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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A man who lives about 30 miles south of me that I used to run across on the river a lot dropped by my house yesterday. I hadn't seen him in at least two years so after a little visiting I asked if he had quit fishing as I had not seen him on the river for a while. He informed me he had not quit fishing he had just quit fishing where I do when it became hard to catch fish, he was now fishing down in Mississippi where he had bought a place. He pulled out his cell and showed me pictures of his 18' tiller steer boat loaded down with Flatheads, they covered the floor and were stacked on top of each other. He indicated they were from a combination of nets and trotlines. Wonder where he will locate when it gets hard to catch fish where he is now.
 

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Winston, Indiana
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Humans are capable of doing amazing things and sometimes I’m left in awe of people’s intelligence or creativity…… but sometimes I read about or meet those that make me too, just shake my head.

That said, Jay, do you know his reason for taking so many fish at a time, does he supply restaurants etc? Whatever it is, seems he’s part (or was) of what’s put your stretch in decline.

…W
 

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For a brief period in my youth I made my living commercially fishing for crab. Here's the thing, crabbing can be a lot of laid back fun, but it ceases to be fun when it is your livelihood.
Since I quit and sold out I have never even daydreamed about any form of commercial fishing. Now, I assume that is what this fellow is doing but maybe he just has a "need" to pile up up a big catch for his ego.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That said, Jay, do you know his reason for taking so many fish at a time.…W
He sells fish on the side, don't know about his operation down in Mississippi but he did buy a commercial license when he was still fishing in IL.
For some reason there are a lot more netters in the stretch of the river we fish now than two or three seasons ago.
 

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Some folks don’t care what they destroy as long as they get to do what ever they want. They’re like the buffalo hunters that just killed as many as they could for the fur. And just like the buffalo, unless laws are put into place to stop them, they will do the same thing to fishing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What part of Mississippi is he at?
I do not know, I do think his camp (house) is on a lake not a river and according to the pictures he catches a lot of crappies very early spring before he starts catfishing. He did comment that one day when it was about 32* for a high at his southern IL farm his wife was wearing a swim suit while crappie fishing down there so I would speculate quite aways south of Memphis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Kind of interesting (but not cool) that netting has increased these past couple of years. Maybe pay lake business is up because of covid?
I think where we fish it was just word of mouth, the virus was curtailing a lot of recreational activity and folks were looking for something to do. Someone set a few nets for something to do, made a huge catch, sold $250.00 or so worth of dressed fish and filled their own freezer too. That guy got to talking in the coffee shop and others wanted to fill their freezer and sell several hundred dollars worth of fish to boot.

Probably should be a new thread but some will argue netting has been going on in that river for 100 years. And that is true but the old weathered netter hammering out a living didn't have the advantage of 50 MPH boats, sonar, gps, electric knives and a few other things that make todays netter much more effective than their grandads,
 

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I reckon if I got a commercial liscense,I would fold pretty quick,I like to catch fish,but not that many,and most times I just like to be out in the outdoors,enjoying the peace.I had no idea that such activities carried on In freshwater,my idea of commercial fishing is those ocean trawlers on TV,and down in New Jersey I watch them go out,then I remembered back to my youth how big the Mississippi River is,
 

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I tried several avenues to stop the practice of restaurants buying catfish from local fishermen in North Carolina. The Wildlife Comm. said that if they had a Commerical license to harvest fish, then it was legal. Then I tried a different approach with the State Health Dept, which had already declared it wasn't safe (due to PCB's, Mercury, etc) to eat over a half pound of catfish a month, from NC waters, and children under twelve shouldn't eat none at all and same for pregnant women. They replied that there was no way to police this. So, I went back at them and ask if they couldn't require the restaurant to have a bill of sale for the catfish, they had in stock and cooked and sold to the public or require the restaurant to post a sign stating that some of the catfish was from local bodies of waters. and that it had heavy metals in it. No reply was fore coming from this.
 

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I tried several avenues to stop the practice of restaurants buying catfish from local fishermen in North Carolina. The Wildlife Comm. said that if they had a Commerical license to harvest fish, then it was legal. Then I tried a different approach with the State Health Dept, which had already declared it wasn't safe (due to PCB's, Mercury, etc) to eat over a half pound of catfish a month, from NC waters, and children under twelve shouldn't eat none at all and same for pregnant women. They replied that there was no way to police this. So, I went back at them and ask if they couldn't require the restaurant to have a bill of sale for the catfish, they had in stock and cooked and sold to the public or require the restaurant to post a sign stating that some of the catfish was from local bodies of waters. and that it had heavy metals in it. No reply was fore coming from this.
This seems FISHY to me, not your effort but the "no reply" part. I don't know the laws but it sure seems like any place that prepares fish for sale on their menu should have a paper trail saying the source of the fish and some sort of inspection by the USDA or local health dept.
 

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Bill, in OkC
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I fully agree, Russ.
Though the lake I fish in doesn't have large numbers of big fish, it only has a surface area of 1500 acres, and a maximum depth given as 13', there are people who consistently take more than legal daily limit.
In Spring, I've seen several people fill a 5 gallon bucket with crappie, leave, and come back to do it again.
ODWC Game Warden only says,"It's a never ending battle."
IMO, if he writes a few citations, it might show them that the laws are being enforced and at least slow them down.
Also, though I realize Oklahoma County isn't the smallest county in the state, I haven't seen a sign of ODWC at the lake in two years.
 

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Big Sam Arkansas
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I would hate to have to clean that many flat heads at one time.... We got them here too I've seen 20 ft Sea arks tiller steer 115 optimax barely floating stacked with fish to the top rail ain't even no room to walk.....more than once.... I do not Wonder at all why big face is so hard to catch in our area..... For $25 and a trip to Little Rock to show them in person who you are fill out the papers you can be a commercial fisherman....
 

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Bill, in OkC
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Same here, Sam.
If they catch them small, they don't give them a chance to grow up.
If they catch breeder size, they've spawned their last time.
I've had people call me things that I can't post here, because I won't give them what I catch rather than release them.

I've even me accused of being racially motivated to release fish.
What the heck? You want them? Catch them yourself.
 

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I’m not sure how other states laws go,but I’m pretty sure most responsible restrantuers are required to buy what they sell from a dealer,probably liscense by the board of health.Now I have heard unsubstantiated rumors from local guys about a local establishment that would pay for venison.I consider the source ,and considered it to be a local urban tall tale,never having seen the transaction and knowing how efficient N.Y.S.D.E.C. is at their jobs,besides that if someone knew about such a transaction somebody would try for the reward and call them.
 

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Big Sam Arkansas
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In Arkansas they can buy from commercial fisherman long as a record is kept..there was a catfish restaurant at Knoxville that only sold fresh caught catfish....it was packed every time the doors were open...
 

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Bill, in OkC
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Some years ago, the company I was driving for told us if we didn't make it home for Thanksgiving, turn in a receipt and they would pay for dinner that day.
The restaurant at TA truckstop, Knoxville, had "All you can eat catfish". Whole, not filets.
I ate 32 of them. Average about 10-12" long.
The cook was surprised that I could eat that many.

Next time I stopped there, and was hungry for catfish, they didn't have them anymore. Not even filets. 😣
 
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