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How can I get my freind to practice C&R

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Well I told my freind to always practice C&R but he says "Sorry I practice C&E (catch and eat)" It just ticks me off when he catches a nice healthy hawg and it goes into a cooler. I tell him that he is selfish because 50 other people could of caught that bass in the bass's life time. I tell him bass taste nasty and he agrees with me he just wants to keep the bass he says. I never accully met this guy i just talk to him online but he see's no reason why to practice C&R. Can you guys give me any pointers on how i can get my freind to practice C&R (I tried ditching him as a freind but he just says "ok go ahead not like i know you.")

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If he's keeping legal fish there is nothing you can or even should say. If the department of fish and game says ____ is a legal fish, they usually need some removed to keep the balance of fish in the lake in check.

Catch and release is a great thing but too much of anything can be bad. (I don't keep fish but I think anyone who wants to eat a few should be able to do so without being hassled as long as they stay withing the rules and laws governing the particular body of water.)

You said you "told him to practice C&R" try asking or just educating him in some of the benefits... telling someone to do something normally comes across as abrasive. Maybe you can get him to start letting a few go and only keeping a couple and hope to gradually change or modify his habits.

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I dont know what to tell you except somtimes its out of your control. A few bass kept somtimes can benefit a fisherie anyway. Dont worry about it too much.

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Guest bigtex

I have just recently started doing a LITTLE catch and release myself. The small ones I do keep I eat. I don't catch them and leave them out to waste. I don't believe in total catch and release because I do believe that it will sooner or later harm the fish if you C&R all the time. If I catch a bass that is over a certain weight then I will 9 times out of 10 throw him/her back. I will keep the smaller ones to take home.

I fish private ponds and private mini lakes so I can get away with keeping the smaller fish, the ones you usually cant keep out of a public lake.

Keeping the small ones like that will allow for the big ones to get bigger.

I tell him bass taste nasty and he agrees with me he just wants to keep the bass he says.

As for the quote above, I believe he should throw back the fish if he isn't going to clean them up and freeze them or give them to somebody that will. If he continues to do this then keep talking to him about C&R. Maybe it will pay off in the long run.

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Guest bigtex
If he's keeping legal fish there is nothing you can or even should say. If the department of fish and game says ____ is a legal fish, they usually need some removed to keep the balance of fish in the lake in check.

Catch and release is a great thing but too much of anything can be bad. (I don't keep fish but I think anyone who wants to eat a few should be able to do so without being hassled as long as they stay withing the rules and laws governing the particular body of water.)

You said you "told him to practice C&R" try asking or just educating him in some of the benefits... telling someone to do something normally comes across as abrasive. Maybe you can get him to start letting a few go and only keeping a couple and hope to gradually change or modify his habits.

I dont know what to tell you except somtimes its out of your control. A few bass kept somtimes can benefit a fisherie anyway. Dont worry about it too much.

Well said flechero and Pond-Pro

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Guest ouachitabassangler

Other, you lose influence and credibility when making unfounded arguments for a cause. For instance, I have met very few fish eaters that don't LOVE the mild sweet flavor of bass, ranking it next to crappie, and higher than catfish. My own love for them stops around 4# and bass caught where there's a lot of algal slime or sulphuric water that smells like rotten eggs. All fish take on those odors.

Next, practice of C&R is a personal decision unless required by law or tournament rules. That descision can be entirely based on emotion or any other reason, but emotional beliefs are impossible to teach, lacking verifiable facts. A scientific case in favor of harvest can be made far easier than one for C&R unless lake samples reveal the need for it. Weigh it all out. We have people here who believe cutting a tree kills its soul, and the combined slaughter of forests is causing Gia to take vengeance through global warming. They are militant about that, though lacking proof of their theory, including convincing me Mother Nature's real name is Gia  ;)

Jim

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You might try getting him to start taking pictures. I think that sometimes people keep the fish as a way of "proving" that they caught what they said. I think some people need to have something "tangible" in their hands to show what they caught so people dont say "here's another fish story" Show him how to take pictures with something in the foreground to give it "scale" and possibly this will help him release his fish but I agree that if the fish are legal, there's not much you can do about it.

