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and if so, what level of fish mortality is considered acceptable by our DNR? we have a very large tournament coming up on LSC, and I’m wondering if anyone is officially monitoring the fish kill. I’m certain there are many on this forum that have seen the results of the practices employed by tournament anglers on the lake and how the weigh-in fish are released. There’s got to be a better way to protect and preserve our resource, and I don’t know of a better community to raise this question....

Please post your concerns, personal experiences, and photos if you have them. I’m thinking about taking this up with the NRC.

Jay
 

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Of all the bass tourney weight-ins that I'm seen I've never seen DNR personnel present at the weight-ins. I've noticed that the bass tourneys held later in the summer have the worst fish mortality. I seen a few August weight-ins at the Crocker ramp & I estimated the mortality rate to be a good 50%. Guys were releasing bass that were going belly up once they hit the water & guys were trying to stuff them under the docks.

If read articles on bass tourneys in general and the mortality rate on average is around 15% of all fish that are weighed in.
 

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Don't get me started on this topic. Most get very defensive because they KNOW it's wrong. I've mentioned it numerous times to anyone (DNR) that would listen at the ramps and they look at you with glazed eyes and I should have been talking to the floating smallmouth.

Hey I don't fish tourney's so I don't know. What I do know if that most, if not all of the larger local clubs do their best to preserve the fishery. Where I get spooled up and see the most abuse is from those that come up for their Redneck Cup on the weekend. I've seen guys at Crocker with 5 fish bags that likely go 15 tops and when they dump the fish in their already dead and just walk away. Braggin all the way back on what a good day they had and were culling all day. I get it your right to catch and keep, NOT catch, kill , dump. I just assume you plant them in the garden or toss them on 94 before knowingly tossing dead or dying fish into the water.

Unless you have some means to get them back in the cooler water or a revival tank I would like to see a MLF style format become the norm. It's not huge money and call BS when you see it. Total length, total weight. Makes no sense (in most cases) to plop in the livewell all day for a couple hundred bucks. I know someone will come by and talk about the low percentages of the total population. It abuse...plain and simple...
 

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Probably better for the fish population for each tourney Angler to just take those fish home and then toss them out a few months later after they are freezer burnt. That is within their rights isn’t it?

If we are really worried about bass survival, we should be pushing to eliminate muskies and other fish that prey on bass.
 

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I guess they could keep them all. Which would be perfectly legal and you would have 100% mortality.

Tournaments have been scrutinized since the beginning. Live well technology has really improved even in the last 10 years. Mortality rates are very low. Probably the lowest of all types of fishing with the exception of catch and immediate release which is slightly better.

These threads are always weird. They come from some weird selfish point of view.

What is it you’re really getting at?

Would you prefer they keep them all?

Do you just think there shouldn’t be money exchanging hands from fishing. (This is an acceptable answer).

Are you anti-fishing?

Do you hate all catch and release? Musky, trout, or maybe sturgeon.

What do you think of Salmon, Carp, walleye, tournaments that have very high mortality rates?

LSC has an incredibly healthy bass population. Possibly the best in the world and incredibly heavy tournament pressure.

Are do you just hate the fact that other people are out enjoying an incredible resource that you deemed should only be used the way you want it to be used?

This is food for thought not calling any individual out.
 

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It isn't just survival rates, but all these floaters give the non-tournament folks a negative perception of tournaments and tournament anglers. The guys that get enjoyment from their past time should be the ones that are most concerned. For many, that doesn't seem to bother them.

I fished tournaments for years and the one problem I always saw was simple. Joe walks up with his fish in a bag (sometimes full of water), hands it over to the first guy and he dumps the whole contents into a tub/basket. This guy bumps the smallest fish to see if its legal, and as long as they are all moving, they must be alive. He throws them into another basket and onto the scales they go. Fish still flopping and the TD announces "All Alive". Once they have a weight, the basket gets handed back the guy who promptly dumps them back into the lake/river/whatever. Now is the time that the future floaters show up. Not dead yet, but soon to be gone.

The possible cure, would be for some tournament official to have those fish swimming in a tank before they get bumped. If a fish can't swim upright on it's own, it should be considered dead and a penalty assessed. Dead fish should be donated to a cause, food bank, or whoever, but never just thrown into the water.
 

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I guess they could keep them all. Which would be perfectly legal and you would have 100% mortality.

Tournaments have been scrutinized since the beginning. Live well technology has really improved even in the last 10 years. Mortality rates are very low. Probably the lowest of all types of fishing with the exception of catch and immediate release which is slightly better.

These threads are always weird. They come from some weird selfish point of view.

What is it you’re really getting at?

Would you prefer they keep them all?

Do you just think there shouldn’t be money exchanging hands from fishing. (This is an acceptable answer).

Are you anti-fishing?

Do you hate all catch and release? Musky, trout, or maybe sturgeon.

What do you think of Salmon, Carp, walleye, tournaments that have very high mortality rates?

LSC has an incredibly healthy bass population. Possibly the best in the world and incredibly heavy tournament pressure.

Are do you just hate the fact that other people are out enjoying an incredible resource that you deemed should only be used the way you want it to be used?

