Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

  • Announcements

    • Rick

      1st Please Post Your Fishing Report - Then Join the NEW - Private Fishing Report Clubs   01/24/2018

      Private Fishing Report Clubs - Click Here - Post Your Fishing Report Before Joining
      1st, be sure you post a fishing report in the forums, then ask to join after you post a fishing report in your area forum. The Private Fishing Report Clubs are where folks can share private fishing information with club members who have proven they know what's going on. Fishing Report Clubs Link also in Menu above. Apply to become a member today, while it's still easy. 
  • RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  
docwalleye88

Keep the big or keep the small?

Recommended Posts

docwalleye88

I am wondering what can be done to increase the size of the panfish in the metro area. It has become very hard to find those hand size sunfish anymore. Would it be better to start keeping some of these smaller fish? Any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fishface5

That's my opinion. Keep lots of little ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thomas

I agree, keep the small ones and toss back the bigger ones. But most people keep the bigger, and rip on people who keep those tiny sunfish. A study done in Texas, found that if people want bigger sunfish, they need to keep small ones and toss back bigger ones (the article was in the In-Fisherman Mag).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lee the bonehead

It's kind of a catch-22 - If you want big sunnies to eat.

You can only have 'em if you throw 'em back. When word gets out of big sunnies or crappies it doesn't take long for crowds to descend and sort the big ones out of circulation in a wierd sort of "get 'em before they're gone" scene. Maybe panfish should be strictly kids only for keeping, and C&R for us big kids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hanson

Lee-

You're right. Its a vicious circle. Everybody wants bigger gills & crappies to eat, more meat right? But when you look at all the other species of fish, you are totally frowned upon and dragged across the coals for keeping a large fish. If you want to continue to catch big gills, you're going to have to release the big ones. Matt Breur, Johnson, and Corey Bechtold will preach this fact to know end. They catch many big panfish so they are on to something.

I say keep the medium sized fish for the pan, let the large ones go to get larger, and let the little ones grow to become eaters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lee the bonehead

What's medium in your eyes? Depends on the lake, I suppose. On Medicine sunfish over 8" and crappies over 9" are pretty big. Maybe when you get to that 'wow' factor it's time to put 'em back, and the ones you keep catching to get to that 'wow' fish are eaters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
old star

in the old days we kept everything and we were happy, now the big pound sunnies are gone from the metro for good. panfish are for eating so catch what you can and make a good meal out of it if they are big enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rosspj59

Interesting info Crappieflop, I thought northerns kept sunfish in check. Hopefully some of these catch and release bass lakes might start producing some better size sunfish, unless they don't have a lot of those 12-16 bass in them. For instance, lakes like Jane and Demontreville.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
crappieflop1212

It sure does seem the secret to better sunfish is in the Bass population.

There is a small lake in WI that I fish a few times every year. It's 88 acres and 15' max depth. The bass fishing is great, which you would think would help keep the sunfish in check. But there are so many lilly pads. Like the MN DNR says, allows cover for the sunfish to hide. I've been E-mailing the WI DNR for tips on what I can do. This is what I have so far.

"Many of the small lakes in this part of the state are pretty infertile

and have slightly acidic water. Sunfish eggs hatch well and fry get

started but the infertile lakes don't produce as much of the bug life it

takes to grow bigger panfish. You shouldn't expect your lake to produce

as well as green weedy ones like Clam lake do.

The most important thing you can do is protect (catch and release) the

predator fish, like bass. If you can build up the number of predators

then they eat enough of the small sunfish to thin down populations so

there is more food for the ones that are left. If you are successful with

panfish control, you will likely end up with lots of bass between 10 to

14 inches and very few larger bass because competition within high

density bass populations results in slow bass growth.

The problem with small panfish is that there are too many for the food

supply. You don't really want those nesting sunfish to be very

successful. However in the case of bluegill and only bluegill, there is an

advantage to not harvesting large males at any time of the year. The males

have the darker bronze orange breast and their blue flap on the gill

plate is larger than the females. Young males know that the females will

all be attracted to the nest of the biggest males so the bachelors

decide to delay spawning until they are big enough to compete. Growing

gametes and guarding a nest takes lots of energy so once they decide to

spawn they don't grow as well. Once you have a fair number of large males

you actually end up with fewer nests and faster growing fish.

All this takes years to do and won't ever happen where a lot of people

fish the lake that may not comply with voluntary rules over and above

state fishing regulations. Also some small lakes are subject to

occasional winterkills that disrupt predator prey balances etc. "

I guess the best we can do is keep the smaller sunfish and release all the decent bass. I know every lake is different but It sounds like this would help out in any lake.

Share this post


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



  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Knowknot
      Great video Curt, for as much of it that I could see. Keep up the good work, and one question, Are there any live emerald shiners around the Baudette area to be had, or just frozen ones?
    • eyeguy 54
      Its a little stiffer than my titanium spring boober and much more sensitive.  I like it  better than the 27 inch ul ticklestick. Only used 3 and 4 mm jigs so far. Thumbs up from me. 
    • Troy Smutka
      2/18/18     Got out on an area lake an hour before sunrise Saturday. Got a bunch of crappies until they slowed about 9 am. Most between 9.5 and 11 inches. Sunfish started biting about sunrise and bit all morning. Half of them were 8 to 8.5 inches. Most of the rest were 7 to 7.5 inches. Kept two meals of fish--released the rest. 1/32 ounce VMC Tungsten Tubbies tipped with a single wax worm or two red Eurolarvae fished just above some weeds in thirteen feet of water caught fish after fish. Lots of good ice on area lakes. Even though walleyes and pike close in just over a week and wheel houses can't stay out unattended soon, still a lot of good ice fishing for panfish to come. Will have plenty of ice for a while, so get out and enjoy the peace and quiet and fast crappie and sunfish action that March will bring. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.
    • IceHawk
      Had a chance to rub shoulders and fish with some of the ice team guys today. Great bunch of guys we had some good laughs and of course discussed plenty about fishing. Even shared a few hotspots. The hands on they give the people that sign up for this event is absolutely amazeing! From hands on to tips on everything to do to make your day on the ice way more productive. From what I witnessed it would be well worth the investment to sign up for one of there events , if you are new to fishing or heck even a seasoned angler.  Fished with one guy from Nebraska said he has done 5 of these events and has enjoyed everyone of them.  Fun day for sure 
    • AlwaysFishing23
      Royce, how’s the sensitivity Is the tip soft like a tickle stick and how’s quality seem? About same price as a tickle stick I see may have to try one for next season. If It passes with flying colors do you it must be good! Tough day for me not much happening went from about 8-29 FOW and just nothing. Found perch in about 19 but even they seemed finicky and would only hit the dead stick. A bit windy on the lake today to!
    • The Chemist
      Yes that would be the one. A friend of mine sent it to me. The guy who got it is a friend of his nephew. 
    • The Chemist
      So that explains the traffic and also the one where they were shooting video of what appeared to be about a drill type auger. Did drive by an ice team truck on the way out also.
    • The Chemist
      The warmer weather has brought alot of people out to the area. We are waiting for the later bite. Most are setup in shallowet water. Haven't marked fish yet but tendto see them at sunset.    Be careful with all the holes being drilled! I found one that was covered back in, got my shin, luckily not my ankle.
    • eyeguy 54
      Started out in 26 feet this morning and had 5 dandy crappies in 15 minutes then it was over. moved a mile and found a few dandy gills in 16 feet. And a couple bass.  Day 2 with the new rods and liking them more. 
    • monstermoose78
      I would fish them trees
  • Share & Have Fun