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Measure or Weigh?

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When some people post on here about fishing reports they often are very vague about the quantity and size of the fish they catch (as anglers tend to be).  Some people tell me about their day on the water the same way in person.  I'll read "got a 3.6 and a couple 2 pounders" or "caught my personal best a 5.6 pounder" just as examples.  Do you guys weigh these fish out when you catch them or are you just guessing?  Rarely do I weight the fish I catch.  I used to do a lot of walleye fishing and there was always a restricted harvest slot for keeping them and it was always governed by length, not weight, so I am accustomed to measuring the fish I catch, not weighing them (unless I catch a very fat one).  Obviously, in a tournament there is a minimum but the standings are done by weight.  So, when you catch a bass, do you normally weigh it or measure it?

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Weight! Bass fisherman should always talk in terms of weight, IMHO. As bass fisherman in Minnesota we are in the minority due to all the Walleye anglers, they go only by length. When they catch a bass they NEVER weigh it (most of them don't carry a scale) It's funny when you casually talk fishing at the dock with someone in Minnesota you can immediately tell if they are a "Walleye guy" or a bass guy simply by how they describe their catches. 

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I'll only weight if it's a large fish. And unless I am looking to put in my live well it doesn't get measured unless again it's a larger fish. 

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I weigh and tape measure(length and girth) all bass that I suspect to be 8 pounds or bigger and rarely  bother weighing bass that are clearly smaller than 8 pounds.The reason I don't weigh smaller bass anymore is that 4-7 pounders are common down here ,but a 8 pound or bigger bass is not and they deserve proper documentation in South Florida.

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Bass tournaments are determined by total weight, the measuring done during contests are minimum length for that event. 

Recreational bass anglers tend to mimic the pros they watch or follow, weekend club anglers are fishing club tournaments so weight is the benchmark.

Catch & release anglers often measure the length with mouth closed and the girth, some will also weigh the bass if they have a scale. When you see weight in digital number the scale was digital. All anglers are notorious for stretching the truth, in other words they are liars except you and me.

Tom

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I do both. I like to measure and weigh when the bass
is "significant" to me, usually 3# and over by guess.

I'll weigh-only if it is, by guess, under that amount, if
I think it is worth weighing...

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I never weigh bass. Most of those who are in my smallmouth club don't fish tournaments and everybody does length measurements. I do know a few who fish kayak tournaments and they all compete using length only. 

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Weigh. I've debated carrying a tape but I'm not keeping any so I don't see a point. My weights are digital as I have a Chinese made quarrow grip scale. Looking to upgrade at some point. I weigh anything I believe to be above a pound. I find it fun so I do it.

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9 minutes ago, Choporoz said:

Weight if I'm in a boat.  Length if I'm in my kayak

Just curious why in that order? 

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 A little of both, all of the Master Angler Awards in KS are based on length so I will measure a fish that I think may qualify.   I also like to weigh LMB that I catch that may be close 5 lbs and SMB that I believe will go 3 lbs.   Both these sizes of fish are good catches in the lakes I fish.

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2 hours ago, S. Sass said:

Just curious why in that order? 

I always carry a scale in the boat.  But everyone I kayak with always measures on bump board.  I assume that's because kayak tournaments go by length.   Pics on a board in lap clearly demonstrate size, too....more easily than hanging on a scale, which can be challenging in a yak

20160906_185922.jpg

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I do both, especially on larger fish when I'll take the girth in addition to the weight and length. 

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I weigh the bass. 

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I measure for length every bass I catch; I weigh all bass 14" or over - that data populates a spread sheet.  All my data is periodically transmitted to the lakes consultant that manages our water. He uses that data, along with the catch data from the local bass club, as part of his overall assessment of the health of the fishery.

I am also involved in a LMB tagging program. If I am on one of my tagging lakes, I measure AND weigh every tagged bass that I catch (10" and up).

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I like to measure and weigh the fish I feel are significant.  Other than that I guess.  It's out of curiosity really.  I like to guess the weight then weigh them to challenge my perceptions.  Then I take a quick measurement.   

