When fishing, who gets ownership of catching the fish? If we catch a fish alone, independently, then the answer seems obvious. If you are together, and others are helping, which “one” gets the fish, or credit?
Recently we fished in Alaska for Halibut. These huge fish are a real challenge to get aboard. Once hooked, the decks need cleared, someone needs to grab a harpoon, and a gaff will be useful. Mentoring each other, giving advice, raising the motor, and working together are essential.
The show, “Wicked Tuna”, shows that multiple anglers must operate the boat, harpoon, take turns reeling, and tail roping these huge fish. They all split the paycheck. Certainly, the Captain and boat expenses get covered first, but everyone caught, and shared the fish.
The Alaska fishing was a shared bounty and adventure. We celebrated together and took turns hanging on for dear life as the huge “Butts” challenged us. It took a “Team” to welcome these massive beasts aboard. “We” caught our limit, took turns, and shared the stories, pictures, and harvest together. In this way, the fish taste sweeter, friendships grow, Safety and safety are supported. Without any one of the team tasks being completed, no fish would have come over the gunwale.
Deer/ elk hunting can have similar challenges. When you are 15 miles in country and one guy does the calling, and one does the shooting, and everyone does the pack out… If you are being guided, do they get some credit for where you are hunting, gear you are using, and how you are hunting?
If someone shoots a critter and wounds it, then another hunter finishes it off, who filled their tag? In some circles, the final shot counts as the filled tag kill. In other circles, “First Blood” gets the credit.
“It takes a Village” to complete some tasks. Is the rod handler, netter, gaffer, harpooner, or boat handler more or less important when catching a monster fish? The truth is that it takes a group of people, all doing the right thing, to make it happen.
Legally, filling a limit or tag requires a personal connection. It takes others to help make that happen. Sharing ownership and stories makes the harvest better. Our egos need to be strong enough to share credit. Being greedy or selfish just means you are greedy and selfish. Good luck dragging a 150-pound halibut or a 500-pound tuna into the boat. Calling, shooting, scouting, field dressing and hauling an 800-pound elk, by yourself are next to impossible.
Football is the same way. A hot dog receiver catches a pass from the quarterback, protected by several lineman, distracted by other receivers, coached by a group of experienced veterans… My point is that this victory is a team effort!
The most important issue is that the sport is being done legally, fairly, and together.
For more Montana Grant, catch him sharing at www.montanagrantfishing.com.