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Catch and Release

41 posts in this topic

I saw something that just made me sick when fishing the river on Saturday. My buddy and I where fishing above the Sartell Dam north of the county park. I noticed a small fisihng boat with a 2 younger kids in it and what I assumed as there dad. I was watching them and they pulled in a smaller smallmouth say 12 inches THEY PUT IT ON A STRINGER! Now I know it is fully legal to keep a smallmouth but come on I would have to say that all of the smallie fisherman on this site only put a smallmouth in there live well when ther is money on the line am I right. This boat was out in front of a Tracker Jet boat with blue paint tied up on shore if the owner of that boat is on this site you were down on you dock fishing at the time and could help confirm my story. Ok so how can we go about getting a Catch and Release only fishing for smallies on the entire Mississippi. With some sort of permit issued for tourneys to allow fish in the livewell to be weighed. I think it needs to happen. If I saw 1 family keeping them how many others are out there keeping them. Ok now I vented but it just made me sick when I saw that fish go on the stringer!

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I'd say that the individuals you saw are the exception rather than the rule...the vast majority of bass fishermen would never keep a bass (especially a smallmouth) so I don't think it is as big of a deal as you are making it. That being said I would be happy to see the 'sip go to a C&R only for smallies.

SA

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Keeping a few bass is surely not the end of the world. As SA mentions, I would venture to guess the people keeping bass pales in comparison to the quantity of people catching and releasing bass on the river.

If catching a smallmouth was a rare occurence, then a C/R reg might need to be looked at.

Not a big deal in my book. If total C/R is approved, I surely wouldnt fight it, but as it stands, I am not concerned. Let the Dad with his 2 kids go out and keep a couple. They are doing no harm.

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Maybe I am making a big deal of it but it just made me sick. There are plenty of walleyes in that river and they are not hard to catch. We usaully pick some up when we troll from spot to spot so keep those and let the smallies go. Or how about releasing everything under 20 like below the St. Cloud Dam.

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I would rather see larger ones released and smaller ones kept. In my eyes, it would be much worse to see a 20" plus incher on a stringer than a little 12".

I could be wrong, but the bigger ones reproduce bigger fish smirk.gif

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Thats true if your going to keep a 12 incher you'll keep a 20 incher.

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I do see your point.

I figured it would all be C&R by now. Who realy keeps bass for food anyways. I have one uncle I know of, thats all.

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Honestly a 12"er I have no problem with, now if there were hoards of people keeping the smallies that would be a problem, I think there are more people that keep em then we think, but the state of the fishery is good, and if the occasional 15"er and under gets kept for a meal then so be it. Maybe the little guy was gut hooked and they didn't want to throw em back... ya never really know the situation!

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Selective harvest is a good thing. There's plenty of bass in the river for people to keep a few and eat. I've only eaten smallies from the boundary waters area, but I can't imagine they taste all that different out of the river. I see absolutely no problem with a dad keeping a few for the kids to eat. They could very well have been the ones to beg him to keep it.

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I personally have never kept a smallmouth. However, if I ever did catch a really big one, I would like to have the right to keep it for a trophy or to claim a record. I personally would not mind if they were managed as a trophy fish only with a limit of one over a certain length (maybe 21 inches or something). It doesn't make sense to me to completely take away our right to keep one period though. I'm sure people will say that the odds of ever catching a record out of the river are very low, and I would respond that in that case it should not be a problem to leave it open to keep one when that rare occurance happens. People will argue that we need to leave the extremely large fish in the river to reproduce with the idea that there will be lots of huge smallies, but outsized fish are outsized fish. It is impossible to have lots of them because then they wouldn't be outsized any more. I would guess smallmouths are reaching their potential pretty well in the river, and I don't think their is very much harvest taking place. I do agree with you though that it is disheartening to see people keep them. I guess thats where tolerance comes in.

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The only Smallie I've ever kept was a 4#11oz I caught in the Rum 15/20 years ago. I had it mounted and vowed I'ld never keep another unless it was bigger, the mount is long gone, broken fins and most mounted fish eventually looked bad in those years, that one did. I have gotten a couple that may have weighed more but haven't scaled a fish since that one, they all go back. A replica will hold up to the years much better, and the pics are a nice personal score card. grin.gif

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I konw some older people that keep all kinds of fish,and i also think that keeping smaller ones is a whole lot better then keeping big fish for many reasons,and i think we all know what they are. thanks

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I have looked at this site for years, just recently I felt compelled to become a member. Partally because I can not understand why we must criticize everyone that wants to keep a fish to eat. selective HARVEST is nessissary for ALL species. We can't expect everyone to just go fishing to release evrything they catch, that not part of our tradition of being anglers.

