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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
. . . my first decent-sized LMB!

What's the story behind this catch? Well, I'm glad you asked!

Went out to a local pond near my work on Saturday afternoon, this trip would be the second time I had checked out this body of water. The first time was a weekend or two ago and I caught one small bass about a foot long or so, less than a pound. This time around I ended up spending a couple hours in the rain with no fish to show for it but I did have 2-3 bites so I knew I would need to hit up this spot again.

Headed back out to the same pond Sunday morning, was an overcast day but not actively raining this time. I went straight to the location where I caught the aforementioned small bass on an earlier trip, this particular spot is on one side of a small cove in the pond. There isn't much room to cast there as the trees come right up to the bank but I knew I have had luck there before so I was feeling confident about the spot. Texas-rigged a UV speedcraw (watermelon/red) and awkwardly got my first cast of the day into the water after stealthily creeping to within a few feet of the water's edge.

Was retrieving my speedcraw at a medium-rate, giving him a nice hop off the bottom every couple seconds until about 5 feet from shore . . . BOOM! Hooked him so close to the bank that before I even had time to think about it I had hauled him in to the safety of dry land. Lipped that bad boy and took off running (gently!) to where I had left my gear/tape measure. My heart was hammering and my hands were shaking - I couldn't believe it! Held him up beside my tape measure and got a length of 18 inches, snapped a couple selfies with the monster and had him back in the water in less than 3 minutes with him not touching the ground once.

After I put him back he sat at the edge for a couple seconds so I was a bit worried that he wasn't feeling too well after his abduction experience. Reached down to help him out and he calmly splashed me and swam away!

Very happy about this catch - and as they say you rarely find the biggest bass in a body of water so I will be returning to this spot to see if there are any bigger!

My guess on weight based on what I have seen online would be between 3 and 4 pounds. Let me know what y'all think and thanks for reading!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys!

Crummy - I should be returning this weekend, hopefully to catch this one's daddy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Returned to the same spot Sunday morning and caught another nice one! The little brother to my earlier catch, this guy was a bit smaller at 17 inches. Will keep going back to find their parents!

This one bit on a 8-inch black and blue worm t-rigged. Hooked him in the middle of the cove so had a nice fight to get him to shore!

I was surprised by the variation in color between these two fish, the one I caught last weekend was so dark and the one I got this weekend was so light (both pictures below are of my recent catch, see original post for pics of last weekend's fish)

08-17bass.jpg

08-17bass2.jpg
 

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The color of the fish will vary with the clarity and tint of the water. The same fish might look very different at a different time. Sometimes, it doesn't take long for the changes to occur.
 

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Red X Angler
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Congrats, young man. Its you that are now hooked...not the fish!😃

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So true h2ohhh! I will be back out at this spot tomorrow morning looking for the monster that surely lives in those waters
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Headed back out this past weekend and caught another bass around the same size as my previous catches on a watermelon/red speedcraw! Also caught a small catfish on a 7 inch dark red worm t-rigged, my first catfish out of this particular body of water.

Every time I hit this spot I catch only one bass per trip even though I spend several hours at a time, not sure if they scare the rest away. When I release them I put them back like ~50 feet away from where I catch them at so I don't know if it is just a fluke or what.

Tragedy struck this time around in that my bass was hooked too deeply down the throat for me to remove the hook . . . I figured it was better to put him back still hooked than to rip him apart trying to get it out. I know he probably doesn't have a huge chance of survival but I hope he is still out there fighting. If anyone has any tips for a situation like this I would love to hear em!

08-23bass.jpg 08-23cat.jpg
 

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Red X Angler
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Nice Fish,

If you cut the line and left the hook in without causing any other undo stress he has a good chance of survival. Smart decision not to go after the hook. Gut hung is not as deadly to the fish as gill damage.

It is hard not to get a few deep hangs with weedless plastics, I usually get a hit, drop the rod tip, then reel up the slack and wet the hook. I miss some short strikers and still have some fish hung deep. If the area is not heavily pressured it doesn't hurt to take out a questionable fish from time to time, LMB fillets are pretty tasty,

The fact that you only get one LMB per trip probably means the area is not pressured, on a quiet pond or stretch of lake one fish can make enough disturbance to shut down the bite, on the other hand in a busier spot the thrashing of a fish may draw other into the area especially if they are feeding on baitfish.

