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Thread: Why not halibut catch and release?

  1. #1

    Default Why not halibut catch and release?

    It seems as if the halibut charter boat fleet could solve virtually all their allocation problems by adopting the simple concept of catch and release fishing. I think they have deluded themselves, their clients, and the public to believe that they canít run a fishing business without killing millions of pounds of fish. I don't believe that.

    There are thriving sport fisheries all over the world that function under catch and release fishing. It doesnít matter if itís by business practice or by law, but the angling public easily embraces the concept. Go chase sailfish in Costa Rica, marlin in Mexico, salmon in Russia, bonefish in the Bahamas, or trout in Bristol Bay , and youíll see the effects of catch and release fishing at work: the lodges are full, the guides work every day of the season, and the support service businesses thrive. These fisheries are only a handful of examples Ė there are many more.

    So why donít Alaska charter boat operators get with the program? Why canít they see that they can have their cake and eat it too? Yes, there very likely will be a couple of transition years where client-anglers have to become re-educated that they arenít going to go home with hundreds of pounds of packaged fish product at the end of their trip, but predicting doom for the industry if charter boat anglers can't take their x million pounds of fish each year doesnít hold up in light of all the other sport fisheries that stand in stark contrast.

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    Dude i like to EAT halibut! I like to release in grease!

  3. #3

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    Hundreds of pounds of packaged fish? Right.....no one I know ever gets close to that.

    If I want to catch and release, I'm going to the Gulf, of Mexico that is, where the fish fight hard and it's 80ļ in November. Halibut are about the boringest fish I can possibly think of to catch and release, except for maybe walleyes. You can't be serious.

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    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    I dunno maybe with airlines charging for every bag on the plane you can convince more people to release the big mama fish and keep chickens.

  5. #5

    Default Insane

    Are you insane?
    Marc Theiler

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by moose-head View Post
    I dunno maybe with airlines charging for every bag on the plane you can convince more people to release the big mama fish and keep chickens.
    Well, if I can pay 1000 for a ticket, 500 for a rental car, 1000 for charters, and another 2 grand in food and hotels, I don't think a 50$ charge for a box of fish is going to deter me much....

    Catch and release halibut fishery is a fantasy. I told my friend this idea last night and he laughed right through the phone. It would be the kiss of death for the charter industry in Alaska. Take it from 2 typical outsiders who have spent a lot of $$ the last few years in Alaska. It wouldn't stop me from coming to Alaska, but it would stop me from fishing halibut.

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    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    For what it's worth I am happy to say the biggest halibut I ever caught (150-175 mebby 2) is still swimming and I took home a limit that day.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    if halibut fishing is sport fishing than catch and release makes sense.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    if halibut fishing is sport fishing than catch and release makes sense.

    GREAT point!


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    It is sport fishing with the reward of some of the best eating that can be had at any price. If i really wanted a fight i would fish salmon sharks. Why dont I? They make poor table fare!

  11. #11
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    if halibut fishing is sport fishing than catch and release makes sense.
    So who put that inappropriate title to it?

    Why do personal use fishermen have to have a sport fishing license in possession?

    What's next? Catch and release moose hunting?

    Has the entire world gone mad, or is it still just the liberals?

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    Mark, I don't see you complaining when the state restricts non resident hunters or hunting guides being restricted, how come you are so againsts non resident fishermen facing similar restrictions (98% of southeast charter anglers are non res)?

    So lets review, the limit is now 1 fish for chartered anglers in SE unless the charter operator buys IFQ in which case they can allow anglers to catch 2 fish, so its a compromise of the solutions offered.

    Lastly why the heck should we give away our halibut to non resident anglers? Because all this restriction is doing is limiting non residents.

    And Mark, sport fishing and sport hunting are vastly different, sport hunting is about killing, sport fishing is not, at least for most
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  13. #13
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    Mark, I don't see you complaining when the state restricts non resident hunters......
    That's because you're not paying attention.

    This forum is literally full of my complaints regarding the guide requirement on non-resident hunters hunting brown bear in GMUs where predators are intensively managed.

    In fact, the forum archives are full of my complaints of the above. I've been complaining about the above since before predator management became a buzz word.

