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Wanton waste laws and bass tournaments

8086 Views 119 Replies 44 Participants Last post by  fishinthed
The last few weekends there have been some bass tournaments on the lake. After weigh ins my brother and another buddy have driven by the launches in the evening or following day to find a bunch of real nice smallies floating belly up that weren’t able to be revived which is a shame and kinda pisses us off.

My question is, do wanton waste laws apply to bass tournaments? Very discouraging to see the awesome resources of this lake wasted and treated like garbage.
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Yes the pictures are hard to take. So for a minute let’s take the OP as accurate. Tournaments were held. From the sound of it..live weigh in..fish were released and some didnt survive and went to waste. I wonder how many other fish didn’t make, that you didn’t see. Tournaments ok..CR..ok. Wasted wildlife for entertainment “Not Acceptable” under any circumstance. Nothing wrong with a tournament IMO, but not if this is a result. Gotta find a better way. Period. No debate…wasting wildlife is wrong by any reason standard.
On another note, I’m sure a lot of time,effort and money were invested into these tournaments. Maybe time off of work and travel ect. All with good intention. Personal investment in boats,tackle ect. Maybe a kick in the local economy gas,lodging and other things maybe..all well and good. I’m sure my next statement will not be received well, but so be it. If conditions are not conducive to live weigh in and release…well cancel or delay. Why should the bass population be wasted,just becuase we have time and money invested and we want our fun and we want it now. Want to have a tournament…great..have fun but waste cannot be a an acceptable. This is a worthy topic for discussion..glad it was highlighted.
I watch MLF competitions. And by all appearance it seems like some effort is made with regards to the health of a the fish. 2 minute time out for a mis handled fish ect. At least it’s an attempt. I wonder if this was a live weigh in and release tournament for walleyes, I’ll bet they wouldn’t be belly up in the waves. No big deal….just bass…lots of em…not the greatest for the table..but we had a great time..got 1st place…all worth it. I mean holy smokes who ever released those fish, did they stick around to see if the fish even looked like they were going make it. We are all experienced here...most of the time we can immediately tell after a release if the fish has chance of survival. I can’t tell you how many times we have battled a musky for minutes or so and than spent 20 minutes hanging over the side reviving it. Always a short silence in the boat when we’re not sure on one or two every year. Yes it went back down, but… But an honest effort was made.
They need to go to Major League Fishing format where they weight the fish and immediately release it. I guessing outside a bad gut hooked fish that mortality rates are near 0%.


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Exactly….it’s the live well time that’s the key. In my mind a smallie hooked landed and released is in far better shape. Bouncing around in a live well for hours ( circulaction or additives or not) size culling and handling has got be the culprit related to the stress. Like I said tournaments..well ok. Shouldn’t just throw our hands up and say is just an inevitable bi product of the event and it’s just too costly or inconvenient to do it better. Evolution and improvement in the process is all.
My thought is the live well time weakens the fish to the point of no return. The water in a live well is the warm surface water. My proposal would be catch, measure/weigh and then release, no live well time. Just my thoughts.
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I guess this thread at least raised a concern that requires some attention. Tournaments, Catch and Release, mortality rates ect. All good comments worthy for note so we can enjoy without waste. Learn and do better. I do want to point out or remind , however you want to say it….We all of us ….as a society tend allow or environment to be mistreated by accepting that we can’t do it properly becuase it just costs too much. Our air, water, land and wildlife all take a hit for the sole reason that protecting them in many cases is just too expensive or inconvenient. We need to to better. So let’s acknowledge that and all do better. Always room for improvement. Myself included.
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