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Put me in Gavin's camp...24 inches is the important thing, the weight can vary even from day to day, let alone month to month. Fact is that there simply aren't very many 24 inch largemouth caught in this part of the country, period. The heaviest bass I ever caught in Missouri, 9 pounds even weighed on a postal scale, was 23.5 inches. I've caught one 24.5 incher on a Missouri reservoir, but it was a skinny fish that only weighed a little over 6 pounds, and a 24 incher on a small lake in the summer that weighed 7.5. And the longest largemouth I ever caught in Missouri was a 25 incher that I caught on the Meramec River that I estimated at around 8 pounds.

But if I had to guess, knowing that the fish was around 24 inches, I'd say a little over 6 pounds. Heads don't weigh as much as bellies!

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I've started marking all my rod at the 15" and 20" mark from the end of the handle. It's not precise by any means but it does allow me to get a good idea.

I have the same on a couple of my rods, except they're marked at 16 and 18"s.

Anything less I guess, and then add a couple inches for good measure. B)

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

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Yea, marking the paddle would be a good idea, or marking the side of the kayak. I tried using the stick-on tape that the MDC gives out. It doesn't work on an inflatable. Also, I've marked my rods over the years. Since, I mainly wade fish and I travel light. Caring a tape or marking a rod is the best for me. I was just giving him other ideas in case he didn't have a tape on him.

On more thing on the weight of the fish. I have two crappie mounted. 17 1/2" and 16 1/2". Both were caught in the same small quarry. They were caught 2 yrs. and 2 days apart. in the dog days of summer. Neither one broke the 2 lb. mark. They were huge crappie for Nebr. but, were paper thin.

Also, I've noticed that most smallie fisherman give the length not the weight.


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Like Wader I always wade light also.

I have done everything mentioned...anymore if I need to know a specific length I just cut a piece of nylon string and burn the ends to avoid it fraying.

In your pocket, tied on a vest, whatever works best for ya...I always cut it about an half an inch too long for good measure.

I don't know for a fact but have heard some say the stick on tapes may shrink a little after being exposed to the elements...guess I've never checked one to see.

My dad used to lay them on the cross member of the old wooden canoe we had and mark them with his knife and measure them later. I have told this before but the longest smallie mark was back in the early 60s I'd say...he and the local cons. agent were fishing the Piney and they caught 2 huge ones, they marked them both...1 mark was 24" and the other 26".

That's huge smallies, always have wondered what they would have weighed. The old canoe is in a local antique shop and still has the marks. The history behind that old canoe is a neat story in itself.

later on

My friends say I'm a douche bag ??

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don't know for a fact but have heard some say the stick on tapes may shrink a little after being exposed to the elements...guess I've never checked one to see.

There was a batch of them that did, long time ago, and it spurred a lot of controversy here at the lake from people that were cited for short crappie. But MDC personally came around to all the baitshops that had them and replaced them with new ones that don't shrink, and I think all the people that took the citation to court got it thrown out.

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