slip n slide

how did rats become schoolies?

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Bass under 24-26" used to be called "rats"...no? Anybody remember the "rat hole" on M?? All dinks under 24" for the most part,although I did catch some larger fish at peak tide there it was mostly smaller fish for some reason.Seems since the stocks have declined everybody's callin "rats" "schoolies".

Schoolies "used to be" the 28-36" fish you'd encounter in huge schools along the coast during the fall migration,hence the term "schoolie".

Why are folks calling rats schoolies?

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Micros, rats, schoolies, keepers, cows. Who knows where to draw the lines? In my neck of the woods bass 28-36” are keepers.

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Rats (Under 20 inches)  around Rhode Island are often referred to as “dinks”.  I suspect the terms referring to size are relative depending on who you ask.  

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I've heard of rat lakers from the Q and Chu.... but, for me,  small bass have always been schoolies, dinks, and micros. :airquote:

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When the internet welcomed a bunch of glory seekers who’s main purpose is to post photos of small bass so the can call themselves “Sharpies”.

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In some ways, it's the polite angling press vs. real-world anglers.

 

When I was a young and aspiring bass fisherman back in the '60s, who had caught a few fish but was still a grade school kid who read all of the magazines, there were "school" bass, which was everything up through the teens, and "bull" bass over 20.  Then writers started pointing out that those big fish were females, and "bulls" became "cows".

 

By the time I was in high school and was starting to figure things out (very early '70s), the line between "Schoolies" and "cows" shifted south to about 15 pounds.

 

By the mid-70s, when I was working in a tackle shop, bass fishing just about every day and hanging out with the regulars, the "schoolies" of the angling press became the "rats" that we were actually catching.

 

Then the fish collapsed, and the attitudes of many--I think most--of the hard-core bass fishermen softened.  They became more solicitous of the fish as they rebuild, became politer, and the term "rat," although we pre-collapse anglers still use it to this day, became disfavored and you started hearing "schollies", and other more socially-accaptable terms uised.

 

It's also when flyfishing for stripers went mainstream, and far too many people started measuring fish in inches instead of pounds.

 

 

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rats always meant a non commercial keeper to me.  since the 90s, a keeper was just a “keeper” - commercial or rec.

 

anything under a rec keeper we always called a “schoolie” in general - unless it was really small - then it was a “micro schoolie”.

 

new this year with the slot, we have (last week for the first time referring to a bass) “overs” for anything over the rec slot - sometimes saying “commercial keeper”.

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