ColoradoCasters promotes better fishing in Colorado and some of our viewers have expressed an extreme disgust over the “cooler of death” pictures often tossed up on the fishing forums. Fishing for some is not what it is for others. I am not the person to draw the line and start judging people’s actions out there on the water. But in an effort to balance the scales against the fish takers and the trash leavers, I offer “Cooler of Goodness”.
See? You can leave with a full cooler, catch fish and still have a good time. But as you see here, there isn’t any fish going home with me. Taking fish is not necessarily a bad thing. It can actually be a good thing if populations of that species are getting too crowded. Some species need to be thinned out often (like perch and crappie) to keep the prolific breeding from doing harm. But yeah…a sink full of bloody dead fish is not my idea of “sportsmanship”. In my view, these are the same guys that put that trophy elk on the hood of their truck so they can watch little kids cry as they roll down the highway. It also creates a bit of negativity for the sport by conservation groups. Don't give them more fodder for their cause by posting your pics of pillage.
Of course, I actually caught fish. But some fish are just too pretty to end up in a sink or a cooler. Putting big fish back is key to preserving the quality of fishing in Colorado. If you absolutely have to take something from the lake…why not take some trash? There’s no limit on refuse and there seems to be quite a bit of it at the lakes these days.
P.S. A quality fish fillet and a shot of the final product served attractively on a plate is a completely different matter in my view. There is a lot of skill and maybe even a bit of artwork in creating a masterful dish. Not everyone agrees with this view but for me a work of art is much more pleasing to the eye than looking at a mess of dead fish.