Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
K.Fox

Bed Fishing is it wrong?

Recommended Posts

Hey just wondering what the overall thought is about site fishing for bedding bass during tournaments

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could probably open up a can of worms with this one.

I will say that I think it sucks to separate a bass from its eggs so I guess I could see the problem with keeping them for weigh-ins and then letting them loose far away from their nest.  

I will say that bedding bass do not usually make good tourney targets.  While you may find huge fish, there is no guarantee that you can make that fish bite in an acceptable time frame.  Maybe after you get a limit you can try but those fish are too unpredictable to count on in a tournament setting.

But honestly, and as far as targeting spawning fish, I do not think its that big a deal.  All of the bass do not spawn at the same time so as long as they are not getting hammered real hard throughout the entire spawning season I do not think the overall population will suffer enough to even show a difference.  

I am no expert though and this is only my somewhat uneducated opinion on the matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im not really well versed in this, but it would seem that it dosnt really harm bass populations as argued by some.  If it dosnt ruin bass populations, I can see no problem with it.  I would be curious however, to see study results relating to this question if anyone knows of this info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose I should tell you guys that I am not a tourny fisherman, however, I do fish for bedding bass, with some luck, and release them at the catch site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No true sportsman would  do it.  It is just taking an unfair advantage of the fish at a time when the fish is vulnerable. You can try to substantiate it all you want to, but it is hideous to disrupt the very situation that gives us the fish we rely on for the sport.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, ill leave off with this, every man has his opinions and beliefs, and where we may not all agree, I think its safe to say we all love fishing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if everyone handles this thread in a civil manner and give opinions on why they do or do not bed fish it will be an interesting read. I have been around here long enough now to see that this usually doesn't happen.

Do I bed fish...no The reason, I am no good at it. Besides, the main lake I fish on it's not an option most of the time. Most of the fish spawn in deeper water due to the terrain. I have caught a few while throwing jigs and other baits by getting too close to the nest, most of the time they are males.

I don't look down on it or anyone that does it, it's just not my bag. I get more of a kick out of watching them guard the nest when I can see them. Some guys out there are great at bed fishing, I am not one of them.

BTW...IBTL ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No true sportsman would do it. It is just taking an unfair advantage of the fish at a time when the fish is vulnerable. You can try to substantiate it all you want to, but it is hideous to disrupt the very situation that gives us the fish we rely on for the sport.

I guess you've never spent six hours trying to get within casting distance of a single fish.

Unfair advantage indeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not like it during tournaments. Even if, and it rarely happens, you take her back to the bed after weigh in, shes still off the nest for up to 8 hours.

Fun fishing, I have no problem with it assuming that she is quickly photoed and released.

Having spent 9 hours on one fish, with out her ever touching the bait, I will echo Burley, there is no unfair advantage. I tried to get that fish by laying on my belly, in a spiny @$$ bush. If she saw the shadow of the bait overhead, she would split. If she saw the "v" of the line cutting across the surface, she would split. It was amazing. That fish was more than my match. Didnt know whether to laugh hysterically or cry. She was every bit of 15. Could have been significantly more for all I know. I named her Red October ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are a few common arguements that people always have to bedfishing and my view on them as it relates to my personal fishing. :)

1. It harms the future populations.

   While it may limit future populations if the fish doesn't spawn I see this as a good thing. Where I fish in the South we have a problem with too many small fish so it would help by keeping the population of smaller fish down. It's not much different than taking out the small fish before they are there. In GA they actually are starting to stock some trophy lakes with all females and no males so they don't spawn often and it's working. Our best big fish lakes are the ones that are heavily sight fished and our lakes haven't been destroyed by sight fishing. If I lived in Canada I probably wouldn't sight fish but I don't.