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You know some of the responses don't surprise me. Saying that DNR knows what is best because they allow you to keep the bigger fish sort of bothers me. I have spoke with Parks and wildlife biologists about this before and the ONLY reason they allow harvest of bass over say 20" is not to help the lake by balancing it out but because people want to keep them and they ALLOW people to keep them because they basically have to.

If they didn't allow this then allot of people unfortunetly would stop fishing and revenue would go down. So please do not confuse letting people keep certain size bass with it being the smart thing to do. Because it is not. If anyone says keeping large bass is good for the lake or environment then they are misinformed. Smaller fish are the ones, if any are to be removed, should be removed. Removing bigger mature fish from any body of water hurts the population of trophy sized fish period.

Catch and release on all bass also is not bad. Why do people continue to believe and propagate these falsities??? Beats me. Have you ever fished in a C&R only lake? We have one here in S.Florida that is as good a fishing lake as there is anywhere. It is called the Stick Marsh/Farm Pond 13. You might have heard about it or seen some of the huge bass George Welcome and his Son and their clients are catching in there? You might also hear about how many fish they catch sometimes? When is the last time those kinds of numbers have been caught at other lakes that are not C&R only?

If this friend of yours ever wants to go fishing with you tell him that he has to release any bass he catches while fishing with you. If you own a boat this is easy. I do this and if anyone wishes to fish with me they understand that regardless of how big the fish is, it goes back.

Catch, Photo and release. Nothing better then that folks.

Peace.

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Guest avid

Let'a not forget that your "friend" is an online acquaintance.  You know absolutely nothing about this person.  I wouldn't let it get to me.

(Unless of course he wants to meet you for some night fishing in a remote locale)    do da do da do da do da do

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he see's no reason why to practice C&R.

;D I can give you 25.1 reasons why C&R works! ;) California hawgs don't get huge just because of trout. Catch and Release plays a HUGE roll. Everyone seems to forget that at times.

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We all have our preference it comes down to 6 of one a half dozen of the other..if you've fished your lake or spot for a while you have an idea of the make-up and wether or not c&r is good or bad for that particular spot. But honestly it's personal preference..I prefer C&r but that's only cause I don't eat any fish...unless it's in a yellow box L J S baby....but yeah I've had buddies out with me before and they want to keep the legal ones so what can you do? roll with the punches and have a blast either way! Have fun doin your thing and the rest is gravy......... :)

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No you all dont understand

he keeps every fish he catches. He fallows the laws and regulations but keeping every fish you catch will harm the lake.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

Pretty often I keep all the bass I catch when working towards a big fish fry, even keeping those over 4# which I personally don't care to eat, but some folks are delighted to have. The bass and crappie fillets go first, catfish last. Many fishermen here in the south keep all they catch. We have 7 fish cleaning stations around the south side of the lake, and all are well used, usually stopped up with carcasses too large for the grinder. Trash cans overflow daily. Hundreds of bass a day cycle through the stations on a typical Fri-Sun fishing period weather permitting. It's been going on since 1955 and the fishery is healthy, LMBV virus the only big influence on big bass here. C&R here wouldn't make sense. Up north sure. Down here it's rare to find a C&R basser unless in a tournament. And those are the ones spreading virus and parasites, keeping infected fish in the livewell long enough to infect the healthy ones.

Fisheries biologists don't just sit around flinging darts at a board to choose size, slot and creel limits. It's all based on extensive studies of bass populations, with an objective of keeping each year class represented in a healthy number. Those numbers are based on proven models. I won't argue this, filled with the facts, knowing DNR biologists approach fish management professionally, though perhaps some politics enters in around high density human populations. However, if they gave in to economic pressures allowing harvest of large bass against best-practice recommendations, that would become known to all anglers no longer catching large bass. If harvesting of large bass is permitted and practiced AND people are still catching large bass years later, the practice is a success. There is no reasonable argument against that logic.

