Thursday, June 9, 2011

Eat Bass...?

I am truly working on an entry for bass opener, but truth be known, at this point it seems moot.  Being the fact that it is almost two weeks past.  Instead, I thought I'd share a link to a blog that I don't really read a whole lot but I saw a title that caught my eye:  "Eat Bass, Improve Your Fishery?"

There are some good points made, and, at risk of being excommunicated by the bassin' community, I too practice selective harvest.  Here, though, are my rules:

I don't do it on a lake I don't know very well.  If it's my first time there, I have no way of knowing if a 15" fish is average size or not.  However, if I'm on my "home water", I know that 12-14" fish are incredibly common where a 16-17" fish is not and anything bigger than that is a tourny winner (no kidding), so I have no problem keeping one or two fish so the other 20,000 from that year class may have a better chance at getting to that 16-17" slot and even bigger.

Another rule I follow is anything over 15" goes back.  I don't know why, that is simply where I drew the line.  It is arbitrary and completely unscientific.  It kills me when I hear of or see a picture of some 5lber that ended up in a frying pan.

Another:  No killing of a fish that has eggs.  I would hope that this would be obvious.

I think the bottom line is that there is a fine balance between what is appropriate for each unique body of water.  Over harvesting has been and certainly can be a problem that can devastate a fishery, but blindly practicing catch and release can have negative consequences as well.

Just my opinion.

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