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Eric Roach

Dare we discuss catch & release...

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...and tactics to increase C&R survivability of striped bass without polarizing ourselves into "Elitist Preacher" and "Wanton Killer" camps?

Here's to hoping we can. beers.gif

 

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Anyone who fishes for bass has to release some. Some surfcasters return their bass in better shape than others due to the tackle and techniques they use.

 

Here are some of those considerations:

 

Plugs

  • Remove the center treble on triple-treble plugs.

  • Use siwashes instead of a rear treble.

  • Use a single siwash (only) on certain plugs.

  • De-barb your hooks.

  • When you're into a lot of small fish, choose a lure with a single hook. Two sets of trebles do a lot of damage to shorts.
Rod/Reel/Line

  • Choose a stick that matches (or overmatches) the size of the bass you're after and the structure, current and conditions you are fishing in. Some anglers are good at quickly landing a large fish on light tackle...Most aren't.

  • Whatever your flavor of reel, make sure it has the drag for the job.

  • With braid diameters getting thinner and thinner every year, there really isn't any excuse to select a line too light for the job -- even if you are into distance.

  • Use a heavy leader if around structure. It's expensive, but fluorocarbon lets you move up a few pounds and still remain somewhat stealthy.
Gear

  • Use pliers which are strong enough, grooved enough and long enough to remove hooks in the mouth and throat.

  • Carry a degorging tool for really deep, awkward hookings in large fish.
Techniques

  • Get them in. If you find yourself wondering if guys down the beach are jealous of the bend in your rod, you're probably posing...And prolonging the fight.

  • Don't be too proud to let a buddy help you with a landing.

  • Keep them in the water if at all possible. Minimize "air time".

I'd love to hear other's ideas.

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I toss alot of chunk and rarely catch a fish deeply but if I do he gets to keep the hook. I'm not sure how long but I hope my Gamagatsu's rot out pretty quickly.

You may see alot more eating and a lot less releasing this year. My kids don't eat it so I let all but one or two little fellows go every year but I hear alot of talk of guys saying they can save some grocery money by eating a few. Can't say I blame them. Give a man a fish blah blah blah..smile.gif

 

Is the mortality rate anywhere as near as bad with plugs as it is with chunk?

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Please wet your hands before handling to minimize removing the protective slime coating on Striped Bass.

 

If possible try to keep them in water when removing hooks.

 

Use stout tackle and get the fish in as quick as possible. Shorter fights means less lactic acid buildup in the muscles of fish - greater survival and recovery. Also means you get to make your next cast sooner.

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You don't need to wet your hands. Just don't grab the body of the fish. Bass should be grabbed by the lip. If you are scared of that then don't fish. If it has a mouthful of trebles or teeth then use a lipping tool.

 

One more tip, if you step on a fish someone should step on your head.

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View Post...and tactics to increase C&R survivability of striped bass without polarizing ourselves into "Elitist Preacher" and "Wanton Killer" camps?

Here's to hoping we can. beers.gif

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Anyone who fishes for bass has to release some. Some surfcasters return their bass in better shape than others due to the tackle and techniques they use.

 

Here are some of those considerations:

 

Plugs

  • Remove the center treble on triple-treble plugs.

  • Use siwashes instead of a rear treble.

  • Use a single siwash (only) on certain plugs.

  • De-barb your hooks.

  • When you're into a lot of small fish, choose a lure with a single hook. Two sets of trebles do a lot of damage to shorts.
Rod/Reel/Line

  • Choose a stick that matches (or overmatches) the size of the bass you're after and the structure, current and conditions you are fishing in. Some anglers are good at quickly landing a large fish on light tackle...Most aren't.

  • Whatever your flavor of reel, make sure it has the drag for the job.

  • With braid diameters getting thinner and thinner every year, there really isn't any excuse to select a line too light for the job -- even if you are into distance.

  • Use a heavy leader if around structure. It's expensive, but fluorocarbon lets you move up a few pounds and still remain somewhat stealthy.
Gear

  • Use pliers which are strong enough, grooved enough and long enough to remove hooks in the mouth and throat.

  • Carry a degorging tool for really deep, awkward hookings in large fish.
Techniques

  • Get them in. If you find yourself wondering if guys down the beach are jealous of the bend in your rod, you're probably posing...And prolonging the fight.

  • Don't be too proud to let a buddy help you with a landing.

  • Keep them in the water if at all possible. Minimize "air time".
I'd love to hear other's ideas.

 

 

Good post clapping.gif

 

 

You pretty much said it all clapping.gif

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Good posts. I've been releasing every fish I can for many years. Exceptions are severely wounded fish of legal size (it happens). I can always find hungry takers if necessary.

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Should I ever catch that big one . . . there is a strong argument in LMB fishing that says you will break the jaw by lipping large fish, and a similar camp in Musky/tarpon/grouper etc. that says that large bodies cannot take being lifted/boated. Lip gaffing is out too. Handling is to be minimized. I assume that means the sand-slide up from the wash is also bad? Unhooking in the water at boat-side is recommended for large fish but it is not an option from the surf and jetty. Nets for trout and cradles for large musky support them while unhooking but don't apply here.

 

What exactly is left? I have the lipgrip and clippers to cut the deep hooked line, but I have yet to grow the third arm to make that work when I can't drop my rod on the bank. I don't mean this as sarcastic, this is really a technique question on how exactly it can be done smoothly and quickly.

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I keep the fish that overpopulate and destroy other fisheries. Ironically in SoCal lakes that is the striped bass. I used to release all stripers then my favorite lakes became over run with 1-4 pounders. No more bluegill, small bass, even threadfin shad got desimated. If the Fish and Game depts were on the ball (which i have never seen) they would keep the limits up to date and balance the populations. As for mortality, i once caught the same striper 3 times in one day. It had a deformed tailfin and was in a school of larger fish that i tossed spooks to all afternoon. The 1st, fight was pretty good, the 2nd was O.K. the 3rd was sad so i kept him...

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With a single debarbed hook, you usually don't even have to take the fish out of the water. For trebles, pliers and a lipper of some kind can help to keep the fish in the water.

 

That, and keeping the fight short.

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Its a great feeling letting a large bass go. i think if we all did this our children's children will have fish to catch and release.

 

i also think only the person fishing should be allowed to keep a fish. if some people bring there family including there babies they shouldn't be allowed to keep numerous fish. i know its probably against the law but no one enforces it. a real shame.

 

 

i wish the limit would go back to 38 inches. it was much better then.one fish only and had to be 38 and above.

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Last year I hung some of my largest catches on a boga before releasing them. Not the smartest thing to do. Between the stress on the jaw and the internal organs, I'm sure I didn't do them any favors.

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View PostI assume that means the sand-slide up from the wash is also bad?

 

I sometimes convince myself that this isn't such a bad practice, but I think I'm kidding myself.

 

View Post...Unhooking in the water at boat-side is recommended for large fish but it is not an option from the surf and jetty.

 

It can be in the surf -- depends on conditions/location. I wade quite a bit and do most of my landings in waist deep(+) water.

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