2. It's taking unfair advantage of fish at a time when it's vunarable.

   I do the same thing to fish feeding heavily before a storm in summer. The fact that I know exactly where a fish feeds on structure lets me set up on a spot just like I do a bed. Trust me. The fish feeding before the storm is way easier to catch than the one on a bed. One fish is protecting an area and one is hungry. I take full advantage of both.

3. You are just aggravating a fish until it bites and thats not sportsman like.

I do the same thing to inactive fish that aren't feeding in deep water. I set up on a spot and cast repeatedly at the same spot fishing very slowly until I finally aggravate the fish to strike.

4. Big females are under stress during the spawn.

  I always find this one funny since fish are also under a ton of stress during the heat of summer. If you use this one then you should skip summer fishing also and just fish in the fall when fish are fat healthy and the water is cool. You should also never catch fish in deep water in winter since it will stress the fish to have to fizz it.

Untill someone comes up with a GOOD reason to change my mind that actually has some proof of it being wrong or more hamful than other times of the year I will keep on catching them. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i have bed fished for a few years now. to me, there no bigger adrenaline rush than matching wits with a giant bass, knowing it will probably be the biggest one you will have a shot at all year. there's just something about trying to fool a fish you can see that transcends the excitement of any other type of fishing to me, even topwater. to me, it's fishing in its purest form. unless you've ever set up on a giant female bass, it's impossible to describe the feeling. those who have know exactly what i'm talking about. there are a special set of skills involved, and it is admittedly still a work in progress for me. but i would bed fish 12 months a year if it were possible. it's just that addictive to me.

with that said though, i cannot place enough emphasis on getting your pix and getting the fish back in the water. big fish are just so special. and it is nice to know those genetics will be passed on for the future generations. taking the female off the bed for a quick photo session is usually a lot less harmful to the nest/egss than it would be to catch the male since he usually has the bulk of guard duty.

i don't tournament fish, but speaking from experience with bed fishing, i'm not sure how good a strategy it would be to bank on bed fishing to win a tournament unless you are very, very good at it. it's already been mentioned how tough it can be at times. it's probably a good strategy for a kicker, but maybe not the best strategy in the world for putting 5 fish in the livewell.

as for the unfairness of it, bass fishing itself is unfair. we are always "taking advantage" of one or another of the bass' instincts, or at least that's what we are trying to do. to those who question the "fairness" of bed fishing, my response is pretty much always the same. throw away all your 10 bearing reels, super sensitive graphite rods, superlines, chemically sharpened hooks, scent attractants, electronics, 60 mph bass boat, super quiet trolling motor, polarized glasses, ultra realistic baits, etc. fish with with a cane pole from the bank or a jon boat that you paddle yourself. if you are willing to do that, i'll listen to your gripes about fairness. if not, it all just sounds a bit hypocritical and ridiculous to me.

i don't know of anyone who is criticized for NOT bed fishing. i just wish that those of us who do it got the same courtesy sometimes. just my opinions here though. this is a very interesting topic and it would be nice to have a civil discussion without this thread getting shut down. we'll see.................... ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wrong? Not really. We all inadvertently bed fish while fishing during the spawn. However, I only truly 'bed fish' during tournaments, even though I prefer not to fish tournaments that are won during the draw. In these tournaments you will lose if you don't draw early, and it's the reason for the highly publicized 'defensive fishing' we saw on the Elite Series last year when David Dudley sore lipped every bed fish he saw because he got a late draw. He knew somebody would capitalize on the easily caught bedding fish, and if he didn't get there before someone else...he'd lose. I first bed fished on Table Rock Lake in Missouri; it was my second tournament ever (a club tournament), and I didn't know anything about bass spawning. In practice, my uncle showed me the easily discernible circles on the bottom to which I would flip my jig. I thought it was dynamite....it was a guarantee...I just had to wait and wiggle my jig in place. Now days I realize the biggest challenge fish represent is because they are an unseen target. It's hard enough to find them...much less trying to decipher which ones are feeding. You don't have to do either while bed fishing. They are easily seen and are vulnerable to anything you place on their nest. It's like golfing with a few muligans....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I do not have the kind of patience for this and feel I have a better shot at a large fish in the fall, I see nothing wrong with it . I did not fish the first day at the Fork trip and I watched folks work a single fish for many hours, it was pretty interesting and very few were successful with any single fish. That lake seemed to have an abundance of large fish, and a lot of pressure on the beds. To each his own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While I do not have the kind of patience for this and feel I have a better shot at a large fish in the fall, I see nothing wrong with it . I did not fish the first day at the Fork trip and I watched folks work a single fish for many hours, it was pretty interesting and very few were successful with any single fish. That lake seemed to have an abundance of large fish, and a lot of pressure on the beds. To each his own.

