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And you would of course immediately break off the fish of a lifetime if you were in a similar situation? No, sorry you wouldn't fish at all if the "risk" was there of hooking such a fish! Situations like this happen - a salmon takes a nymph meant for a grayling, a barracuda takes a bonefish fly. What to do? Fight it or break it off? Most anglers fight it. You may choose differently.
This fish might have had a rough time, and it might have been handled too long, but as far as I can see it does swim actively back to the depths, and will most likely be there to be caught another day.
Let's realize it: sticking a hook in a fish, fighting it for a long time, photographing it and releasing it is not something the fish would choose to experience - if it had any influence on its own fate.
If you don't want to see fish suffer, you either fish heavy gear and kill all you catch - or don't fish at all!
Beautiful fish but completely worn out after a far too long 'fight' on too light tackle. Next 5 minutes of handeling the fish in front of the camera.. :-(
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August 9th 2004
August 20th 2007