What If You Threw Back 100% Of The Fish You Caught For A Year?


What if you released every fish you caught for an entire year and didn’t harvest any?

What would be the impact on the sustainability of fisheries?

We as recreational anglers have an impact on the fish populations and can make a difference!

The truth of the matter is, fish populations fluctuate and state regulations may not reflect the direct status of current fisheries and they may contradict each other by the species as you go from state to state.

Let us know your opinions and thoughts on this important topic!

You can watch the video version of this podcast below (which I highly recommend), listen to the audio version by clicking the play button underneath it, or listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

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What If You Threw Back 100% Of The Fish You Caught For A Year? [VIDEO]

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What If You Threw Back 100% Of The Fish You Caught For A Year? [PODCAST]

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We covered a lot in this episode, so here is a timestamped version:

  • 0:55 – Explanation for podcast title
  • 5:20 – Effects of maxing out your limits
  • 6:05 – State limits
  • 7:01 – Redfish populations in Northeast FL/Southeast GA
  • 8:30 – Simms Striped Bass Video
  • 10:38 – FWC Breeding Facilities
  • 11:13 – Difficulties in collecting data
  • 14:29 – 2009-10 Florida freeze effect on snook populations
  • 16:59 – Leaving your kids and grandkids a legacy
  • 17:32 – Migratory fish and varied rules by state
  • 20:03 – Fishing guides and leaders’ roles
  • 21:26 – Louisiana harvesting practices
  • 23:56 – Mindshift and forward-thinking
  • 26:41 – A guide’s perspective
  • 28:24 – What do you think is the bigger brag: a dock shot of 20 fish on pegs or seeing one well-captured picture of a trophy fish that was released?
  • 35:58 – The experiences of keeping fish
  • 37:26 – What if everyone limited out every time
  • 38:32 – Making yourself aware of the issues
  • 40:49 – Effect of social media
  • 41:42 – Harvesting fish
  • 43:26 – Guides practicing catch & release
  • 45:29 – Please leave a comment or a question and let us know what YOU think


red tide fish kill

Fishing is a lifelong pastime that can be shared from generation to generation with friends and family.

The most important ritual is sustainability and making sure there are fish for the generations after us to catch.

Be cognizant of the rules and regulations in your state and make sure our fisheries are plentiful in the years to come!

Please leave a comment or a question down in the comments section!

We want to hear YOUR thoughts on this topic!!

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And if you know an angler who wants to learn more about conservation and the impacts of keeping fish, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Gregg Mahmood
2 years ago

I have become a saltwater fisherman recently. I have been flying into Canada for 40 years. Back then the outfitter put in his own limits. Keep what you eat while you are there and one trophy. He did this because he saw a lake get fished out in one summer of 4 anglers a week. Since Ontario has implemented similar limits and the fishing is fantastic for years. I am a firm believer that keep enough for one day dinner and release the rest.

Jim Miller
2 years ago

the issue is simple. The big females (the breeders) need to be released. We all have a part in the future of our fisheries and it needs to start with modest creel limits and putting the breeders back in the drink. Also, it should be a felony to hold a big fish by the jaw with a boga grip for a pic before its released. These big fish need to be handled with extreme care and quickly released to give them a good chance to survive. All comes down to education. I think it should start with the charter boat captains and anglers like yall with the platform to get the message out.

Brad Kemker
2 years ago

I fish the Tampa Bay area and the fishing pressure is high. I catch and release everything unless it was gut hooked and is going to die. Now I don’t have to hassle with cleaning fish and disposing of the carcass. One less chore to do when I get back to the dock.

Luciano Flores jr
2 years ago

I agree that all fisherman, should adhere to the rules of fish 🐟 size and limits. That at the very least will ensure that we all continue to enjoy our favorite pastime. There’s nothing like the feeling you get, from watching someone for the very first time catching a fish, that to that person at that time, the size doesn’t matter, just the thrill and accomplishment they get. We need to preserve our waters and fisheries.

Bob Giambrone
2 years ago

Catch and release is a great concept. But what about habitat restoration including water quality. The loss of sea grass in the St. Lucie estuary due tot massive discharges of fresh water from Lake O. needs to be resolved.

Lloyd Phillips
2 years ago

Thank you so much! This was a much needed topic! Hopefully all of the members will watch and do there part. I’ve always thought along the same lines. I’m sadden when I see fish for the freezer. I don’t often have fish in my freezer. Leave more to CATCH again.

2 years ago

Make limits proportional to the number of fishing licenses issued. Like catch and release generally but some exceptions can made for certain species, like flounder, trout, drum, etc. if big enough.
Same for freshwater.

C. Lance Weaver
2 years ago

12 inches minimum total length25 per person per day except in specified areas(most of Louisiana)

Paul Combs
2 years ago

Great podcast , my wife and I have caught 109 flounder this year . We and filleted all over 15” from NE Fla area , we will Participate in this method for 2022. It really makes a lot of sense thank you.

Jim Ross
2 years ago

I live in Colorado where conservation and “catch and release” are very popular, especially among trout fishermen. I also spend a couple months a year in Southwest Florida, Marco Island, where pretty much the opposite is the norm.
One observation that I’ve made is that fishermen in SWFL are keyed in on limits. Even in your discussion, you talked a lot about limits. You pose the question, “Can you go a year without keeping a fish?” How about just asking a recreational fishermen to keep what he can and will eat that day? How about going a step further and asking the charter Captains do do the same with their clients? I think that might be easier to swallow for many. A lot of people have the “I want to fill my freezer” mentality and I’m sure that’s bad for the fishery. That definitely has to change.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how much of the fish that are killed are actually eaten and how much ends up in the trash?
The offshore fishermen in Marco have been complaining that they have to go farther out to catch (and limit on) quality fish.
To answer the original question, I’d say yes I can go a year if it would be good for the fishery.
It’s a precious resource and it’s our duty to preserve it.

Toby Frey
2 years ago

MD has a commercail fishery (Striped Bass) of right at 1 million pounds per year…The idots, DNR, have no slot limits, charter baots have a 2 fish/person while rec fishermen are allowed one….There is no slot limit, but to exemplify the idocy of lack of mangement…they have a trophy season (over 35″) on the Chesapeake the nursey for 70-80% of the east coast striper stock…and 99% of fish over 32″ are females….We are manged by idots including ASMFC …


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