The Real Sport of Angling

Several emails from "Okanagan Jim" have me scratching my head over just what some angler's feel the sport of fishing is all about and, just what I am trying to do with this website.  Out of the blue, OKJ sent me this mail:

Dear Sir: After reading numerous of your last reports both on the Okanagan and the Arrows it's my humble view it's time you try and find some reporters who know how to fish.
Example: Recently I took my grandson over to the Arrows about the same time Les was there. While there every day ( 6 Days ) we put 6 to 8 fish in the boat,, bows to 9 pounds and bulls to 10. Both Glen and Dave Olson will verify this. This trip was the first time I've fished the Arrows since I had the kid there last year Glens been taking bulls to 14 pounds and Dave Olson to 20 on a consistant basis all spring and yet your reporters are complaining about a bad spring. Another fisherman Dave Whitfield of Jasper who recently bought some property in Nakusp has been taking Bows to 15 pounds. All 5 of us have been fishing the same water as your reporters ???  The Okanagan is producing some nice bows on a regular basis to 14 pounds. Al who just moved to Summerland from Kaslow first day on the water took a 8 and an 11.
For those who know how to fish for Kokes these are comming in up to just under 4 pounds, Can be confermed by BC Fisheries.  Just calling it as it is.
Okanagan Jim

  And my response:

And I will post your views for those that visit the site to see it. Personally Jim, I find your comments a bit insulting in that you would judge anglers by their reports and what they catch or don't catch. Angling in itself is a sport to get out and enjoy not just catching fish but, just getting out. Those that are regular reporters on my site are above reproach and IMHO can be trusted as to what they say they caught, if anything, and therefore reliable sources. I've had anglers on the site before that report "stuff" but never had anything to back it up other than alot of blah blah and a pic of a fish they said was 14 lbs but clearly it was not. Thank you for your opinion though...........Sherm


I guess what I'm having a hard time understanding is just what some anglers seem to think fishing is all about.  I always thought it was about getting out by yourself, with family, with friend or a combination of all of those, and have a good time.  I don't think I've ever worried to much about how much, how big or how many fish I will catch on my outings.  Sure, when we do our salmon trip we have high expectations of bringing some fine salmon home for the freezer but, if we don't.......................................then we don't!  On our last salmon trip Greg and I had a hoot from day 1 right to the last day, regardless of what we were catching.

From Jim's mail it would appear he is expecting more out of anglers that report on this site and that others (his friends) are much better anglers than the rest of us!  I find this very insulting because I am in the same "boat" as the rest of the anglers he is criticizing!  If this wasn't bad enough Jim just had to send more mail :

Sir: Sorry you missed the point of my email. Point being there are many fishermen who read your site that are questioning why it seems that they are hearing or seeing of some nice fish being caught on a regular basis on local lakes but not being reported on your site. When Al produced his 11 pounder at the dock there was no question it was an 11 pounder. When Glen Olson won the Nakusp derby recently with a 13 pound plus bull your site only showed some small fish taken by your reporters.
When fishermen out of Revelstoke are on the water the same time as Steve they are smiling because Steve reports it as being slow while they took some nice fish.Helps send your viewers to other waters thereby possing less compition for them> Petty I agree but thats the reality of the situation.
Sherm Forget what I catch and your personal take on me but maybe its time you search out whats really being caught on the waters you report on. My personal take is your readership deserves it.  Jim

Well Jim, I guess you should let your friends know where my web site is and to send in reports!  I have no time to "search out" what anglers are doing or catching and if they wish to send reports in then they are free to do so.  That has been the nature of this website ever since the beginning of it, for anglers to send stuff in and the readers to get something out of it.  What I do know is that many anglers are a secretive about their "where and when and what" for fishing and can't be bothered to send anything in, and thats fine by me.  As well, those that send in a report saying they caught a 11lber and that's all they send in don't really contribute much to a website and for the other anglers reading it .  I'm hardly going to hound them for reports or go hang around boat launches and interrogate them over their day of fishing.  The web site is here, send in a complete report and pics if possible, I don't think that's to much to ask.  One more email my way:

