"But it does make sense," said Doc. "I
personally think catch-and-release fishing is a good thing. Hey, how
many fish can a guy eat, anyway? This way, we have all the fun of
catching them, and then we turn them loose and catch 'em again
later, if they're stupid enough to fall for the same bait."
We sucked down some more coffee and got
refilled. Doc put his hand over his cup when Loretta came by. He's
trying to cut back on the caffeine. He's not a kid anymore, of
"Catch-and-release fishing," said Dud, in his
most pontifical voice, "is here to stay. It is the future. It
guarantees us that we will always have a good supply of fish. I
don't mind crimping the barbs on my hooks at all."
He made an arm gesture not unlike those made by
Hitler when stirring up the masses.
"From this day forth," Dud said, "the world
will see that catch-and-release will bring forth hundreds of fish,
thousands of fish, untold millions upon millions of fish where
before there were simply (his voice quieted right here) a few. A
vagrant few. A piddly selection of piscatorial beasts gracing our
streams and ponds."
[to top of second
Dud was in rare form for just three cups of
coffee here at the Mule Barn.
"Yea, verily," he said, waving his spoon, "just
take Lewis Creek, that last bastion of the monster of the deepů The
Lunker. With catch-and-release, he can get married and have pups and
replenish his part of the earth. We'll be overrun with lunkers."
"But it's still not the same," said Steve, in
his cowboy manner. "I went out and hooked a big one and took its
picture and turned it loose, but it wasn't the same as being able to
weigh it and measure it."
"How big was it?" asked Doc.
"Hard to say, Doc," Steve said, "but the
picture weighed 6 1/2 pounds."
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