Jim

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I have spoke with Parks and wildlife biologists about this before and the ONLY reason they allow harvest of bass over say 20" is not to help the lake by balancing it out but because people want to keep them and they ALLOW people to keep them because they basically have to.

Not true. There are lots of lakes that are C & R only and as many or more with limits that allow harvest of fish up to XX" and not above. Then start pondering slot limits... other than the obvious reasons of mature spawning age fish, they are the next wave of trophy fish that are just 1-4 (usually) seasons away from becoming "legal." There are always a generation of them ready for next year. This is a constant source of "good" fish available.

Couple that with the FACT that most (greater than 50%) of the large bass are released anyway, at least in Tx. So the truth of the matter is that while a good number of large fish are caught, there are relatively few large fish removed... and in lakes that need those fish, there is a mandatory release on them anyway.

I have asked TPWD biologists and fisheries managers on many occasions why they don't go to C&R, or high " slots or short fish limits on more lakes, the answers from all of them are similar... The health of the lakes, balanced populations and forage base and consideration of other game and non-game species. Bass are not the only consideration... and rightly so, as with everything in nature, there is a balance that must be kept. Keeping a good balance is far more important than raising a few extra trophy fish - which may never be caught.

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Guest DavidGreen

Other,

Well I told my freind to always practice C&R but he says "Sorry I practice C&E (catch and eat)" It just ticks me off when he catches a nice healthy hawg and it goes into a cooler.
Then get a new friend....
I never accully met this guy i just talk to him online but he see's no reason why to practice C&R. Can you guys give me any pointers on how i can get my freind to practice C&R (I tried ditching him as a freind but he just says "ok go ahead not like i know you.")
Here is the rub. You have never met this guy, sounds like the forum your talking to him on is a place you shouldn't be on (IMPO he's a troll), trying to start trouble or arguments. You need to dump him from your friends list, and at your age, you need not to try and force your beliefs on others. You still have a whole lot of learning to do. Find some fishing partners you can look in the eyes, and enjoy your experiences with...

Just my .02¢

Tight Lines!!!!

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If it bothers you don 't fish with him. A good friend of mine and fishing partner also practices catch and eat and I have nothing against it as long as he keeps the legal size and the legal ammount. When we go fishing together he keeps what the law allows him to do, I release most of what I catch ( I keep those fish that no matter what I do I know are not going to make it  ) which is the vast majority of the fish. On one ocassion he filled his quota and asked me if he could use my quota to take more fish with him since I release the fish, I just said to him NO. He has never asked me again.

C&R is a choice. It 's funny to see C&R bass zealots talking about the benefits and such about releasing all the fish yet still they are the same people that take a truckload of panfish, don 't panfish deserve the same treatment ?.

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I think the best argument to C&R for a person who don't belive in C&R is the cost per eating a single fish...

Make a balance of the total cost of a fish, including Reels, Roods, Lizards, Grubs, Line, Boat, Gasoline and a long etc. .... and then, compare to eating a fish (off curse, in a romantic dinner for 2) in the most expensive restaurant of the city... ;)

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My partner owns a masonary company and his boys really appreciate fresh fish. We keep big cooler just for fish in the boat and usually fill it up. No...we don't keep our pet smallmouth-NEVER! But, we catch a lot of catfish, and white bass. There is no limit on catfish and it's fifteen a man for white bass. If we accidently kill a largemouth or Kentucky, we'll keep them too. Buffalo are a prize to our guys and they are fun to catch. We're just making more room for our brown fish to grow bigger and stronger. I wish we could find someone who wanted the drum and gar, I wouldn't mind taking a few thousand of them out of the river.

