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smallie_hawgin

The measuring debate!

83 posts in this topic

Ok, I have not been a contributor long, however, I have read an aweful lot of posts bragging about river smallies over 21". I have lived here for 5 1/2 years, fished the Mississippi from day one, I work the river as well. I have many fish close to the twenty inch range, but, non that were true 21+. It seems odd that Xcell energy and the DNR have electrofished the river for a combined 30+ years have NEVER, I repeat NEVER, seen fish that measured 22+, and very few over 20. So my debate is over proper measuring techniques. I have this strange feeling that we as anglers love to give a bit extra when we measure fish. I challenge all of you to measure the fish mouth closed tight, tail pinched and swipe by the number. Always hold nose at 0 and tail at measured length. Let me know what happens. I have a feeling that most of those stories of true 22+'s might turn into 20 1/2. Just my thoughts. grin.gif

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Take a look at the nice smallies and pictures post. A real live 21 1/2 incher. They are out there. No tail pinching. Just one heck of a fish. I had one spit me 2 nights ago that I'll bet was it's twin. Keep your lines wet. <>< <><

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Hey guys....I'm hope it doesn't sound like I'm bragg'n...
I (we) have had many over 21" in my boat.(last week the DNR was electro shocking and I gave them a 21" to survey, Pete from River Run Guide service, had a 21 1/4" the day before) My (our)three biggest were over 22"
I have not seen any over 23" personaly.I realize this thread is about measuring. I measure with closed mouth and tail.

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I think I'll weigh in on this one or measure in as it may be. I have said it before but according to the DNR and the electo fish literally 1000s of fish per year and do creel surveys, etc and they have never seen a fish over about 21 inches above the St. Cloud. I have fished the stretch around Little Falls for over 10 years and I have had a lot of 20.5 inchers but that's the biggest. If someone told me they caught a 21 above St. Cloud I would believe them but those fish are few and far between.

Below St. Cloud is another story. The river water temperatures are a little warmer which allows the fish to get a little bigger. And when I say bigger I mean maybe a touch over 22 inches. I personally now the guy that did creels on the stretch between the SCSU dam and down past Clearwater and he never saw one over 22 inches. This creel person would talk to Dave Genz everyday and Genz can catch fish and fishes A LOT and he said he never saw a Smallie much over 22 inches and the 22s were very rare.

Anybody who says they are catching fish close to 23 inches is full of it in my opinion and they need to learn how to measure. Kevin fishes the Clearwater stretch as much as anybody and he said his biggest are around 22 and I believe it, but there aren't any much bigger than that.

Just my .02

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I was reluctant to respond to this post...but here goes, I too have been fishing the St. Cloud area Miss since 1987 and log approximately 170 days on the water. I would say that 1/2 of that time I am fishing some-where on the river. With this in mind, I have one smallie in the 23" range and two around 22", otherwise most of the fish I consider BIG and catchable are around 19" to 21". I consider a 21"+ fish rare and a trophy.

I'm not here to dispute anything that has been posted about who caught what, just to share what I have seen in the last 16+ years of fishing in this area.

The three big smallies I caught were extraordinary and I feel very fortunate to have seen a bass that big. The 23" fish was definitely at lifes end (very sickly looking) and I get asked to this day why I didn't have it mounted. I wasn't thinking about that at the time I caught it. It was pretty much a surprise that I didn't know what to do with!! That was over 10 years ago.

What I have witnessed is there are seasonal transitions when the big fish get active as a group. They are on the move and actively feeding throughout the day, which increases your opportunity to get a trophy smallie.

Just my thoughts. Nav

------------------
Jon Navratil
Navigator Guide Service
www.naviguides.com
Serving Central MN rivers & lakes

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BTW, My freind Carl caught one of the largest Miss smallie I have seen boated and released. We were having a extraordinary day, so I had video cam in hand. I taped the top water hit (white buzz), the landing, and the release. It scaled at 5.8 lbs. (5lbs 12.4oz if my math is right. In our rush to put the big girl back (it was during the fall release only season, so we did not want to put her in the box) we scaled it but did not measure it.

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Hey guys, I am not doubting there are a few larger fish out there. I just think its funny how quite a few people say they have caught fish over 21". Do we all measure using a keeper board or similar type of measuring stick? Somehow I think not. Most of us probably have a sticker taped on the boat and inaccuracies are definitely the rule rather than the exception. To me a **** nice fish is anything over 17" So I am not questioning wether they were nice fish or not. Hell, some say I may get one over 20 from the river and I will be **** sure I measure it right. If nothing else to practice when a record is on the end of my line cool.gif
I am glad to see so many die-hard river smallie fisher folks it is awesome!!! Fish-on!

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S_Hog
I now have a "nose board" and it sure makes it easier to get a true measurement on fish. I have a 36" aluminum ruler screwed into the deck of my boat, but having a scale that you can butt the nose of the fish into, sure makes the pinched tail swipe easier and much more accurate.

