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Jim Spriggs

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Jim Spriggs last won the day on February 7

Jim Spriggs had the most liked content!

About Jim Spriggs

  • Rank
    Bigmouth Quillback
  • Birthday 11/13/1966

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    Male
  • Location
    webster groves mo
  • Interests
    fishing, hiking, camping

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  1. I haven’t posted in a while. But, yesterday’s outing was a big one for me. I launched in the afternoon and jetted through pelting rain to chase smallies. The conditions seemed good for some bigger fish to be out feeding. And, the Meramec River did not disappoint. On consecutive casts, I caught a 20.25” and then a 20.5”, breaking my previous Meramec PB of 20” and 4.2#. My scale decided to not work, so I don’t have weights on these two fishThe bigger one looked like a real warrior—it’s jaws were scarred up and had a bunch of holes. What did I catch them on, you ask? The new HD Hellgrammites (green pumpkin) on a shakey head jig. I bought a few packs at Denny Dennis in Fenton. So, thanks Tackle HD for helping me catch (and release) truly awesome fish!
  2. I haven’t posted in a while. But, yesterday’s outing was a big one for me. I launched in the afternoon and jetted through pelting rain to chase smallies. The conditions seemed good for some bigger fish to be out feeding. And, the Meramec River did not disappoint. On consecutive casts, I caught a 20.25” and then a 20.5”, breaking my previous Meramec PB of 20” and 4.2#. My scale decided to not work, so I don’t have weights on these two fishThe bigger one looked like a real warrior—it’s jaws were scarred up and had a bunch of holes. What did I catch them on, you ask? The new HD Hellgrammites (green pumpkin) on a shakey head jig. I bought a few packs at Denny Dennis in Fenton. So, thanks Tackle HD for helping me catch (and release) truly awesome fish! This post has been promoted to an article
  3. Well, HW, I say there are only two times to fish, when it’s warm and when it’s cold (unless it’s so cold the darn river is frozen). So, I’m game for doing it in either weather. If I had to choose, I’d say cooler weather to avoid the canoe crowd, since I assume this event would be on a weekend.
  4. As I suggested above, we need a biologist to do a simulation of the influence of aggressive harvest. But, to make a difference it seems only two things need to be true: 1) anglers harvest spotted bass at a faster rate than the fish can reproduce; (2) Smallmouth respond to the relative absence of spotted bass, increasing the number of eggs that mature to fish and increasing the size of fish. #1 seems doable, and #2 doesn’t seem out of the question; but I don’t know the science on #2, which needs to tell us the following: for every X number of Spotted bass, how many fewer Smallmouth are there?
  5. With respect to the disagreement about whether removing the spotted bass will have an effect, that’s an empirical question and either: (1) biologists already have a good model of the spotted bass population dynamics, and one of them could forecast what effect a change in one factor, harvest rate, would have on the overall population; or (2) we need a study. In the meantime, it can’t hurt to keep the spots. Anyone know a fisheries biologist you can pose this question to?
  6. I want to thank everyone for their responses to my post. You all have interesting information and insight into this issue. It would be awesome if some of the ideas we have been talking about get put into action. I’m certainly going to change from blanket catch and release to harvesting spotted bass. And, an education campaign, including signage, social media posts, and the like, isn’t too difficult to tackle. I like Al’s idea of MDC shock boats hitting the river hard one day and having a big fish fry. I wonder how politically/logistically difficult that one would be? Who would we approach in MDC? It could be pitched as a study—do the typical creel study and count and measure all the SMB,LMB, and Spots; and keep and eat all the spotted bass from two or three of the creel study sites. The next couple of creel studies can then determine if the spotted bass population declined in the sections of the river where the spotted bass were removed. It could take place on a day when a group like MSA is doing stream cleaning. I think there would be good turnout for such an event. I wish I could go to the river and contemplate these issues today, but, like most of you, I gotta go to work...
  7. There is a consensus on one thing on this thread—the Spots are a problem. So, I want to refocus attention on a solution, and the most effective seems to be aggressive harvest (meaning anglers taking what they catch, up to the 12 fish limit). But, this requires education because catch and release is (and should be) such a strong part of the bass angling culture; we need to get the word out to harvest Spots. Therefore, I think a publicity campaign is in order. I mentioned some ideas above, and other ways are an article in the MDC Magazine and posts on social media websites. I’m a member of the MO Smallmouth Alliance, and I’m going to talk to them about it. Later, all you crazy river runners (and, yes, I’ve been told I might be a little obsessed with he river and fishing).
  8. I think resurrecting the Spotted Bass Roundup is a great idea.
  9. I would guess most mistakes would be thinking a hybrid is a Smallmouth; and that most people wouldn’t confuse a Smallmouth for a Spot. So, the error would be for people to not take a hybrid because they think it’s a smallie—reducing the effectiveness of the effort So, we should combine the Spot campaign with a flyer that describes in easy terms how to recognize a hybrid.
  10. I knew Spots competed with Smallmouth, but I didn’t realize the seriousness of the problem until now. In fact, I haven’t been keeping Spots, but I will now. How can we, or perhaps MDC, educate anglers who care about Smallmouth to keep Spotted bass? An article in the MDC magazine? Signs at boat ramps? Occasional emails or mailers from MDC to all fishing license holders? I suspect MDC would be reticent to send out such a request, so I wonder if MDC would give a group, such as the MO Smallmouth Alliance, the email list for license holders. They could email anglers with a note about this issue. How about an online tally of the number of Spots harvested from each section of the river? Every time someone goes fishing, they count the number of Spots they keep, and they add that number to the Spot count for that section of the river. We can divide the river by the water between boat ramps (e.g, between Sand Ford and Red Horse). We can set a goal for the number of Spots taken from the river, and we get people interested in helping to achieve that number. Run it like a fund-raising campaign. Maybe we keep count of who keeps the most, and they get a prize, or just the glory of being the Spot King. Maybe the MO Smallmouth Alliance would sponsor it? Other ideas? Assuming most Smallmouth anglers began keeping Spotted bass, how long would it take to make a difference for the Smallies?
  11. When Jen sent me the 2015 data, she said the following about lower catch rates in 2015: “You’ll notice the catch rates appear to have dropped, but we implemented a standardized sampling strategy that accounts for that change more so than reflecting a real change in the smallmouth population.“
  12. The table below is from the MDC’s 2015 electrofishing survey. The average # Of Smallmouth caught per hour was 11; and it was about 18 per hour from the State Park to Hwy 8 (if you drop out Riverview, which is an outlier, the average is still 10.75 upriver from the Park), while it was only 6.25 per hour below the Park to River ‘Round How much of the decline in the number of smalmouth caught per hour below the State Park versus above might be due o Spotted bass versus the character of the river?
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