Unfortunately, people who practice “catch and release” cause no less harm to fish than do other anglers. Fish who are caught and then returned to the water suffer such severe physiological stress that they often die of shock, or their injuries may make them easy targets for predators.
As a child, and before I knew that fish feel pain, I often went fishing with my father and others in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Canada. I learned firsthand that fish often swallow a hook deeply and that to remove it, the fishers shove their fingers or pliers down the fish’s throat and, along with the hook, crudely rip out some of the fish’s guts. We can appreciate nature and bond with friends and family without hurting animals.