer and farmers who have chemicals running off into the lakes and streams and maybe even yourselves when you are out there and your oil is running off your outboard into the waters.
Your thoughts of the commercial fisherman is way off and some what disturbing.
I will speak for the very few commercial fishers that are operating on the waters today
and say that we do care about the quality of fish in our rivers.
Some of these old timers have been on the water before you people was even born this is a way of life for them,something they love to do just like you love to sport fish,only difference is you wont see them on an internet chat forum talking about banning sport fishers.They can read the river like a book,maybe you should sit down and get to know some of them instead of creating so much hate with false assumptions.
75-80% of the fish being harvested by commercial fishers is the buffalo fish,they are caught in both hoop net and gill net,so unless you are there the day that net is pulled out of the river don't assume that they are all targeting catfish and I am surprised you are able to count hoop nets they should be fully submerged under water.
Originally Posted by Dreadnaught
What is the real world to you a dusty factory?
I am assuming you feel the same way about the lumber companies and the coal companies?
Originally Posted by HawginTheBigCats
Here's my veiw on the subject, which probably means nothing, but my feelings anyway. I live in Tennessee and for the most part fish Tennesse's waters. I have caught some nice trophy sized fish and still do on a regular basis. I have been checked 3 times while on the water by a wildlife officer in my entire life. Once was during sauger season and thats what they were looking for and were not interested in anything other than sauger. Another was on a lake at night and the officer was checking boats for alcohol on board. The third was to see if I had a license at a small lake 20 years ago. I have fished the Mississippi river a hundred times and have never seem a game warden on the water or at the ramp, unless it is duck season. When deer season is open there are wardens everywhere, it seems. I have watched commercial guys pull nets and am always suprised at the few fish that I see in them. I know it is easy to blame commercial fishing when you spend a hundred bucks in fuel and fish all day and never get a bite especially when there are nets on every hole you want to fish. Truth is that these fish move and after catching several fish from a "honey hole" it sometimes takes a while for other fish to replace them. I have caught fish within 30ft from gill nets before. Although Tennesse has a 34 inch limit we have no limit for fish under the 34 inch length. That means as long as you don't get caught with more than one over 34 you can keep 2000lbs a day or 10,000 lbs a day or 1,000,000lbs a day. The fines are steep and getting caught with any more than 2 over 34 inch will put the hurt on anyone. The represenative(Bochert) that started the amendment to revert the catfish regulations back to no limits has family that commercial fishes. Imagine that! My problem is this: Why are there such strict regulations on bass? What about crappie? How about stripers? Deer, ducks? The fact is that if you take any animal, faster than it grows to maturity and reproduces the you will eventually wipe out that species. If you cut trees faster than they grow eventually there will be no trees. When there were no regulations on duck, commercial hunters set up civil war cannons near Reelfoot lake in Tennesse and loaded them with basically buckshot. The duck population was desimated. They shot them out of the sky by the hundreds with one shot. I don't duck hunt and never have, really don't give a crap about duck hunting but that just isn't right and I am glad there are regulations put into place that enable people to enjoy their sport. Here in Tennessee you can catch 1,000,000 lbs of catfish a day and sell them legaly. If you tried to sell 100 lbs of smallmouth bass you'd be in the penitentary. That doesn't make good sense to me. If you want to eat fish or feed your family or even have a big fish fry for the neighborhood then you ought to be able to do so. I would think that running nets or lines is more work than fun and doubt that there'd be many people doing it to feed there family. Why not sale a limited number of commercial licenses and limit the total lbs they can sale. Does anyone, including the wildlife offices and commercial fisherman, know how many lbs of catfish or any other fish can be taken annually without hurting the overall population? I say sale a limited number of license and enact a length limit, as well as, a total poundage limit and enforce it. All you have to do is put an officer at the fish markets they wouldn't even need a boat. Catfish are a natural resource and as far as I know are not stocked in any rivers here. Basically what I am trying to say is that just because your "honey holes" aren't producing any fish it is not always the commercial guys fault and the unregulated taking of fish has got to be stopped before it's to late. Catfish or buffalo are no less of a fish than a smallmouth bass. Here's a picture of a gill net in the Mississippi river that was left all night and for atleast half of the next day. See any fish? This is not the only net I've seen that was void of fish but perhaps they are void of fish because of the hundred years that these fish have been taken without regulations. We have got to fight for whats right, not whats right for me, or whats right for the trophy angler, or whats right for the commercial fishers, but whats right for the fish to be able to sustain on their own.
Originally Posted by shadguts
That is some crazy technology you have there what is the brand of that gadget?
alright, my two cents, which isn't worth that! I am not a commerical fisher, I am a sports fisher. I almost hate to take the side of the commercial fisher but I think I have to. They are doing nothing wrong. All they are doing is following the rules that "we" as a people have enacted or pushed to enforce. Most times we only bitch about stuff when it effects us in a bad situation. No one said anything when we were eating catfish fillets at our local grill and pub for next to nothing. There will ALWAYS be people or companys that take advantage of ANY law or fishing regulation. Do I think that some type of stature should be imposed, YES, do I think the commerical fisherman is the only person to blame, no. I love this sport of catfishing, WITH A ROD AND REEL, but my dad and uncle(both are in there middle 70's) would run troutlines and jugs on the mississippi and would have two bathtubs in the boat, one for the troutlines and one for the fish. Caught all legal. We shouldn't be blaming each other and work together on getting a law passed....as stated befoe, commerical fisherman make a liveing on catching these fish, they do not want them to disapper either. They have pull, lets use that in or favor. Having surved in the military, I have spent time in many states and countrys, born and raised in missouri, we have one if not the best conservation departments anywhere. Missouri has the power and the money to make this happen, we just need to keep nugging in the right direnction....thanks for listning to my rant, just striked out spooning had to release some built up energy