Careful handling of bass, especially large bass is an important topic but there’s a problem. We learned bad habits from the pros and nobody is yelling at them about that jaw angle.
Ever notice how some pros yank fish out of bags, swing them around for everyone to see at the weigh in, putting all kinds of torque on that jaw?! And nobody says anything!
Facebook is full of charts, diagrams, and enforcers who yell at you when you don’t hold a fish properly. Joe Angler can post a pic holding a nine-pound bass, one handed, by the jaw, and 246 people will comment on how he is breaking one of the tenants of bass fishing.
When Kevin VanDam or Ish Monroe does it though, it’s showmanship. Nobody says boo. I don’t know how some of Mike Iaconelli’s fish don’t die on the spot from all the swinging, dancing, and screaming. That would scare the life out of me.
So which is it, internet? Choose a side: either call the pros out, or shut the hell up about the way to properly hold a fish. The bass you are holding doesn’t know if you are KVD or Joe. (Except maybe by the amount of glitter and sponsors on your boat but, I digress).
I think it’s secretly a ploy. It’s really hard to properly hold two fish with just your two hands.
“Hey, I caught two good fish, I want to show you both and that’s more important than properly handling these fish that are probably going to die anyway because they’ve been bouncing around in my livewell for the last eight hours,” admitted Know Wunever.
I think you are afraid to call out your hero for being a complete idiot when it comes to preservation and how he should be holding that fish. Care for that fish. If somebody decided to come over to your house and give you a check for $100,000 you probably wouldn’t give them a lip piercing, stuff them in the trunk of your car, drive for eight hours, open the trunk, grab them by the jaw and sling them around the parking lot of the Waffle House.
How about we show a little respect for these fish that are making a dream life possible for you? Handle with care and set the example for everyone else. Your fancy truck and fancy boat don’t give you a pass when it comes to conservation.
Act right role models. America is watching.