DeepBlue85

Weight vs length when measuring our fish

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As a traditionalist iv long held dear the traditions in surfcasting and fishing here on long island, a place steeped in history, surf fishing's origins here are worth our respect.   Surf fishing was at a time part of a commercial opportunity by which fish were caught and sold by the pound and based on this history a tradition was formed whereby the quality of a fish is still determined in its weight.  Enter current times and certain facts stand out, more people are taking part in what has now become purely recreational sport and also, conservation efforts have risen in response to what is arguably a diminishing and increasingly pressured biomas of fish.  With that said and in the spirit of change, I feel more comfortable than ever in stating whole heartedly that the practice of categorizing striped bass, bluefish and weakfish by weight is an outdated one that places un-due harm to a fish most of us pulling out a scale, would rather see swim away than in a box.  Furthermore taking a length on a fish is as easy as pulling out a measuring tape, keeping the fish in the water and establishing the quality of a fish in this way.  For those taking part in tagging programs, fish entered in any venue that may also be tagged or for those who are wishing to tagg can now partner with clubs and contests or as individual fishermen in what will become a growing portfolio of data regarding tangible fish size, age and growth rates. Official catch reports can become catalogued and included in landing data or supplement any number of data used to determine the health or vulnerability of stocks. This will add further legitimacy to the voice of conservation most clubs stand behind and increase our voice as fishermen when votes matter.  This is a philosophy iv long bellieved in and the time has come for positive change on behalf of both the fish...and the poor bastatd that refuses to hang a 40lb fish to a boga grip.  

Edited by DeepBlue85

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I'm old-fashioned enough that when I say "40" I'm talking in pounds.  At the same time, I don't weigh my releases.  For large fish, including bigger bass, I do my best to release in the water, without ever taking the fish out, and if I have a photo, it's because someone else took it while I was hanging over the side of the boat removing the hook.

 

As far as I'm concerned, cameras kill, as do rulers and Bogas.  I fish for myself, and don't need to validate myself by telling someone how big a fish I caught, whether measured in inches or pounds. If I say "around 30" I'm still talking pounds, but estimated, and I could be off 5 pounds either way.  Which doesn't matter at all.

 

Having said that, I heartily agree with your basic point.  Hanging fish on a scale reduces the chances that a bass will survive after release, and should be avoided.  The only fish, of any kind, that I'll weigh are fish that are destined for dinner.

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2 hours ago, CWitek said:

I'm old-fashioned enough that when I say "40" I'm talking in pounds.  At the same time, I don't weigh my releases.  For large fish, including bigger bass, I do my best to release in the water, without ever taking the fish out, and if I have a photo, it's because someone else took it while I was hanging over the side of the boat removing the hook.

 

As far as I'm concerned, cameras kill, as do rulers and Bogas.  I fish for myself, and don't need to validate myself by telling someone how big a fish I caught, whether measured in inches or pounds. If I say "around 30" I'm still talking pounds, but estimated, and I could be off 5 pounds either way.  Which doesn't matter at all.

 

Having said that, I heartily agree with your basic point.  Hanging fish on a scale reduces the chances that a bass will survive after release, and should be avoided.  The only fish, of any kind, that I'll weigh are fish that are destined for dinner.

 

 

 

For sure, my post is directed toward the fishing clubs on long island who all do great things to validate surf fishermen in and out of clubs as pillars of conservation of the species.  However club contest rules still function on the premise of weighing fish and alot of guys are against the notion of eliminating weight as a measure of size.  Historically speaking I agree with all who oppose the proposal for the same reasons they oppose it however as examples of surf fishing and conservation, I bellieve it's club responsibility to make hard choices on behalf of the fish, if no one else will. As proponents of protecting the resource it would make sense to follow the only... science ....we have that determines fish mortality due to recreational handling to adjust our practices.  So with that said, as examples of preserving the resource for all, both in historic practice and in our current ability to change with the times, I believe clubs should follow through with this change from weight to length if not for truly believing in it then at least for the ever the changing efforts required to protect the increasingly pressured resource of striped bass.

