Friday, August 17, 2007


Fishing is Fun?

The sport of fishing was jammed in my face today, and I reacted to it badly. I have absolutely no interest in catching or eating fish, and I particularly don't understand merely catching fish for the pure sport of it. Not that I am an animal lover that grieves for the striped bass or salmon being netted, hooked, or speared, but it seems so pointless to me.

Commercial fishermen are another story. Their goal is to net and sell tons of fish to the food markets of the world. The way they do it can be wasteful and injurious to many species of sea life, but at least they have a utility to mankind.

Sport fishermen do not have utility to mankind. They are selfishly pursuing their own pleasure in bagging some exotic or fighting species, after which they stuff it and hang it on a wall, or have it cut up and frozen to be carried home and eaten later. Very macho of them. They spend huge amounts of money to catch the fish that they could have bought at the local market far cheaper. Or, what seems inane to me, they throw the fish back, thus destroying what little utility that the event possessed--edible food that someone could have benefited from.

Yes, I have been exposed to many kinds of fishing, from the classic bamboo pole, to surf casting, to trolling off the coast of Florida for sail, and to sitting for hours in the hot sun in a rowboat watching the float bobbing in the water with the little ripples kicked up by the wind--never a fish! Camping in the wild can be worthwhile if you can catch a trout dinner and fry it on an open fire, that I will concede. There is utility in that. I draw the line at catching just enough to eat, not all you can haul in.

But, I really don't like the taste or smell of fish in the first place! You can add crab, lobster, oysters, and shrimp to the list as well. Lately, every time we have gone to dinner at someone's home, the appetizer has been shrimp and the main course has been fish. The groan I let slip out gets me a stomp on the foot by my wife's heel. Fortunately, no one else heard it but her!

Sorry, sports fishermen, but I have far better things to do with my time and money than to chase dumb underwater animals from a boat.



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