I'm not against C&R but I am not for complete C&R. We have to remember that children and even some adults can still get hooked on our sport, maaybe it will take them keeping a few fish.

Sorry for the rant as my first post.

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Welcome!

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Quote:

I have looked at this site for years, just recently I felt compelled to become a member. Partally because I can not understand why we must criticize everyone that wants to keep a fish to eat. selective HARVEST is nessissary for ALL species. We can't expect everyone to just go fishing to release evrything they catch, that not part of our tradition of being anglers.

I'm not against C&R but I am not for complete C&R. We have to remember that children and even some adults can still get hooked on our sport, maaybe it will take them keeping a few fish.

Sorry for the rant as my first post.


Rant away and welcome aboard. I agree with you. I don't keep bass anymore and don't mind if others do. I just don't care for the ones that take and eat all the pigs!

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Yes welcome and rant away - that's what we do here crazy.gif

I agree with eyeguy - let the bigguns go - it's that simple.

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I agree with you. Catch and release only regulations can have a lot of negative effects which I think outweigh the possible benefits by a longshot.

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Not to nit pick but what are the negatives of C & R. If below the St. Cloud Dam is release all fish under 20 inches I don't believe that has had a negative result at all. Now I know that regulation is not a total C&R only but how many fish are kept over 20 inches. But fish500 if you can please provide some facts to back up your post on the negatives of C&R only. Maybe my position would change.

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You already hit on my major opposition to this type of regulation when you asked the question of "how many fish are kept over 20 inches?". Catch and release only regs seem to be most commonly suggested for fish that are not generally considered food fish such as smallmouths or muskies. I am in favor of catch and release of these types of fish up to a size that is uncommon. For example, if I go down to the Mississippi and catch a 23 inch smallmouth that weighs more than the current state record why should I not be able to keep it and claim the record? The fish would be an oddity, and I would not likely have any significant effect on the gene pool by harvesting it.

At one point in my life I worked for the DNR in an area where they managed a trophy smallmouth fishery. One day, some very experienced and knowledgable fisheries specialists were having a discussion about this very topic. They noted that in all of their years of sampling, the odds of producing a smallmouth bigger than 21 inches were nearly zero. Lots of smallmouths that were 20 inches were sampled (I personally sampled several of this size) but very few or none were sampled that were bigger. Even in the face of overwhelming biological data, there were still people in positions of power who were pushing to make it catch and release only instead of a minimum size limit of 20 or 21 inches which was already in place. During that discussion, the fisheries specialists questioned the reasoning and/or motives of someone who would push for a more restrictive regulation that scientific data tells us is not necessary.

Simply put, we are being faced with over regulation. Catch and release only takes away the excitement of being able to keep a huge trophy fish. Maybe I think differently about this than other people since both my brother and my dad have caught state record fish. Both records have since been broken, but they were very rewarding experiences none the less. Dreams and goals such as this make fishing more exciting for me, and catch and release only regs take that away. I would challenge you to give me a good biological reason that I should not be able to keep a freakishly large record fish to claim a record if I ever happen to catch one.

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Hmmmm the current regs are c&r to 20"es no one has ever said any different.... and don't kid your selfs lots more people see smallies as" food" fish then you think, I've heard of lots of people complain of the c&r regs because then they can't keep the smallies there catching, Ive stated before I have no problem with selective harvest but might get a little p'o'd about a 15-20"er getting kept for food.

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well said fish500. i've been fishing the miss since i was old enough to ride my bike down there, i've kept exactly 1 smallie in 35 yrs. i've been in the same boat with others who have kept and ate some, and i see no problem with that. in all those years i've caught 1 smallie over 20 inches. (21) when the dnr asked for public input when they shutdown catch and keep smallie fishing from sept on, i called and commented that keeping 1 fish over 20 inches would be something i could live with because if i did happen to catch a true pig i could keep it. i too think we are overrestricted. i choose to release and people that want to eat a few should have that option.

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I could live with being able to keep 1 over 20 inches and I do not believe we are over regulated do to the fact I would like my son to be able to walk down to the river as I did when I was a kid and catch fish like I did. I guess when I posted the first post I was a little upset I still don't see the need to keep smallmouth to eat when you can catch walleye's all day on the river even crappies. So make it 1 over 20 I guess if I caught the state record I would want to be able to bring it home as well not likely it will come from the river but if it did it would be nice not to throw it back.

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Nothing more fun than throwing a good fish back, specially a 20 or bigger. grin.gifgrin.gif

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You said it MSRiverdog. Now I just need to catch one this year. I 17.5 is the biggest in the boat this year but I am saving all of the 20+ fish for the tourney on the 4th. ha ha.

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Amen MSRD - especially when they splash water in your face. tongue.gif

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