A few of our So Cal private pay to fish lakes insist that if you catch a catfish by mistake while fishing for bass, you have to keep that catfish as part of your catfish limit. The bass are strictly catch and release which is fine. Some places also insist on you keeping any Bluegill you may catch. I don't want any catfish or little panfish to bring home. I spent good money to just have fun and try to catch a bass or two. If a Channel Catfish grabs my barbless spinnerbait or any other lure meant for bass (which they will do once in a while..they are predators after all), what I usually do is get down and carefully unhook it and let it swim away saying loudly "Dammit!", or let it slip out of my hand while "putting it on a stringer". Giving them away is another option, but they might not like that either. I guess I understand the problem of a catfish hooked deep in the throat or gills and bleeding badly, obviously a good chance of it dying after being released. I know these fish are costly to stock, but if you can wet your hands first and safely unhook it and let it go, shouldn't you?
Any one else have this problem?