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cweinkauf

Confession

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cweinkauf

I was recently told that smallmouth were tasty fish. I love to fish smallies but never considered eating one. On a trip up north I caught a couple that I considered eating size and filleted them up. Here's the sad part, and I am sincerely disturbed. One was full of eggs. So what I need to know is how to tell when smallies still have eggs in them? She really didn't look all that fat in the belly like other species. is there a way to distinguish between the sexes?

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Mark Christianson

Didn't you hear there is poison in bass?
They are all supposed to be immediately released......

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phin101

Female fish carry some spawn in the pipes all the time. This is especially true of the panfish/bass family. You can catch them in late summer and still find a small egg sack. The best way to tell when to put one back right away is when the lower belly seems to be rounding outside the normal girth of the fish or if you see any signs of eggs actually exiting the fish. To be safe, I release all bass I catch until the end of june and then only keep an occasional 1 or 2 pounder throughout the rest of the season. Smallies are tasty with shorelunch, with mississippi and st croix bass being an exception. I'd pass on them. Ate one once and wasn't impressed. You're going to get hammered on this forum if you talk about keeping fish, by the way. Seems like only a few of us enjoy eating some of our catch. Or at least only a couple admit to it.

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iFishMN.us

According to a small survey done on here less than a year ago, 86% of the people on this forum keep 4 meals a year or more. I dont think anyone bashes people for simply keeping fish on this site, its only when poor judgement in selective harvest happens that makes a few people say stuff. Im sure theres a few on here who disagree with eating smallies but im sure they wont say much because they mostly are concerned with people that always eat everyone they catch which is not the case here. Theres a big difference between ragging on people for keeping fish and encouraging selective harvest and good judgement which eventhough isnt required by the DNR most of the time, should be used when keeping any fish, for the benifit of ALL of us.

Im sorry to rant but I must defend the some of us who encourage people to do a little judgment when keeping fish, and then get labeled as anti-fish keepers which isnt true at all.

------------------
"Better get the net!"
-Fishin Chad

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The Grebe

I've been eating fish since I was a kid and will continue to do so because I like fish, just like some people like steak, others salads, or pork chops, I like fish, it's the way it is!

I've eaten smallies in the past, small ones, maybe a pound or so....I've eaten largemouth also, in the same range. They are okay, but sunnies, crappies and wallies are much better.

In my humble opinion, no big fresh water fish is good to eat, weither it be a 2# crappie, or a 6# walleye.

You could use steak as an example, which do you think would taste better, one off a younger, market ready steer, or one off an old sway back, knock kneed bull?

Also,I don't see why you would get ragged on for eating a fish....people have been eating fish since the beginning!

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kpj5br

It is true this whole site is full of people that make wise cracks (at the least) or very negative comments (or worse) to those who admit to keeping fish.

It is a shame.

The biggest problem is, I MYSELF am guilty of this sometimes, I don't mean to do it, either, so I take with a grain of salt when others do. I really wish we could all get past that aspect of it and concentrate this forum on CATCHING the fish instead of what we do with them.

Bottom line, do NOT worry about filleting a fish with eggs in her. As was already stated, many, many fish keep eggs through almost the entire season, don't fret over it. I've opened up a number of bass as late as mid-July that have a good-size egg sack going. Still a good meal.

And yes, to the walleye snobs out there, bass can be very tasty...

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cweinkauf

thanks for the good answers, I'll remember to wait to keep bass until after june. They are tasty. The lake I was on has a healthy population and I may continue to eat a few from time to time. Wonder why the DNR doesn't make it C&R til after june up north? As for the eating controversy, I treat it as a matter of personal responsibility. Follow the rules and everyone benefits. Keep eaters if your gonna eat 'em and throw back everything else trophy or over limit. The trophy part is just personal preference but I don't need a bunch of fish on the wall to prove I had a good time. If that was the case I'd have to mount beer kegs and broken mountain bike parts too.

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HighLife100

I don't think the bashing will happen on this thread. If you had mentioned that you thought 5lb Smallies were tasty and you keep every one you catch then that would be a different story...

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Mark Christianson

I can only assume you are talking about my post with your comments kpj.

As a matter of fact, I kept a limit of bass for my Grandpa this year. I fished his lake, and he asked me if I could bring back some bass for him. I was more than happy to bring back a limit for him.
I guess I must be a hypocrite now too.

Sorry to offend you with my so-called wise-crack.

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