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Discussion Starter #1
If you have bass fished for any length of time, you know Ray Scott. Ray was the founder of BASS and really the mastermind behind developing the sport we now know as tournament bass fishing. Ray retired from BASS several years ago and sold the company. Under the leadership of Helen Sevier, they didn't do much more than spark a bunch of competitive circuits like the FLW. When ESPN bought BASS, I figured it was probably the end of that organization as we knew it. Wrong. I have been real impressed with their management of it, and the promotion they have gave to the sport right down to the Federation level. They even brought back Ray for last year's Classic.

Back to the point of this:

Ray has proposed a new series with a new twist. Light Line tournament fishing. Most of us like to fish for bass with light gear a few times a year, but when money's on the line, we tend to upgrade to baitcast gear and heavy line. Breaking off a fish or loosing it because you couldn't control it isn't an option with thousands of dollars on the line, or is it. Ray's proposal is to create a series where the rules state that anglers can not use greater than 4 lb test line. Talk about a challenge. No more skiing the fish to the boat with a high speed baitcaster and 20lb line, no more horsing the fish through a bunch of stumps trees and grass. Finessee (lordy I hate that term) the fish to the boat. The idea is to bring some excitement to the sport for the casual observer. Helen the idiot tried an idea of similar desired outcome with the WCF boat racing deal, and that was a complete flop that ran a good many BASS members off. This is however fishing and not boat racing related.

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Discussion Starter #2
Reply to Cisco

This 4 pound line tournament idea would definitely be different. It would convert a 5lb fish to a 45 minute fight instead of a 30 second ski to the boat. You've got to figure though, when Ray started the tournament business in 68 or 9 whenever it was, someone said the same things about live bait and trolling.

Yes, I do fish tournaments. Years ago, I fished some of the early Red Man tournaments. Currently, I fish with Bassin' Baptist out of Corbin, Ky as well as several local special event tournaments. Around Corbin, if you want to fish a tournament, you just have to go to the lake with a hundred dollars in your hand. Another local club fished one 2 Sundays ago with it snowing. Better than 50 boats were in it.

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Tournament Bassin'

Hey guys,
How about honest surveys of how many handled bass from Professional Tournament fishing die from such handling!??

From my humble experience on a large, clearwater lake in Central Arkansas, two to three tournaments per weekend, spring and sumer, on my home lake have literally killed the resource, with that being the Bass! We have done dive surveys since my residence there starting in 1970-current! The fish are not there now, in the numbers before "Tournament" fishing began to be in vogue.

I know what local fisheries biologists have told me about the killing of the fish. Now, what do the "Pro's" have to say?
 

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Ray Scotts "new" idea.

I think the previous poster is 100% wrong. As man made lakes age, they ALL loose a portion of their fertility and fish carrying ability and fish populations of all species will decline as a part of this process. The poster also totally ignores the fact there are many times more non-tournament fishermen out there with vastly improved skills and equipment that also work to reduce populations. To entirely blame tournaments for reducing bass populations is just silly.

Now for Ray's "new" idea. YEARS ago (back in the 70's) Ray's BASS tournaments included a "fly fishing" portion, in which the contestants vied for prizes using only fly rods. One reason this was eventually phased out was because the same guy who won the fly fishing tournament would also usually win the main tournament. Same thing will happen with the light line idea because if you are good, you are good with all the tools:)
 

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Ray Scotts "new" idea.

I think the previous poster is 100% wrong. As man made lakes age, they ALL loose a portion of their fertility and fish carrying ability and fish populations of all species will decline as a part of this process. The poster also totally ignores the fact there are many times more non-tournament fishermen out there with vastly improved skills and equipment that also work to reduce populations. To entirely blame tournaments for reducing bass populations is just silly.

Now for Ray's "new" idea. YEARS ago (back in the 70's) Ray's BASS tournaments included a "fly fishing" portion, in which the contestants vied for prizes using only fly rods. One reason this was eventually phased out was because the same guy who won the fly fishing tournament would also usually win the main tournament. Same thing will happen with the light line idea because if you are good, you are good with all the tools:)
 

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Support

ib-----
Thank you for your reply.

Your first paragraph does well to support my findings that the successful tournament fisherman, quite frankly, IS lending to the reduction of the bass population in lakes routinely fished in tournament fashion.

