Any true angler will always want to make sure he is obeying the law when it comes to fish size. It’s the right thing to do and it will save you a costly encounter with the game warden.
We have all, at one time or another, brought a fish into the boat and in the excitement of wanting to get the line back in the water, we measure the fish, decide if it is a keeper or not and move on. But wait… Do you just measure that fish using the ruler built in to the lid of your ice chest? If you do, you may be in for a surprise. That ice chest lid may have gone through some rough times over the years that you owned it. Things get stacked on top of it, your buddy may have sat on it. This causes a bend in the lid that could throw off the measurement. That 16″ redfish that you just measured may have only been 15 7/8″. If that’s the case, the game warden that is checking you is not going to be understanding of your misfortune.
When it comes to the stickers that most anglers may have stuck to the inside of their boats, those can be misleading also. Our wide range of weather means that those stickers do a lot of expanding and contracting as they heat up and cool down. This could lead to an improper measurement.
Experts say that the best way to measure is with an old fashioned tape measure or a fish ruler.