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Fishing 101 – What Are Shorts?

It’s never a bad time to start fishing. But there’s a lot to learn. Understanding the terminology used in fishing is essential to fully appreciate and participate in the sport. One such term that frequently comes up in fishing discussions is “shorts.” There are both legal and functional reasons to recognize what a “Short” is, and how it differentiates from other terms, such as “keepers”

Defining Shorts in Fishing

In fishing terminology, the term “shorts” refers to fish that do not meet the minimum size requirements specified by fishing regulations. These regulations vary across regions and are implemented to ensure the sustainability and conservation of fish populations. The minimum size limits are typically established based on scientific research and the reproductive characteristics of different fish species.

When a person catches one of these undersized fish (a “Short”) they are instructed to throw it back in the water so that it has an opportunity to grow. You are required by NYC law to make sure that you never take home one of these shorts, which means carefully unhooking it and releasing it back into the ocean.

Importance of Size Limits

Size limits play a crucial role in maintaining healthy fish populations and preserving the overall quality of fishing experience. By setting minimum size requirements, regulators aim to protect juvenile fish, allowing them to grow, reproduce, and contribute to the sustainability of the species.

  1. Preserving Reproductive Potential – Minimum size limits give fish the opportunity to reach sexual maturity and reproduce before they can be legally harvested. By allowing fish to reach a certain size, regulations help ensure the continuation of the species and maintain a balance within the ecosystem.
  2. Ensuring Population Sustainability – Size limits assist in preventing overfishing and stock depletion. By allowing fish to grow to a specific size before they can be harvested, regulators can control the fishing pressure on certain species. This helps maintain a stable population size and prevents the disruption of the ecological balance.
  3. Enhancing Fish Quality – Releasing undersized fish allows them to continue growing and developing. This leads to better fish quality when they eventually reach the legal size for harvest. Size restrictions contribute to improved fish size, weight, and overall taste, enhancing the angler’s experience.

New York City has very specific size minimums for different types of fish. As a company that takes people out on fishing trips, we strongly believe in respecting these size minimums and making sure all our guests follow the law.

But it’s also important strictly from a taste and quality perspective. Juvenile fish do not have the same flavor as mature fish. By releasing the fish back, you are also making sure that there are more full size fish to catch for a better overall taste profile.

Adhering to Fishing Regulations

It is the responsibility of anglers to familiarize themselves with local fishing regulations and adhere to the specified size limits. Regulations can vary depending on the location, species of fish, and sometimes even the time of year. Ignorance of these regulations can result in fines, penalties, or legal consequences.

At Marilyn Jean Fishing, we will make sure that you’re adhering to all local laws, so that we can maintain the fish populations that bring us so many excellent experiences. Many of our guests are brand new to fishing, and we are more than happy to explain fishing to you in greater detail. Schedule with us today to get started.

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