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10 hours ago, frogflogger said:

Bed fishing those clear California lakes is an invitation to bad behavior - to protect those rare giants they should have a closed season - I know that is not a popular opinion but when guys line up waiting for a turn at a giant spawning the sport has left the building.

I agree with you 100%. Not many people would agree but most would agree that bass are most vulnerable to being caught when spawning. For a lot of people it is the only way they can catch a bass over 8 pounds.

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This always get my ire when someone who has never fished Calfornia lake makes statements regarding fat trout fed bass. 

SoCal lakes are small compared to large Midwest and southern impoundments and are very deep water storage facilities not well suited for largemouth bass to survive. 

Consider the are stocked 1 time as wild fingerlings into a wild eccosystem with lots of predator fish, birds, animals and man to aviod to grow to juvenile size. This isn't a aquarium environment nor are the bass managed beside state fishing regulations with 5 bass 12" minimum length daily creel limit.

Rainbow trout are (were) stocked weekly during winter cold water months by the DFW for catch and keep by licensed anglers, not as bass food. The trout prefer 60 degree or colder water, the bass preferring water over 70 degrees, both species occupy different depth zones during the summer warm water periods, trout deeper and bass shallower.

Consider only the adult size bass 4 lbs+ can hunt catch and eat a 8" trout, when trout get over 12" they only hunted by the few biggest bass in the lake.

I don't know of a public SoCal lake that doesn't have Threadfin Shad, bluegill and crappie populations that bass use as prey sources.

Catch and release isn't a regulation it's an option for anglers who want to release bass, it's illegal to catch and release trout, they must be kept in most SoCal lakes, streams it's optional.

Thousands of out of state bass angler come to California to catch bass, very few big bass are caught by visiting anglers unless hiring a local guide, they are not easy to catch.

Back on topic, I can only speculate Mike Long pouched big bass at night when the lakes were closed to fishing, few if any witnesses can vouch for any of his giant bass catches. 

We had the $1,000,000 reward period in the early 90's for anyone catching a world record bass. During that time period there were hundreds of anglers breaking every regulation every day trying to catch giant bass in our small reserviors. At least Mike Long was a loner during the last decade.

Mike long has been convicted in the court of public opinion and as a result he lost all credibility. I can't see how Long can be convicted of cheating in tournaments after the fact  or collecting money from a bankrupt program that no longer exists.

Tom

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On 6/24/2019 at 8:41 PM, Stephen B said:

Sad to see that some people think that cheating, lying, and deception will continue and never be found. Sad as it makes you think that how many records out there are fictitious. Which are truly real? 

 

That behavior displayed by Long not only discredits his body of work but also makes Dobyns look bad and any other business he was associated with. Ultimately, all ethical fisherman pay for his behavior as he stole from them and deceived the public. 

Just wait, the lawsuits are about to start flying as these companies and sponsors were defrauded too.  They will not take the damages from their association with this fraud lightly.

 

One thing that was not mentioned, probably because of lack of physical evidence, is that tournament winnings by cheating is an act of theft.

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4 hours ago, Team9nine said:

Thanks for your insight 🙏 Glad you dropped in, and hopefully we hear from a few more guys as this moves forward.

 

Take Care

Be nice if @Fish Chris were still around to give us his perspective, as well.

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18 minutes ago, WRB said:

This always get my ire when someone who has never fished Calfornia lake makes statements regarding fat trout fed bass. 

SoCal lakes are small compared to large Midwest and southern impoundments and are very deep water storage facilities not well suited for largemouth bass to survive. 

Consider the are stocked 1 time as wild fingerlings into a wild eccosystem with lots of predator fish, birds, animals and man to aviod to grow to juvenile size. This isn't a aquarium environment nor are the bass managed beside state fishing regulations with 5 bass 12" minimum length daily creel limit.

Rainbow trout are (were) stocked weekly during winter cold water months by the DFW for catch and keep by licensed anglers, not as bass food. The trout prefer 60 degree or colder water, the preferring water over 70 degrees, both species occupy different depth zones during the summer warm water periods, trout deep and bass shallower.

Consider only the adult size bass overc4 lbs can hunt catch and eat a 8" trout, when trout get over 12" they only hunted by the few biggest bass in the lake.

I don't know of a public SoCal lake that doesn't have Threadfin Shad, bluegill and crappie populations that bass use as prey sources.

Catch and release isn't a regulation it's an option for anglers who want to release bass, it's illegal to catch and release trout, they must be kept in most SoCal lakes, streams it's optional.

Thousands of out of state bass angler come to California to catch bass, very few big bass are caught by visiting anglers unless hiring a local guide, they are not easy to catch.

Back on topic, I can only speculate Mike Long pouched big bass at night when the lakes were closed to fishing, few if any witnesses can vouch for any of his giant bass catches. 

