Last night I wrote a long and boring article trying to say what was on my mind. I usually hit send when I’m finished and let our editor handle it from there. This one just didn’t feel right so I slept on it and read it fresh this morning. While it said what I wanted, it lacked the impact I was shooting for. Then it hit me, fewer words and more photos.
As I sit here awaiting the birth of my next grandson I’ve been scrolling through the ol’ Facebook and thinking about what his future will look like. I have enjoyed a lifetime in the outdoors and it has been good for me in every way. Being outdoors kept me sane and offered a diversion during my years of working murder cases. Fishing and hunting with family and friends are some of my fondest memories. And while some of those involve days where we wore the fish out, most are about the moments. Those single special fish, whether it was a first of a species, the largest, or just the situation during which it was caught. None in that top 100 involved how many fish we had in the cooler at the end of the day or whether my freezer was fully stocked. I want the same for him. He deserves that.
Watching the chest-beating and foolish displays of full limits as some sort of proof of fishing prowess is disappointing. Keep it up and one day we’ll be just like Florida. I was talking with a buddy who guides in south Florida this past week and he was shocked that people over here are still proud of their “dock shots.” Those went out of fashion over there twenty years ago. On the day we were talking he had customers out and said he’d be happy to just be able to catch one solid trout. Don’t think it can’t happen here? It was only a few short years ago that his home waters were one of the top trophy-trout destinations in the country.
Yes, it is legal to keep your limit every day, but before you decide to max out that ice chest think about these photos. This is why conservation is an important conversation.