My buddies dad is the classic. Good ole Uncle Jon.
Hold the fish up to the tape pasted on the side of the boat, kind of get an idea of what it measures, and toss it over the side.
"Hey, that was 29 inches!"
(Yeah, he's not the master fish handler).
He's from the old school, and its always entertaining to watch him. ALWAYS!!!!

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I don't have the hooks up to post picts on the Internet. But I am holding pictures of a 24.5'' Smallmouth Bass cought below Blanchard Damb in my hand as I speek. I cought this fish two years ago and it was full of eggs. I measured it with a closed mouth and a pinched tail with a cloth type tape measure. There were 3 others there that witnessed this fish. Maybe I'll go to my uncles and try and post the picts. By the way, I released the fish. If you don't belive me, it your loss. There are sate record fish out there, you just have to fish for them. The earlyest they will be up is by this weekend.

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I for one would love to see the pics! That's a dandy! Email them to Rick and he'll put them on for you, that's what I did.

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I would very much like to see a 24.5 incher. Please post the pics. I just can't get above the 22" mark. I need to have something to strive for.

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Who's Rick and whats his e-mail address. I can send them to him right now but I need his address. I think it will work.

I found Rick adress but when I tryed to send it to him some errors came up. so I will try to get them up Sat. after I get back from fishing. I fish alot and have cought my fare share of bass over 20'', most of them largemouth. Maybe I'll post some other pictures also.

[This message has been edited by JoeLewis (edited 08-14-2003).]

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Use the "Contact Us" link

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Well, I can finally say I have broke the 20" barrier on the river. Yeee-Haww!!!! Managed to get a 20.5 (legitimate, proper measuring technique) tonitght on a buzzer, Thanks Kevin. It really does work.

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Rick owns fishing minnesota see email him there. Send the pics and he will get them on for you.

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Joe L

Here is Ricks email to send the pics:
rick@fishingminnesota.com

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If you still can't get through to Rick send them to me jwernimont@wfdi.ws.

Keep in mind that bass numbers in creel surveys aren't real good in depicting numbers in any given body of water. Most surveys point this out.

WHose to say that fish larger than 22 are void of areas surveyed?

It's interesting. Believe it or not I have landed 21 inchers in a river you guys would consider a "trickle". If they can get that big in these waters I wouldn;t doubt larger fish. Rare, but possible.

Keep in mind the length of time it takes to grow these fish people. Please make sure you have in your mind, before making that first cast, what your intentions are and be prepared to follow through with them.

In the Root River in SE MN it takes 12 years to grow a 16 inch smallmouth. Not much quicker ,if at all, than on the mighty Miss.

You guys have me all pumped for some Fall smally action!!

Keep the rods bendin'!!!

Jim W

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Jim, about how old would a 20" smallie be in the Sippi? 16yrs old or more? They sure do grow slow. Are smallies in Mille Lacs likely to grow at the same rate? Just curious.

Thanks
EBass

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Ebass,

Of course we need to take into consideration each fsih may grow at varied rates, but I would say your pretty close.

I am not a Mille Lacs expert. However, not battling current and ever changing levels, flow and at times easier access to prime forage it would be safe to say Mille Lacs smallmouth grow faster. To want extent I cannot answer.

Good question for the area fisheries guys. They should have some great info on smallmouth. If you have time to dig it up, let us know, I am very curious.

Jim W

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Ebass, Honestly, they are very difficult to age. I do know that by the time they get to 15 inches in the Miss they really slow down. There are fish that grow less than 1/2 inch per year when they reach 16". Oldest aged so far has been near 18. Although, as I stated earlier it is very difficult to age scales from river fish due to the varying conditions they are exposed to. Check out the DNR fisheries website for Montrose http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/areas/fisheries/montrose
There is extensive info on the river as well as other things you might find interesting in Wright, Stearns and Sherburne counties. Pass it on.

Jim W, I couldn't agree more on knowing whether you plan to keep or release a fish prior to casting. This fishery (the Miss)while seeming as though it can keep getting better, is fragile. All it takes is a couple of high water years in spring and year classes are minimal, add on any harvest of spawning stock legal or otherwise, and you could potentially minimize the fishery. Thanks for the genuine concern. Fish-on.

[This message has been edited by smallie_hawgin (edited 08-21-2003).]

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hey as you can tell I am a insomniac and a fm addict I was just cruising old posts and was wondering if this guy ever posted the picture of this 24" er? If not I guess it was bs huh

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dude you need serious help!! wink.gif go fishing and shut down that computer. grin.gif

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I'm with you on this one. It's either prove it or BS.

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Hey guys, I just got a email from a fellow FMer asking my advice on where to get a replica made. I don't have a clue who to refer him to, any thoughts?

Opps...I'm in the wrong thread...sorry for the hijakn'...

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Send him my way. I recently started repping on the side for Fibertech.

mark_christianson@cnt.com

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