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Weight is king!  I have caught bass 7 to almost 11 lbs that are within 1.5'' of each other in length!  That being said, I only weigh fish that I believe to be over 5lbs, and only sometimes do I take a length measurement(mostly when fishing alone).  I do however, weight and measure length and girth of all PB status bass!

Jeff

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I only weigh fish that are bigger for my area.  Typically, that would be a fish in the 4 to 5 lb range or higher.  Below is a good example of why weighing your fish is so important.  This fish was 23.5 inches long and was caught in an Arkansas lake this summer where double digits have been caught.  All the other fish I caught there were healthy so I suspect it was an old bass and was on its last legs.  Check out the size of the mouth in opposition to the body.  This bass only weighed 4 lbs 10 oz.  At some point in its life, I suspect it was huge.  If I reported that I caught a 23.5 inch bass most people would be thinking that I caught a fish that was at least 7 or 8 lbs.  Au contraire, my friends.  

P8170003.jpg

 

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So, my opinion is that for tournaments, we should use displacement.  That will ALWAYS tell what fish is bigger.  We don't really have that tech yet, so for now, mass will have to work.  I wish they'd start measuring weight in tournaments in a tank.  It's pretty simple, Newton's laws apply, even if they're underwater, just zero out the tank before adding the fish.  Mass is mass (meaning weight) and the weight will show, and they fish won't be flopping around in a basket, and you won't have the issue of extra water being weighed as well.  They do this in many college level tournaments.

That said, I do a few online tournaments, through TourneyX.  They all use length.  I have a bump board for this.  If it's a beast, I'll weigh it too.  The thing to keep in mind, is be prepared.  In my boat, I unhook the fish, put a cull tag on it, which prevents unnecessary handling when getting the fish out of the livewell.  Then I prepare my measuring device, and camera.  get the fish, weigh it, snap a pic, and return it to the water.  In the kayak, the process is similar, except I use a cull tag attached to a retractable tether made by T-Reigns.  The fish is on the tether, and in the water near the boat.

I suppose others would be interested in girth measurements, along with length and weight, but I'm not interested enough to do it.

The point is, I do not have the fish out of the water for more than 30-45 seconds.  You keep your fish out of the water for more than a minute, you might as well release it into hot oil.  Out of the water time is a bigger killer than any livewell, handling, "breading the fish" in the dirt on shore, or even prolonged playing the fish out.  Remember, the second that fish is out of the water, the clock is ticking.  Try this, run a 100 yard dash, then hold your breath for a minute or more.  Tell me how you feel after... ;)

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I generally neither measure or weigh.  I just hold it up, proclaim it a "nice fish" and let it go.  OCCASIONALLY, I will hold my rod against it, make a mental note of where, on the rod, the fishes mouth stops, and then measure that distance later.  But this is rare because I don't catch that many giants. 

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I weigh them, but only the big ones. It's not as easy as measuring a bass but it's sort of the standard way to quantify your trophy. I'm looking for one above 6.9 lbs to be my personal best so I have to keep a scale in the kayak.

I saw on Bill Dance recently a way to estimate weight that he says is more accurate than the length and girth.

L x L x L/1600 if you only have a ruler. Therefore, Choporoz' bass in his pic weighs 5.79 lbs. See this chart http://www.csap.com/Bass Weight Conversion Chart.pdf

I love the way guys are fishing and they'll mentally weigh a bass that was just following their bait and didn't even bite. Almost every time I ever guessed the weight of a bass I caught, I was off. I'm a little better at guessing other peoples' bass's weight. LOL.

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4 minutes ago, the reel ess said:

 

I saw on Bill Dance recently a way to estimate weight that he says is more accurate than the length and girth.

L x L x L/1600 if you only have a ruler. Therefore, Choporoz' bass in his pic weighs 5.79 lbs.

I dunno....I'd be really surprised if that one was more than 5....but I like your conversion table!

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I keep track of my pond's health when I fish there, so I weigh and measure everything and update it in my log.  If on public waters, I only weigh/measure the large ones.  It is fun keeping the detailed log and referring back to it for conditions, lures used, and judging the overall health of the fishery.  

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