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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finished reading Michael Cinquemani's "Night Tides", the story of Billy the Greek. Loved the book but I was puzzled when I read this...BTG was quoted:
"It is extremely rare to find viable roe in fifty-pound plus fish, and I've never personally caught anything over fifty-eight pounds with live roe. I've personally caught over a hundred fish over fifty pounds and I've observed many hundreds that were caught commercially in that category. Not ten percent of all these fish contain living roe"..."these real big fish are in the final stages of their life cycle."
I always thought this size fish was the main spawning stock. Maybe not? Can anybody confirm this quote?
 

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I would guessimate the breeders range between 10-40lbs. Like he said, once they're high-40's and above, they're past their "fertile" years. Just like freshwater fishing for trout. There's nothing wrong w/ keeping a 7lb'er because the breeding stock is between 1-5lbs (in this area, it's a different story out west where trout get up to 20lbs+!).
 

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Rich,
Unfortunately not fishing at all this weekend. Probably the first since April. My hands are twitching from withdrawal. check out salybugger.com and let me know what you think of the mini swimmers. i have the blurple, but just ordered the pearl white and olive over white today. nice small wood plugs. Gearing up for the fall!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
According to the book you're just about right, it is stated that the breeding stock is the 20-40lb range.

I was thinking more like 40-55lb.
 

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Originally posted by weekendwarrior:
Rich,
That's scary considering how few 20 pounders we run into. my best fish would have been 20 on the scale- if i pulled on its tail!
I've heard it told that a lot of the bigger bass seem to stay further out. Don't know how true this is, but it could be very possible. That could explain why so few big boys are caught...
 

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this is something Ive also wondered about yet really havent seen any clear data on. If 35+ lb fish produces more eggs, bigger eggs, and larger fry than say a 28" fish, then its obviously more important to the fishery. But what if that 35lb fish never enters a fresh water estuary to actually spawn??? Whats its worth then?

As a land based angler fishing mainly NJ and the OBX, the mass majority of big fish (35+ lbs) migrate south to north each spring following adult menhaden. Its almost too predictable. But when do these fish spawn? What river are they going up? The biggest spawning grounds are the chessy, deleware, and hudson-right? And the spawning season there seems to be April / May, give or take. Yet the big fish push for NJ is June into July.

Some very nice fish come out of the Deleware river during the spring run but you dont hear of many over 35lbs. It just seems to me that the big schools of ocean fish may no longer breed as they seem to just go north and south w/ the food supply and not east and west.

And Im not advocating wiping out the ocean population because they dont breed. Absolutely not. But I just never see these really big fish in a spawning environment, yet all the scientific reports say their the most important??? Maybe Im fishing the wrong places, who knows.
 

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Circlehook.....80% of the striped bass spawn in thre Chesapeake Bay. The rest are split between the Delaware, Hudson and maybe Raritan.....Gene
 

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Krayfish:

80% in the Chessy? Interesting. But again, the question remains. When do the big bass in the ocean migratory population breed? Or do they not breed for one reason or another?

Anyone thats tracks fishing reports can keep tabs on these fish. Once they blow past NJ in the fall they settle in along the NC/VA border for the winter. Some straying further south along the OBX. Then in the spring, as the water warms, you can track them right back north. There isnt a gap long enough for em to run up the chessy for spawning, is there?

Obviously, its not a blanket observation. There are some bigger fish caught from spawing grounds for sure. But is the number comparable to the number of big fish taken from the ocean side. You'd think the big gals would concentrate on the spawning grounds just like they do on bunker pods. And if that the case, maybe we need stricter spring river/bay spawning regs.

Obviously, the hope is a healthy fishery. I just wonder how were gonna keep it there (or get there). Hopefully research efforts like the Rutgers Acoutstic tagging study will help paint the picture.
 

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circle - lots of guesses like you mention - thats why I support Rutgers program.

I hope they can get the tag transmitters to work longer than two years.

If they could get a tag to transmitt for ten years and add beacons in the Chessy and a location up on Cape Cod then we'd have some data!
 

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"80% in the Chessy? Interesting. But again, the question remains. When do the big bass in the ocean migratory population breed?"

The spring northward migration brings the big fish into the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries typically in April and early May depending upon water temperatures. Huge females can be found spawning in the Susquehanna, Elk, Sassafras, C&D Canal, Delaware, etc. They do not spawn on the Susquehanna Flats. That is a feeding area.

There is a wealth of research on the life cycle of the striped bass due to its near demise from over fishing in the late '80's. Fish biologists have determined that the largest cows hold the most eggs and they are still fertile and viable.

If the water is cold (survival), put the big cows back! As an aside, a biologist friend has been tracking the mercury levels in striped bass. The larger the bass...the higher the merc levels. Eat the smaller fish...they are safer!
 

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Ladyfish:

I cant speak on the Susquehana or canal, but I have family on the Sassafrass and Ive personally spent a great deal of time fishing the Deleware. In my experience the spring runs in these areas consist mainly of smaller fish up to fish in the 20-30lb range. Yes, there are some bigger, but by no means do you hear about a large number of 40+ lb bass getting caught from these areas. Yet, the boat and surf fisherman of VA/NC hammer away at 40+ from december into March. Then as the water warms, and from reading reports, you can track these big fish back north into northern VA, MD, DE, NJ by June, and north.

I guess my point in posting was to see if we even know how to manage this fishery? Because if most 30+, or 40+ lb fish dont enter fresh water, what are their eggs worth? Even if their more viable, larger, etc. It would seem that the protection should be focused on 28" - 30lb fish. Not that I'm advocating mass slaughtering of big fish mind you. The end result should be a healthy fishery w/ a good age distribition amongst all year classes. In a perfect world anyway.
 

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I've heard whispers about bigger fish having less viable eggs or not spawning every year. (But when they do spawn it is big).

I'm starting to believe it.

[ 09-10-2005, 10:21 AM: Message edited by: egghead ]
 
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