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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is a question for you tournament fishermen. What does research tell of the death rate from handled Bass, ie; the ones removed from the water, no matter of the method of handling?

I have dive surveys from the release areas of Bass taken in tournament situations that show 60%+ of those fish kept alive through weigh-in and then released die in the release areas. No one knows for sure about the non-keepers that are handled and released, not to be put into a livewell and brought to the weigh ins.

Gentlemen/ladies, this DOES take a toll on the bass fisheries of lakes anywhere, especially when numerous tournaments are held on certain lakes yearly!
 

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Bass die off caused by tournaments...

You are still way short of the mark in your effort to paint all tournaments and condemn all tournanent fishermen with the same poisoned brush. First of all you need to define "professional tournament." Do you mean Joe Schmidt and the Pelsor AR Bass Catchers? Do you mean Ray Scott and the Bassmasters Classic? All the above? Part of the above? All the above part of the time? Part of the above all of the time?

Ask (for instance) Dr. Phillip Jantzow, PHD. (SEMO University) and he will tell you that 99.9999999999% of all largemouth bass in the U.S. of A. die from natural causes that have nothing to do with fishing at all! He would also tell you that fishing pressure can be (and is) often beneficial to a lake. A tournament in Aug. on Greers Ferry that has 400 contestants has no correlation to one on Dardanelle in Feb. that has 10.

Lake Wappapello in MO is a good example. For years tournaments on the lake were being won by 6 fish limits that weighed 6 lbs. You could catch dozens of 10-11 inch fish to get one that was a legal 12 incher. At that time the dock owners were practically begging the Conservation Dept. to do something. Finally they did a 1 year creel survey of both tournament and non tourney fisherman and backed it up by electro-shocking studies. The result was a publicity campaign where they (the DOC) urged all fishermen including tournament participants to keep their bass and NOT release them. After a few years the bass population was controlled and it started taking 30 lbs to win, not 6. Why, Sir, if catch and release doesn't work, did the Mo. DOC (after much study by professionals) urge tourney fishermen to stop it?

Your attack on all tournament fishermen remind me a whole lot of Sarah Brady and her attack on handguns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
handling of fish

Mr. festus,
I have made a concerned attempt to seek information regarding the handling of fish. You conveniently are not addressing my question; why so?

True, all resources are not literally comparable and must be, for lack of a better term, micro-managed. That is, managed according to specifics of the locale of the resource.

Regarding tournaments within the definition of the word, if the definition fits the activity, I see no difference in the end result, with that being the taking of fish for recreational purposes and not sustenance. I know tournament pros hate to hear of anyone eating a bass, but bass are food fish and some do take them for sustenance, while others only USE them for self-gratification purposes (read: income, merchandise, fame, etc.)
 

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Tournament handled fish

Am I reading your writing right? Are you seriously supporting the proposition that fishing is not recreation and should only be done by those that need to fish to survive? Come on, be serious.

Fishing is recreation and most of us do it because it is fun and entertaining. Bass fishermen are not the only ones that practice catch and release, don't forget to include trout fishermen.

I think you forget about people like me. I don't fish tournaments and I do eat fish but most of the bass I catch, I release. I caught and released a huge bass in December. It was 28 inches long and would weigh somewhere between 9 & 11 pounds. I probably catch as many bass as anybody you know and I do it for fun and recreation not for "sustenance." I figure that bass cost me just over $123 per pound and thats a little pricey even for somebody from Sand Gap, AR. What makes you think those guys fishing tournaments wouldn't be out there fishing anyway?

As to your question about how tournaments handle fish, it's a specious question. Every tournament is different. Some are better than others. As a general rule, the more money involved, the better the fish are handled. Joe Schmidt from Pelsor and 6 of his buddies get together and throw $10 in the hat is one thing. The Bassmaster Classic is another. One tournament organization that I know of would buy bass and donate them to the Conservation dept. for restocking. What was interesting about that is the DOC would rarely stock the donated fish in the tournament lake but would most often use them elsewhere because they did't think the tournament lake needed them.

Why haven't you answered my question. How come it takes a larger catch on Greers Ferry to win a tourney today than 25 years ago?:shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Death rate

Not being familar with the lake of your mention, I have no answer.

As for Lake Ouachita, the lake I grew up on in central AR, known to virtually all tournament pros, the weights needed to win have steadily fallen over the last several years!

And by the way, just where is Sand Gap, AR, and what lake is near there?

As for using fish, when the lakes in AR began to be filled, the fisheries were not used for the self-gratituous means as now.

I equate tournament fishing to trophy buck hunting. Done as such, the results will be the same; with that being severe reduction in the vigor of the deer or fish.

Thank you for your comments.
 

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tournament bass....

Sand Gap (where I was born) no longer exists. The feds came in and built a post office there some years ago and called it Pelsor and nobody I know, knows why. The closest population center to there would be Lurton both of which are west of Clinton, south of Jasper and north of Dover. Greers Ferry is the closest lake.

I haven't fished Ouachita since 1955 and I have a very low opinion of what Buck Perry would classify as a "highland" lakes. Bull Shoals, Table Rock, Beaver, Norfolk and as I recall Ouachita. Highland lakes are characterized by steep, deep, and clear. Clear water lakes just do not produce the quantity/quality fish I am looking for. Better are the lowland lakes which are less steep, less deep and less clear (Dardanelle, Kentucky lake). Best are the flatland lakes. They are characterized by dingy water and large areas of shallow mud flats with a distinct river or stream channel (Millwood, Wappapello).

One final point and I won't post again. All lakes go through stages and change. Some of these are influenced by Man. An example of this is seen in the changes bought about on the Kentucky/Barkely lake complex as a result of the completion of the TomBigbee (sp?) waterway. Those lake's levels used to fluctuate 10-15 feet virtually every spring and buck bushes were about the only shallow water cover there was and fishing was great. People used to go there from all over the world for the spring crappie run. Now the lake doesn't fluctuate as much and the coontail and millfoil has gotten started and it is just a lot different now but the fishing is still good. (different but good)

Your lake is changing too and the fishing will change there as well but it ain't the tournaments doing it! Good luck and go to Dardanelle. We caught over 50 crappie there last spring that were 2 lbs or better.
 
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