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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Oh boy...dare I even say this. If the last couple of days are any indication of what this spring season is going to be like we are going to have some phenomenal fishing this season. Two things that I am thinking about over the next few weeks are: how do I make sure that as many of the big females get the opportunity to lay the thousands of eggs that they have on board? Last year we started using a floating lipping tool, trying to handle these big fish as little as possible. Sure with todays plugs de-hooking can be a challenge at time but we try to make sure that as many of the big fish are left in the water if possible. In addition we have replaced the trailing treble hook on most of our plugs with a single hook and we feel that it does not effect our hook up ration or the swimming action of the plug. The plus side is that de-hooking fish is much easier!!! Even today with the water pretty chilly, swimming these fish until they are revived might take a few moments but its essential to giving them the best chance.

Honestly, the charter guys are in a pinch if their clients want to keep a cow they can try their best to influence catch and released but; if its in their legal limit they really have no choice but to put the fish in the box if that is the client request. For the rest of us; in the early spring, lets reverse our typical thinking instead of the cow being the trophy what about finding the smallest legal fish and making those into striper cakes. By no means am I a biologist and I could be wrong, but common thinking would leads me to believe that the narrow slender fish without the swollen bellies are not spawning, and would be my choice to put in the box. It make take you 30 releases to find that fish; but isn't that a problem we would all love to have?
 

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my fishing partners and I have already started the practice of keeping one male fish for the three of us and when we land the rest we use a net as opposed to grabbing the fish by the lip. This is starting to look like a world class fishery and we cant forget the 80"s
 

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I do not think the water release is any issue I believe most bass get caught so many times that is why they fight less then a porgy they are trained to come to the boat for a guick hook release lol ....but keeping a small non fat fish is the only one I take (seems to taste better) the hard part not only for charter but for even me is friends they may only go once or twice and they want to bring a fish home so the first one goes in the box ..noone belives that they will get another shot ...I do not want to sound like a crazy conservative as we release most fish but the truth is I am not a big fish eater anyway ...if cattle swam I would probably still take the veal
 

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Great post James. Of course we all know the smaller legal fish taste much better and are healthier to eat with less mercury. I also know that the charter guys have a legitimate dilemma, but hopefully they too can educate their clients about the importance of CAR and take more release photos and less photos of limits at the dock.
 

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I play catch and release from surf and boat. idk ive always like that. the charters are staring to catch on now..keeping some of the males and letting the ladies go. Thats how it should of been for a while.
 

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I know its hard to do for some who only fish a few times a year, but catching and releasing for us who are out there more often is reasonable. I get bringing home a fresh fillet and one for the freezer but no one needs to fill the freezer until you cant close the door and discard them when they get freezer burn . I don't want to get into a argument about this but spawning and pre spawning fish need our help. I have some ideas but that's for another post. Use some discretion with the girls besides fluke taste so much better.
 

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One of the best things about fishing to me.......releasing any size bass......knowing there is a chance someone else catching it. I hope the next person is child. Love to see that smile. My kids don't even ask to keep fish, guess they understand what I have taught them. ..........Nellie
 

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I agree 100%. I have been been doing in water releases for some time. I use the boga grip and regular linesmans pliers most of the time. Only when the hook is stubborn does the fish come over the gunnel. Generally any fish I do keep for eating are the smaller ones or ones that are occasionally hooked badly.

But the reality is that the casual angler does not catch many fish and when he does the biggest ones are going in the cooler. That is the unfortunate limitation of voluntary restrictions.

Personally I would welcome protection for the bigger fish to help grow more of the top end fish. With the proper laws we could have a good population of truly giant bass for the sportsman while still allowing smaller fish to be kept for the table. If the various factions could agree on some emphases on protecting the older bass with time we could have some 70# and 80# mixed in.

The fish are certainly capable of it, they just need us to stop fighting, be reasonable, and enact some restrictions on the big girls.
 

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Personally I would welcome protection for the bigger fish to help grow more of the top end fish. With the proper laws we could have a good population of truly giant bass for the sportsman while still allowing smaller fish to be kept for the table. If the various factions could agree on some emphases on protecting the older bass with time we could have some 70# and 80# mixed in.

The fish are certainly capable of it, they just need us to stop fighting, be reasonable, and enact some restrictions on the big girls.
Big Ron nails it!
The days of big breeder bass spread out on the dock are going to haunt us.....sooner than later. Self imposed limits by sportsmen have definitely helped the cause, but it's tough to stomach seeing 25-40 lb breeders getting stacked like cordwood. I would love to see the regs changed to protect the big girls while allowing a few smaller fish to be retained for dinner. Unfortunately, it's going to take a decline in the fishery to make these changes happen...
 

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this whole thread makes a ton of sense but the charter captains wont agree as they need to make a living and who can argue with that.
If regulations were 1 bass instead of 2 with a bonus, do you think it would hurt their business?
Its called fishing, not catching, not killing.
Maybe the fishing experience would be enjoyable enough, with lots of C and R.
 

