coastalfreak

Is Fishing the Post Spawn Ethical?

16 posts in this topic

I agree with a lot of you guys that fishing the spawn isn't cool. However, a lake near me recently broke the 70 degree temps and the reports are saying that the spawn cycle is over. The lake that I fish is connected to that lake via a spillway. I'm assuming that since the lake that I fish is not only connected but shallower than the other lake that spawn is over. 

 

Assuming that we are in post spawn, is it ok to fish right now? I know the males are guarding their newborns. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pre spawn, which is usually preseason, is worse. During the legal season, anything is ethical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't let it worry you too much. I find the fishing a bit tougher after the spawn anyway . My self I don't mess with any smaller Bass I see in the shallows for a bit . I figure they're protecting fry and honestly small bass don't hold my interest anyway . 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, KidDkivahh said:

I wouldn't let it worry you too much. I find the fishing a bit tougher after the spawn anyway . My self I don't mess with any smaller Bass I see in the shallows for a bit . I figure they're protecting fry and honestly small bass don't hold my interest anyway . 

This

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

It's tough... This season has been a bit unique... Cold high water until just a few days ago.... Rivers I hit that were dormant last Wednesday had river banks lined with beds after the Temps climbed the remainder of the week. 

 

Everything is now on beds... Rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, sunfish, crappie are paired up, as are the lampreys. 

 

I caught a post spawn 5lb smallie in a tiny stream on Saturday and afterwards took a look at the bank and there was a 17" fish on a bed. 

 

As I type I'm on another river filming a similar sized fish on a bed... Watched him chase off some dinks. 

 

The other day I filmed a few bedded smallies chase off some carp... 

 

If you are aware of the spawn... And actively target bed fish... I look at it as unsporting.  Some wait the entire fall and winter for it.  

 

I haven't knowingly bed fished in quite a while.  And have called it quits or changed up tactics and locations to not disturb them. 

 

I did last year stick a camera on a tripod, another under water and sunk a waterproof bluetooth speaker playing let's get it on..... And the fish didn't even bat an eye... Other than it belly bumping it once.... I'll be posting it soon its goal to show in a funny way to avoid ramming hooks in em and pulling em off the bed... And enjoy how they interact with their environment. 

 

Post spawn with males and females back on the feed... Game on! 

 

Just popped my polarizer off my vid cam onto my phone... As I was posting a swallow tail buffer fly landed on the mud about 2 feet away and that fish tried Makin a move on it.. Watched em just sip something off the surface film as I type.. 10 feet above the bed on the bank and that fish is well aware I'm here 

 

 

20200518_150733.jpg

Edited by scoobydoo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Not all bass are doing the same thing at the same time, so there should be some non-bedded fish around. What I found the other weekend were juveniles; to young to spawn, and a handful of large post spawn females. The female bass were flat as a board, and as soon as they fully recover they will be ravenous as they head into the Summer Peak Period.

 

As soon as we get a warm stable weather pattern the post spawn bass with be in capture, crush, and eat mode. This 19" post spawn female hammered a weighted Super Fluke that bounced off of a 10 foot deep bluff shelf.

4237 (2).jpeg

Edited by Jay Blair

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Jay Blair said:

Not all bass are doing the same thing at the same time, so there should be some non-bedded fish around.

yes, i found that to be true this past weekend. While some guys on a reservoir were looking for active beds, I was in some deeper water fishing some different areas. While the fishing was definitely slower... there were a couple of non-bedded fish as you point out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 mins ago, EricJ said:

yes, i found that to be true this past weekend. While some guys on a reservoir were looking for active beds, I was in some deeper water fishing some different areas. While the fishing was definitely slower... there were a couple of non-bedded fish as you point out.

Ill definitely be targeting the deeper areas of reservoirs. How can I find structure in the deep areas without sonar?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 mins ago, coastalfreak said:

Ill definitely be targeting the deeper areas of reservoirs. How can I find structure in the deep areas without sonar?

Look at the land.  The contours usually continue into the water. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually don't ask other people what is ethical for me. Do what you feel is ethical for you and be respectful of the fish. If people get too carried away the only real way to eliminate any impact is to not do anything anytime. Treat them with respect and care and have a good time fishing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/21/2020 at 9:53 PM, hobobob said:

If you fish the shallows / shoreline anytime between March till July is unethical.  Better hang up your waders.

