Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Wednesday, June 06, 2007: A serious swell and those fierce swings in water temp have left the surf-front bassing very wanting. The fish are there but it’ll take the smaller surf (beginning today) for angler to retrack them. There is the surf fishing upside to any stir like the one we just had: It gets the bigger bass in close, going for clams and crabs displaced by the wave action.
Boat bassing also suffered due to the wind, rains and swells. The bunker pods busted up. That won’t last long as they tornado back into bait balls. And it is very tornadic as the bunker will circle madly when being attacked. I did get some rough tallies of bass taken (and too often kept) during the recent bunker ball chases. At least a dozen bass over 40 pounds, a few of those approaching 50-ish. I head of two bass in the 50s. I believe (but am not certain) they were catch-boca-and-release fish.
I had some very pointed emails regarding the keeping of mongo bass to be simply weighed in at a shop then, uh, discarded. I will publish one below.
While I fully relate to those pissed by the waste of a big bass kept for neither tourney or table, I still prefer to harp on the other end of the keeping scale, namely the inane, essentially moronic, overprotecting of the way-too-many smaller bass we have out there. Those sub-keeper bass pretty much run roughshod over the ecosystem. It is the smaller fish that are horrifically aggressive, eating everything in sight, including other desirable gamefish species.
The big-ass bass are very, let’s say, conservative, when it comes to chasing down meals. They most often hunker down beneath easily dined upon bunker pods or, even more commonly, laze around on the bottom endlessly sucking up crabs – the number one belly content item in every and all bass studies.
I still feel most anglers would gladly settle for limiting out on smaller eating fish -- and rethink keeping the mongo bass.
On a proactive front, I would like to see the harvesting of eggs from the biggest bass (not harming the fish) for farm raising and later release. That is the genetic proliferation essential to keeping trophy cows in the system. Right now, the precipitous decline in larger stripers is very likely due to the removal of the genetically gifted fish, along with too much blind reliance being placed on bass simply reaching “maturity” via 28-inch minimum size limits.
As I always harp upon, just because a fish reaches sexual maturity does not even remotely mean the offspring from that fish will have the potential to reach trophy size, say, 35 pounds and beyond. Trophy size is a genetic gift not a sexual maturity certainty. In fact, why do you think we see bass of equal length with one being many pounds heavier than the other. I assure you it’s not as simple as one bass having eaten extra meals. There are genetics at work. We have to find a way to let them work properly. Unfortunately that might very well mean an eventual slotting of bass between the size of (arbitrarily) 34 and 40 inches, to assure larger bass are breeding. It’s one way to keep cows in the picture forever.
Per your blog today: "As noted, a few too many being brought home for
nothing more than a tackle shop photo – and a chuck into the trashcan."
There are not adequate words to correctly describe how much this infuriates
me. What is wrong with people?
If you intentionally kill it, then you find something productive to do with
it - PERIOD. Preferably you eat it, or give it to someone who will. At a
dead minimum, and I mean minimum, use it for crab bait, even if you have to
go out of your way to do so.
I truly wish there were fines for this kind of thing. Big, serious, fines.
Killing a fish simply for a picture is cruelty to animals - plain and
simple. I don't care if it's the almighty, sacred striper, a drum, or a
lowly sea robin.
You wanna cut up a sea robin for bait? Fine. You wanna filet a blue for
bait? Also fine. But kill an animal just to get your picture on a web
site? Absolutely disgusting. Even worse is that it is not kids doing this,
but supposedly mature adults. Nice example.
Don't get me wrong, I kill (AND EAT) fish all year long. I kill clams,
blues and killies for bait. I eat every legal sea bass, fluke, striper,
tog, blowfish, triggerfish, weakfish and kingfish I can get in the boat. So
I'm not on some "save the environment" rant here.But killing a fish and throwing it in the garbage should be a crime. And I use that word intentionally. CRIME.
Maybe I'm overreacting, but I really don't think so. It's sickening.
(Thanks, Zac. If you think you’re overreacting I can introduce you to a slew of others in the same overreaction mode. J-mann)