Sunday, March 1, 2009

Anglers net fish and funds for charity

The St. Catharines Standard - Saturday, February 28, 2009


It’s the kind of wound that has the makings of good fishing hole lore.

Especially if it leaves a scar.

As Lindsay Smith pressed a bloody kleenex to his thumb to soothe the bite marks from a fish he caught Saturday morning, he imagined the potential his injured finger held.

He could really get people hook, line and sinker, if he wanted to.

“It was a huge pike, a 10-pounder, and it had my whole hand in his mouth,” Smith said with a grin while an equally proud-looking pike lied in a yellow bucket at his feet.

But that’s not exactly what happened.

The St. Catharines man headed onto a frozen Martindale Pond Saturday morning to reel in the big one at a charity ice-fishing derby.

Nearly three hours later, he netted a three-pound, 23-inch pike. But when the avid angler went to take the hook out of its mouth, the feisty fish got revenge.

“He kind of flopped and clamped,” onto Smith’s thumb.

It took the help of a fishing buddy to pry the pesky pike off his finger.

“Their teeth are so sharp, once they clamp on you, you need help opening their mouth. I should know better but I thought I could get the hook out,” Smith said.

Smith was one of nearly 50 people who participated in the derby with the hopes of snagging prize-winning pike or perch.

Organized by 17-year-old Bowen Sandercock, the annual event served as fundraiser for The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The Niagara-on-the-Lake teen started the derby three years ago in honour of Bradley Perzul, a Niagara Falls man who died two years ago after a heart transplant.

Blogger's Note:

My problem with this story isn't that people are trying to raise money for charity, it's that in doing so, they're harming others. Why can't people come up with ways of helping people without causing suffering and death to other animals?

The reporter also makes it sound as if the fish, after enduring the pain of having a hook stuck through its face and struggling to survive inside a plastic pail, was having as much fun as the kid who caught it.

The other thing is that when a newspaper runs a story like this, they never cover the other side of it. In not doing so, it reinforces the belief that this is okay, because no opposing voices are heard.

If they ran a story about a group of women who decided to go topless at a street corner to raise money for charity, the newspaper would also report that certain people were opposed to this kind of exploitation and objectification of women. If they didn't, there would no doubt be letters from members of the public accusing the newspaper of sexism.

But when it comes to animal exploitation, as in the fishing story above, this never happens. Newspapers need to be more objective when covering such issues.

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