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BrackishBassin

Studies of Fish Mortality in Catch and Release Fishing

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3 hours ago, BrackishBassin said:

Very interesting read. If it's been posted before, or it's not allowed to be shared, please simply remove it. 

 

https://activeanglingnz.com/2017/03/21/ensuring-fish-survive-after-release/

Ouch, that really hurts my eyes lol. Thanks for sharing nonetheless!

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You can also go to the Sure-Life labs makers of Catch & Release for vedio's specific to bass livewell management techniques.

Tom

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Interesting read, thank you for posting.  Gives me some things to think about for the upcoming season.

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The article mentions that "fishing deep should be restricted if fish are intended to be released".  

 

That sentence needs some clarification.   First off, what exactly is deep?   20'?   50'?    Second, the time between catch and release is important - i.e releasing a fish immediately vs putting it in a livewell and then releasing it after a weigh-in hours later.   

 

It is my understanding that bass will come up quickly from depths of 20 feet or so and ambush baitfish near the surface.   They can't stay for any extended period of time due to the fact that they can't adjust their swim bladders quickly enough, but they don't suffer any ill effects from rapid changes in depth.   If you catch a bass out of 20 feet of water and release it immediately, I would think the fish would have an excellent chance of survival if handled properly.   On the other hand, catch a bass from 20 feet and put him in the livewell all day and release after a weigh-in, not so good.   And I just can't believe fizzing a fish is good for it long term.

 

 

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20' of depth change is well within a LMB, SMB and Spotted bass air bladder comfort zone, double that and airbladder explands pushing the stomach out thier throat. The problem can be the bass was acclimated at 40' and swam up to 20' to hit a lure, then brought to the surface = 40' rapid depth change and that is a problem.

Thermal shock is a bigger problem and over looked by most summer bass angers. 10 degree sudden water temp change can fatal to bass. Bass acclaimed to 20' with 70 degree water and put into a livewell with 85 degree water can stress the bass beyond recovery.

Tom

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10 minutes ago, WRB said:

20' of depth change is well within a LMB, SMB and Spotted bass air bladder comfort zone, double that and airbladder explands pushing the stomach out thier throat. The problem can be the bass was acclimated at 40' and swam up to 20' to hit a lure, then brought to the surface = 40' rapid depth change and that is a problem.

Thermal shock is a bigger problem and over looked by most summer bass angers. 10 degree sudden water temp change can fatal to bass. Bass acclaimed to 20' with 70 degree water and put into a livewell with 85 degree water can stress the bass beyond recovery.

Tom

What you're saying about the temp. change would the same be said for a temp. change in the other direction? I've read in the past to put ice in your livewell is that valid or would/could that hurt the fish?

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The livewell water should be close to the basses body temp, whatever that was when the bass was caught. Adding ice should be done with sealed frozen plastic pint drinking bottles or chlorine free ice slowly. Lake surface water in the summer is always hotter the water near the thermocline depth. Most bass boat livewells are around 15 gallon of water, just put    2 frozen bottles in at the start of the day, usually works for several hours.

Tom

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Ok. That makes sense just wanted to make sure it was still a valid practice.

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The subject of live versus artificial bait is a big subject up here at Mille Lacs (sight of the Bassmaster Elite AOY), but not for bass - for walleyes.  Studies have shown that using live bait during the hottest time of the year accounts for about 65% of all hooking mortality for the entire walleye fishing season.  That's why authorities have decided to close the lake in July for 3 weeks.  People just aren't interested in targeting them without live bait for some reason, which doesn't make much sense to me if you're required to release the fish anyways.  Bass are hardier than walleyes but I have to imagine that hooking mortality for them and other species is significantly higher using live bait versus artificial too.

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Minnisota has a long history of using live minnows for bait, it's very common and minnows are sold roadside, tackle shops, marinas, etc. A bait bucket is standard equipment.

I say this based on my relatives who live in MN. Walleyes are also considered good table fare and a renewable resource, bass are not a target fish for eating in MN.

Both LMB and Walleyes are large scale fish and very hardy, Walleyes however have swim baddie valves that allow the bladder gases to vent, bass don't, depth changes don't bother Walleyes.

Can't see a good comparison between survival rates during Walleye tournaments and bass tournaments, different mind set. All the MN DNR needs to do is promote circle hooks for live bait and catch release during the summer period.....my relatives would laugh!

Tom

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2 hours ago, gimruis said:

The subject of live versus artificial bait is a big subject up here at Mille Lacs (sight of the Bassmaster Elite AOY), but not for bass - for walleyes.  Studies have shown that using live bait during the hottest time of the year accounts for about 65% of all hooking mortality for the entire walleye fishing season.  That's why authorities have decided to close the lake in July for 3 weeks.  People just aren't interested in targeting them without live bait for some reason, which doesn't make much sense to me if you're required to release the fish anyways.  Bass are hardier than walleyes but I have to imagine that hooking mortality for them and other species is significantly higher using live bait versus artificial too.

