NC Angler Forums banner
1 - 20 of 63 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,624 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wish this was more common knowledge here. If you string a couple of 12" fish at Harris, many people look at you like you are a criminal. Turns out the state may know what they are doing. The reason for the 2 fish exception (you can have 2 bass under 14") isn't because they feel sorry for making you put all the ~2-5# bass back; it's because it makes sense from a management perspective.

[video=youtube;DFYDYwK9RPc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFYDYwK9RPc[/video]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,624 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We romanticize what it was like in the "good old days". The natural order of things for most southern freshwater is lots of small bass and only a few really big ones. If you have ever had the opportunity to fish an unmanaged lake that has had light pressure for years you will likely find it somewhat disappointing. Several years ago I got an invitation to go fishing with the husband of someone my wife worked with; he was a developer and they were putting in a new neighborhood north of Raleigh (south side of Durant east of Falls; can't remember the name) and it had a big farm pond or small lake depending on your point of view. I was really excited just walking around; you could see movement in the weeds and swirls all over the place. It was crazy fishing; "bass a cast" for several casts in a row a few times. But we caught nothing over 2# and most were probably under a pound. I am sure there were a few lunkers there, but in retrospect we should have been filling a cooler or even a trash can (?!?!) if we wanted to help improve the fishing, not throwing them back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,791 Posts
We romanticize what it was like in the "good old days". The natural order of things for most southern freshwater is lots of small bass and only a few really big ones.
One of my favorite sections of creek is ten miles or more from the Neuse and few people fish it for anything other then panfish. It took a while to recover from the drought a few years back but now it is just like you said, bass every few cast on some days but most are under a pound. I have caught two 4# and one 6# brute out of there though.I like it better that way though. You know you are catching a natural wild fish. They seem to have a lot more fight in them then stocked bass do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,435 Posts
Always wondered about the 2 under exception.

The original reason for the under 2 exemption to the STATEWIDE limit was so meat fisherman could keep a couple to eat.

But that was years ago.

The other difference with Texas vs NC is that Texas is serious about managing for really big bass.

NC is not.

I'm not saying that is good or bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,624 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The original reason for the under 2 exemption to the STATEWIDE limit was so meat fisherman could keep a couple to eat.

But that was years ago.

The other difference with Texas vs NC is that Texas is serious about managing for really big bass.

NC is not.

I'm not saying that is good or bad.
It's interesting that same lakes that have special regs allow the exception while others don't. There is one lake in the the regs this year with no creel or size limit on bass (but I think there is a limit in one size range). Probably overpopulated and stunted.
I thought they were managing a few (like Harris) with the intent of making them trophy lakes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,855 Posts
Freshwater fish will taste different from body to body of water. Best to me are down east. Places like Mattamuskeet.
Oysters are the same way. I gulf oyster tastes different than a Shallotte oyster.

As far as eating big fish, that is up to individual taste and the method you intend to use to cook. I don't care much for a big ol cat chunked and fried. However in the right hands cooked another way, it can be melt in your mouth delicious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,435 Posts
I thought they were managing a few (like Harris) with the intent of making them trophy lakes.
I'm not sure.

If they are its very few.

The WRC was forced into protecting big bass at Randleman due to threats from the state legislature to enact regulations to promote big bass fishing there. If any lakes deserves "trophy managment" its Randleman but thats not happening.

(I'm not saying it should either.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
You almost never see an over 20" fish kept at Harris. I guess a few are. The few times I have had big freshwater bass I have been less than ecstatic about the texture and taste of the meat.
Lots of tournament fish are kept by the organizers who then stock their own ponds, has been pretty bad at Harris. Was a big stink about this a few years ago.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gambusia

