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A Question of Ethics?

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Related, but unrelated,: longnose gar are a perfectly cromulent fly rod target and I fish for them often and shamelessly when the opportunity presents itself. As if that weren't enough, I've been known to call them pretty and release them as gently as an Adirondack brookie. 

This has yet to tear apart the fabric of the universe, although I've had some tell me they suspect otherwise.

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Back in the early 80s I was wade fishing elk river at the last take out before grand lake, saw a pod of Gator Gar, My brother and I being from Mobile Al, knew exactly what we were seeing it was a big female followed by 3 males, the big wide head and kinda hooked beak sets them apart from a short nose, fish are WAY heaver body than most gar, female was 7 foot or so males prob 5 foot....for a while people would hang lanterns off the Highway 10 bridge and shoot gar, never saw them take any gator gar, but was only their twice at night that time of year...I usually saw a few just after the white bass ran, late April if we had enough water..never saw any more after 85-87..saw gar but no big logs, wasn't long before they had no-fish signs from the bridge...heard hat they where taking to many fish...at that time I thought BS only gar....perhaps then knew of the big gar then? I also came across an old flyer about the kellogg lake monster and a 5 dollar reward pre ww2 had a drawing of a gar and was described over 5 feet..I try and track it down,..From time to time the river floods into the lake.....the spring river is part of the Neosho river drainage prob had a few before the dam was built at Riverton, KS, I also heard eels were caught as high as big sugar before the dam was built at disney (grand lake)

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As if that weren't enough, I've been known to call them pretty and release them as gently as an Adirondack brookie. 

This has yet to tear apart the fabric of the universe, although I've had some tell me they suspect otherwise.

I personally suspect a good chunk of the people that have the "trash fish" mentality and leave them to die on shore by the bucket load, or mistreat them some other way when they catch them, do it cause they themselves are too "delicate" to risk dealing with the teeth to get the hook or lure out like they should. I try to release them as unharmed as I can. They are a bit feisty sometime and don't like being handled, but most of the time it's pretty straightforward, and they're a lot better off for it. That being said, I did have one cut me above my lip once at George Winter. I got one on a crankbait, and it was muddy. By the time I got close enough to the water, not to just chuck it after unhooking, and release it gently,  I sank knee deep in mud. So while leaning over it to get the treble out, it thrashed around and caught me with its teeth.   

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I believe that using gigs, bow, and spearfishing is sometimes too indiscriminate. Often times the people doing so either, don't know the laws governing what they are practicing,  just don't care, or don't know enough about their quarry.

Bill

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