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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
     I have a great deal of respect for those of you that can consistently catch wiper.  For that reason, I'm asking for you to share some of your reasons for catching and releasing them.  I understand the obvious - let someone else catch them for another day - that goes with all species.  My confusion with wiper is that they are hybrids.  DOW started stocking them in 1981 to provide an additional sport species that are easily managed.  They can't breed, so they won't take over fisheries permanently like the pike in 11-mile and Spinney. 
     I also was under the impression that hybrids were to be a "put and take" fish, meaning that they are meant to be eaten.   A lot of you are very strict when it comes to releasing larger wiper.  I respect that, but I don't completely understand when I think that those fish will end up dying of old age without adding to the gene pool.
     For what it's worth, I won't keep a black bass in Colorado, regardless of the size.  Someone told me that a 15" bass in Texas is probably only a year or two old, but the same size bass might be 7 years old in Colorado, due to the short growing season.
     If you can give me similar reasons for releasing wiper, you will have converted me.  Also, are you just releasing the large ones?  If so, how large does it have to be before you let it go?  For now, wiper of any size are safe from me . . . I can't seem to catch them on purpose, but I hope to change that. 
     One last thing . . . I'm posting this because I respect everyone's opinion and I truly don't want to start an argument or debate.  If you're all for keeping and eating wiper, I respect that and would never judge you for it.  I'm just asking some of the catch and release guys their thoughts on the subject. Please educate me.
     
 

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Good post lgombos: My take on the catch & release thing regarding wipers is if 15" wipers are consistently released then you'll have a better chance of catching 20" wipers, eventually. It is true that wipers constantly have to be restocked to maintain a fishery- the question is, how big do you want them to be. If everyone catches and keeps little ones that is what kind of fishery it will be. I personally don't have a problem with people keeping 15" wipers to be consumed as a fresh fish. And, push come to shove, I don't have a problem with someone keeping a legal stringer full. But, wait til you hook onto a 26" freight train of a wiper and it will be apparent why it's cool to leave them in the pond for awhile. Also, the thing about having a hard time catching a wiper of any size - that is the nature of wiper fishing - pretty much hit and miss. John
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm sold. Consider me a convert. Plenty of other species to eat if I have a taste for fresh fish. Thanks for the great reply.
 

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Lgombos, you seem to be a cool guy. By the way, depending on where you live, you might want to try Douglas Res north of Ft Collins (15 minutes). Wiper fishing is primarily from the shore near the boat ramp and off the dam. My son and I fly fish it - big streamers, Clouser Minnows, and white woolly buggers. Again, hit and miss fishing. Go early and late. My son got one 13 lbs and I got one about 11 lbs. Ave is about 3 to 4lbs. Lots of people use lures and shiners. It's slow so far this season but should pick up soon.
 

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Lgombos,
I'm the worse when it comes to keeping fish.
Unless I'm camping and want trout for dinner, I don't keep anything. Part of it is because I work in the fishing tackle industry and the other is I like when someone catches a big fish. Most of the bruisers get that way by catch and release. I've been broken off twice at Aurora by what could only be an armored tank. There is something magical
about that empty but excited feeling when your drag is zinging and them all of a sudden stops. I almost needed an extra pair of shorts. If any of you have caught the 20+ lb stripers at E Butte, or Cumberland, or off the NE coast you know how they fight.
IMO because wipers don't reproduce it's all the more reason to release them. I could see different it they tasted like lobster, but I'm sure they don't. Great topic, thanks for bringing it up.
 

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Depends on the fishery.  On lakes like Pueblo, where wipers are still stocked on a regular basis, I do support the "put and take " mentality.  HOWEVER, on Aurora and Cherry Creek Reservoirs, the DOW has not stocked wipers for several years and had no plans on re-stocking any time soon.  For this reason, responsible fishing is necessary for the future of the fishery.  In cases like these, I do again support keeping A FISH OR TWO, but too many times, I have seen irresponsible anglers take home 4 or 5 fish in a day.  Another point...  I also do support taking the larger fish home when it comes to the sterile hybrids.  The reason is, wipers usually have a life expectancy that is much shorter than pure breds.  If you catch a 17 pound wiper, chances are it is nearing it's life expectancy and will be dying of old age soon anyway.  Release the 5 to 7 pounders; they still have a lot of growing up (and entertaining ) to do.  The bottom line is just be reasonable.  Don't be greedy.  Understand, that fifth fish you just caught and want to take home and shove into the freezer, was probably at one time caught and released by someone more thoughtful and caring than you, so give it a second thought.
 

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Great thread...I release most that I catch...and they do taste great...there is plenty of fish that I dont care for...I have heard lots of great descriptions here...it is what makes me a wiper bigot for life...tie your line to a speeding car bumper and try and reel it in and make it stop...a friend of mine was spooled on the first one we hooked at Aurora a number of years back...200 yards of line...the horrified look on Dennis's face...me laughing my arse off...we were immediately sold...if there is a more powerful freshwater fish I havent hooked it...so if I am not forthcoming on all the intricate details of what I have figured out at Aurora...just trying to protect the fishery...give a few hints here and there figuring the ones who make enough effort to not have something handed to them will be the ones who will practice selective harvest...a key in my mind for Aurora and Creek where they may not be stocking them anymore...I would rather see them go the way of the dinosaur on their own and die of old age...they have earned it...I guess it was like seeing the onslaught of people at Harriman this weekend and the ones hoping to catch a bunch of saugeyes for the skillet...it is a little lake without much biomass and if you take everything home there isnt going to be anything left...but then I guess it is up to the other guy to practice catch and release...I know this isnt going to be popular with some...and so you dont get mad at Ken for my opinions...he has left us on our own for our thoughts and doesnt try and control us and we are volunteers (not paid) as moderators...so when you fish somewhere...try and think if you are having a great day and keeping a stringerfull of fish..if everyone did this could this place support it...if it can by all means do...if it cant...let a fish or two go for someone else to catch...my two cents...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, Zman. It was actually your report where you lamented keeping one that caused me to ask. All very good points. There are other species to eat, if that's what I feel like doing (orange roughie). Good lesson for my son, too. Have to pass this on to the next generation. ;D
 

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I will not keep a bass regardless of size, However crappie, wallleye, medium to small size wipers(6 - 2 lbs), catfish, perch, bluegill and the ocassional trout will always be religously released in my frying pan. ;D
 

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That's just great. When there are no fish left we can all turn to windsurfing or flying kites. Hamburger helper is only
$2 a box. Buy a case of it and release the fish for crying out loud. Why would anyone cut up a poor defenseless perch?
It's bad enough they have to swim around with those silly black vertical bars on their sides and that goofy mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Kites aren't bad if you get the bones out. I've never tried a windsurf board. Any recipes? :D
 
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