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June 14th, 1999
How To Dispose of Dead Fish
by Ed Zern
From To Hell With Fishing published by
A recent survey showed that roughly two-thirds of all fishermen
never eat fish. This should surprise nobody. Fish is brain food.
People who eat fish have large, well-developed brains. People
with large, well-developed brains don't fish. It's that simple.
The question a fisherman faces, then, is how to get rid of
the fish he has caught. There are several schools of thought on
The Pilgrim Fathers buried a dead fish in each hill of corn to make
it grow. Unfortunately, few fishermen have access to cornfields. Most
farmers would rather have a cyclone.
Some fishermen try to palm off their catch on kindhearted friends and
neighbors. Naturally, it doesn't take those folks long
to learn that when a trout has been lugged around all day in a hot
creel, it is poor competition for a pork chop.
Other methods of fish disposal are (1) stuffing them in a corner mailbox
when nobody is looking, (2) hiding them under potted palms, (3) checking
them at the Union Depot and throwing away the check, (4) hurling them from
fast-moving cars on lonely roads late at night, (5) mailing them to the Curator
of the Museum of Natural History, requesting an identification of the species
and giving a phoney name and return address, and (6) baiting walrus-traps
None of these methods is satisfactory. (1) is probably illegal, (2), (3),
(4), and (5) are in lousy taste, and (6) brings up the problem of
walrus-disposal. Walrus-disposal makes fish-disposal seem like child's
My friend Walt Dette throws back all the trout he catches in the
Beaverkill, and keeps only chubs to feed his seven Siamese cats. This
is dandy for people who have (a) sense enough to put back trout for
future sport and who also have (b) seven Siamese cats. Few
fishermen have both.
Both, hell. Either.
~ Ed Zern
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