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Ultralight fishing?

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i was curious to see what everyones thought on UL fishing was.

i see some people mention that its bad for fish and can be fatal if the fight is too much for the fish to handle and that it should only be used for smaller fish like crappie and baitfish.

on the other hand , i see people say that they bring in larger bass , salmon etc on UL rigs with no problem. i personally have never cought anything over 3 lbs on my UL rig and that fight was less than a minute.

so my question is , would UL rigs be good for catch and release fishing regaurdless of the size of the fish cought? i know you dont always know what will bite and what size it is till you land it. id really like the fish i catch and release to be able to make it to see another day.

thoughts?

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Ultralight is for white bass, crappie and stocker trout.

8-)

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There is a pond near my house, about a mile as the crow files, that is loaded with dinks.

I catch them one after the other after the other with my ultralight rig.

Lots of fun, too.

Caught a 5 pounder on the rig, which really surprised me.  I have not been able to catch her again.

Also throw 1/4 ounce Rat-L-Traps and trick worms. They love the pink trick worms.

Otherwise, I use my ultralight for bream, bluegill and crappie.  ;)

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I fish for Bass, Catfish, Grass Carp, Bluegill, Crappie, and Trout all on UL gear and it's a blast. Just make sure you have a reel with a nice, smooth drag or you will pop a lot of lines on the bigger fish.

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I do a lot of fishing with 4 lb test line and very seldom break off a fish.  You do need to retie after each fish and you don't throw in a brushpile with it.  You also have to learn how to execute a sweeping hook set vs a hard jerk.  I use a rod designed and sold by Ray Scott especially for light tackle fishing and a spinning reel made by US reel.  The lake I fish most has very little wood cover and is very clear so the light line gets me more bites and there isn't much for a fish to wrap my line around.  Lunkers are also rare in this lake so the light tackle makes catching 12" spotted bass a lot more fun.  The largest bass I have hooked or landed on 4 lb line was 4lb-10oz.  My goal is to catch one over 5 lbs on 4 lb test line.

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Once in while for a little pond fun I use ul 4# test for mayans and peacocks.  I have caught several small gators on top water as well.

Most amazing to me was a grass carp on an xrap, very rare as they are vegitarians and go big.

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I guess your question is one of ethics. In this light, UL fishing I think should be kept to smaller species. Overly long fighting can be an issue for fish survival, especially when they are caught in already stressful conditions.

But, this doesn't mean you shouldn't use UL tackle, even for "relatively" large fish. Maybe just not where it is likely to jeopardize fish you want to release and have a good chance of survival.

I once attempted to catch large trout on 1# test line on spinning tackle. I worked in a tackle shop and some came in -I just had to try it on the big trout that cruised our lake front. My friends said, "No way. You'll never land one. But I knew fish are buoyant and that it could be done. (This was just about the time the noodle rod craze came and, luckily, went). I did it, catching a 9# 'bow on 1# test on a 6foot graphite rod I built from one of the first graphite blanks available through Exxon believe it or not a 6ft 4wt fly rod blank. It took 10 minutes on a watch to beach that fish and the fight was very interesting, teaching me a lot about fighting a fish's fins, body positioning, and momentum, as well as what to do when a big fish leaps clear when tethered to a thread (I lost the first two to this; Buoyant fish suddenly have weight when they leave the water, either in the air or at the beach) . But that fish was dog tired and it scarcely swam away after some time spent reviving her. I concluded that at this extreme it was a stunt that I wouldn't need to do again.

Also, keep in mind that, UL does not guarantee a "better" fight. A longer fight is not necessarily better. In all fishing I've found that there are certain rod/line combinations that bring out the best in the various fish species.

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On this topic, why is it that hard fights are detrimental to fish, as opposed to say a couple of whitetails duking it out?

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On this topic, why is it that hard fights are detrimental to fish, as opposed to say a couple of whitetails duking it out?

I'd like to see some research on that topic instead of a bunch of spit and whittle opinions.  I fish a lot of 6 and 8 # line on light weight rods.  I don't have any fish belly up and die when I turn them loose unless they have come from 40-50' down.

