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Freshwater Guy Asking Dumb Saltwater Question On Catch & Release

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okay, its the dead of winter and fishing has been expectantly cold and sllllooooooow! So when i'm not freezing my butt off Saturday mornings, i find myself inside watching all these fishing shows... (Say "No" to all the new bait monkey temptations!) Occasionally a saltwater show comes on and the guys reel in this huge tarpon or some type of bill fish and they just cut it off at the boat! other saltwater guys will pull 'em over the side (teeth or not) and celebrate. 

 

So the question is:

 

"How do saltwater guys call it a "Catch and Release" if they dont pull it out of the water?!" (seems like a cop out to me)

 

In my little freshwater world, "its not a catch if you dont get it out of the water and in your hands." plus to me, its a mental thing, if i cant lip it, then i didnt catch it...

 

maybe some saltwater guys can help me out here? thanks for entertaining this seemingly simple question...

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Tarpon are considered so valuable by the madison ave. rich boy anglers that it is vogue to not lift them or handle them excessively thus removing their life giving slime coat.  I live 3 minutes from Boca Grande Pass that used to be the tarpon capitol. Its so full of 20ft. + sharks that it isnt prudent to get your hads that close to the water.  About half the tarpon caught there get bite in half by marauding hammerheads.  FWC also dictates how you cant and how you cannot handle them.  They recently were even elevated above game fish status and are now called "sport fish".  Jew fish cannot be removed from the water at all and many guys who've posted pics doing so on forums have been cited by FWC monitoring the internet. Saltwater anglers are getting to be like fly fishermen in their elitist mannerisms.  They have there own lines of specialty clothing and drive around  with huge "Salt Life" decals and Loomis fear no fish decals covering the entire rear windows.   Comes in handy for the car burglars to target them, sort of like how burglars target trucks with NRA stickers on them! 

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okay, its the dead of winter and fishing has been expectantly cold and sllllooooooow! So when i'm not freezing my butt off Saturday mornings, i find myself inside watching all these fishing shows... (Say "No" to all the new bait monkey temptations!) Occasionally a saltwater show comes on and the guys reel in this huge tarpon or some type of bill fish and they just cut it off at the boat! other saltwater guys will pull 'em over the side (teeth or not) and celebrate. 

 

So the question is:

 

"How do saltwater guys call it a "Catch and Release" if they dont pull it out of the water?!" (seems like a cop out to me)

 

In my little freshwater world, "its not a catch if you dont get it out of the water and in your hands." plus to me, its a mental thing, if i cant lip it, then i didnt catch it...

 

maybe some saltwater guys can help me out here? thanks for entertaining this seemingly simple question...

Unwritten rule, if you touch the leader it's a catch.  What you see on TV is not reality, those fishermen are experts in handling some of those larger fish.  It is also frowned upon by certain state's governing bodies to remove an fish from the water, even for a photo op, tarpon quickly comes to mind, not that people don't do it.  I can understand someone thinking not putting the fish in the boat is cop out, bear in mind they are not flipping 5# fish, the small ones are just hoisted in just like what you would do with a bass.

I'm sure you don't lip a pike or muskie, cudas and kingfish are pretty mean hombres, a lot of guys are walking around with scars on their legs from those guys, they'll go after you even after being gaffed.  A pretty large majority of saltwater fishermen take home their catch for the dinner table, many of those fish are gaffed or netted, unless already limited out, not in season or under sized.  Don't think it's unusual while fishing for a some species, a 7' shark hits you instead, happens all the time, unless one is real expert best course of action is to cut the line once you get it alongside (if you do, lol).  I caught this 7 footer last year, care to pull into the boat?

http://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/gallery/album/273-reef-shark/

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Touching the leader is considered a "catch" if it's a release situation. It's nice to hold it and take a picture, but better for the fish if you don't wrestle it into the boat. Also, sometimes it's a lot safer for yourself which is different than bass which can't really hurt you.

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