What’s a Trout Bum?

I struggled this week as I looked over my list of potential topics. Nothing really jumped out at me. When I mentioned it to my cousin, a fellow blogger, she said “then it’s not their time”. Frustrated, I started scrolling through one of the groups I follow on Facebook in hopes of some sort of inspiration. I ended up landing on an article someone had posted from the Boston Globe, and it was the title that caught my eye: “The Trout Bums are Waiting”. The cover photo of the MassWildlife stocking truck, dumping trout into a body of water. You can read the full article here, and take away your own opinion. I personally wasn’t a fan. 

The article paints a picture of anglers as vultures, waiting for these fish to be stocked. As if we are doing something inhumane by fishing for them. After all, that IS the purpose of MassWildlife’s program: recreational fishing. To that point, the article quotes Todd Richards who expresses just that:  “‘Catch and release has a place, but stocked trout is not that place,’ said MassWildlife’s assistant director of fisheries. ‘We want people to catch them and take them home for a healthy meal.’” According to MassWildlife’s site, this year they will stock about five hundred thousand trout through the program.  It’s a great incentive for people to get outdoors. What better way to get more people excited about fishing than upping the chances they’ll catch a fish? 

This article also depicts anglers as liars, describing the fishermen waiting so eagerly as “a crew of a dozen or so older guys who park next to each other and hang out all day, every day, either fishing or telling lies, usually about fishing.” I joke around with my friends who fish about how much they exaggerate their fish stories, but I don’t really understand the point of the author calling anglers straight up liars. I would love to know why the author chose to portray the anglers the way they did.

A piece like this in the paper or a magazine can really make hunters or , in this case anglers, out to be “bad”. Don’t be confused. There are definitely what I would describe as “bad apples” out there, but there are not nearly as many as one might think. Some people, myself included, fish  on a catch and release basis. A lot of other people love to eat fresh trout, and the stocked trout is a treat. 

I read this article and all I thought at first was, I have to tell people. I have to defend who I am and what I love to do; why I love to do it. How can we change the way that we are viewed as a community? 

Read the article. What do you think? 

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