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A-Jay

Future's In Your Hands ~

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A-Jay

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Not sure we have smallmouth bass around here with the exception of maybe Toledo Bend and possibly Caddo Lake because they border with Texas. However, I always catch and release largemouth bass. 😎

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Most all our lakes they have to be over 18 or even 21 inches to keep. I think they probably grow a little faster than that chart here, but probably not by much. I doubt many folks realize how long it takes for a fish just to reach keeper size, largemouth, spot, or smallmouth. 

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Largemouth and smallmouth take that long up here in the north.  That's why our state record largemouth is only 8 lbs and change.

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Conservation is a multifaceted plan that includes catch and release, habitat, and harvest.  They all work together to make a healthy productive fishery.  Any one of them can upset the balance dramatically.  

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People have asked me how I like to eat bass....I say they're "Sacred" and they look at me real funny.  Just not to much into the taste of most fresh water fish.  Love Gorton's Fishsticks though....cold and in the lunch box of the boat.  I know they're times for harvest....just not for me

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9 hours ago, A-Jay said:

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A-Jay

A-Jay, thanks for posting, attitudes about fishing have changed since I was young. I think most fisherman are sportsman and want to preserve our sport and be good be stewards of the fisheries.

 

A really good book that details the difficulties and traits of large bass is "In Pursuit of Giant Bass". In it the author makes the case that bass that grow to trophy size are different in habits and personality that most other bass. For bass its a eat or be eaten world and to survive years takes special talents not seen in the majority.

 

I don't eat bass but when we flyfish, we harvest one each for dinner that night and release rest. Whether it be bass, trout, pickerel or pan fish I always try to return quickly and carefully. A floating fish is a very sad sight.

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I can't speak about smallmouth , but I have gone full circle and back a quarter on largemouth. When I was starting to bass fish , most people kept most of the fish most of the time. It was a prevailing attitude down here from our depression era fathers and the condition of much of the South before that. We fished to feed our families and still do. Attitudes changed slowly regarding bass and much of my change toward it occurred by watching BASS members practicing c/r.  My dad couldn't believe people would fish and throw them all back. He would always say "You could feed a starving family with all those fish " So it was hard for me to throw em back too.

So I adapted by catching and keeping lots of other fish , which we have plenty of around here. I got to where I released nearly all bass unless they died on me.

Then the lake got too full of little fish and I realized culling some was the best solution , so I starting keeping fish in a slot of 12 - 16 inches .Kept 150 last year. I give most of them to a friend and filet maybe 1/4 for the family.  Every fish over 16 goes back.

Sorry for the long post. I believe you need to obey the law and do your part to conserve the fishery . That being said , keeping some doesn't hurt most fisheries. Balance is the key.

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13 minutes ago, N Florida Mike said:

 

 I believe you need to obey the law and do your part to conserve the fishery . That being said , keeping some doesn't hurt most fisheries. Balance is the key.

I agree whole heatedly with this sentiment Mike. 

:smiley:

A-Jay

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The growth rates listed are misleading, but I think it's designed to spark conversation. To that end, mission accomplished.

 

Those values are higher than only 10% of the fish across their range (i.e., slow growth). The average growth rates for smallmouth bass are much faster: https://www.bassresource.com/fish_biology/fish-biology.html

 

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I'm 73 inches at 33 yrs........I also consider bass sacred like @Oregon Native but I consider killing and eating animals sacred as well. It takes a whole village I reckon! I don't eat small mouth often but if I'm standing on the deck of the boat holding one and my girlfriend isn't cooking dinner that night, the economically sound decision is to eat the fish in your hand instead of throwing it back only to go buy a fish from china. At least for a po boy like me 

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A-Jay, are you aware we have an idiot here in MI who has in the past advocated, and probably will again, for tournaments on the spawning beds?  Catch and immediate release is not as benign as most think, as a significant number of fish die, but to do a tournament that removes fish from the beds is suicide for the beds' young bass.  If you are not aware, and would like more info, PM me.  My son testified before the DNR when the last proposal was made, and he and others prevailed in getting the  proposal denied.  But it will come up again.

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21 minutes ago, MickD said:

 tournaments on the spawning beds   DNR made proposal denied.  

Although I could never see the DNR ever approving that in any way, shape or form - Ever;

My fighting days are behind me.  

My Life's course is locked in and heading for the calmest waters available.

A-Jay

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@A-Jay While I respect your opinion, and personally don't harvest SMB, we need to respect the people who do so as long as it's within their states guidelines.