Heyyyyyyy: Not trying to be smart but one other point I missed is when Jay reports Koke bite over 9AM and guys continuning to fish and catch kokes all day long numerous of your readers are questioning credability the same as whoever posts pics of fish that are of questionable poundage.
Suggest you question Dale Johnson what his 19 pounder really weighted ?? When I checked with Dale # 1 weight was only a guesstimate, probably closer to 14 or 15 # 2 They cooked it up, tasted awlfull threw rest in garabge.
Sherm: Believe it or not I do give you a ton of credit for the site you've developed over the last 10 years but leaving me out of the equation I think its time for a review of your current reporters.
Times change,, there are many more good fishermen today then 10 years ago. The current crop of fishermen are much better informed thanks in part to sites such as yours but they also can see thru the fluff way faster then ever.
Just my take ..... Jim

I couldn't send any response to the emails other than the first one, I was to flabbergasted by them I had problems trying to even think up a response, hence this blurb instead.  With respect to the last email Jim, the last thing I am worried about is the credibility of those that are currently posting on my site.  The art of fish weight estimating is a guessing game at best and we have all called a 6 lber a 10ber, it happens, including to yourself!  As far as Dale eating the fish and having to throw some out because it was rancid, that's fish!  I caught a small 4 lber out of Shu one day and while it was on the barbecue it stunk like hell, and the taste was even worse!  I have to assume that if you tried eating that big bow you caught that it too was not as palatable as the smaller ones.  You criticize other anglers like the gal who ran the derby out of Nakusp for her "catch and kill" derbies yet there you are in BC Outdoors with your prize winning rainbow from Kootenay Lk, dead in your hands.  There you are again with a huge rainbow (spawner or post spawner) that you also killed.  Don't be slamming others when you are doing exactly what they are doing, that's being a hypocrite. 

You can see why I did not want to get into a pissing match over this however it boils down to me "protecting" those that use this site and contribute to it, the site would not be the same without them.  For those that don't like the site because of the reports, then don't read the damned thing!  Its kinda like those that whine about violent shows on TV, don't watch the damn thing's then, good grief!  I don't know what I can say Jim, your ideas about the sport of fishing are obviously different than mine and subsequently why I quit taking reports from you.  There is not a angler out there that can say they always catch fish and always catch big fish.  We all get skunked and we all get small fish but, we also all eventually get into some bigger fish.  I can honestly say that your expertise and ability to catch larger fish is from the amount of time you put into the sport.  It's obvious that if your on the lake 7 days a week while the other guy is out 1 day in two weeks that you have better odds of getting into bigger fish, good for you, but  big fish are not what the sport is about, at least not for me..............              Sherm


I did get a email back from Jim on this matter, of course.  It would appear he has resorted to insulting people even more than before, but I did say I would post the mail sent and my response.  This will be the last on this matter, petty bickering is not my forte:

Heyyyyyyy: Thanks for posting my notes in full. Numerous of your readership have allready contacted me wanting my responce.. Perhaps you'll post this reply for them.
Only real error is if you remember is I quit sending reports to you because of your totally pious attitute about YOUR LAKE, YOUR FISH ( YOUR Quote) and how critical you've become because some of us have a different view then yours. Your continual hypocrisy trying to justify your views is reflective in your choice of some of your reporters ( Beyound reproach ??? ) and your personal views. This has been noted by many others besides myself, they see it in your writings and website. Take pokes when people can't poke back has definantly become your style. Typical mountie, handcuff a suspect, put on the leg irons then kick him.
I tried to give you some advice in good faith as I am a believer we need an info line into the B.C. Interior Fisheries but unfortinantly it looks like the jealousy you seem to harbor towards several of us who are reconized by our peers as equals is'nt in YOUR petty interests.
See You on the water.
Okanagan Jim
And my brief reply:

I knew it'd only be a matter of time before your true colors really shone Jim! To slam a retired Mountie as you did is actually quite pathetic, but whatever, I have broad shoulders. No jealously here, just unfortunate that the rude comments you make towards others has finally come back to bite you, as I knew it would one day. I guess its the old saying that Mom always had "if you can't say anything good then don't say anything at all!", really rains true. I'd suggest you start your own website Jim and just have those anglers on that only catch big fish and kill them, a winner for sure. I will post this email in its entirety on the site, if there's one thing that I am other than being honest its being fair, good fishing................Sherm

The End