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,624 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Lots of tournament fish are kept by the organizers who then stock their own ponds, has been pretty bad at Harris. Was a big stink about this a few years ago.
There should be a big stink; no single individual should possess more than a limit of live fish at any time and only two limits including live and what you possess elsewhere (usually the freezer at home).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
I started bass fishin seriously back in 1962. Most of the bass we caught were 2 lb an less, like 90%! All were cleaned an eaten, by everybody we knew. No one I ever heard of released bass until the big tournament Ray Scott had on one of the big Texas lakes that ended up with big bass stacked on the dock like cord wood! I remember that picture! It was like 4000 bass that had been gutted an gilled an they were tryin to give them away an couldn't give them all away! Thats when "Catch an Release" became the rule. Its all about the money as usual. If there were no tournaments, we'd still be eatin all the bass, and let me tell ya, they delicous!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,855 Posts
There should be a big stink; no single individual should possess more than a limit of live fish at any time and only two limits including live and what you possess elsewhere (usually the freezer at home).
I have possessed more than a few limits several times when I tournament fished. Seemed like the night tournaments were the worst for whatever reason in the summer for fish dying.
Rather than throw a bunch of dead uns back in the water to float up and cause a ruckus, I took possession of them, cleaned them, and gave them to different elderly folks that I knew no longer fished but loved a good mess of fish. That was club fishing. Everyone in the club approved of how that was being handled and the game warden wasn't there to cast his vote.

I have always been an advocate for changing the tournament structure. Going by weight never made sense to me when the state and feds are judging fish by length. With today's technology that is carried in the pocket or on the belt of a great many individuals, there is no need to ever bring a fish to the scales. But they will because it's not about the fish, it's about the money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,624 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah, when I was a kid we kept most freshwater fish that were good portions. We threw back big ones more out of practicality than anything else. We scaled/de-headed/gutted freshwater fish and fried them up. For some reason I remember very few being filleted; just wasn't how it was done. I remember some saltwater fish being filleted but bass, bream, crappie, perch and catfish (skinned instead of scaled) were battered, fried and eaten bone in. Cooking a big fish like that was problematic and they often weren't as good anyway, so back they went...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,233 Posts
They bring them to the scales because it's more likely that some people will cheat if left to their own devices. The tournaments I fish have very good release rates and I am glad for that. They require us to take great care and we are penalized if the fish die...and that could be the difference in taking home a check or not.

It has always seemed rather odd to me that it is ok to catch limits of any other fish, and keep them, but not bass. The same people that establish the safe harvesting limits of all other fish also establish this limit for bass, yet the people that keep bass are often the most vilified of all anglers...even by our own kind.

For me, I don't keep anything, opting to get my fish from the market. It not the C&R I worry about, I just don't feel like cleaning anything when I get off the lake. I spend anywhere from 5 to 10 hours on the water when I go and the last thing I want to do after parking my boat is worry about cleaning fish. Besides, if I kept even half the fish I catch, I wouldn't be able to keep up with consuming them, so they would go to waste and I am not for that, either.

I think local limits and management styles should be different for smaller bodies of water...FOR ALL SPECIES within those waters...and the people responsible for those waters should be active in this. If not, the fault is theirs and not the anglers, as long as the angler is being legal.

In waters with sustainable ecosystems, I have no problem with people keeping a legal limit of bass. If the DNR then wants to adjust that limit, so be it...they do that by shock data and creel surveys and as waters change, the limits should, too.

If a person wants to keep his legal bass, no matter the size, then who am I to condemn or criticize. That person has the right to do that. I realize it is a touchy subject, but lets not condemn those that keep legally caught fish, including bass.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OptiMystic

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,855 Posts
They bring them to the scales because of money. No other reason. Like I said, with today's technology riding on people's hips, there is no reason to bring a fish to the scales.

Go out there to a tournament trail and suggest that bringing fish to scales is archaic with today's technology. After the spitting and sputtering the first defense of doing so will be about money, not about the fish.

When it gets right down to it though, hauling around fish you intend to release all day........makes absolutely no sense.

The problem is, and I've been part of the game, that everybody knows but nobody is willing to step forward. The manly and safe thing to do is just go along with the program. Be one of the guys.
That's why when I hear particularly tournament bass fishermen preaching CPR, I have to shake my head. Do as I say do, not as I do.

Hopefully one day it will change. Afterall, the saltwater community is doing more and more of what I am talking about with a lot more money at stake. Look at the Big Rock.

Yak tournaments are being run this way successfully.

As for cheaters.
You deal with cheaters harshly. You have them charged with a crime. You black list them. That is on the table from the get go. You'll have less cheating when you go from the scale to the tape measure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,624 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I am not sure you will have less, but there are definitely bass brought to the scale that were not legally taken while fishing that day by the angler claiming them. Cheating will happen either way. Some initial mortality and some delayed mortality will happen either way.

The point of the discussion is that there really are sound management reasons to encourage keeping some bass to produce more trophies. And no one should feel bad about keeping them just because they want to if they are within the regs and they will get eaten.
 
1 - 20 of 63 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top