    ....how come you are so againsts non resident fishermen facing similar restrictions (98% of southeast charter anglers are non res)?
    Because:

    1) Sport fishermen are a wide representation of the "public" (and I don't have a hard-on for screwing non-residents)

    2) Commercial fishing industry literally harvests tons and tons of the resource, to the tune of 80% - 90% of the total harvest

    3) The same is not true of guided hunters

    .....Lastly why the heck should we give away our halibut to non resident anglers?....
    Because:

    1) They paid more money for a fishing license to catch them?

    2) And they're paying us more than people in Japan who are buying fish meat from the commercial industry?

    .....And Mark, sport fishing and sport hunting are vastly different....
    So why are you making a comparison above?

    ....sport hunting is about killing, sport fishing is not, at least for most
    So, if my intent is to catch burbot for table fare, I'm not sport fishing, right?

    So why am I buying a sport fishing license to do so?

    Are you trying to re-define sport fishing so that all fishermen must catch-and-release?

  14. #14
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    In most places in this state you do not need a sport fishing license to fish for subsistence, you do need the proper subsistence permit. So in subsistence areas if you are following subsistence regulations in most cases you don't need a sport fishing license. In fact any Alaskan resident is welcome to set a halibut skate in most of SEAK and guess what, those folks (Alaskans) get management priority.

    Sport fishing is fishing for sport and food is sometimes a bonus, but it is not primarily for food, that would be subsistence (which again the management priority for the feds).

    The fact of the matter is that charter fishing is commercial fishing in every sense of the word, whats wrong with treating all commercial fishermen the same?
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  15. #15
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    In most places in this state you do not need a sport fishing license to fish for subsistence, you do need the proper subsistence permit......
    In many areas of this state no subsistence fishing is allowed at all.

    .....So in subsistence areas if you are following subsistence regulations in most cases you don't need a sport fishing license. In fact any Alaskan resident is welcome to set a halibut skate in most of SEAK and guess what, those folks (Alaskans) get management priority....
    But I can't do so with burbot, which I much prefer to eat over halibut, and nor can I do that in Cook Inlet.

    ....Sport fishing is fishing for sport and food is sometimes a bonus, but it is not primarily for food, that would be subsistence (which again the management priority for the feds).....
    So, people who are fishing for halibut for sport enjoy the food as a bonus, and that's good because playing a halibut on rod and reel isn't nearly as exciting as playing billfish or many other species in areas of the globe that absolutely love Americans to bring their money.

    .....The fact of the matter is that charter fishing is commercial fishing in every sense of the word, whats wrong with treating all commercial fishermen the same?
    Because charter fishing is not commercial fishing in any sense of the word:

    1) Those fishing on charter boats in any area of the world and for any species buy sport fishing licenses, not commercial fishing licenses

    2) Commercial fishing licensees catch fish by the ton, and do not have daily limits to slow them down

    Only in Alaska (or California) are there so many people so desperate to redefine words to fit their agendas.

    It's amazing.

  16. #16
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    In many areas of this state no subsistence fishing is allowed at all.
    Mark, you outta check the regulations some time, it might suprise you where subsistence fishing is allowed.


    But I can't do so with burbot, which I much prefer to eat over halibut, and nor can I do that in Cook Inlet.
    you can still keep 2 fish when you charter a boat in cook inlet sooo whats your problem... Because 50% of chartered anglers are residents in cook inlet perhaps giving them more of a share in the TAC is a good thing.


    So, people who are fishing for halibut for sport enjoy the food as a bonus, and that's good because playing a halibut on rod and reel isn't nearly as exciting as playing billfish or many other species in areas of the globe that absolutely love Americans to bring their money.
    The folks are mostly cruise ship passengers, they'll go fishing for Humpies, halibut are at least as much fun to catch as humpies


    Because charter fishing is not commercial fishing in any sense of the word:

    1) Those fishing on charter boats in any area of the world and for any species buy sport fishing licenses, not commercial fishing licenses

    2) Commercial fishing licensees catch fish by the ton, and do not have daily limits to slow them down

    Only in Alaska (or California) are there so many people so desperate to redefine words to fit their agendas.

