Anglers tend to put numbers on the results of their fishing trips, but there are lots of different ways to do it. Commercial fishermen pretty much all measure their landings by the total weight of their catch — 1,000 pounds of grouper, 200 pounds of pompano, 500 pounds of mackerel, and so on. That makes sense because they generally get paid by the pound. In some fisheries in which very small numbers of very large fish are caught, the metric might be the weight of a single very large fish, such as a 500-pound bluefin tuna — but it’s still going to relate to a price per pound.
Recreational fishermen are a more complicated bunch, and their fishy measurements vary. For example, bass fishermen always talk about the weight of their fish. “That big bass weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces.” But tournament bassers talk about a multi-fish combined weight. Usually their weights are for a five-fish bag, since that’s the number of fish that most bass tournaments allow to be weighed by an individual angler, or by a team if it’s a team event.
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