 

@MickD Beds are targeted during the spring nationwide, be it smallmouth or largemouth. Fisheries continue to flourish. I'm no scientist, but I believe there are other influences that are more detrimental to fisheries than tournament fishermen targeting spawning beds. Here's what I do know. Tournament anglers prefishing for tournament do not disturb the beds until tournament day, they just mark waypoints on the gps. An angler can spend an hour on a bed and not catch anything or more than likely catch the male. If the female is caught and released successfully during a tournament, and she hasn't spawned yet, she will find a suitor and spawn at a later date. Panfish (and in the case of the Great Lakes, gobies) will rush beds for eggs, but they are not necessarily attacking every single bass bed in the fishery. The vast majority of eggs that do survive the spawn will hatch and be eaten as fingerlings anyway.

 

I'm not dismissing the fact that bed fishing has some impact on spawning bass. I do believe that the impact mother nature has with weather patterns, water levels, and erosion, as well as herbicides and pesticides have a more detrimental effect on the bass populations than bed fishing does.  

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@slonezp - To repeat what I mentioned above - I believe we need to obey the law and do our part to conserve the fishery .  That being said , keeping some doesn't hurt most fisheries.  Balance is the key.

 

A-Jay

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11 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

@slonezp - To repeat what I mentioned above - I believe we need to obey the law and do our part to conserve the fishery .  That being said , keeping some doesn't hurt most fisheries.  Balance is the key.

 

A-Jay

You mean what @N Florida Mike said.;):D

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I am really looking forward to ice out.

A-Jay

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5 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

I am really looking forward to ice out.

A-Jay

Just playin' with ya

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1 minute ago, slonezp said:

Just playin' with ya

I know - no worries.

 

Still though . . . .  Glad to finally see January in the rear view mirror . . .

 

( and I kind a like jacking up my own thread )

 

;)

A-Jay

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Good subject and I agree that its a good idea to release most if not all smallmouth bass, especially the state citation sized ones. I have released every single smallmouth bass I have caught and will continue to release every smallmouth bass I catch on my vacations.

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5 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

I know - no worries.

 

Still though . . . .  Glad to finally see January in the rear view mirror . . .

 

( and I kind a like jacking up my own thread )

 

;)

A-Jay

I don't know about that. We have more cold and snow forecasted over the next week. Looks like somewhere between 5-10" by next Wednesday and I think I saw below zero windchills again.

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1 minute ago, slonezp said:

I don't know about that. We have more cold and snow forecasted over the next week. Looks like somewhere between 5-10" by next Wednesday and I think I saw below zero windchills again.

Yea - our forecast also has a certain not-helping speed up the ice out kind of feel to it as well.

 Predictably Arctic to be more precise.

Dogs like it ~

26543756_1812966068716461_638433697_o.jpg?oh=7bcfcd2763e3533ab3883c7f2c67ace1&oe=5A759BA4

A-Jay

 

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5 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Yea - our forecast also has a certain not-helping speed up the ice out kind of feel to it as well.

 Predictably Arctic to be more precise.

Dogs like it ~

26543756_1812966068716461_638433697_o.jpg?oh=7bcfcd2763e3533ab3883c7f2c67ace1&oe=5A759BA4

A-Jay

 

That's an awesome photo. I bet a rodent died moments later

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2 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

That's an awesome photo. I bet a rodent died moments later

Bugs Bunny ~ 

:(

A-Jay

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11 hours ago, slonezp said:

@A-Jay While I respect your opinion, and personally don't harvest SMB, we need to respect the people who do so as long as it's within their states guidelines.

 

@MickD Beds are targeted during the spring nationwide, be it smallmouth or largemouth. Fisheries continue to flourish. I'm no scientist, but I believe there are other influences that are more detrimental to fisheries than tournament fishermen targeting spawning beds. Here's what I do know. Tournament anglers prefishing for tournament do not disturb the beds until tournament day, they just mark waypoints on the gps. An angler can spend an hour on a bed and not catch anything or more than likely catch the male. If the female is caught and released successfully during a tournament, and she hasn't spawned yet, she will find a suitor and spawn at a later date. Panfish (and in the case of the Great Lakes, gobies) will rush beds for eggs, but they are not necessarily attacking every single bass bed in the fishery. The vast majority of eggs that do survive the spawn will hatch and be eaten as fingerlings anyway.

 

I'm not dismissing the fact that bed fishing has some impact on spawning bass. I do believe that the impact mother nature has with weather patterns, water levels, and erosion, as well as herbicides and pesticides have a more detrimental effect on the bass populations than bed fishing does.  

The SCIENTISTS from I believe three states who testified in the MI DNR hearings regarding THE PROPOSAL TO ALLOW TOURNAMENTS WHICH WOULD TAKE SMALLMOUTH BASS OFF THE BEDS TO BE WEIGHED AT A LATER TIME were unanimous in the position that this would be disastrous to the population, providing scientific studies to support their arguments.  With respect for your opinion, the other factors you mention have not caused the "disastrous" decline in the smallmouth population that the scientists were predicting if tournaments were allowed while the bass were on the beds and the taking of bass to remote weighing was done.  My opinion is that the proposal was so ridiculous that it could have been denied based on common sense.  

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