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23 hours ago, gimruis said:

Your are correct but for that very reason, panfish populations are stunted around here and it’s virtually impossible to find big ones worth harvesting anymore.  I think the reason bass populations are in better shape is because the majority of us practice catch and release. If people started harvesting bass like they do panfish and walleye, the bass population up north would get decimated in a short period of time. They simply take a lot longer to grow and replenish.

Fish populations are stunted because of overpopulation not over harvest.  Game fish are fighting for prey species and there isn't enough to go around.  

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Bed fishing for bass is, to me, like going to shoot clay pigeons, and setting the clay pigeon on the ground 5 feet away...or ground swatting a pheasant, or shooting a ruffed grouse off a tree branch.  Moral dilemmas aside, bed fishing just doesn't seem sporting.  Since I fish for fun, and not to feed a starving family, I choose not to do it for that reason.

 

If others want to do it, that's their call, as long as it's legal.

 

Re Bass on pedestal: If you think bass fishermen, or trout fishermen are obsessive on the subject...ask a a musky guy...

 

 

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Whether you bed fish or not is up to everyone to decide for themselves. I like being on the water during the spawn just to see how many beds/fish there are. Seeing hundreds of beds with fish on them really kind of shows how healthy a lake is. And yes, if I see a bigger than normal bass, I'll catch it, snap a pic, and let it go.

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On 5/20/2019 at 9:29 PM, Further North said:

Bed fishing for bass is, to me, like going to shoot clay pigeons, and setting the clay pigeon on the ground 5 feet away...or ground swatting a pheasant, or shooting a ruffed grouse off a tree branch.  Moral dilemmas aside, bed fishing just doesn't seem sporting.  Since I fish for fun, and not to feed a starving family, I choose not to do it for that reason.

 

If others want to do it, that's their call, as long as it's legal.

 

Re Bass on pedestal: If you think bass fishermen, or trout fishermen are obsessive on the subject...ask a a musky guy...

 

 

Agree 100%! This is what I was saying when I started the thread 

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in my mind I don't really have a problem with people catching and immediately releasing bass back to the beds.  tournaments are another story.  just seems like they are slitting there own throughts by taking a  big bass off of their beds and taking it across the lake for weigh in.   IMHO except for the big money tournaments within 10 years the smaller tournaments will be using bump boards like the kayakers do.  The technology is there to do it.  Than there really wont be a debate about catching bedded bass.  measure it on the board and back in the water it goes. 

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To counter the idea that concerns around bed fishing must be based only on 'emotion', here's an article presenting research findings that suggest that C&R angling during the spawn season did have an observable impact on year class success:

 

https://www.outdoorcanada.ca/fishing-for-nesting-bass/

 

No doubt there are other studies from other organizations and locations (though not very many) that have reached different conclusions, and many lakes continue to thrive under year-round pressure.  But it's not unreasonable to think that some fisheries could be more vulnerable than others, and I don't think the research to date supports a blanket statement around the harmlessness of bed fishing.  Factors including climate, species, habitat, fishing pressure, stocking programs, etc. ought to be considered.

 

Even if overall recruitment is unaffected by bed fishing, loss of individual broods is well-documented, and resulting potential for population-level selection against traits of aggression and size should be considered. Aggressive bass are the ones most likely to be caught, and large specimens are more likely to be toured around in a livewell or held up for an extended photo session.  Even if their lost spawning effort is made up for by the success of others, are we selecting against desirable, heritable traits by disturbing the spawn in this way? I believe there is some research supporting this idea.

 

Food for thought, anyway.

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14 hours ago, Mbirdsley said:

in my mind I don't really have a problem with people catching and immediately releasing bass back to the beds.  tournaments are another story.  just seems like they are slitting there own throughts by taking a  big bass off of their beds and taking it across the lake for weigh in.   IMHO except for the big money tournaments within 10 years the smaller tournaments will be using bump boards like the kayakers do.  The technology is there to do it.  Than there really wont be a debate about catching bedded bass.  measure it on the board and back in the water it goes. 

Our local lakes and other states are starting to use the MLF format of weighing and releasing with a observer in lieu of a team partner in local tournaments. Team and AAA /Pro draw events are the majority but times are changing.

We can debate this till the cows come home, does bed fishing affects bass populations. Compare private lakes vs public lakes the same size and nearby locations there is a difference in catch rates per and size of bass per man hour fished do to fewer man hrs fished. Big drops in bass populations isn't a result of bed fishing pressure, it's always a result of environmental conditions or draw downs during the spawn cycle. Remember big bass spawn in several nest sites.

Tom

 

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Over the next month I will be taking out a lot of first time young anglers and you am heading to the flats at some point in the day.  A perfect opportunity to to have success and teach about the circle of life.  I guess I am a terrible person

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On 5/20/2019 at 8:14 PM, flyfisher said:

Fish populations are stunted because of overpopulation not over harvest.  Game fish are fighting for prey species and there isn't enough to go around.  

This isn't exactly true.  Look up how important it is to NOT harvest big bull bluegills during their spawn.  Genetic makeup of a smaller body of water can get wrecked pretty easily when it comes to bluegills.  I wouldn't say the same thing about crappies or perch.

 

I, myself, don't see much of an ethical issue with fishing for a bedding bass.  However, I think that it is incredibly boring.

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25 minutes ago, Pickle_Power said:

This isn't exactly true.  Look up how important it is to NOT harvest big bull bluegills during their spawn.  Genetic makeup of a smaller body of water can get wrecked pretty easily when it comes to bluegills.  I wouldn't say the same thing about crappies or perch.

 

I, myself, don't see much of an ethical issue with fishing for a bedding bass.  However, I think that it is incredibly boring.

Not if your seven years old!  Crush the barb and go at it 😂

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36 minutes ago, Pickle_Power said:

This isn't exactly true.  Look up how important it is to NOT harvest big bull bluegills during their spawn.  Genetic makeup of a smaller body of water can get wrecked pretty easily when it comes to bluegills.  I wouldn't say the same thing about crappies or perch.

 

I, myself, don't see much of an ethical issue with fishing for a bedding bass.  However, I think that it is incredibly boring.

I harvest big gills off the beds every spring on a 200 acre lake. Been doing it for 10 years. Every year i continue to catch 9-11" gills. I might keep 30 every weekend throughout the spawn. I throw back hundreds of <9" fish. The lake breeds big gills and is known for its panfish. I guarantee I'm not the only one doing it. 

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Yup, this "debate" (really, the emotional "I'm right, you're wrong" rhetoric) goes on every time this year, and has been for decades.  

 

Yet fisheries survive and grow.

 

Private fisheries are managed completely different than public, in a big way (more politics than science on public waters). The environments are totally different too, where taking hundreds of bass from a pond annually is mandatory for a healthy population, taking the same relative amount (10X thousands) from large public waters could be detrimental.

 

So comparing studies between the two is like comparing a Volkswagon to a Kennworth.  It's not even close.

 

Skinny fish?  Dozens of potential causes for that; and the true cause is likely not the one that supports anyone's argument here.

 

So let's get off our pulpits; understand that the emotional pleas to stop will continue, while science (mother nature) has means and ways to offset predation and even major fish kills, let alone C&R tournaments; and focus on doing whatever you individually feel comfortable with.

 

I'm going to end this thread, because what's going to be said has been said already, and I don't want this to spiral into personal attacks and insults....because that's where this topic always ends up (been running this site for over 2 decades.  Been there, done that, over and over).

 

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