May 16, 2011
It's been a good 30 years since that brief nugget of philosophy hit the scene and earned a permanent place in the thoughts of many folks.
The idea was, and is, that less in the way of material things can be equivalent to more in the way of life quality. Keep it simple. And enjoy.
In these tough economic times, it may be helpful to slow down in our rush to accumulate and acquire things, notwithstanding the very real problems out there.
Less is More can apply to our fishing goals as well.
Not many years ago, it was standard procedure on a fishing trip to see how many fish you could pack into a large cooler, always going for the limit if there was one.
Success was measured by the size of your haul onto the dock (and how long you labored at the cleaning table).
Of course, the feverish rush to rack up numbers is still big with some anglers and always will be. I can't deny having once taken part in the overkills.
But for many there's been a climate change.
A friend who's fished Florida waters for a half-century and used to work long and hard for very large catches, some for the market, now sees it this way:
“There's definitely been a change of attitude on the water that I think has helped the fish populations more than any number of laws and restrictions. Most people just aren't the fish hogs they were.”
Many charter and private boats now impose their own limits that are lower than what they could keep.
My friend, for instance, limits his vessel to 10 dolphin and two wahoo and says the people he takes out are in full agreement. Fresh fish for a few meals is plenty.
It is interesting to compare this growing ethic of conservation among recreational anglers with the commercial approach, the latter being inherently dedicated to taking every fish possible.
Understandably, market fishers are in the business of killing and selling these wild animals to the maximum. And that was not a problem when there were seemingly unlimited resources, far fewer people and simpler technology.
But when stocks are declining, and when there are more beneficial ways to take modest amounts, all equally, the slaughters by the ton have to go.
Less is more for everyone.