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Opinion on C&R has always been divided, some are strictly C&R, others fish for the table and many have personal size limits that far exceed the legal minimum. My own attitude is it goes back unless it's badly hooked.
But times are tough now, shop prices are up and rising petrol prices are making those fishing trips more and more expensive. With many of us feeling the pinch are more people now keeping their catches?
 

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WSF 2021 Bass C&R Lure Trophy joint winner 80cm
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An interesting thought, but for me! Not at all, if I can spend money on lures, petrol and tackle then I haven’t got to the stage of needing to take fish to supplement my food shopping, and if it did get to that stage I’d need to question my needs, regarding spending money on the CHANCE of catching a meal because even a 40 mile round trip will cost more than £10 in fuel that money would be better spent on family food than a fishing trip
 

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My Hope is that now the Price of Fish has risen,There will not be more exploitation of Bass stocks from Commercials and Illegal netters,Although Human nature as it is, I fear the worst.C&R 100% Unless deep hooked for me,A lot of the pleasure is watching the Bass return,Although doom and gloom grabs me and always think,I wonder if that Fish will survive the week,In years to come i wonder if Lure fishing for Bass in the UK Will become a Fruitless exercise,Due to overfishing by commercials and the curse of illegal netting,Although Fishlesswonder has made a good point,Apoligies if i deviated from it,Somewhat.
 

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Interesting post and it's something that has also crossed my mind.

I've been considering taking more bass home for dinner to get bettter value for money from my fishing trips, since I have a minimum 4 hour round trip to my nearest worthwhile Bass marks.
If I eat more fresh caught fish, I'll spend less on Chicken, Pork and red meats.
I usually only kill Bass that get gill damage and are bleeding a lot which doesn't happen very often.
Bass aren't my favourite eating fish anyway and I would be happier with half a dozen Mackerel than a 4lb bass but, you can't always get what you want on the day.
If I'm going to kill an un-injured Bass to take home to eat then, it will have to be a plump fish between 50cm & 60cm which is my self imposed slot size.
Don't see the point in taking a small (42cm) or' even the larger skinny fish.
I want plump fish with prime fillets.
I usually only take two or three Bass at most each year but, I will probably take a couple more than I usually do from now on though.
The only thing is, that I usually fish two or three days at a time to make the most of the distances I travel for my fishing.
This means I'll only usually kill fish if I happen to catch a decent one on my last night or, the following morning prior to the drive home, as I want to keep it as fresh as possible.
I never freeze my catch and only take what I can eat the next day.

Due to the current cost of fuel I'm not fishing as often as I usually do so, I'll probably bump a few extra Bass on the head this year if the opportunity presents itself, especially if I can't locate any Mackerel.

Btw, I've never been 100% C&R.

So, to answer your question, my attitude towards C&R is the same as it's always been - Anglers should be free to choose to kill their catch for food.
If they choose to kill for food then, ( as long as it's only two Bass/day and they're above the MLS) why not?
Some Sea Anglers don't even eat fish, lol.
Why bother fishing in the first place?
Can't get quite get my my head around that.
I'm a killer........with a conscience!!
 

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WSF 2021 Bass C&R Lure Trophy joint winner 80cm
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My attitude to catch and release hasn't changed regarding bass - they all go back. I don't eat fish and my wife doesn't like bass so there is no point in killing them. I fish strictly barbless or be-barbed hooks to minimise damage and make unhooking quicker and easier. This is a personal choice and I don't condemn others for taking the odd fish, but to my mind a dead bass is a very sad sight. The last one I kept was some years ago. I didn't have scales with me and convinced myself it was my first double. It went 9lb 13oz and I felt sick when I realised I'd killed a magnificent fish for the sake of vanity. I happily keep other species for the pot but bass are almost sacred to me.
 

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I would say that fishing isn't consistent enough to be of any financial benefit, sure it could offset individual trip costs, but in the grand scheme of things, I'm sure if calculated it wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference. If the fish were sold to somebody at the market value, then that would be a different story.
 