This lake is definately NOT loosing fertility, as it has been steadily filling with coontail moss, much to the consternation of the recreational users of the lake!

Now, what about the handling of the fish?
 

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Ray's new idea

:D There you go again. Fertility and coontail moss are connected only in the fact that as a man made lake becomes less fertile, submergent vegetation increases and (as any fisheries biologist will tell you) acts as a filter causing water clarity to increase and water fertility to decrease causing sunlight to penetrate deeper causing more vegetation causing more filtration etc, etc. Not one tournament fisherman involved in that process.

Being in Ark, there are other issues at work that you haven't mentioned. Not the least of which is the penchant for your DOC to introduce non-native species to your water. Are you 100% certain that ocean stripers or hybrids haven't contributed to the decline of the largemouth population? Speaking of population, are you aware the population of the State of Ark has doubled since that lake was built? Are you sure that recrerational boaters and personal watercraft haven't disrupted spawning activities? To totally blame "professional tournaments" (whatever them are) for the decline of the species is still just silly.
 

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Mossberg 835 Ulti-Mag Rifled Barrel

Without a doubt, the moss now furnishes almost 100% of the fish cover available. It is rich in freshwater shrimp, among other foods and does work to the fishes favor.

Recreational and pleasure use of the lake has shown to be of no concern to the fishes reproductive cycle. Yes, we do have stripers, and yes, they do eat game fish, contrary to what the AG&FC wants us to believe. No figures have been assigned to their predation.

Yes, population has grown with a resultant increase in lake use. Tournament pressure has dramatically increased, too. Tournament fishermen are the most successful at locating and taking fish and do have an enormous affect on the resource.

Now, how about their handling of fish? They are catch and release fishermen. How does that affect the fish?
 

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Ray's new....

Ok I will conceed that a very clear lake with weeds is better for fish than an equally clear lake without the growth. BUT a shallower dingy lake with its much more nutrient rich i.e. fertile water will always produce more pounds of fish than a comparable clear lake. Again this has nothing to do with tournaments and or tournament fishermen. I do not tournament fish. I do fish Ark lakes and I can tell you my choice would include the river lakes plus Millwood. I would never fish bass on Greers, Beaver, or the Bull. I have little trouble catching loads of bass and crappie on the dingy lakes. Thanks to tournament fishing I have great equipment choices avaiable both in tackle and in boats that just wouldn't be around without Ray Scott and tournaments.

It is real easy to be negative and say "Hey those blooming tourney pros killed all the bass and that's why I can't catch 'em!" Check the records, go back and look at old Bassmaster magazines and see how many pounds of bass it took to win a tourney on Greers Ferry back in 1970's and how much it takes now. If the bass population is as bad as you think, then it should be much less, right? Personally, I wouldn't know, but I would bet a brown soda pop that if you took things like limits and time to fish into consideration, it takes more now than then.

As far as the AG&F, there is only one Conservation Department that is sorrier and that is ours here in Mo!!! Good luck and good fishing.
 

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Tournament Bassin' Ray Scott is proposing

The 4 lb. line tourney sounds like something I would do. I've been involved in many a tourney here on Lake Eufaula, where the UL rod (an old Micro-lite from Bass Pro Shops) has made the difference. I still use that rod, along with a new All-Star I bought last year.
:eek:
Tounament fishing is not a leading cause of dead fish. More fish are killed by careless handling than anything else. The tournament fisherman gets a substantial penalty for dead fish, which eats into the chances of winning. Any decent tournament will require boats to have aerated live-wells that work. How many of your weekend fishermen in their jon boats do you see with a stringer or basket of fish trailing along behind? These fish will not survive, especially in the summer months. Go check a tournament fisherman's livewell and see if there are 60% dead or dying fish in it. No, you'll have to look elsewhere to find blame for decreasing fish populations.
I Like to fish. I also like to return the fish back to the lake as soon as I can. I fish for fun, not food. I've been doing it for almost 50 years. I really don't want to eat the fish that come from the lake. Every time someone in Atlanta flushed their toilet, three of our fish die. :evil:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Tournament Bassin' Ray Scott is proposing

