It is cruel to fool a fish

  Dear HCN,

Ted Williams in his essay on fishing said that "What so offends the animal-rights crowd about catch-and-release is that there can be no motive other than fun" (HCN, 5/25/98). This statement, while true, only gives half of the reason. The other is much more important and severe.

When a fish is hooked and put back in the water it will bleed. Fish, being scavengers, will prey on the bleeding fish and actually eat at the wound. The author did end his article with a story telling about how he hooked himself once while fishing. I am sure that this was probably painful, but am almost sure that it didn't hurt as bad as being eaten alive. He also asked why a fish who had been hooked and released would bite the hook again. The answer is common sense - food.

The "sport" of fishing, whether for food or fun, is cruel. The author of this article obviously knows the pain of being hooked, and yet has no problem with inflicting that pain onto another living, feeling being. As a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, I guess I am one of the "weird," but a person who knows the pain of fishing and chooses to ignore it can fit that category as well.

Sara Luchenta

Salt Lake City, Utah