We had the $1,000,000 reward period in the early 90's for anyone catching a world record bass. During that time period there were hundreds of anglers breaking every regulation every day trying to catch giant bass in our small reserviors. At least Mike Long was a loner during the last decade.

Mike long has been convicted in the court of public opinion and as a result he lost all credibility. I can't see how Long can be convicted of cheating in tournaments after the fact  or collecting money from a bankrupt program that no longer exists.

Tom

The trout are an undeniable factor in the growth of giant bass in California 

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Maybe those body builders are on a strict diet of trout, makes you wonder.

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Trout are a high protein baitfish for large size bass to gain additional weight, the bass don't get big early in life eating trout, they need a baitfish they can eat like Threadfin Shad. Could make the argument that Golden Shiners native in Florida bass water are very similar forage base to trout.

I am not arguing that trout and other large size baitfish don't promote big bass growth. Casitas is a hallmark case, trout plants stopped abruptly and the giant bass population crashed.

On the opposite end is lake Hodges produced several giant bass up to a 20.4 lb giant without any trout for prey. 

You can't deny Florida strain genetics and ideal climate for growth potential.

Peace,

Tom

 

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Tangent airlines is taxiing it's way towards the runway....

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1 hour ago, Mr. Bassin II said:

Just wait, the lawsuits are about to start flying as these companies and sponsors were defrauded too.  They will not take the damages from their association with this fraud lightly.

 

One thing that was not mentioned, probably because of lack of physical evidence, is that tournament winnings by cheating is an act of theft.

Very true! 

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Not to sidetrack the trout debate, but this level of cheating, and blatant disregard for fish well being is seriously going to damage bass tournament fishing. For me personally, kind of wouldn't mind if bass tournament fishing scaled back a lot. Big cash prizes, and big sponsorship money on the line will always promote this type of behavior, it's that simple. Where there's big money to be made, someone will find a way to cheat the system, the fish and honest anglers will pay the price. 

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2 hours ago, Bankbeater said:

I just finished the article.  It seems like one of the factors that kept this going was that even though there were signs that something was going on no one wanted, or cared, to believe it for a long time.

I think anyone who suspected him as a cheat cared, but were smart enough to not come out swinging without hard proof. 

I mean, seeing it happen is one thing, but you can't just tell people what you saw and expect that to be proof. And like Kevin said, it's a legend's word vs some guys. People will side with him easily if there's no proof. 

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1 hour ago, superkamikazee said:

Not to sidetrack the trout debate, but this level of cheating, and blatant disregard for fish well being is seriously going to damage bass tournament fishing. For me personally, kind of wouldn't mind if bass tournament fishing scaled back a lot. Big cash prizes, and big sponsorship money on the line will always promote this type of behavior, it's that simple. Where there's big money to be made, someone will find a way to cheat the system, the fish and honest anglers will pay the price. 

Very well said. Tournament fishing is very tough on the lake, fisherman, and most of all on the fish. A major BFL or other tournament trail tournaments results in many hundreds of quality fish killed. Plus, the point of fishing as a joyous sport for enjoyment and competition has come to the point of cheating for money. It's sad to see.

 

Especially trophy fish being snagged.....

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1 hour ago, superkamikazee said:

Not to sidetrack the trout debate, but this level of cheating, and blatant disregard for fish well being is seriously going to damage bass tournament fishing. For me personally, kind of wouldn't mind if bass tournament fishing scaled back a lot. Big cash prizes, and big sponsorship money on the line will always promote this type of behavior, it's that simple. Where there's big money to be made, someone will find a way to cheat the system, the fish and honest anglers will pay the price. 

I don't expect this to impact anyone outside of SoCal and it probably won't even impact them in any practical sense.

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2 hours ago, WRB said:

...You can't deny Florida strain genetics and ideal climate for growth potential.

Peace,

Tom

 

Exactly.  Florida strain & SoCal climate = some extremely large bass.  Not as many 8 - 10 lb bass as in Florida or Texas, but what seems to be the highest top end potential.  Dottie was 15% larger than any other LMB ever caught and  of the 13 LMB over 20 lbs ever caught, 10 came from SoCal

 

Tom, I miswrote when I mentioned Thread fin shad, you are correct.  I was thinking of Golden Shiners, basically Florida's version of an 8" trout.

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15 minutes ago, STBen1215 said:

Very well said. Tournament fishing is very tough on the lake, fisherman, and most of all on the fish. A major BFL or other tournament trail tournaments results in many hundreds of quality fish killed. Plus, the point of fishing as a joyous sport for enjoyment and competition has come to the point of cheating for money. It's sad to see.

 

Especially trophy fish being snagged.....

