It's sometimes fun to ponder what Mozart, or others of his ilk, would think of the music of, say, Led Zeppelin or Muddy Waters, or even English Jonny and T.J. Brayshaw. What I suspect, in at least two of these cases, is that he would at the very least recognize it as music. He might even like it.
It's baffling to me, then, that folks who all might be lumped under the label of "fishermen" could have such different ideas about what fishing is, or at least ought to be. Recently, in my internet travels, I came upon two different discussions that gave me pause for some reflection. In most ways, they have very little in common, with the exception of two things. First, both have something to do with fishing (If I'm feeling generous. Let's just say, they have to do with fish.) Second, my reaction to both was the same, which is to say immediate, visceral, and negative. I thought about this afterwards, particularly about why my reaction was so negative and whether this was even fair. In the end, I think I'm more confused than disturbed.
The first had to do with a well-known tarpon tournament that occurs each year in Florida's Boca Grande Pass. Large numbers of very big tarpon pass through here, and absurdly large numbers of anglers gather to catch them. This isn't the backcountry, flats fishing some of you might be familiar with, because here the water is too deep to fly fish (or even sight fish) for the tarpon. Instead, the competitors jig the fish up from the depths. The entire scene is borderline chaos, and many believe that the numbers of anglers, the fishing techniques, and the fish-handling practices are unnecessarily hard on the fish, such that mortality of these fish far exceeds what many tarpon anglers would consider acceptable. It's hard to watch video of this event and not suspect the same. A fellow on The Drake's message board was roped into fishing "The Pass" with his boss, and describes the episode this way: "