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zelmo

Tournament Fish

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Assuming the fish were handled properly and survive, what happens to bass after they are released after weigh in? Do they stay in the general area where they were released or do they tend to migrate back to where they were caught? How long do they stay spooked before they will start to feed again?

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Both ;)

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I would say it would depend on how much food is in the area they where released as to how long they stay in the release area and how muddy the water is that they where caught on how soon you can catch them again. Time frame is hard to determine because it really depends on a lot of factors. For example one fishermen might be able to get the same fish to react to a bait while another who has a different fishing style takes longer to get the fish in the mood to strike using other techniques. As far as fish movement to give you an example I have caught fish in a tournament and caught the same fish a few days later on the opposite shore on rip rap. I have also caught fish in a tournament and several weeks later caught either the same fish in the same area or a fish close to quality on the same stump. To give you a third example I caught a fish on rip rap on a crankbait and about a week later caught the same fish up the river on a bridge on a spinnerbait. I think the underlying deal was food source.

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As far as fish movement to give you an example I have caught fish in a tournament and caught the same fish a few days later on the opposite shore on rip rap. I have also caught fish in a tournament and several weeks later caught either the same fish in the same area or a fish close to quality on the same stump. To give you a third example I caught a fish on rip rap on a crankbait and about a week later caught the same fish up the river on a bridge on a spinnerbait. I think the underlying deal was food source.

How do you know that they're the same fish?

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I know of two documented accounts of 10 lb plus bass caught on the south end of Toledo Bend weighted, measured, & photographed at Toledo Tackle and then released at Pendleton Bridge. Both bass were caught again on the south end of Toledo Bend within a month of their release; that’s a distance of 8-10 miles.

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How do you know that they're the same fish?

The bass had a mark on them of some sort that was easy to identify. The bass I caught up the river had a piece of cartilage that protruded in the roof of its mouth. Another had part of its dorsal fin broken. Some have spots others have sores it just depends.

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