This is food for thought not calling any individual out.
Since you are looking for input, I’ll throw out my opinion. Every fish that goes into a livewell for any purpose other than to help revive it (as done with muskies or other fish) should be harvested. Smallmouth taste better than walleye, so I don’t understand the aversion to keeping bass up here. If the individual anglers don’t want to eat it, I’m sure they could find friends or family that would. For larger tourneys, like the national tours, they should host a community fish fry after each weigh-in day.

Maybe even change the weigh-in rules where instead of weighing five fish, you just weigh in ten fillets with an ounce penalty for each rib bone left in a fillet. Have a side prize for the guy who cleans five fish the fastest.
 

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Since you are looking for input, I’ll throw out my opinion. Every fish that goes into a livewell for any purpose other than to help revive it (as done with muskies or other fish) should be harvested. Smallmouth taste better than walleye, so I don’t understand the aversion to keeping bass up here. If the individual anglers don’t want to eat it, I’m sure they could find friends or family that would. For larger tourneys, like the national tours, they should host a community fish fry after each weigh-in day.

Maybe even change the weigh-in rules where instead of weighing five fish, you just weigh in ten fillets with an ounce penalty for each rib bone left in a fillet. Have a side prize for the guy who cleans five fish the fastest.
I don’t have a single argument with that post.

Well with the exception of smallmouth being better then walleye. Lol

Now I would be interested in how you decide that jabbing Spears through their face, gills, eyes, etc then ripping the barbs out. Then you just toss them back in the water is complete acceptable but putting them in a livewell is a no go.
 

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I don’t have a single argument with that post.

Well with the exception of smallmouth being better then walleye. Lol

Now I would be interested in how you decide that jabbing Spears through their face, gills, eyes, etc then ripping the barbs out. Then you just toss them back in the water is complete acceptable but putting them in a livewell is a no go.
I’ve never spear fished, but with a bow & arrow I keep everything I shoot. The DNR’s take is to let the fish go, even if it is wounded, because if it doesn’t survive, something else will eat it. That’s their stance on culling fish if you have a lively one in the livewell, don’t swap it for one that gets injured when you were intending on releasing it before you saw the damage. The difference here is intent. Wanton waste is illegal in most states, and it requires intent. Anything beyond catch and immediate release shows intent on keeping the fish.

Now the real question is when was the last time you actually tasted smallmouth? Walleyes are incredibly easy to clean and have a super mild flavor, while smallmouth take more time and effort to clean, but also have more taste, which I think is better than the bland walleye. I e done several blind taste tests with friends and family with walleye & smallmouth caught, cleaned, and fried in the same day and 75% of the people point to the smallmouth plate and say “I like the walleye better.” They know which fish they are supposed to like more and then assume the better tasting one is walleye. It’s fun to set them straight.
 

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I eat smallmouth from grand traverse all the time. 14-16” and they are great.

Better then walleye though... We are going to have to agree to disagree.
 

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I’ve never spear fished, but with a bow & arrow I keep everything I shoot. The DNR’s take is to let the fish go, even if it is wounded, because if it doesn’t survive, something else will eat it. That’s their stance on culling fish if you have a lively one in the livewell, don’t swap it for one that gets injured when you were intending on releasing it before you saw the damage. The difference here is intent. Wanton waste is illegal in most states, and it requires intent. Anything beyond catch and immediate release shows intent on keeping the fish.

Now the real question is when was the last time you actually tasted smallmouth? Walleyes are incredibly easy to clean and have a super mild flavor, while smallmouth take more time and effort to clean, but also have more taste, which I think is better than the bland walleye. I e done several blind taste tests with friends and family with walleye & smallmouth caught, cleaned, and fried in the same day and 75% of the people point to the smallmouth plate and say “I like the walleye better.” They know which fish they are supposed to like more and then assume the better tasting one is walleye. It’s fun to set them straight.
The “spear” he is referring to is the hook...
 

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What Boat Launch and what date??
There will be a big tourney at Metro this weekend. Even yesterday the launches had a 75% out of state plate ratio, compared to the usual late weekdays 40-50%. Had to tell a couple pickleheads they ought to go launch at Harley, they were going to drop a fast surfboard into the launch at Crocker, It was so whitecapped out there it looked like a herd of sheep. Winds from the S gusting into the upper 20's
 

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There will be a big tourney at Metro this weekend. Even yesterday the launches had a 75% out of state plate ratio, compared to the usual late weekdays 40-50%. Had to tell a couple pickleheads they ought to go launch at Harley, they were going to drop a fast surfboard into the launch at Crocker, It was so whitecapped out there it looked like a herd of sheep. Winds from the S gusting into the upper 20's
The forecast had gusts pushing to 40 mph by dusk, so I stayed off the water and went out for a shrimp dinner instead.
 

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Quite a few out of state plates Tuesday @ the Clinton River Cutoff. Some of those tournament guys trailers costs more than my boat. :D

At this point I'm just hoping they don't push the walleye out. I was catching smallmouth on both sides of that spot. After years of tournaments, no matter what I'm fishing for I always manage to get a bass or 2. I wouldn't doubt more need to be harvested. Been a few years since i ate bass, may have to give it another try. Kinda like walleye, the smaller ones better than the biggins???
 
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