Why CPR on the river of lake of origin?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by CatHunterSteve, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. CatHunterSteve

    CatHunterSteve New Member

    Snowville, Va
    For the past several years my family and I have been going to the Brookneal, Virginia area of the Staunton River above Buggs Island/Kerr and fishing the spring Striper run up that river. A couple of years ago someone mentioned that blues ran up the river in addition to the channels and flatheads we had already been targeting, and that a lot of the locals were using goldfish to catch them.
    I had not ever heard of fishing with goldfish and was surprised that they were only about $8.00-$12.00 a dozen and that they were BIG, up until that time we had used shiners and livers and had caught mostly eater size channels.
    One late May morning I got up about 4:30 and went down to the dock and put a big goldfish on a couple of poles hoping to hook in to a bigger channel as I was fishing a deeper hole just below our banked boats with plenty of structure in and around it. About 10 minutes later the clicker started screaming and I was tore up to say the least.
    The eaters we had been catching didn’t normally pull out line that fast so I figured I had a bigger channel and was a little hesitant to set the hook in fear it would break my 12lbs. test line that we had been using to catch Stripers with.
    I thumbed the reel and cranked the handle a turn and set the hook hard, and to my surprise the fish continued to peel off line. I eased a little more drag on the reel and started pumping the rod tip up against the fish to try and get him turned up river.
    The Staunton, during the spring is pretty swift at times and a lot of water was running this morning so the fight was on and in my opinion extended as I worked for about 15-20 minutes getting the fish in.
    It was the biggest catfish I had ever caught, a 39” Blue catfish came up rolling and turning in the current.
    I didn’t realize the significance of what I had caught; I had never seen a Blue catfish and had never thought about ever catching one. It was a beautiful creature, and I selfishly decided to try and transport it home to a local pond about 2.5 hours away.
    It goes with out saying that despite my efforts at changing the water and trying to keep the fish alive in a large plastic container in the back of my truck, it took it last breath as I held it in the water of the pond to release it.
    That broke my heart, as I knew that I had killed that fish and not until it had died did I take pictures of it, but I knew then that I should have released it back into the Staunton River that morning.
    I never forgot that feeling of disappointment I had when that fish died and once I discovered the BOC I realized just how important it is to practice CPR on the river or lake of origin.
    That Blue wasn’t the biggest, but as far as I am concerned it was a trophy and deserved to live. I have seen pictures of much larger blues here on the BOC website, but it was my personal best even up to this day, and no one will ever have a chance to catch it again.
    Please CPR on the river or lake of origin and give our kids a chance to catch the big ones.

  2. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    I have my moment of shame too, and I think a lot of us here would say the same. I think the important thing is that we learned from it and now practice releasing.

    Your post and honesty is appreciated and with some luck, it will change a few minds out there.

    tight lines

  3. j.bridges

    j.bridges Active Member

    great post!!!!! thanks...:wink::wink::wink:
  4. daystarchis

    daystarchis New Member

    Clovis Cali
    Hey brother Steve... Nice post. Reps to you brother. CPR all big fishf or our future:wink:
  5. poopdeck [patrick]

    poopdeck [patrick] New Member

    ofallon il
    About 15 years ago I did sometihg like that. Wanting to show off the "big one" to my friends and family. It ended with similar results. I still think of that fish with regret and shame. It's like I did some kind of fish murder and I will never forget it.
  6. HRCats

    HRCats New Member

    Excellent story Steve. Thats a hard way to learn about CPR but at least you did learn!!! Reps to ya brother!!


    Good post Steve,it makes me think of some of the dumb stuff I did when I was younger!:eek:oooh:
  8. TheMadCatter

    TheMadCatter New Member

    hopefully someday all people will realize the same thing you did. although i sure that they will end up killing alot of amazing fish before that happens. but change has to begin soewhere. congrats on your pb and your choice to help save them.
  9. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    Don't forget the transfer of disease and parasites between bodies of water. One habitat may be able to handle something that may cause a die off in another habitat.

    I have done this as well. I am not one of the die hard catch and release guys, I do both release and eat but it sure sucks to let one die for no reason. If it happens to me it usually happens on one I've decided to keep. I go home and am so tired I don't put it in the right spot in the kiddie pool and the sun gets to it before I wake from my slumber, or... I have them on ice but don't wake up for the entire day and they don't get cleaned before the ice melts and they get too hot. It's a crummy feeling to toss a fish.
  10. CatHunterSteve

    CatHunterSteve New Member

    Snowville, Va
    Thanks everyonne for reading this post, I am glad you enjoyed it.
  11. mcseal2

    mcseal2 Active Member

    I grew up fishing with some older guys around here, and we caught several 20-30lb flathead on a small creek nearby and kept them all. Those guys or their dads remembered hard days growing up when you didn't throw anything back you could eat. When I was in high school I started reading all the fishing magazines stored in the school library, and I remember reading an article by Doug Stange saying in a small creek a 20lb catfish can be 20yrs old. It kinda got me thinking and I started releasing anything over 15lbs. I still keep a few to eat, but only between 5 and 15lbs. Anything outside that range and most within it get put back. The old guys I started fishing with still think I'm crazy, but some of the younger ones are starting to do the same. In the Kansas local talk Dsage has a great post of newspaper clippings about the fish caught 100yrs ago, it is worth reading and shows what can happen if more people put the big ones back.

    Thanks for a great post.