After catching one on the worm try switching to a spinner bait or even top water for awhile. Move your fishing location instead of the release spot of the fish. If it comes out of 4 ft. of water next to a stick up look for a similar spot a ways off from the spot you were fishing.

Good Luck
Darrell
 

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For deep hooked fish, you have some choices to make.
1. Do what you did. Cut the line close and release. If the hook lays in a way that they can still feed, they might live.
2. If you can see the point of the hook, cut the hook with wire cutters and pull out the parts. Sometimes you can get access through the gill slots. Work fast and they might live.
3. You take take 'em home and eat them.

I kept and ate 2 bass this year that died on me before I could get the hook out. Yum. I normally release everything.
 

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Red X Angler
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I would much rather eat it than feed it to a turtle. Badly hooked fish are the main reason I am in favor of the 2 any size part of the size limits.

Darrell
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Great info Darrell and tallastro, thank you!

It is definitely a low-fishing pressure area so it could be that the others get scared away . . . I have been sticking to one spot on the pond because it is where I have caught all my fish, but it makes sense to move around after I get the first one. I consistently catch what I estimate to be 3-4lb bass in this pond (weight estimate based on lengths from 17-18inches), so I feel there has to be bigger ones in there as well.

Plastics are the lure I am most confident in, but I need to expand my repertoire anyways so next time I will throw the spinner and buzzbait I have a couple times to start building my skill with those. I have yet to catch a fish on my buzz, but it is fun to throw - I feel like I am controlling a tiny, bass-attracting boat across the water.

As always thanks for the responses guys and best of luck in your fishing!
 

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Red X Angler
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Headed back out this past weekend and caught another bass around the same size as my previous catches on a watermelon/red speedcraw! Also caught a small catfish on a 7 inch dark red worm t-rigged, my first catfish out of this particular body of water.

Every time I hit this spot I catch only one bass per trip even though I spend several hours at a time, not sure if they scare the rest away. When I release them I put them back like ~50 feet away from where I catch them at so I don't know if it is just a fluke or what.

Tragedy struck this time around in that my bass was hooked too deeply down the throat for me to remove the hook . . . I figured it was better to put him back still hooked than to rip him apart trying to get it out. I know he probably doesn't have a huge chance of survival but I hope he is still out there fighting. If anyone has any tips for a situation like this I would love to hear em!

View attachment 65130 View attachment 65131
I am a Texas-rigger from way back, and between that and the shakey head I get some deeply hooked fish that I didn't initially know were there, and so unfortunately I have killed a few fish this way before learning / realizing two important things.

Let's say I have a medical background. One of the key rules when intubating babies (putting a breathing tube down a baby's airway when they are having respiratory problems) is to limit your attempts to short periods. The idea is that while you're trying to put the tube down they are off oxygen. So if you take too long you starve them of oxygen. This is their worst enemy.

It occurred to me that historically when we are working on a hook to get it out, we do it where?... in the boat or on the bank. The fish can't breathe. When it takes a while to do, it stresses or kills the fish. Other than the rare bleeder where blood loss is the problem (such as gill lacerations), time out-of-water is the worst factor for them. So...

I start with working on it in the water. I have a pair of inexpensive pliers that I use since there is always a good chance to drop them in the water. I have also used the filled livewell as a place to work on the fish so that I won't lose pliers. I have not yet dropped a pair but it's only a matter of time. This simple thing saves the lives of the vast majority of the fish that would otherwise have been stressed or killed (I don't have this happen more than a few times per year, but since I started doing this and the second trick, out of hundreds of caught bass I have only killed two fish in the last 3 years.)

The second trick I have posted once before, but it's worth repeating. On a bigger fish like 3lb or bigger, for a throat hooked fish, go in through the gill cover. If you pass your pliers through the last gill slot, you really don't have to abrade the gills themselves, and by grabbing the hook bend you get a really good angle to twist the hook out of that throat tissue without pulling it inside out and damaging the fish. Try it a couple times and you'll see what I mean.

I have read mixed reports about cutting the hook and survival rates. They often get lodged in their GI tract and eventually kill the fish, unless you are using bronze hooks in salt water. Bronze in salt water rusts very quickly.

Your attempts to save the fish are understandable, appreciated and acknowledged. By working on the fish in the water, you can take your time and I think you'll find almost all of them will swim away with vigor.

Good luck, and thanks for the report!
 
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