So, I practice C & R on selected species, but I see absolutely nothing wrong with keeping a legal limit, except smallmouth of course.

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If he's keeping legal fish there is nothing you can or even should say. If the department of fish and game says ____ is a legal fish, they usually need some removed to keep the balance of fish in the lake in check.

Catch and release is a great thing but too much of anything can be bad. (I don't keep fish but I think anyone who wants to eat a few should be able to do so without being hassled as long as they stay withing the rules and laws governing the particular body of water.)

You said you "told him to practice C&R" try asking or just educating him in some of the benefits... telling someone to do something normally comes across as abrasive. Maybe you can get him to start letting a few go and only keeping a couple and hope to gradually change or modify his habits.

Haha. Nicely put. I love to hear people utilizing the word "abrasive" at any given point and time.

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*Pretty often I keep all the bass I catch when working towards a big fish fry, even keeping those over 4# which I personally don't care to eat, but some folks are delighted to have.

*Many fishermen here in the south keep all they catch.

*We have 7 fish cleaning stations around the south side of the lake, and all are well used, usually stopped up with carcasses too large for the grinder. Trash cans overflow daily. Hundreds of bass a day cycle through the stations on a typical Fri-Sun fishing period weather permitting. It's been going on since 1955 and the fishery is healthy, LMBV virus the only big influence on big bass here.

*C&R here wouldn't make sense. Up north sure. Down here it's rare to find a C&R basser unless in a tournament. And those are the ones spreading virus and parasites, keeping infected fish in the livewell long enough to infect the healthy ones.

*However, if they gave in to economic pressures allowing harvest of large bass against best-practice recommendations, that would become known to all anglers no longer catching large bass. If harvesting of large bass is permitted and practiced AND people are still catching large bass years later, the practice is a success. There is no reasonable argument against that logic.

Jim

Wow, Wow, Wow. Unbelievable. Just stunned & offended by this post and the logic being spewed here. The insinuation that tournament anglers are spreading viruses and parasites is ludicris. To target only that small group of fisherman demonstrates an underlining agenda here that goes deeper then keeping bass. So I did a quick check of the Arkansas record books to see if your logic that apparently can't be refuted is indeed working. Look what I found:

Bass, Largemouth        16lb 4oz        Mallard Lake         03/02/76 Focus in on the date of this catch. 1976. That is 30 years ago folks. HELLO!!!! Maybe I am not as sharp as some but I wouldn't call that a Success or working. Why hasn't any trophy sized bass been caught bigger then this since 1976? Well this might be a clue:

*Many fishermen here in the south keep all they catch. Well, not only is that illegal it is also moronic and devoid of wisdom. But this sums up the problem coupled with this other response:

*We have 7 fish cleaning stations around the south side of the lake, and all are well used, usually stopped up with carcasses too large for the grinder. Trash cans overflow daily. Hundreds of bass a day cycle through the stations on a typical Fri-Sun fishing period weather permitting.

Well there you have it. I couldn't have said it better myself. Hundreds of bass carcasses line trash cans all over Arkansas lakes every weekend. Hhhmmm, I wonder what would have happened if some of those bass carcasses were let go before they became a carcass and were allowed to grow up?  Perhaps Arkansas would have bigger bass today? But that is just speculation. I am sure the aformentioned logic of keeping all you catch is working though somewhere :D

BTW, the reason states like California and Texas and Florida have produced quite a few fish of this size and bigger since 1976 is due mostly in part to C&R. You see if we harvest the 10lbers then we have a harder time growing 11lbers. If we harvest the 11lbers we have a harder time growing 12lbers, if we harvest the 12lbers we have a harder time growing 13lbers etc.etc.etc. The higher up this ladder we want to reach the tougher it gets when slightly smaller fish are being removed. In essence we have to start over again year after year after year.

