Spawn fishing ethics? - Colorado Fishing Forum

View Poll Results: Should you catch fish off spawn beds?
Every last one of them 22 25.29%
Never 24 27.59%
Some species (maybe list which and why) 28 32.18%
I don't fish, you guys are mean, I'm calling PETA 4 4.60%
I like to vote but am not good at making decisions 9 10.34%
Voters: 87. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-14-2008, 11:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Spawn fishing ethics?

Ok...I think the question doesn't need any explanation, especially considering we are about to enter prime spawn seasons for several colorado species, such as walleyes, rainbows/cutts, bass, and more.

Me, I have fished bass off of beds before, until I realized what I was doing, since then I don't fish any species from any beds purposely. To me, the success of a spawn is much much more important than me catching the fish, even if it's a trophy and I've had my share of chances at big bows on top of their nests that I didn't take.

Then I started reading and learning more about fish on beds, survival rates, spawn survival rates, nest abandonment, etc. which furthered my belief that spawning fish should be left alone. If you love catching a certain type of fish, wouldn't you want the spawn to be successful so you can catch more later?

Let's see how the forum feels...
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spawn fishing ethics?

It is important to know exactly what is going on in the water you are fishing. I will fish staging Bass, but will not fish them once they are on their beds. Sometimes it is hard because fish in a lake can be pre/bedded/post on different parts of the lake at the same time. Unless you are sight fishing in a clear water situation, it is always possible that you will make a blind cast and end up in a bed. Knowing which water warms first and last and having knowledge of the behavior characteristics of Bass is critical in diagnosing exactly where in the cycle the fish are.

This relates to Bass fishing only.
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spawn fishing ethics?

Depends on the skunk. If Im not catching fish anywhere else, I might go catch one or two to kill the skunk, but I can't say I ever go out "seeking" the spawn beds for a trip.

Cool poll though, I am really interested in what the vetrans have to say about it.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spawn fishing ethics?

Ive caught 100's of bass off of beds. I see nothing wrong with it as long as you don't over play it and let it go. Ive seen bass go right back to their bed after I drop them back in the water.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spawn fishing ethics?

In my former fishing life as a trout fly guy = never (and still won't for trout).

Bass = never, of course I never intentionally fish for them anyway. Fun to catch, but not my cup of tea.

Walleyes = depends. First I've not yet found a large group of eyes that I was certain were "sitting on their beds", but if I did I'd have to consider where I was fishing and how everyone else was handling the situation.

I'd say yes at Chatty and most other Colorado lakes because there is little or no natural reproduction there anyways - Carter being the exception that I think of right away. At Seminoe, no I would never fish for them intentionally - this is my favorite place to fish, walleye are not stocked and subsist solely on natural reproduction. Glendo - I'd have to think about and see how many others are picking them off anyways - but I'd guess there'll be a slaughter and if that's the case, I might as well join in.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spawn fishing ethics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAY
Ive caught 100's of bass off of beds. I see nothing wrong with it as long as you don't over play it and let it go. Ive seen bass go right back to their bed after I drop them back in the water.
[me=JAY] [/me]
However Jay, I read an article just recently, I can't seem to find the link right now though so hopefully whoever posted it will repost it in here (TFB maybe? can't remember)

According to that article, an alarming percentage of hooked bass will abandon their nests, and out of the ones that stay, the stress and wear on them is potentially enough to screw up their spawn where it will not be successful for a variety of reasons.

I've done and seen the same thing, long time ago now, but after reading the info/studies, it appears that just because they go back to their bed, doesn't mean they will successfully spawn or stick around later.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spawn fishing ethics?

Here it is Phil...I posted it in the Trophy fishing thread.

Cooke et al. (2000) found that in largemouth bass, which provide parental
care to eggs, fish that were angled incurred increased brood predation and increased likelihood of brood abandonment. Similarly, smallmouth bass have been found to have reduced ability to defend their broods after being angled from their nest (Suski et al., 2003). Thus, for some species at least, evidence exists that catch-and-release may result in reduced growth and
reproductive success. In addition to sub-lethal physiological stress, catch-and-release practices could cause

http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/mnr/pubs/fi...guidelines.pdf


As for Walleyes...They don't sit on beds...However, I guess catching a big girl would cause stress (for the fish). Excitement for me..
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spawn fishing ethics?

Thanks for clarifying hobie - I wondered about eyes on beds - I guess that explains why I've never seen it - I thought I'd just been missing out
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spawn fishing ethics?

Thanks hobie. I know nothing about walleyes and have no problem admitting it since I rarely fish for them, I'll have to look up more about them.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spawn fishing ethics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAY
Ive caught 100's of bass off of beds. I see nothing wrong with it as long as you don't over play it and let it go. Ive seen bass go right back to their bed after I drop them back in the water.
[me=JAY] [/me]
X2! Same goes for 'eyes.
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