Actually if you want big fish, let the big ones go. Ever see the farmer harvest the prize bull and cows? Thought not. Little fish breed little fish. Big fish make big fish.
I do agree though that pictures of fish kills only prompt folks to be quiet, especially about locations. That is what prompted me to write this blog [log in for link] It really doesn't matter whether or not the catch is legal or not, when pictures are posted that give the appearance of intent to take/harvest everything that can be, why share, especially specific locations?
Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, get the point. Nobody is gonna give you their honey hole, especially when they know once they do, 2,000,000,000,000,000 people are going to show up and take a limit regardless of size! There are reasons that some states have minimum length requirements...I sure wish that Colorado would increase the limit but restrict the minimum length to 11-12 inches. We would probably see less overfishing if you could only hold onto the big ones. Just my personal opinion, everyone has a right to either agree or disagree. I only ask that if you comment in regards to my post, please make an attempt to support why/why not!
I am a fan of slot limits, let the babies go, keep the medium ones, let the big ones breed. Under harvest can be a problem too and stunt the size in smaller ponds. Never caught a big crappie in Colorado but have in the deep south.
There are exceptions to my CPR feelings........ If someone is in need of food to feed their family, keep anything you want (legal) Your family eating is more important than me having a big fish to hold up in a picture. On the flip side, you should probably be out job hunting not fishing...
Other than that, taking a ton of small fish home seems selfish to me. The main reason being, are you REALLY going to clean and cook all those little fish? How much meat can you get off of a 10" white bass or crappie, or any fish for that matter? Was the two fish sticks you got from that fish worth ending its life? If you are just trying to stock your freezer, see Lloyds blog about cooking fish... I'll leave it at that.
I can see Flyrodn's point, but don't immature fish grow up into big fish? I am not a skilled enough wildlife biologist to tell the difference between an 8 year old 12" fish vs. a 2 year old 12" fish. If you are, hats off to you ,and please enlighten me..
While I stick by my point that this is America, and we all have the right to do as we please within the limits of the law, I think that posting pictures of 30-40 fish on your front lawn is not bright. And will greatly decrease the amount of specific information shared on the forum for the simple fact that we do not want out favorite spots fished out by someone keeping a limit multiple times a week, On fish that there is a high limit or no limit, even worse.
Ch00Chee, with as good as you are at catching buckets of White Bass, I'm sure you will find your Crappie spot soon. I will not however be sharing mine.. No hard feelings.
This is where I get confused. People say 10" crappie shouldn't be kept, But The 10"-11" crappie I catch and have kept for dinner have had pretty good amounts of meat on them, But I also don't keep 12,13,14" crappie either. So am I wrong for keeping 10-11" crappie?
Probably shouldn't have responded, but my points are,
pictures of stringers, buckets of fish turn more folks off then they turn on. And turned folks dont share, so the flow of information stops.
asking for fishing spots is probably in poor form. Better to ask about techniques and do your research. Nearly every public water is listed somewhere. Some day I hope we have them all listed on Fish Explorer.
Yes, little fish grow into big fish, but only a few make it. There is plenty of science to back the idea that overharvest of big fish results in lots of little fish. I'm advocating releasing "trophies", and eating smaller fish (relative term) and I use the MA program as a basis. So for crappie that would be fish approaching 15 inches, release them and eat the 8-12 inch fish. Behave like farmers, leave the best for breeders,you do not eat the prize bull.
Lastly, I'm a strong advocate of taking only what you can use that day. Be it you or your family. When I see folks talking about taking large numbers of fish, and freezers in the same discussion, I get turned off very quickly. Simply frozen fish almost alway equates to keeping fish in excess of the limit, note that in most case poccession and daily limit are the same. So if you have a limit in the freezer you are not supposed to harvest more. Eat what you catch the same day, and no problem.