Highly pressured fish won't aggressively hit anything you throw on the nest; they will try and fan it off with their tail along with nosing it off the nest. They aren't hungry and won't put it in their mouth unless they must. In a tournament, you can easily distinguish the ones that will bite by turning your trolling motor on high and breezing down the bank. The fish that leave and don't immediately come back are harder to catch, but the fish that reappear almost immediately are easily caught. The 'harder to catch' fish are not caught due to a special technique an angler implores on the fish, but rather patience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a healthy philosophical debate that continues over the entire realm of bed fishing. It should be emphasized, however, that there is volumes of documented proof that bedding females can be caught and released without interrupting the spawning process or damaging its ability to release its eggs. A female or male bass that is caught, handled carefully and then released will return immediately to their nest.

A good male that is aggressive and active will attract more than one female to his nest and spawn with each of them. An active female will spawn a number of times and, in most cases, in a number of different males' nests. I think that is sort of a wall (on the part of the female) against an infertile male spoiling the hatch of a good fertile female. So she spread her eggs around and he spreads his fertility around. That ensures a higher success rate for that spawn.

It is this sporadic purging of eggs and the ability to spawn with different males on several nests that keeps the annual spring bedding season from being severely impacted by large tournaments. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department biologist Clarence Bowling says studies have shown that a female (when handled properly) will simply locate a bed and an available male in the area where she is released and complete spawning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Define "wrong."  Maybe on some small waters, it affects the overall spawn, but I doubt it, even then.  The big females don't stick around too long after the deed.  Its the males that defend the area.  Personally, its just as much fun to fish a little deeper for the fish that won't be lucky enough to actually spawn.  But there is a certain water that I hit frequently so that I hit the spawn.  Seems to me, anglers have been bed fishing for eternity, and there still lots of bass out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bed fish for fun and during tourneys.

I don't think it wrong.  There are plenty of bass that bed deeper and have lots of surviving young.  Its been happening for many years and bass populations are strong across the country.  I realize any bass that are pulled off beds cannot protect their eggs but the places I fish get hammered all the time and I still catch plenty of small bass every summer.  Bass lay thousands of eggs in hopes that 2 survive to breed.  This numbers game is what protects the species.

It is legal and not immoral so stop bashing others that enjoy bed fishing.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No true sportsman would do it.

Right and no "true sportsman" would use food or lure to unfairly trick one into biting either... and no hunter would ever hunt over bait or water... and not hunt during the rut either, right?

You have to be careful when judging others... ;D ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hurry!

Get your shots in fast, I hear The Fat Lady warming up!

-Kent a.k.a. roadwarrior

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hurry!

Get your shots in fast, I hear The Fat Lady warming up!

-Kent a.k.a. roadwarrior

Wrong?  Only if it is illegal.  Otherwise it is a personal ethics question.  To each his own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have threads on this topic appear EVERY year.  This is just the first one of many to come this spring.

Every single one of them ends with everyone agreeing to disagree. So I'll cut to the chase - Everyone: agree to disagree and move on.

G'night Irene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing forum

    fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing poles

    fishing

    fishing reels

    fishing

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×
×
  • Create New...