 

I almost fish exclusively with live bait for walleye.   Difference between bass and walleye for me is 1) I fish for bass much more often and 2) I will keep walleye for the grill.  

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I don't have a whole lot of experience with walleye, but the experience that I do have makes it seem like it's considerably more difficult to target them with artificials. A 4" grub tipped with a minnow will outfish a 4" grub without a minnow 10-1. Bass aren't like that.

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The smallmouth I catch out from the St Lawrence River and Lake Ontario will bloat if caught from 20 feet deep.  Not to the point where their stomachs are pushed out through their mouths, but their bladders definitely inflate.  This causes them to float sideways or belly up in the well which is no bueno.  I've only had maybe 2 smallies die on me in the well, one because she was hooked deep and bleeding, the other because I tried to fizz it (which I refuse to ever do again).  The best way I've found to keep them alive is to keep the dang pumps on, ALL DAY!  The fish need lots of oxygen, especially in the warmer months.  It amazes me how many guys I've seen fill their wells with water, put fish in, then shut them off to "conserve" their battery!  Guess what?  They end up with dead fish at the end of the day.  Insane.  Another thing I like to do is use fin clips on those fish that are having a hard time staying upright.  I think it was already discussed on a different post and a lot of folks think they're a gimmick.  I like them and have seen them do good things so...   

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Everyone remembers Paul Elias record catch at Falcon in 2013, few remember the high tournament mortality rates at Falcon due to poor fish handling and livewell management practices, it was a fiasco.

Tom

 

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28 minutes ago, WRB said:

Everyone remembers Paul Elias record catch at Falcon in 2013, few remember the high tournament mortality rates at Falcon due to poor fish handling and livewell management practices, it was a fiasco.

Tom

 

I'm no  expert, but I have seen a hell of a lot of pretty sick looking fish at the weigh ins of current tournaments.  When I pick a bass out of my livewell, it goes nutso.  The fish I see so often on TV just hang there.  I've heard that fish treatment is a high priority at bass tourneys, but from what I've seen, I'm suspicious there is a lot of fish mortality associated with tourneys.

 

OK, tell me how wrong I am.

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I think some of the information is situational too though.

 

I fish a couple of ponds by my house very heavily and both produce large and small fish. Sometimes the fight is violent, other times it's quite subdued. I can honestly say that widely varying factors are present - water temps, depths, fight duration, hook penetration location, bait type, etc and I have never seen a single dead fish in any of my ponds from either me, or the many other anglers I see fishing along the shorelines. Maybe it's just these ponds or something, but I've never seen this mortality that these articles present as almost unstoppably inevitable. Any reason why I never see it?

Certainly I would've at some point run across a dead bass or two in the 5+ years I've fished these ponds, and I'm talking probably 40+ fishing trips at these ponds each year.

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Does using barbless hooks like the article recommends noticeably decrease your chance of hanging onto bass or catfish? I've never used barblesss hooks before.

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7 hours ago, Cgjohnst said:

Does using barbless hooks like the article recommends noticeably decrease your chance of hanging onto bass or catfish? I've never used barblesss hooks before.

yes it does. if you lose tension in the line it will be easier for the hook to come out.

 

 

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I only use barbless when fishing for trout, mainly because in Wisconsin it's illegal to use a barbed hook in the early catch and release season (Mar-May).   I also tie all of my own flies and it's just become habit that step 0 in the fly tying process is de-barbing the hook.   I have been checked before, and the conservation officer actually put the hook in his shirt and then pulled it out.  It came out clean, so no ticket for me.

 

The average size hook I use for trout is a size 16, and I'll go down to a 22.   So very small hooks, and barbless, and you would think one would lose alot of fish but you don't.   Now trout and bass are different, different anatomy and different fight I realize,  but I'd be willing to bet that you wouldn't lose as many fish as you think you would.   

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On 3/29/2017 at 10:59 PM, Preytorien said:

I think some of the information is situational too though.

 

I fish a couple of ponds by my house very heavily and both produce large and small fish. Sometimes the fight is violent, other times it's quite subdued. I can honestly say that widely varying factors are present - water temps, depths, fight duration, hook penetration location, bait type, etc and I have never seen a single dead fish in any of my ponds from either me, or the many other anglers I see fishing along the shorelines. Maybe it's just these ponds or something, but I've never seen this mortality that these articles present as almost unstoppably inevitable. Any reason why I never see it?

Certainly I would've at some point run across a dead bass or two in the 5+ years I've fished these ponds, and I'm talking probably 40+ fishing trips at these ponds each year.

 

Don't know where you're located, but here the ospreys would take any fish that was struggling and the eagles would get the dead ones. You'd never see evidence. If the fish is near shore, raccoons, foxes, and even neighborhood dogs would take care of the evidence. 

 

I caught a bass once and had an osprey hovering over my head while I got the hook out. Had to chase it away before I released the bass or it would have nailed it. 

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