For those in Florida, this is why I made the other post about keeping or releasing your bass. This is why I not only do my part to help the trophy status of bass in my state but I also help others by encouraging them and educating them on why it is important to let BIG bass go. No it is not beneficial to the lake. Sorry guys. That point will never be agreed upon by me. Say what you will but removing large bass out of a lake will hurt the trophy fishery. So if developing a trophy fishery is important then release big bass. If it isn't then do what some here have said and keep every single bass you catch and take it home and eat it.

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*Pretty often I keep all the bass I catch when working towards a big fish fry, even keeping those over 4# which I personally don't care to eat, but some folks are delighted to have.

*Many fishermen here in the south keep all they catch.

*We have 7 fish cleaning stations around the south side of the lake, and all are well used, usually stopped up with carcasses too large for the grinder. Trash cans overflow daily. Hundreds of bass a day cycle through the stations on a typical Fri-Sun fishing period weather permitting. It's been going on since 1955 and the fishery is healthy, LMBV virus the only big influence on big bass here.

*C&R here wouldn't make sense. Up north sure. Down here it's rare to find a C&R basser unless in a tournament. And those are the ones spreading virus and parasites, keeping infected fish in the livewell long enough to infect the healthy ones.

*However, if they gave in to economic pressures allowing harvest of large bass against best-practice recommendations, that would become known to all anglers no longer catching large bass. If harvesting of large bass is permitted and practiced AND people are still catching large bass years later, the practice is a success. There is no reasonable argument against that logic.

Jim

Wow, Wow, Wow. Unbelievable. Just stunned & offended by this post and the logic being spewed here. The insinuation that tournament anglers are spreading viruses and parasites is ludicris. To target only that small group of fisherman demonstrates an underlining agenda here that goes deeper then keeping bass. So I did a quick check of the Arkansas record books to see if your logic that apparently can't be refuted is indeed working. Look what I found:

Bass, Largemouth        16lb 4oz        Mallard Lake         03/02/76 Focus in on the date of this catch. 1976. That is 30 years ago folks. HELLO!!!! Maybe I am not as sharp as some but I wouldn't call that a Success or working. Why hasn't any trophy sized bass been caught bigger then this since 1976? Well this might be a clue:

*Many fishermen here in the south keep all they catch. Well, not only is that illegal it is also moronic and devoid of wisdom. But this sums up the problem coupled with this other response:

*We have 7 fish cleaning stations around the south side of the lake, and all are well used, usually stopped up with carcasses too large for the grinder. Trash cans overflow daily. Hundreds of bass a day cycle through the stations on a typical Fri-Sun fishing period weather permitting.

Well there you have it. I couldn't have said it better myself. Hundreds of bass carcasses line trash cans all over Arkansas lakes every weekend. Hhhmmm, I wonder what would have happened if some of those bass carcasses were let go before they became a carcass and were allowed to grow up?  Perhaps Arkansas would have bigger bass today? But that is just speculation. I am sure the aformentioned logic of keeping all you catch is working though somewhere :D

BTW, the reason states like California and Texas and Florida have produced quite a few fish of this size and bigger since 1976 is due mostly in part to C&R. You see if we harvest the 10lbers then we have a harder time growing 11lbers. If we harvest the 11lbers we have a harder time growing 12lbers, if we harvest the 12lbers we have a harder time growing 13lbers etc.etc.etc. The higher up this ladder we want to reach the tougher it gets when slightly smaller fish are being removed. In essence we have to start over again year after year after year.