Painting with a broad brush here.Where I fish/live, water temps March April are 35*-40*. Fishing the shallows and shoreline is your only option. Catching maybe one LMB per day that time of year is not an easy thing, and they certainly aren't on beds. So why should I hang up my waders?

I try to get out whenever I can. Been at it regularly since late March. I've had more skunks than bass. As of last weekend, water temps hadn't hit 55*, and all I caught were dinks. Deepest spot in this lake is about 14ft. Didn't see a one bed. Certainly a pre-spawn pattern.  Because it's May I should stay home?   I don't target beds. I C+R each fish.

 

Come early post spawn fishing actually sucks. Fish can be anywhere. And not necessarily feeding. It's not until early July around here that the pattern becomes consistent and one can catch fish with any regularity. And even then the water heats up fast that one needs to change tactics again.

 

There is one very large very deep lake I fish, mostly SMB water, bedding starts late May, though this year temps are way off. I have fished there many years early June through early July only to be frustrated. There seems to be a magic number of 72* degrees water temps when the post spawn is over, and the SMB start biting again. I'm not being unethical fishing before that magic number, I'm fishing. Usually very difficult fishing.

 

If one is targeting beds, yeah, that's unethical.  To get out and fish, and hopefully entice a couple fish to bite during a tough time of year to fish. That's the individual's choice.

Is it unethical to follow a stocking truck? I wouldn't do it but many do. Is it unethical to use bait? I don't but many do. So what may be unethical for one may not be for someone else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There can be vast differences in what's ethical post spawn fishing in different waters. One lake I fish has been classified, and supposedly managed  as a  "CT trophy bass lake" with very strict regs. I started fishing there some 20 years ago, and 3-4lb LMB could be caught with some consistency. I really don't know of anyone that keeps their LMB. so we all catch and release.

We've done such a great job of conserving the bass in this lake, that they've become stockpiled. Catching a fish over 15" in now considered a trophy there. And interestingly, this lake has no predator fish, such as pickerel. Also gone from this lake are the huge crappie we'd get while bass fishing.

Prime forage fish here are mostly sunfish, and baby bass. While I don't keep fish or target beds, doing so on this lake would actually improve the fishery. I would not consider it unethical.

 

Another lake, one that is pounded by tournaments all year round. Much larger fish, much more difficult to catch. There aren't many lures they haven't seen. Add in a bunch of large pickerel. and this population is under control. Quality fish but difficult to catch on. Targeting beds here would almost be a lesson in futility. Lakes like this are almost like late season steelhead fishing. Those fish have seen it all.

Each lake or body of water has different types of fishing. Some easy catching, some not. I'm in CT, and we do have quite a few "Trophy Bass Management" lakes . I would like to think if any body of water is over fished, that the regulations would be adjusted. It's a small state.

 

NY bass fishing doesn't open until June. Same fish different regs. Mass, no special regs that I know of.. Plenty of quality bass fishing. So three different states three different sets of regulations. Yet populations aren't depleted. Here in CT, it's quite the opposite on some waters.

So it's up to the individual to decide what's ethical. If they want to fish the post spawn and target beds, as long as it's not hurting the population, I say why not, but not my thing.. In the case of some waters here, not culling some of the fish, has degraded the fishing. But I can't see killing a fish just for the sake of removing them. I certainly don't want to eat them.

 

I think of deer hunting when I think of not fishing the spawn or early post spawn. So many hunters I've known through the years all brag they won't kill a doe because they're the future of the population. Very true! But here in CT, in certain areas if you take a doe, turn in your doe tag, you;re issued another, and another, and another. and so on. The population has gotten out of control. If you have all your deer tags here in CT, not counting your bonus doe tags, you can take 13 deer.

 

It's the same thing with fish, certain lakes the population needs to get back under control. And in a lot of areas not just CT, the inland fishing regs show that. But we've become so good at conservation, that the fishing in some lakes has been destroyed due to overpopulation.

 

I'm not a big fan of tournaments, but studies have shown that bass that have been tagged after weigh in and then released a number of them  have been found back in the areas where they were originally caught. And these studies have included bedding bass.

 

If we want to be truly ethical, when out fishing and you see someone taking everything they hook and disregarding  the regs, or wasting fish by tossing them up on the shore or rocks. Call them out. Or call your game warden hot line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.