    It's amazing.
    How is making money by catching fish not commercial fishing, the aurguments that charter sector is bringing saying that they won't be able to get as many clients if they can only keep 1 halibut is showing the world that it is in fact commerical fishing, like every other fish and keep guiding operation.

    Sport fishing operations in many parts of the world are strictly commerical fishing operations, go to Hawwaii and you will notice that the charters seem mighty cheap, that of course is because the captains make their money by selling thier catch not so much from clients.

    I don't understand why you are complaining so much Mark, go to seward or homer you will find the limit on Halibut is 2 just like it always has been.

    Maybe when you live in SEAK you might understand what the charter industry has done to the sport fishing and the small scale commercial guys.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  17. #17
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by moose-head View Post
    For what it's worth I am happy to say the biggest halibut I ever caught (150-175 mebby 2) is still swimming and I took home a limit that day.
    With a commercial halibut industry harvesting halibut for overseas export to the tune of millions of metric tons per year, I'd say you're really optimistic on the odds that the halibut you released is still swimming.

    Now, had you caught and released a rainbow trout in inland waters, I'd say that the odds that your released fish was still swimming would be pretty high........

  18. #18
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    Originally Posted by Mark
    In many areas of this state no subsistence fishing is allowed at all.
    Mark, you outta check the regulations some time, it might suprise you where subsistence fishing is allowed.
    This oughta' be good...................:

    Please post a reference, quote, link, or any other way to validate your statement.

    Show us all the "subsistence regulations" that might surprise me as to "where subsistence fishing is allowed".

    BTW, I'm pretty well knowed up on them.............let's see if you are.........

    But I can't do so with burbot, which I much prefer to eat over halibut, and nor can I do that in Cook Inlet.
    you can still keep 2 fish when you charter a boat in cook inlet sooo whats your problem...
    1) The tonnage dudes throwing their weight around yet again

    2) Where the meat from a full third of all halibut harvested in Alaska ends up

    3) Justice

    So, people who are fishing for halibut for sport enjoy the food as a bonus, and that's good because playing a halibut on rod and reel isn't nearly as exciting as playing billfish or many other species in areas of the globe that absolutely love Americans to bring their money.
    The folks are mostly cruise ship passengers, they'll go fishing for Humpies, halibut are at least as much fun to catch as humpies
    Prove that irrelevant statement.

    ....How is making money by catching fish not commercial fishing....
    When somebody else (the sport fisherman) is catching the fish.

    ....the aurguments that charter sector is bringing saying that they won't be able to get as many clients if they can only keep 1 halibut is showing the world that it is in fact commerical fishing....
    The charter fleet is pointing out that if their clients only get to keep one fish, they will go charter elsewhere, and thus result in catastrophic economic damage to their businesses.

    Their business is not catching fish. It's acquiring charters from fishermen.

    ....Sport fishing operations in many parts of the world are strictly commerical fishing operations, go to Hawwaii and you will notice that the charters seem mighty cheap, that of course is because the captains make their money by selling thier catch not so much from clients.....
    That is true in Hawaii, which is why many sport fishermen prefer to charter fishing out of Mexico and Latin America.

    When charter boats keep and sell the fish (either to the sport fisherman, to the state, or to wholesale markets like is done in Hawaii), then the charter operation is a commerical fishing operation.

    That is not the case in Alaska, and I don't want to see it become the case. We already have too much commercial fishing here. We don't need more.

    ......Maybe when you live in SEAK you might understand what the charter industry has done to the sport fishing and the small scale commercial guys.
    Don't give me that garbage. I've lived in Alaska longer than you've been alive.

    What's more, world history is replete with undeniable proof that it is commercial fishing (not sport, personal use, or subsistence fishing) that is raping the sea and resulting in resource depletion.

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    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    With a commercial halibut industry harvesting halibut for overseas export to the tune of millions of metric tons per year, I'd say you're really optimistic on the odds that the halibut you released is still swimming.
    You are absolutely correct, this was out of Homer so another sportfisherman is as likely to have that fish in their freezer as well as the commercial guys. By the way thanks for calling me "optimistic" instead of "delusional" either term probably would fit in this case.

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    Millions of metric tons Mark? You should really check your fact before you post. The largest fishery we have in the US (it isn't halibut) harvests 2 million metric tons of all species in the Bering Sea.

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