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One of the best things about fishing to me.......releasing any size bass......knowing there is a chance someone else catching it. I hope the next person is child. Love to see that smile. My kids don't even ask to keep fish, guess they understand what I have taught them. ..........Nellie
Lets be honest Nellie. It helps that you hate to eat all fish........YUK......:D
 

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james great thred there are a lot of guys doing this for a while hopefully more to follow and i do beleive most good charter capts push for this but it is up to customer we need to release all fish we are not going to use right away way to many smaller fish fall prey to the freezer tobe tossed out at a later date its simple fish alot eat fresh fish let the rest swim
 

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Like anything else it takes time and the maturing of new generations of kids/fisherman who have heard the message over and over and over. While change seems to move at a snails pace, it eventually becomes the norm and it will happen thanks to those who are willing and able to push the message about voluntary C&R and protection of big breeders.

In the meantime for those like me who have a boat on the hard at AHMM and only get out maybe twice a month, I will keep a few legals 28-32 type fish for the table as my three teenage boys love fresh striper and fluke. I will never bring home mor ethan I can filet and cook fresh in one meal else (in my opinion) it is a waste as I do not like it much frozen.


Keep getting out the message.... and it will change ....
 

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this whole thread makes a ton of sense but the charter captains wont agree as they need to make a living and who can argue with that.
Why are the charter guys always to blame? Do you have any facts to back that up? Or are we just using the math I've seen on here that says charter guys fish ten times a week with 6 guys, keeping their 12 fish limit everytime, that are ofcourse always big breeders right. So then you take the 1000 charters out there killing 120 breeder fish a week and get 120,000 fish a week right. By the way is sounds stupid, BECAUSE IT IS!!!

I can honestly say that I agree with Jame's post 100%. We run trips all the time that catch larger fish during this time of the year and encourage our fares to release fish that have obvioulsy not spawned yet. To take even one step further when we are trolling spoons and have a limit, we will stop trolling. The spoons put a major hurt on those fish and there's no need to play catch and release. On top of that, I know we caught several 50+ lb fish that are still swimming.

Most of the other captains I talk to would rather have a [email protected]" and one 28+". For two reasons. 1- It's decreases the pressure on the larger breeders by 50%. 2-Contrary to the general consession of the recreational guys(non-charter), we do not limit out that often. Sometimes its even a struggle to get ONE at 28". This would help there and as well as protect the larger fish.

I think all of this moot until we have a 1, coast wide set of regs we followed from Maine to Georgia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Why are the charter guys always to blame?
Paul, I agree with you as well. I am not really sure that anyone is trying to blame them; and the people that are don't understand that reality of the charter business. Not that I truly understand the business either but it seems pretty cut and dry. You put people on fish, they book you the next time. Rinse and repeat. Well the next time you put them on fish you say "but wait a min you can not kill that legal fish because it is a breeder". Guess what I bet that charter books someone else the next time. Every charter guy I know does their best to educate clients, but in the end if the fares are looking to fill the freezer and the catch is legal what can the captain really say. Refund their money and take them back to the dock? Their are running businesses not charities.


NB. This is not just a bass thing either. I think we all snicker when we see 18 60# YFT, 1 BFT, 2 BE and mako lined up on the dock. Ya, it might be legal but conservation still comes into play.
 

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Why are the charter guys always to blame? Do you have any facts to back that up? Or are we just using the math I've seen on here that says charter guys fish ten times a week with 6 guys, keeping their 12 fish limit everytime, that are ofcourse always big breeders right. So then you take the 1000 charters out there killing 120 breeder fish a week and get 120,000 fish a week right. By the way is sounds stupid, BECAUSE IT IS!!!

I can honestly say that I agree with Jame's post 100%. We run trips all the time that catch larger fish during this time of the year and encourage our fares to release fish that have obvioulsy not spawned yet. To take even one step further when we are trolling spoons and have a limit, we will stop trolling. The spoons put a major hurt on those fish and there's no need to play catch and release. On top of that, I know we caught several 50+ lb fish that are still swimming.

Most of the other captains I talk to would rather have a [email protected]" and one 28+". For two reasons. 1- It's decreases the pressure on the larger breeders by 50%. 2-Contrary to the general consession of the recreational guys(non-charter), we do not limit out that often. Sometimes its even a struggle to get ONE at 28". This would help there and as well as protect the larger fish.

I think all of this moot until we have a 1, coast wide set of regs we followed from Maine to Georgia.
who said anything about blaming charter boats, what I AM saying is that charter boats have a right to make a living
 

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I've been hunting and fishing for many years now and I've been blessed with ample success in the woods and on the water. I've accumulated many cherished memory's through the years from the thousands of days spent doing what I love most. Not to brag, but to make my point I will say I've killed tons of fish and hundreds of deer. But with all these experiences to compare to I can say that to me releasing a big fat cow bass stands out as one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences in the wild.

Maybe its the potential the fish has to produce thousands of fry or the thought of her growing even bigger that makes the release so enjoyable. I am not trying to twist anybody's arm to change there ways or to preach. Its legal to kill the biggest bass you catch (and most people do just that). And I still keep some fish to eat as I have not totally changed my ways. But if you try releasing the biggest fish you may find as I and many others have that it makes your fishing experience even better.
 
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