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Techshoot,
Just a question from an interested angler:
I see that now that Braidwood is open, the tournaments are already in full swing. I was curious as to how the fish are handled after the weigh-in. Are there any DNR personnel overseeing the return of the fish to the lake?
Do the fish just get dumped back in after the event, or is there a period to rest the fish and allow them to recover? Are they put back in at the weigh in site, or transported out into the lake? Just trying to find out how theyre treated, and if the tournament process stresses them at all. Lastly, I assume these fish can be caught again by someone else later in the season, but I was wondering if catching them gets harder just because theyve been caught before. If so, I guess the first tourneys are the best ones!
Sorry for the long list of questions. Im not a tournament fisherman, and I think other non-tournament fishermen might be interested in how the fish are handled after the event.
Thanks.
 

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I am not techshoot, but I can answer some of your questions. The fish were put into a holding tank after weigh-in, with reviving chemicals to aid in recovery and to promote slime coat revitalization. The fish were then put into boats and transported to different areas of the lake where they were released. There is no doubt that fish put into a livewell have stress put on them, but most tournament anglers I know work extra hard to keep thier fish in great shape. We add additives to the livewell to relax the fish as well as constant recirculation of fresh water into the livewell. Another good thing to do is to run your boat from point A to point B with the live well full of water. This keeps the fish from banging around so much in rough water. Do the fish go back to where they came from? Probably not right away, but some will. Some may find a better life in other areas. I personally have never had a bass die in my livewell. Although in my younger days, some did in a frying pan. (My dad made me) It is a fact that fewer bass expire from tournament catch and release than from catch and eat. I hope this answers some of your questions.
 

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xstreamjf is correct in how the fish were handled for the tournament. Unfortunately we had three fish brought in dead and 2 more that were in bad shape that did not make it (out of 71 fish). We had someone at the recirculating tank whose job it was to help revive any fish that looked distressed. Penalties are given for bringing in a dead fish to encourage the proper treatment of the catches, but occasionally it happens. I believe this was the largest number of dead fish in 4 years for the tournament and I am sure there were many more than that ending up in the frying pan from shore fishing that day alone. All in all, the fish looked better than they had in a long time with good coloration and few marks on them. Taking care of the fish in a tournament is a job that is taken very seriously. All last year in our club tournaments, we had one dead fish weighed in and the person who brought it in beat himself up all day for it.
 

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Hi xstream/techshoot, I am new to this country and this level of sport fishing. I never had the opportunity in terms of the equipment and locations to become a pro, but am working hard in this direction now. I have some questions, while I am all for catch and release, I even release all the cats, which some prefer on their pans... But is keeping a legal size/quantity fish really a crime? if it is then why does the regulations allow that, and if it is not, then why all the debates, what are the real motives/concerns?
Its probably not visible from your boats, as what happens to at least some of the fish you release. I don't have a boat, and I see dead fish along the shores all the time, not just cats, even on this friday I saw a couple of dead bass one was at least 25-30 inches...
One way to for catch and release is to debarb the hooks, but it increases the chances of loosing the fish, so during the tournamints do you require the participants to debarb their hooks?
Regards,
Truce.
 

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25 to 30 inch Bass. R U SURE it was a bass?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: NitroPete on 2002-04-08 23:04 ]</font>
 

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Yes sir, it definitely was a bass, I am not very good in identifying fish, at least not yet, but I do know how a bass looks like :smile:
and it was pretty swollen, probably due to the water or something?
 

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Tournament fisherman (and women) are highly likely to release their fish, and some even disdain those who keep them. There are a great many arguments as to the size that should be released and size to keep, but fishery managers try to figure what specifics to apply to certain waters for numerous reasons. In fact, if all fish were released you would likely see a decline in the population or often a reduction in the general population size, so some harvest is actually good. Due to the amount of time spent fishing, seasonal quantities, along with environmental considerations, tournament fisherman release their fish for all to enjoy in the future so as to leave the least impact.
 

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Truce, that 25-30 inch fish was more than likely a striper. After decomposition, it could be decieving. I have been on Braidwood several times this year beating the bank, and have not seen any dead bass as of yet. Since that was all prior to the tournament, I will report my post tournament sightings as I will be out there this week.
I for one am not against harvesting fish for consumption. If I am going to catch fish to eat, which I do, I target bluegill,crappie, sauger, and perch. It is biologically proven that some harvest of bass is healthy for the overall population, which confirms what you say about regulations. Before I started fishing tournaments, and guiding I was not a strict CPR fishermen pertaining to bass. I guess a little has to do with the fact that a particular fish if released may be a money fish down the LINE. I have not yet figured out how to catch and release those big whitetails yet. Go figure.
 
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