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MJK

Bass size

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New to the board and had a bass question. I have noticed some really tremendous fish caught by members and all I can say is wow. My question is regarding estimation of fish based on length. I have seen some very large pond bass caught and I was wondering based on length how close a weight guess could be made. I know that girth varies greatly but how long do you think a bass would have to be to make 9 to 10lbs?

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Usually, if you have a bass that is 28+ you have a 10lber.  After 28in. the belly grows more than length.

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As some of the guys from Texas, Florida and California have pointed out (and especially MattFly), the length of a 10 lb bass can vary a lot! (See the Texas Record Bass website). As a VERY general rule for northern bass, 20.5" is where 5 lbs starts, 25.5" is roughly 10 lbs. (Source: New York State Department of Environmental Coservation).

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You simply cannot accurately tell the weight of a fish based on measurement. Two fish measuring 25" can have a major weight difference not only based on what's in their stomach at the moment but also based on mass composition.

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You simply cannot accurately tell the weight of a fish based on measurement. Two fish measuring 25" can have a major weight difference not only based on what's in their stomach at the moment but also based on mass composition.

This is absolutely true.  One who exercise regularly and his/her body composition contains more muscle can be trim and, yet, weigh the same as someone who is obviously overweight due to the higher density of muscle as compared to fat.  However, I would think most bass would be similar in this regard as they live similar lifestyles, if you will.  I don't see bass pumping iron in the lakes I fish.   ;)  I think the contents in their stomachs would have more of an affect on this, as George stated.  Measurements should only be used as fair estimates, not as a replacement for actually weighing the fish.  

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You need TWO parameters to make an estimate: girth and length, with only one you are building castles in the air.

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Guest avid
You need TWO parameters to make an estimate: girth and length, with only one you are building castles in the air.

I think Raul is correct on this so long as you realize, as he says, that you are still getting an estimate.  There is no measuremnt formula that is going to give you the accuracy of a certified scale.

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The weight calculator on this site, and provided in a previous post on this thread,  takes into account both the length and the girth of the fish.

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If you ever happen to look at the 10lb board in Bassmaster Magazine, the first thing you'll notice is the big difference in the overall appearance of the fish even though the weights may be close to the same.

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Senile 1 :   You've never seen a bass pumping iron?  Hmmm.  Try a little harder.  In our local gym, the pond down the road, they even do fin presses and belly builders.  It is inspiring to see older women extending their lives and fitness like this.  Almost inspires us senile ones to do the same.  

The common scale as most bass fishermen apply it is as follows:

    over 10" = 1 lb. bass

    over 13" = 2 lb. bass

    over 15" = 3 lb. bass

    over 17" = 5 lb. bass

    over 20" = 7 lb. bass

    over 22' = state record bass

And you should see all the one-pound 9" bluegills the pot fishers get around here.

- Poor Richard says, "If it gets away, it can be any size you want."    

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Yeah, I think I have posted this before:

Most 5 lb bass that aren't weighed are around 3 lbs.

Most "around 7 or 8 lbs" are about 5 lbs.

If you don't catch big bass on a regular basis, a 5 lb bass is HUGE!

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RW is absolutely correct. Most 5lb bass are about 3 pounds. I bought a Rapala Lok-N-Weigh a couple of years ago. I've caught a lot few five pounders since then. A LOT FEWER! Everybody over-etimates the weights of their fish. Everybody. I weighed a friend of mine's 5 pounder one day at 3.5 pounds. His response? My scale is "screwed up". Couldn't convince him otherwise. Didn't try very hard. He's a good friend. "Nuff said. I did check the scale by weighing a one gallon milk jug full of water. It weighed in at 8 1/4 pounds. The scale is in 1/4 pound increments. Close enough for government work.

If you're going to report that you've just caught a ten pounder, better get yourself a decent scale. Otherwise you're just kidding yourself, and "bs"ing the rest of us.

Good luck all,

GK

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No doubt, many people do over estimate the weight of their catches. A 5 lb'er.... or even an 8, or a 10 lb'er, quite simply look a LOT bigger to people who haven't caught many in this weight class. I feel like I'm pretty good at estimating big fish weights. I do this all the time, as a sort of game...... right before hanging it on the digital scale. Typically, I underguess them, but it's not that I don't think to myself, "Wow ! That's a nice bass"..... It's just more that, I don't want to get myself all pumped up thinking I have another fish to add to my DD list, then find out its only a 9.8, or 9.9. I purposely guess on the low side, to protect myself from let downs :-)

Peace,

Fish

PS, Don't know why I thought about this now, but one time last year, I caught a nice bass.... I dunno'... maybe 9'ish. But I knew there were a bunch of bigger ones in the area, and I was "overly" anxious to get to fishing again. So I threw it in the livewell.... got the camera set, pulled it out for a quick photo or two, then released it...... Then I was like DOH ! I forgot to weigh the darn thing ! That bugged me a bit afterwards, knowing that I do underguess them sometimes.... But its cool. She's probably still out there. I'll stick her again when she's 15, and then I don't think I will forget to weigh her ! :-)

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I think all of us in the early years of our bass fishing experience over-estimated the weight of our fish.  As you catch a few big ones you realign your estimates more closely to the actual weights of the fish.  I find that I tend to underestimate the weight of fish these days, but not by much.  Of course, I haven't caught a 10 lb'er yet, so if I catch a fish big enough to possibly be that weight I may start overestimating again.  That's why I carry a scale now.  

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My partner and I keep a running total of our smallmouth bass over 5 lbs. He ALWAYS underestimates weight, both his and mine, he doesn't discriminate. We weigh fish we think are close. On a good day we don't necessarily weigh every fish, but we ALWAYS weigh the first one that makes the cut. On the otherhand, every BIG fish is weighed and photographed.

Man, that's part of the fun.

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Senile 1 :   You've never seen a bass pumping iron?  Hmmm.  Try a little harder.  In our local gym, the pond down the road, they even do fin presses and belly builders.  It is inspiring to see older women extending their lives and fitness like this.  Almost inspires us senile ones to do the same.  

The common scale as most bass fishermen apply it is as follows:

    over 10" = 1 lb. bass

    over 13" = 2 lb. bass

    over 15" = 3 lb. bass

    over 17" = 5 lb. bass

    over 20" = 7 lb. bass

    over 22' = state record bass

And you should see all the one-pound 9" bluegills the pot fishers get around here.

- Poor Richard says, "If it gets away, it can be any size you want."    

I cought a 21.3" largemouth bass that weighed 5lbs.

I once saw a 9.8lber that was only 23".

It is a well known fact, you need both the length and girth to get the weight. length alone doesn't cut the cake.

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