What we must keep in mind through all of this is although this is huge news in our community he is a tiny minority here. Fish care and catch and release has never been higher and so much so it’s probably hindered some lakes. We hear all the time on here (myself included) we never keep bass and hate to see them die or someone keep them. Reality is it needs to happen. I’m not down playing what he did one bit, it’s disgusting and makes us look bad but outside of our community it’s on nobody’s radar, so the bass fishing community isn’t doomed and will continue to thrive. 

 

On that note I must agree that the bigger purses and the potential for big sponsorship money and YouTube coin it’s not surprising this has happened. Unfortunately it’s human nature, more more more. We’ve seen it in almost every major sport, do anything at all cost to win. Sad but true. We as a community must stick together and ride this storm out! 

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14 minutes ago, 12poundbass said:

What we must keep in mind through all of this is although this is huge news in our community he is a tiny minority here. Fish care and catch and release has never been higher and so much so it’s probably hindered some lakes. We hear all the time on here (myself included) we never keep bass and hate to see them die or someone keep them. Reality is it needs to happen. I’m not down playing what he did one bit, it’s disgusting and makes us look bad but outside of our community it’s on nobody’s radar, so the bass fishing community isn’t doomed and will continue to thrive. 

 

On that note I must agree that the bigger purses and the potential for big sponsorship money and YouTube coin it’s not surprising this has happened. Unfortunately it’s human nature, more more more. We’ve seen it in almost every major sport, do anything at all cost to win. Sad but true. We as a community must stick together and ride this storm out! 

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As Glenn pointed out we veered off course. Mike Long didn't have any impact on competitive tournament bass fishing that uses Ray Scotts blind draw formate. Ray Scott realized human nature to cheat when money was the prize. Blind draw worked to make tournament bass fishing what it is today. Now we have single participant events with marshals or camera crews, very difficult to cheat. 

What Mike Long did is take advantage of trophy bass fishing by falsely claiming catches  and put his name on products as a result. Monte Burke, author of Sow Belly, told me the trophy bass fishing market is too small to publish another book and make any money and I agree. Mike Long story is interesting but only a small blip on the screen of bass fishing.

Tom

 

 

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I think the really disturbing part is bringing fish to different lakes to fake a record. That takes cajones. I get lying about where you caught a pig to keep people off the scent, but that’s really bad. Never fished a lake and pull a teener out of it? Then pull that in tx?  Sheesh. 

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11 minutes ago, J Francho said:

I think the really disturbing part is bringing fish to different lakes to fake a record. That takes cajones. I get lying about where you caught a pig to keep people off the scent, but that’s really bad. Never fished a lake and pull a teener out of it? Then pull that in tx?  Sheesh. 

Exactly, something like that would have never even entered my mind.

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Mike Long isn't alone in his thinking. I have an acquaintance who is a casual fisherman I run into once in awhile at a certain pond. He was telling me about bluegills and crappie he keeps and that he feeds well and that they're getting massive. Then he said he could grow a record, bring it to the pond, put a hook in it's mouth, throw it out, and pretend he caught it. This was in late spring before this all exploded.

 

Nothing like that would ever cross my mind.

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7 hours ago, Glaucus said:

Mike Long isn't alone in his thinking. I have an acquaintance who is a casual fisherman I run into once in awhile at a certain pond. He was telling me about bluegills and crappie he keeps and that he feeds well and that they're getting massive. Then he said he could grow a record, bring it to the pond, put a hook in it's mouth, throw it out, and pretend he caught it. This was in late spring before this all exploded.

 

Nothing like that would ever cross my mind.

Yeah, I agree. I personally have never once had a thought of poaching or snagging fish to get ahead in the fishing scene. It always seemed ridiculous anyone would try. 

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14 hours ago, Darren. said:

Be nice if @Fish Chris were still around to give us his perspective, as well.

I was thinking the same thing. Hes big into photography these days, his fishing days are in the past. 

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It went on so long due to his ‘legend’ status. 

Almost exactly like coach Sandusky at Penn State but far less sinister. 

Dusky literally wrote the book on linebacker play. As in he actually has books written by him, so it went on for so long because everyone was like “coach dusky?, nah ain’t nothing going on..”

When obviously there was. 

They won some substantial $ out there in those tournaments. I was thinking 800-900 per win...negative 

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With the higher quality electronics we have now, this could extend well past the spawn.

 

I have sat over a schools of deep bass and smashed them by snapping a spoon.

Some do get hooked in the side when doing this.

 

Chris Zaldain was just using this technique at Guntersville last week.

image.png.494d5f69ca7b60e40cafd9b092cd42b8.png

 

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11 minutes ago, BassNJake said:

I have sat over a schools of deep bass and smashed them by snapping a spoon.

Some do get hooked in the side when doing this.

It happens using Hopkins Shorty spoons, jigging for deep smallies, too.  They usually take it on the drop, but every once in a while, snag one on the lift.  I think NY is a "in the mouth" state, but that might only be trout.  Not sure.  I don't keep bass or catch records, so it matters little.

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