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How much is line caught Bass worth then?
Imho bass are worth far more to return and conserve than to sell for a few quid and further deplete the stocks. Consider what we spend on tackle, travel, etc. and sometimes catch nothing. Work for money, fish for joy.
Bass are so scarce compared to days gone by, especially the bigger ones. Every bass taken has an impact, especially the bigger females.
Ever since celebrity chefs started featuring bass, they have been commercially targeted. The fewer bass there are, the higher the price goes. The higher the price, the harder they are targeted for money. It's a vicious circle.
We have all heard the argument that the commercials take them, so why should I hold back. I don't judge taking the occasional 45-55cm fish for the table as unreasonable, but hopefully we all take some responsibility for doing our bit for the general long term future of these precious silver beauties.
Sorry, yes I am mainly preaching to the converted, soap box moment over ;)
 

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I would say that fishing isn't consistent enough to be of any financial benefit, sure it could offset individual trip costs, but in the grand scheme of things, I'm sure if calculated it wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference. If the fish were sold to somebody at the market value, then that would be a different story.
I completely agree with the above.
The real value for me is that I have a great time fishing, get plenty of exercise and if I'm lucky, I sometimes get a nutritionally high value food source, safe in the knowledge that it has been harvested in the most selective and sustainable way.
Far more satisfying than buying dull-eyed fish from a supermarket or fishmonger.
 

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In answer to the original question, I would say no my attitude hasn't changed. I still take fish if I want to, but I would say I return the vast majority as the hunt and 'being in it' is what I go for. I would also have to agree, fresh mackerel are superior to bass. Possibly my favourite eating fish and easy enough to get when they appear.

What has changed for me, especially based off last nights re-fueling where I had to convince myself there wasn't a hole in my fuel tank, is the distances I'm willing to travel for sessions. I will still go to my furthest marks as well as trips to other coasts, but not as frequently and only if I can maximize my time there to justify the travel. Three hour round trips early morning before work or into the evening are becoming questionable. Instead, I'm going to be hitting the nearest marks which ultimately means I can get as often as before often, if not more. I'm one who likes to go to a different mark every session, but I can forgo that if it means I can just be out on the coast in the wee hours which is the real draw.
 

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No for me mate.....
Far more rewarding outwitting the fish and then giving it back its freedom and watching it swim away....for me anyhow.
I'l kill a bleeder, but usually feel mortified doing so and take home and eat, but I fish for the experience not food....
Not had to kill a bass for 3 years and probably took that one over a 6 year period...
If I wanted to fish purely for food, it would never be cost effective, factoring in gear, fuel and time spent...
So for me I'm 100% catch and release, but I will defend any ones right to take a fish for the table if legal to do so...

One more point.....

If you start taking fish from your marks, you WILL notice a drop off in fishing over a period of time.

Mart.
 

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I only take 3 or 4 a year my slot is between 50- 55 for the table, even when I had a boat 20 years ago I only kept 3 or 4 for the table and bass prolific back then. I have always preferred mackerel but I haven't caught one for 2 years now.
I did spend a summer on a commercial bass rod and liner a long time back which I enjoyed to start with but was sick of in the end and made my excuses and left. I think the minimum size for commercial was 36 cm back then appalling really but then again when I was a nipper bass was thought as a junk fish not a table fish like it is now.
 

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same for me : only take a Bass that get gill damage and are bleeding too much ! fortunately , it only happens once (rarely twice) a year .
i fish for the "sport" , it's a passion since 5 decades and if i want to fish till death , i need to respect them and let them swim ;)
take care of your opponents and they will pay you back
I fully understand that some fish a little or regularly for their own consumption (especially large families), it's completely normal
 

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Luckily I don't enjoy eating bass otherwise I would take a few choice ones. Trouble is, nowadays I'm staring to feel guilty targeting fish I don't intend to eat. Can't win!
 

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Opinion on C&R has always been divided, some are strictly C&R, others fish for the table and many have personal size limits that far exceed the legal minimum. My own attitude is it goes back unless it's badly hooked.
But times are tough now, shop prices are up and rising petrol prices are making those fishing trips more and more expensive. With many of us feeling the pinch are more people now keeping their catches?
Great Post and thought provoking thread, love it! The last time I was out I decided I was gonna take my first fish of the season (god knows why) anyways hooked up and landed a good eating sized fish almost immediately. Then realised its been so long since I took a fish, I've no bag or room to carry it, so out of habit and convenience it went back.
 
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