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I guess your question is one of ethics. In this light, UL fishing I think should be kept to smaller species. Overly long fighting can be an issue for fish survival, especially when they are caught in already stressful conditions.

But, this doesn't mean you shouldn't use UL tackle, even for "relatively" large fish. Maybe just not where it is likely to jeopardize fish you want to release and have a good chance of survival.

I once attempted to catch large trout on 1# test line on spinning tackle. I worked in a tackle shop and some came in -I just had to try it on the big trout that cruised our lake front. My friends said, "No way. You'll never land one. But I knew fish are buoyant and that it could be done. (This was just about the time the noodle rod craze came and, luckily, went). I did it, catching a 9# 'bow on 1# test on a 6foot graphite rod I built from one of the first graphite blanks available through Exxon believe it or not a 6ft 4wt fly rod blank. It took 10 minutes on a watch to beach that fish and the fight was very interesting, teaching me a lot about fighting a fish's fins, body positioning, and momentum, as well as what to do when a big fish leaps clear when tethered to a thread (I lost the first two to this; Buoyant fish suddenly have weight when they leave the water, either in the air or at the beach) . But that fish was dog tired and it scarcely swam away after some time spent reviving her. I concluded that at this extreme it was a stunt that I wouldn't need to do again.

Also, keep in mind that, UL does not guarantee a "better" fight. A longer fight is not necessarily better. In all fishing I've found that there are certain rod/line combinations that bring out the best in the various fish species.

Good post. You brought up two points I was going to make:

1.Playing out a large fish on an ultralight can be hazardous to the fish.

2. I agree, an ultralight doesn't mean a "better" fight. You can't feel the pull of a large fish when it swims right through your ultra light and just pulls drag. You have to be able to put some pressure on a large fish to really feel the power. 8-)

I use ultralights for small trout and pan fish.

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To me, ultra light fills a niche. Like on those tough day/clear water/bluebird sky kind of days when you just want to catch something. Somedays you want to catch something big but some days you just want to have some fun. Those are the days I'll throw a Rooster Tail or the smallest size floating Rapala. You'll catch a lot of bluegill and crappie but I was also suprised at how many "keeper" size bass these small baits catch.

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I'd like to see some research on that topic instead of a bunch of spit and whittle opinions. I fish a lot of 6 and 8 # line on light weight rods. I don't have any fish belly up and die when I turn them loose unless they have come from 40-50' down.

i would like to see some as well.

after fishing my UL for so long , i picked up my 6.5 foot medium action rig with a preident 6740 reel and realized how heavy it is. id much rather cast my UL or even a light rig all day that tote a heavier rig and be worn out after 40+ casts.

im just concerned about the well being of the fish i catch after they have been released. like i said , the fish i have cought on my UL havnt ever been over 3 lbs. but id imagine landing a 6lb+ pb on a UL would be quite fun and id love to give it a try if i can make sure the fish will make it. id hate to see the fish i just cought belly up down the bank 20 minutes later.

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I'd like to see some research on that topic instead of a bunch of spit and whittle opinions.

I've seen some research on the topic over the years. You could probably Google up some of it. You could try "lactic acid" along with "angling" and "bass".

In my experience, problems surrounding playing fish are pretty rare, unless they are caught in excessively warm water with low 02 -a problem I've encountered in trout fishing. I've also seen individual bass and salmon caught repeatedly off beds to the point that they become exhausted and just lie on the bottom. Some species are more fragile than others, and can't stay out of the water very long, especially after a long fight, or when caught from low 02 water. SM can't stay out as long as LM. Atlantic salmon and coho salmon both are fragile in this regard.

I fish a lot of 6 and 8 # line on light weight rods.  I don't have any fish belly up and die when I turn them loose unless they have come from 40-50' down.

I wouldn't consider 6 or 8lb lines as "UL", for most bass -you can land most bass in pretty short order with such tackle, although good smallies can keep me stalemated for quite a while. Never had any apparent problems releasing smallies though. UL is usually considered 1-4lb lines, but this depends on the fish of course.