Edited by DeepBlue85

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1 hour ago, DeepBlue85 said:

 

 

 

For sure, my post is directed toward the fishing clubs on long island who all do great things to validate surf fishermen in and out of clubs as pillars of conservation of the species.  However club contest rules still function on the premise of weighing fish and alot of guys are against the notion of eliminating weight as a measure of size.  Historically speaking I agree with all who oppose the proposal for the same reasons they oppose it however as examples of surf fishing and conservation, I bellieve it's club responsibility to make hard choices on behalf of the fish, if no one else will. As proponents of protecting the resource it would make sense to follow the only... science ....we have that determines fish mortality due to recreational handling to adjust our practices.  So with that said, as examples of preserving the resource for all, both in historic practice and in our current ability to change with the times, I believe clubs should follow through with this change from weight to length if not for truly believing in it then at least for the ever the changing efforts required to protect the increasingly pressured resource of striped bass.

Hard to argue with that.

 

The only fish that I weigh are already dead, and tend to be things like mahi, sea bass, or tuna, as I haven’t kept a striper for about 30 years.

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22 mins ago, CWitek said:

Hard to argue with that.

 

The only fish that I weigh are already dead, and tend to be things like mahi, sea bass, or tuna, as I haven’t kept a striper for about 30 years.

 

 

I pulled in a fish around 15lbs the other day and it had a 2" hole in the chin exactly where a boga or other weighing device would be secured during the length of time needed to acquire a weight.  It was old, it healed but the hole was still large and present (it never closed).  Separate from the possibility that their internals are damaged, length of time out of the water is detrimental and other poor handling techniques result in physical damage resulting from fish hung off a weighing instrument adding additional damage to a fish that's already been caught.....norms need to be changed.

Edited by DeepBlue85

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The evidence and common sense against weighing fish by the lip is clear to me, but when I mention it to someone with a boga, I nearly always get "these are tough powerful fish" then "show me a study that proves it damages them". Then talk about the barramundi, musky, largemouth bonefish and other evidence or observations mixed with basic fish anatomy and the conversation goes of the rails with.   Even with the Monmouth and other 'best practices' reports it usually goes nowhere.  Everyone wants to prove how big their fish is on a boga, but I see a lot of the same guys then hold it out as far as possible and manipulate the photo. 

 

I like to keep track of bigger fish when possible with measurement marks wrapped in fluorescent or metallic trim bands.  With a calm surf and most other spots it's easy to drop the rod in shallow water or even hold it beside the fish in the water and get a good estimate.

Edited by Bait Tailer

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A girthy 40" fish can weigh 5 to 8lbs more than a skinny 45"..... in the end size should be represented by length and subsequently its age.  That correlation is also important information in tracking stocks when catches are recorded (as they are in the club scene), which is one reason  why I feel the clubs should convert to length over weight.  It isnt just about proper handling but also what the change can contribute to a catalogue of information that can be used for resource management.  If you can swim your self out to a rock, precarious surf or jetty then you can navigate your self to take a length measurement of your fish...if not...then learn the way guys learned how to get themselves into those environments in the first place.

Edited by DeepBlue85

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20 hours ago, CWitek said:

I'm old-fashioned enough that when I say "40" I'm talking in pounds.  At the same time, I don't weigh my releases.  For large fish, including bigger bass, I do my best to release in the water, without ever taking the fish out, and if I have a photo, it's because someone else took it while I was hanging over the side of the boat removing the hook.

 

As far as I'm concerned, cameras kill, as do rulers and Bogas.  I fish for myself, and don't need to validate myself by telling someone how big a fish I caught, whether measured in inches or pounds. If I say "around 30" I'm still talking pounds, but estimated, and I could be off 5 pounds either way.  Which doesn't matter at all.