I have seen this very discussion time and time again on bass fishing boards and frankly, I don't think it has a place on a bass fishing board. To accuse tournament fishermen and their vairous organizations of causing the demise of bass populations everywhere is very much akin to accusing Ducks Unlimited or Quail Unlimited of being the cause of the demise of duck or quail populations. These days there are basically 3 kinds of fishermen in the southeast, Bass Tournament Fishermen, meat fishermen, and relaxation fishermen. The 3 groups are pretty much on 3 opposite ends of a triangle so to speak. Yes, sometimes they mix, but rarely. I don't know how many times I or some of the rest of us in a tournament have been accused of killing fish by a guy with a livewell full of future skillet fish. I will say this, at least we make an attempt to return the fish back to the water alive and viable, the same can't be said for someone who sticks a knife to their catch.

There is no doubt, tournament participation has caught on over the years and further no doubt that a lot of fish are caught in this manner, yet I submit that even if not for the tournaments, the same people would still be fishing and further, they would be carrying the remains of their catch home to put in the freezer. BASS, local clubs, and other tournament organizations have worked very hard over the years to force regulations into law to prevent water pollution, help manage the fishery resource, and educate fishermen on what they can do individually to help insure that bass continue to survive and flourish for their own enjoyment. (Sound familiar to DU or QU?) It is true that the agendas of BASS and the others is oriented around making sure there are fish to catch, but hey, if some extinct species had that kind of interest and help, they would still be here too. Our local club has gone so far in the pursuit of 100% live release that we went to a paper weigh in system 3 seasons ago. While somewhat contriversial in this area, it has worked for us, and we don't have the death related to holding them in livewells during the tournaments. There are even some regional organizations in the Southwest looking into similar systems to make sure we do our best to protect our game.

On the original topic, it is true that fish caught on a light line method would be subject so somewhat more stress, but that wasnt' the point. The point was would you be interested in a complete change of tactics in essence the re-invention of tournament fishing.

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Anti

For those of you who have me classed as anti bass fishing, I, most emphatically, am not.

I have enjoyed the challenge and satisfaction of many days/nights alone, or in the company of a good friend, seeking the elusive quarry. Yes, I have enjoyed many fine meals of bass.

What I certainly disagree with is the use of the resource for personal REMUNERATIVE, self-serving gain!

That is my last and final comment.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
REMUNERATIVE

Where did that word come from? I had to hunt to find out what it exactly meant. Best I can figure its profit or monetary gain.

I may have to start a new poll here. How many tournament fishermen have actually turned a profit by fishing. Do you realize how low that number would be relative to the numbers of participants. Yes, I do fish some tournaments that pay in the thousands, and more often than not I and most everyone else I know go back home with at best my entry fee back. Yes, sometimes we win and get a good check, but even at a $5,000 first prize, don't kid yourself, we aren't profiting from it at least not in the $35,000 Ranger I fish from pulled by the $30,000 pickup truck and those 8 or 9 $500 rod and reels I use. Then there's the Ben Franklin I dropped off at the tackle shop for supplies, and the Grant that the gas station got to get me there and fill my boat. Hmmmm.

Yes, there are guys like David Walker who are making a quarter million per year fishing tournaments. Do you know he's on the road 320 days a year? If you think you want that job, you had better think again. Lets face facts, their purpose isn't to fish, its to sell gear and gadgets to the rest of us. Yes they do fish, but that's a side show to what they get paid for. It is true that there are prizes for tournament winners including money, but I don't think you will find anyone fishing tournaments for the money, its way too hard of a thing to do. We (tournament fishermen) fish tournaments because #1 we love to fish and #2 tournaments add something to our enjoyment of the sport of fishing and #3 we enjoy the fellowship of the other competitors.

To accuse me or any other tournament fisherman that I know of simply using a resource or animal for monetary gain is very much a slap in the face and to be honest not appreciated.

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Tournament Bassin' Ray Scott is proposing

I don't fish tornies but over my four years of heavy bass fishing I have gone the direction of using 6' & 6'6"med/hvy action rods to 5' lt/med rods with just plain "FUN" in mind with bigger bass. I think its a great idea I have to say Fish Chris (trophybassonly.com) has been using microlite tackle and catching big bass and loving the action which he says there's nothing like it. Excellent Idea!!!! BigBill
 
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