For those in Florida, this is why I made the other post about keeping or releasing your bass. This is why I not only do my part to help the trophy status of bass in my state but I also help others by encouraging them and educating them on why it is important to let BIG bass go. No it is not beneficial to the lake. Sorry guys. That point will never be agreed upon by me. Say what you will but removing large bass out of a lake will hurt the trophy fishery. So if developing a trophy fishery is important then release big bass. If it isn't then do what some here have said and keep every single bass you catch and take it home and eat it.

very well said. Must of took you some time wrighting that. good job. And keithscratch, I dont know the size of your lake but im sure that there constintly stocking that lake with fish 24/7. I doupt half the big  fish will make it to spawning season.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

It's a matter of choice between regions. Down here quantity of nice size bass trumps growing trophy bass. Quite a large number of bass are being caught in Arkansas, often shadowing the record. 16# is a nice trophy, plenty good enough for most anglers that fish here.  I had to go to Florida to experience a 14 pound LMB, finding that nothing to brag about there. It was the largest my guide could find for me. My own quest for doing better is dead. It was sufficient.

When stripers (exotics) were introduced into our lakes that had some potential for supporting a large population of trophy bass, the potential quickly disappeared. The LMBV trajedy sealed that, killing off mostly largest largemouths. Thety had just reached an all time high concentration when that hit, and the virus is still present, just waiting for an imbalance in fish populations.

Scientists have proved several times LMBV is spread at least in significant part by innoculating healthy bass by keeping them confined with infected bass a few hours, and doing that in hot weather amplifies the problem. That was even reported in BASS Times and Bassmaster in spite of the avowed C&R practice they preach. Tournament anglers do that on a regular basis, often dealing with 500-1000 pounds of bass daily in one lake in one tournament, and sometimes multiple tournaments take place simultaneously. They innoculate bass over a period of a half day or more, then those innoculated bass are released in lowered vitality, suffering some degree of stress, and subject to significantly increased immediate and delayed mortality. Anglers that harvest bass don't carry them around then release them.  ;)  I'd suggest getting hold of some actual true facts before offending a lot of folks, and forever convincing others they need to ignore pleas for C&R where it isn't required. Whoever those "biologists" were you spoke with don't deserve being in a position of responsibility. They are totally off the wall with no scientific support for their claim.

Jim

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It's my opinion that if someone wants to keep fish that are legal and they take the legal limit that is fine with me.

We all pay for licenses that the funds go toward restocking and DFG administration. We also buy fishing gear which I beleive the price of gear also includes a federal tax that goes toward the DFGs and upkeep of lakes and lands for fishing. The same goes for guns and hunting gear.

I usually don't keep the bass I catch. I will keep a couple small ones once in a while. I also do the same with all other fish species. I do keep some bream and catfish on occassion but the majority are let go. I just fish the way I like to fish and let others do as they please unless they break the law. I will call the DFG if I witness someone breaking the law. I despise poachers and idiots.

If someone wants to practice pure catch and release I say "Have fun and go for it".

If someone wants to use the fish they catch for food I say the same thing.

I grew up poor. Most of the fish I caught as a kid fed my family. I am no longer poor. Like I said before I do a lot of C&R. I love fishing and I want to continue fishing. But, I sure won't begrudge someone that wants to keep their fish. Maybe they are poor and those fish are helping to feed their family. You never know. Or, maybe they just love to eat fish!

I love a good fish fry as much as the next guy and I will harvest fish when and if I want to. I also love to fish and let them go to catch them another day. It's a freedom that I and all the rest of us have if we abide by the laws that were made to regulate and manage the wildlife, land and water that we all enjoy.

My advice: Go have fun fishin' the way you like and don't let BS screw up a good day on the water.

Regards,

Tom

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Guest ouachitabassangler

There are three basic human elements involved in natural resources. They are the Preservationists, Conservationists, and Consumers. Some, like "Tree Huggers" and what I will call "Bass Huggers", are only interested in touching natural resources, never consuming. Consumers are on the far opposite end, only interested in harvesting what they touch. Most of us are Conservationists, blending the two extremes in a sustainable balance.

