A Man fishing under a bridge
Put 'Em Back Post

Why Do Size Limits And Bag Limits Matter?

Mar 08, 2024

Why Do Size Limits And Bag Limits Matter

A Man using a toadfish spinning combo below a bridge

“You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food, he thought. You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman. You loved him when he was alive and you loved him after. If you love him, it is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more?”― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

How Do We Conserve Our Ecosystem?

There was once a time when many believed that all of the earth's resources were limitless. We have learned after many failures that the ecosystems we are a part of can be very delicate. More than ever, we have to be aware of how we treat our resources as a society. Especially when many marine fish species have become such an iconic part of the coastal lifestyle, with the influx of new fishermen because of the pandemic and the rise in coastal living, we could soon hit the ecosystem with a large payload. Remember that always doing your part as a conservationist is essential. Doing things like picking up trash when you see it, supporting your local fish and game agency, and trying your best to #putemback is a good start to being a conservationist. With those methods firmly installed in your mind, it is essential to note that your local DNR has already implemented some guard rails when taking your catch from the field. 

Why Are Slot Limits Important?

One of the most critical parts of saltwater fishing is knowing your size limits! Every state could have a different slot or size limit for the same fish. So, if you would like to travel and use our Travel Rod, it is vital to check with the local fish and game agency for their size/slot limits. The size limit and slot regulations continue beyond the jetties; DNR also has rules and regulations when keeping and fishing offshore. But the real question is, why are they important?

Size and slot limits are implemented onto game fish with high social/culinary value. The Sea Trout, over the last few years, has garnered attention as a fantastic table fair and a great light tackle game fish. SCDNR has regulations set at a minimum of fourteen inches. Some call for a slot size to be implemented for all popular game species, especially sea trout. The nonprofit organization Release Over 20 has its sights set on a future where the Sea Trout, Flounder, Sheepshead, and Red Drum all have a max slot of twenty inches.

The goal to have a maximum size of twenty inches is not aimless, as they have some science to support their reasoning. They believe that with the ever-rising number of people fishing and an easily accessible fountain of knowledge that is YouTube, the fish are at a severe disadvantage. That is coupled with the fact most species that reach a large trophy size are females. They can only breed after they get past that twenty-inch threshold. They believe these fish are survivors who have survived consistent harassment from anglers and predators. Ultimately, however, this goal will probably be unsuccessful because when the founder reached out to see how feasible it would be, he was told it would never happen.

So, if you want to continue promoting an admirable organization like Release Over 20, take up your vow to release any fish you catch over 20 inches!

Flat boat in the Salt Marsh

Why Are Bag limits Important?

One of the most common terms in the rule book across fishing and hunting is “bag limits.” The bag limit allows an angler to keep a precise number of fish species daily. Outdoorsmen are known to be criminally deceptive and protective of their strategies and spots. It is important to be forthright about following the bag limit laws, as nine times out of ten, the only person who will check you on it is yourself. So, to be a proper steward of the outdoors, we must be diligent in following something that there is no guarantee will be checked. 

What Does The Slot Limit And The Bag Limit Do For Me?

The slot and bag limit are vital for all the reasons we discussed previously. Ultimately, it is your choice whether you follow these rules or not. But I always fall back to the legendary college basketball coach John Wooden's quote, “The true test of a man's character is what he does when no one is watching.” This quote is a prime example of how one can judge themselves as a conservationist. As conservationists, we all strive to better the ecosystem we live in. So when DNR makes new mandates for fishing, we can throw a fit or support our friends at DNR by listening to their rules. Our goal as people who care deeply about our environment should be to extend the longevity of our favorite species, and by listening to the slot and bag limit on our fish, we can absolutely do that. So, if you would like to look in the mirror and consider yourself a good sportsman, follow the slot and bag limits applied to you by your local DNR. Maybe even look into the Release Over 20 movement and become a steward for a better tomorrow! 

Toadfish Marsh Maddness

1 comment

  • Anika Andrade
    Mar 11, 2024 at 16:22

    Anika Andrade


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