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personally , i use 6lb line on my UL rig. concidered borderline UL by most.

how long of a fight do you need to have to get a fish to be that exhausted?

ive never had any fight last longer than a solid minute with any rig. now i have had problems getting the hook out and had to keep the fish out of the water for longer than i would of liked to get it out.

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I've never had a problem with bass either they just aren't terribly fragile, or fight that long. I have had a few males caught from beds that showed signs of previous hooking and were very weak on release, even without a long fight. I actually don't fish for males on beds anymore.

Here's an interesting (amazing) piece of recent research on how long LM can be kept out of the water:

Re-examining "Holding Your Breath" Guidelines

http://www.bigindianabass.com/big_indiana_bass/research/page/3/

I have had problems with larger trout caught in warm water (>70F) that turned pale very quickly and might not have survived. I tend to leave such fish alone.

Other than that, even big trout and salmon I've caught on the big lakes were releasable, but caught on properly scaled tackle.

UL fishing is fine for most situations. If you get seriously under-gunned you'll know it and probably not do it again.

I have a story of stupidity for you. I'm embarrassed to say that I once fought a Chinook salmon from shore on a 5-1/2ft short handled glass rod and 8lb line for over 5hrs! Hooked it at midnight and it went into the net at 5:20am. Yeah, that's ridiculous but I was pretty green on such big fish (24#) and I was way under-gunned. It eventually deflated its bladder so it was like a rock. I had no control with that short soft rod and stretchy line at the distances it held. I had 300yards of 8lb on that reel and saw the knot at the bottom 3 times that night! It became so heavy I finally brought it to net by wrapping the line around my arm and literally pulling it to the top. I never hit the big lake again with such a rod, and I was much more aggressive in fighting those kings after that. The fish might have lived, if I'd released it, as it was still kicking pretty good when I finally got hold of it. It had had plenty of time to rest during that pathetic lop-sided battle. However, I was so whipped I almost didn't survive the following day at work.

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i never would of guessed they could survive being out of the water that long.

so , would it be safe to say - the warmer the water , the more easily a fish can get exhausted?

on a UL rig , landing a 6lb fish after a fight lasting less than 2-3 minutes wont have any ill effect on that fish?

5 hours? youre a beast , lol. i wouldnt of even gone into work the next day.

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I use a 4'8" ul ugly stick with 6# braid.  i use it when fishing my pond, mostly 1-3# bass in it. Longest fight i ever had was about 5-6mins, when i got a 5#.  That wa FUN!!!!!

Have yet to see any of the bass float to the top after ive caught em.

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You have to be able to put some pressure on a large fish to really feel the power.

Ditto.

i never would of guessed they could survive being out of the water that long.

so , would it be safe to say - the warmer the water , the more easily a fish can get exhausted?

on a UL rig , landing a 6lb fish after a fight lasting less than 2-3 minutes wont have any ill effect on that fish?

Yeah, I was surprised too. Remember, those research findings showing long durations out of the water were temperature dependent. Over, what was it, 80F(?) the LM didn't fare so well. It was also species dependent, as SM can't handle being out of water so long.

Again, some species are more fragile than others.

I use a 4'8" ul ugly stick with 6# braid.  i use it when fishing my pond, mostly 1-3# bass in it. Longest fight i ever had was about 5-6mins, when i got a 5#.  That wa FUN!!!!! Have yet to see any of bass float to the top after ive caught em.

Those are nice fish on UL!

No, I haven't seen that either. I've never played a bass too long. Then again, I don't live in CA!

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so , would it be safe to say - the warmer the water , the more easily a fish can get exhausted?

Fish in very cold water get exhausted quickly, so it's usually quicker to land them. Cold water can hold more 02 (open water) and bc the metabolism of fish is slowed, they simply need less 02. Release is often easier in cold water, despite fish tiring quicker.

It's well above a fish species local acclimation temp, or anything near its final preferentia that fish are at greater risk of lethal lactic acidosis. Say for bass anything over low 80s MIGHT be trouble, esp for SM. LM seem to be adapted to handle surprisingly low 02 though. Again, I've just not experienced a problem with this in (either) bass species. For trout >70 can be trouble -I've seen this. Trout are more fragile in this regard than bass.

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