Here's an example of the three philosophies using a forest. An acre of good land is going to produce a certain amount of vegetation, be it grass, brush, or trees. A healthy pine forest can produce $500 an acre per year in timber IF trees are spaced for maximum use of sunlight, soil and water. Beginning about age 30 a timberland owner can expect an average of $2,500 per acre every 7 years selectively harvesting. That means removing first any trees shaded out and likely to die wasted otherwise. The "end" objective is to grow 3 monster pines per acre and have grown a replacement population of young trees distributed in age classes to assure a continual presence of monster pines every 7 years perpetually. That's conservation of a forest.

A preservationist allows all the trees to grow old and die, not realizing an annual income, yet paying taxes on the land. At some late stage should he decide to remove trees there would be no younger trees to replace them, resulting in brushland.

A consumer clearcuts all the trees, replants, and stays in a continual cycle of planting and harvesting, or he clears the trees and lets the land become a wasteland of brush and vines.

Fisheries biologists are conservationists, assuring a healthy population of all age classes so a fishery won't wind up with all of one age class of fish. If they fail to provide for natural recruitment of new age classes and fail to regulate population densities of age classes of all species, a very expensive artificial restocking is required to assure futture generations of angler satisfaction. They calculate a desired harvest rate in each age class taking into account natural mortality, all found out through continual population studies. Angels do their part harvesting the desired numbers, aided by slot limits, size limits, and creel limits that protect weak age classes while reducing those too numerous. Anglers that never harvest are not contributing to management of the resource unless the studies reveal the need for no harvest.

As bass grow larger they become much harder to harvest by the average angler. Most settle for the smaller bass than a lake's potential. If they only harvest smaller bass because they are easier to catch, eventually smaller bass might require protection. Meanwhile, larger bass grow older and die off, some never seeing an artificial lure. There's little danger of any fishery seeing a majority of its largest bass caught, much less harvested.

In my own state, as long as records have been kept, our waters have produced no larger than a harvested 16 pound largemouth. I haven't heard of a bass caught in a gill net that was larger than that, even in private lakes where fishing or harvesting is prohibited, but fish are managed there for various purposes. That record bass was caught when bassing wasn't as heavily practiced as today, and in those years catch & release wasn't a topic among most bass anglers. I first heard of it maybe 10 years ago. Catch & release didn't contribute to that size, and C&R in any fishery here has failed to increase it. So at best we can expect 16 pounds to be our maximum. Other states can expect larger due to longer growing seasons, some never ending like in Florida, south Texas and California. C&R is a very recent development in bass fishing, so that can't be a significant element in producing monster bass.

A conservationist angler is the true future of bass fisheries in America. Harvest what is allowable. There is no point in letting big bass die from old age, in the meantime threatening future generations of replacement bass. Big bass eat small bass, you know. Whenever a fishery experiences one age class that grows too large, the forage base is decimated, a natural recruitment of future bass made impossible. Fish responsibly and intelligently.

Jim

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Thank you Jim. That's quite a piece from a professional perspective. Is the testing done throughout the state of Arkansas or just selected lakes? I spend some time at Bull Shoals and although I have had some success on the lake, it has been very spotty. One trip was three days of non-stop action, the next three trips we hardly got a bite and I was fishing with the one of the most experienced guides in the area. From a non-professional, outsiders view, that lake has fundamental issues that have not been addressed.

I have always been curious as to what constitutes the "base" of the food chain at Bull Shoals. There is no vegetation, at least where I fish in the lower portion of the lake, within thirty-five miles of the dam. In 2002, we had the "big" weekend. We released well over 100 smallmouth, 2-3 lbs. The recruitment in 2002 is said to have approached 95% due to timely flooding. Theoretically that resevior should have an abundant supply of 4-5 lb smallmouth and zillions of 2-3 lb bass. The story I hear does not support that, in facr it seems that smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing has declined signigficantly. The guides, on their own time, focus on walley and striper.  With clients the focus seems to be whitebass and Kentucky bass, or anything that will bite!

So, back on topic, either too many fish are being taken, C & R isn't working or there is a more fundamental problem. Your thoughts?

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  • fishing

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