What's In A Trophy?
In a recent conversation, I was asked, "why would you want to hurt a fish, just to have it stuffed and call it a trophy?" Briefly I froze, as the multitude of offenses ran through my head about the confrontation. The assumptions and judgements made against me, the obvious lack of understanding about the subject, and the audacious manner in which the conversation started knocked me off my base and I almost fell for the baited argument. I simply responded, "a trophy is different things to different people...", "what's a trophy to you?". It didn't really matter what that trophy was for that person, my point was it was something. That deserves respect in and of itself. Just the fact that someone has worked in a direction to accomplish a set goal and achieve that goal. I didn't try to disprove a negative, I simply pointed out the similarity between them and me. That point opened the door to true discussion and I hope, anyway, that it is clearer what is in a trophy, at least for me.
I was able to explain that I don't kill them, I only have one "trophy" on the wall, but lots more in the water, and thousands of "trophies" have graced my dinner table. The Trophy Anglers' Livewell is designed for all of those goals mentioned. It supports captive fish in a way that actually "hospitalizes" the specimen while you continue to fish. The moving Livewell forces the fish to swim which keeps them upright and allows their metabolism and air bladder to reach a more normal condition, so you can release them in a truly healthy state or keep them alive until it's time to eat.
You see, a trophy to us is an accomplishment, it doesn't have to be a huge fish or a monster buck for it to be considered a trophy. When my daughters caught their first sunfish or a bass by themselves, those were true trophies. They weren't huge, but they are huge in my memory. Fortunately we did get pictures of some of the "biggest" trophies of my fishing life that were caught by my girls or others. A trophy is something different for everyone.The idea behind our name, Trophy Anglers' Tackle Co., follows the premise that angling is not easy. It's not a mindless pastime. "Trophy Anglers" put a lot of effort into accomplishing the goal of understanding fish biology well enough to consistently find and catch fish, let alone huge fish, and spend a lot of resources to do it. Great effort is taken in conserving the resources like venting tools, barbless hooks, and even by not allowing certain species to even be raised from the water. Modern day anglers are devoted conservationists and have displayed an attitude of improving the environment and fisheries. We've been at the forefront of changing and improving the processes by which the resource is utilized. The same level of devotion and effort is necessary to accomplish any goal, whether it be at sports, work, academics or anything else where a person derives some sort of award for their accomplishment. I am proud to be a "Trophy Angler". Call them what you want; degrees, diplomas, awards, etc. They are trophies. We are anglers, therefore, "Trophy Anglers". Life is full of trophies, so what's in a trophy for you?