 

Having said that, I heartily agree with your basic point.  Hanging fish on a scale reduces the chances that a bass will survive after release, and should be avoided.  The only fish, of any kind, that I'll weigh are fish that are destined for dinner.

Charlie, Right On,  I always talk Pounds.  Hate to say Keepers etc  I like to add one note if I may.  You can come pretty close to the weight of a Bass by using this formula:  Length x Girth Squared divided by 800. No need to hang the fish from a scale.  I personally have only kept 2 Bass since 1980.  Careful Release Is A Must.

 

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I have no means to weigh a fish while I’m fishing and I usually guess on length lol.  A couple of tape marks on rod can give you a quick measurement but I’m mostly concerned with a quick release. Almost never take pics, always crush barbs.

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Spot on.  I am not out here to fish for anyone but myself, and don't need validation.  Nothing irks me like pictures of small fish covered in sand, or large fish in a photo op that clearly took a while to set up.  Fish for yourself and nothing else, and you'll enjoy it much more.

 

I bought a boga a couple years ago before I realized the negative effects.  I often carry it with me, but never to weigh a fish.  It is a great safety tool to control a fish with trebles in its mouth rather than your hands.  Very helpful with bluefish.  Although I would go with much cheaper lip grip with no scale if I were purchasing today, I might as well just continue with the boga since it's already in the arsenal.

 

Stop taking pictures of schoolies!  Increasing mortality rate of small fish so you can remember your 23 inch bass is a little sad and selfish.

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Is there an approximate number of  seconds where fish in general begin to be asphyxiate?  Where as humans get in real trouble after about 60 seconds of being underwater without air (or less), what's the story with fish and being out of the water?

 

Regarding lipper tools, watching a guy next to me try to unhook a single jig hook from a schoolie and freaking and dropping the fish onto the sand five or six times...I think a Boga in that fish's lip would have been much less traumatic than a guy with the wimpiest grip on the beach.

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42 mins ago, trahsub said:

Is there an approximate number of  seconds where fish in general begin to be asphyxiate?  Where as humans get in real trouble after about 60 seconds of being underwater without air (or less), what's the story with fish and being out of the water?

 

Regarding lipper tools, watching a guy next to me try to unhook a single jig hook from a schoolie and freaking and dropping the fish onto the sand five or six times...I think a Boga in that fish's lip would have been much less traumatic than a guy with the wimpiest grip on the beach.

 

 

Not a bad point, I think the proportion of those, to guys who otherwise know how to handle a fish is an outnumbered one....and again, there are other reasons to go length over weight.

Edited by DeepBlue85

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17 hours ago, trahsub said:

Is there an approximate number of  seconds where fish in general begin to be asphyxiate?  Where as humans get in real trouble after about 60 seconds of being underwater without air (or less), what's the story with fish and being out of the water?

Depends on a lot of things, including time of fight (if the fish was already exhaused from the fight, lack of oxygen will cause problems sooner), water temperature, air temperature, salinity, etc.  Oxygen deprivation doesn't act on its own, but works as one factor interacting among many to determines whether a fish will survive.

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A personal best I'd be interested in getting a length measurement on, but I'd just use some marks on my rod to estimate. I think a boga/fish grip is fine to get control of a fish, but I would absolutely not hang a fish from one unless it was coming home with me. So for bass, that would be almost never.

 

As far as pictures go, it's also very rare for me. If I have a friend ready and I hook into a nice sized fish that I bring in efficiently, I may ask for a quick pic during the release. The guys who bring a schoolie 20 yards onto the beach to take a picture really irk me.

 


 

 

Edited by C.Robin

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A length measurement will get you in the ball park. Assume on the chart that your fish is at the minimum weight. Now that they are on the move average is pretty close. Max is close for those real fatties.
I don’t carry a scale or measure most fish. My inseam is 28” and my rod grips on my 10 footers is 36” my fist closed is 4” or my foot print is 13” so it’s easy to guess  size. Don’t keep bass so the slot isn’t a concern.

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