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Marksharky

Decisons, when to catch & not release?

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Caught a Bass a tad over 30" tonight on a jetty tip, she gave me a few small decent runs, unfortunately this stubborn little girl did not want to move to one side of the rocks. When I finally got her over she decided to take a dive under a few rocks frown.gif . It took me 5 mins. or so to finally work it out of there. I know the fish was tired & a quick lay in the h20 off the rocks would not suffice. So I brought her into the beach & began revival in a shallow pool with good flow. It took 5 mins. for the fish to gather eneough strength to swim away on its own. I really wasn't sure with the water temps. being a bit warm if she would survive so how do you know when not to release?

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To release or not? Hmmm...... In my eyes Marky you did the right thing, others will tell you that fish won't make it have no clue. Hey any chance is better than no chance. Correct? What chance would she of had if you would of kept her? None. You gave her a chance to survive and that is more than others do, If she doesn't make it she'll become part of the food chain which is fine with me, (Circle of Life!) but If she does make then you allowed her to maybe spawn again. Truthfully I think she did make it as you went the extra mile to get her revived. Also I really don't put much faith in the "studies" on survival rates of released fish. Stripers are a hardy fish. I think more survive than the "guesstimate" that these so called experts use. In fact I think its probably way less than 1% that don't survive. (I'm not counting fish that are bait caught. I feel lure fish have a better chance to shake off the hook wounds of a lure than a gut caught fish.) Why do I say that? Well after a good run how many floaters do you see? Rarely any.

I release most of my bass and the few I keep are usaully ones that I have hooked bad, Bleeders, damaged mouths, or the rare fish who swallows a popper.

The one thing I might add is if your on a spot where you are having trouble controling a fish and the fight takes longer than needed, then you need to rethink what your fishing with. Fish with gear that is capable to do the job that you want it to do. This espescially is true if you enjoy releasing fish. May I ask what type of tackle are you using and what type of tactics?

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Yes Winchmaster I was undergunned a bit with my 7' Kayak rod out on the jetty, it is stiff but definately not long enough. I knew as soon as the fish did not want to come around from the front that I needed my longer stick, the reel goes back on my 9' pole today. The other problem was the tide was extremely low at 11:30 last night nearing the new moon & that water was really movin around the jetty. Yes I was a bit underprepared for the situation, just wondering if a five minute revival period is a bit too long, any studies or experts out there?

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Marksharky, I think you did what a reasonable catch and release fisherman should do. You allowed enough recovery time for the fish to revive and swim off on its own. If you lip hooked the fish it likely (hopefully) will recover. A fisherman should keep a fish if it is gill hooked and/or can't revive enough to swim off on its own during revival activity (this assumes it is legal keeper size of course). To me keeping means eating and nothing beats a fresh striper fillet.

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I would have kept the bass not just for argument sake but for the simple fact the fight was a long one. She was bashed in the rocks. She was out of the h20 for a long time. Which would have serious effects on her gills. after five min. any bass would swim off into the darkness. My guess is that she did not survive the night. I hope she did survive. But I think the odds were against it.

 

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When I catch a fish I plan to release, after unhooking it, I swim the fish back and forth or around in cicles. I usually keep my finger in the basses mouth. When the bass bites down on my finger I know it is strong enough to let go of. They have always swam away at that point.

As far as surviving I don't know. I guess it depends upon thwe amount of lactic acid the bass built up in its tissues while fighting. It would also depend upon any predators being nearby. My guess is if the bass can swim back to a sheltered spot, and rest awhile it is probably going to make it to fight another day

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Just to clarify yaker, the rocks she was in were under the water & she wasn't bashed at all not a nick on her or she would have went to the kitchen with me smile.gif

 

I would have kept the bass not just for argument sake but for the simple fact the fight was a long one. She was bashed in the rocks. She was out of the h20 for a long time. Which would have serious effects on her gills. after five min. any bass would swim off into the darkness. My guess is that she did not survive the night. I hope she did survive. But I think the odds were against it.

 

 

 

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I think you did the right thing, and I wouldnt even trust experts opinions, some of the experts opinions I have Read indicate that the mortality rate for released stripers is around 85%, not challenging that because I dont know but I do know that most of the fish I have released are done quickly and without too much handling and they seem to swim away like an escaped prisoner.

 

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Keep using my name in vain, I'll make rush hour longer!! - God

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If you want a reasonable estimate of release mortality, there was a study done on the Susquehanna Flats, upper Chesapeake Bay, before it was opened as a C&R fishery. Prior to the study, it was off limits for striper fishing. Anyway, survivability was very dependent on water temperature. If the WT was below 63 or so, it was something under 1 percent. As it approached 70 degrees, it began to climb, approaching 8 percent. Over 70 degrees it was closer to 15 percent. There were a lot more details than this, but you get the idea. The way it was conducted was that fish were caught by hook and line and released into a holding pen on the flats. Fish were considered C&R mortality if they died within 3 days of release. However, this study does offer that mortality estimates may be inflated due to the captive nature of the study, and that if given the opportunity to seek deeper waters mortailty may have been reduced. I think you can find this study on the MD DNR site. These findings relating temperature to C&R mortality were the main factors used to set the C&R season to close in early May as it is generally mid May before that WT exceeds the low 60s.

 

[This message has been edited by Christian White (edited 09-06-2002).]

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Marksharky:

 

Sorry confused.gif I though read that the bass was in the rocks. I thought she was flopping around ion the rocks. If she was under water that is a totaly different. I now change my answer to release the bass.

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Highlander, I'm thinkin' that was a typo where yah said you read that experts had release mortality at 85%cwm24.gif It's generally accepted to be an average of 8% - but that includes all the fish released in 85 degree bay water after being taken on a bunker chunk with a J-hook as well as all those landed in the cool waters of Maine on bucktailssmile.gif I'm sure there are certain conditions where it could be 85% and anyone fishing in those conditions should be stopped...better yet, it should just be illegal to fish when and where there is almost no chance for a released fish to survive.

 

My thinkin' is more inline with Winchmaster - for fish caught on responsible tackle with artificial lures in cool waters and promptly released, I'd bet it's 1% or less.

 

TimS

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