So tonight I sit down to relax after a hard morning fishing...LOL and then a harder afternoon working. I usually find reading some fishing forum posts or fishing group posts from Facebook relaxing and entertaining so that's where I start.
I soon come across a lady who has posted a picture of her and the salmon she recently caught in a local river. The picture says it all, she's so proud of the accomplishment and the fish is a beauty.....then come the trolls. Now I say trolls because I don't think most of the comments that were blatantly rude were from real fishermen. If you haven't heard the term ''troll'' in this context before here's the definition: In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.
Unfortunately soon after a few ''trolls'' made some comments I saw some anglers get caught up in and begin contributing to this unproductive and abusive dialogue.
As far back as any of us can remember anglers take pictures of their catch. Some are kept and eaten and some are released. We've learned a lot over the years on how to increase the survival rates with attention to detail on not overplaying fish and the handling of released fish etc. And sometimes we're going to see a picture or read something where we think the poster could be better informed. But we don't need to completely rain on their parade. I think we should all celebrate that we are all anglers and communicate with each other in a respectful and encouraging way. Trying to ''publicly shame'' someone you think lacked in their method of fishing or handling of a fish does not encourage a positive evolution of the sport we love. If you see someone who maybe is less educated than yourself with regard to good catch and release procedures....private message them. That's what true fishermen (and women) do...we help each other and keep promoting the health of the sport.
I'm a fisherman, and there are a lot of fishing types that are completely foreign to me but I love to learn new methods and strategies all the time. For me this year is learning to beach fish and it has been fantastic! Now sooner or later you'll see a post from me where you'll notice I could have done something better - either with regard to gear, or my method, or perhaps my handling of the fish. I am open to constructive criticism and I know there are a lot of great people here to learn from so I encourage it! I just ask that we all take a moment and think about how we communicate with each other.
Peter M. Iatrides
~ Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. ~