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Jason Essary

Fishing After A Limit

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Guys, I dont keep many bass anymore but a friend asked a question and I dont know for sure the answer.

If you catch a limit of a species, say 6 bass, can you continue fishing catch and release?

I think its legal, but got to wondering. Done it many times catching whites so thought id ask before doing it again.

Thanks

Eric Prey made me aware of this rule in this past weekends Joe Bass. Here's some documentation,....No cull July or August period.

Bass Fishing in Mo? Remember no Culling PDF Print E-mail

Written by Administrator

Thursday, 28 June 2007 16:33

From the Missouri Department of Conservation, no culling of bass from July 1 through Aug. 31.

JEFFERSON CITY-If you think summer is uncomfortable for you, put yourself in a fish's place. Your home heats up, oxygen gets scarce, and there is no air (or water) conditioning or fans to turn on. That is why Missouri fishing regulations prohibit anglers from "culling" during July and August.

Culling is the practice of releasing one fish that was caught previously so you can keep a larger one. When anglers put the last fish of their daily limit in a live well, they no longer can keep any fish of that species that day. However, under certain conditions, anglers fishing in tournaments can continue to fish if they stop one fish short of a limit and release a living fish from their live well before replacing it with a fish they just caught. This allows them to "trade up," replacing one fish with a larger one.

Tournament bass anglers may cull live bass from September through June. July and August are the months the no culling rule applies. The rule is meant to reduce the number of tournament-caught bass that are subject to higher mortality during the hot summer months. The rule also heightens tournament anglers' awareness of the factors that influence fish mortality.

Missouri's limit on black bass is six per day. This includes any bass that are not released immediately, whether they are in live wells for one minute or for eight hours. Once you placed a sixth bass in your live well you may not replace any of the bass with another. However, if you are fishing in a tournament in which the limit is five bass, and you have five bass in the live well, you can replace one fish, one time.

If a bass dies in your live well it cannot be replaced with a live one, any time. If you have caught your sixth legal bass and have placed all six fish in your live well for any length of time, you can continue fishing but you must release any bass caught immediately, regardless of size.

Fisheries Field Operations Supervisor Kevin Richards said some anglers

- and even some tournament officials - are not as familiar with the culling rule as they should be. They can find detailed information about culling and catch-and-release fishing techniques at www.mdc.mo.gov/conmag/2006/05/40.htm.

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Technically, you can fish after you keep a limit of fish, other than the trout park rule. When you are fishing a lake or a stream, there are many species of fish that you can keep a limit of so you really don't have to stop and go home. You can't possess a limit of fish, keep fishing, catch one that you like better of the same species as the limit in possession and trade it for one in possession. Unless you are in a tournament, then you are special and have your own set of rules.

In the trout parks of MO, once you have 4 fish in possession for your daily limit, you are done, period. You can't go to the catch and release section and fish some more. You can't drop your fish off at the camp, then go fish catch and release. According to park rules, you are done. Since the area is managed for one species, you can't attempt to target other species and be legal fishing after you have reached your daily possession limit. You can't catch a bigger fish and drop a smaller one off of your stringer either. Once you "keep" a fish, it can't be culled.

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I believe, the walleye tournaments I've been involved in were just plain, "NO culling"....No matter what month...The old MWAA and the Mid-South tournaments were team tourneys....You could weigh 5 walleyes.......no culling.....period....Missouri or Arkansas.

I'm not quoting state regs, just tournament regs. If you put walleye number 5 in your livewell, you are done for the day.

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Okay so I pulled out the reg book and read the section on culling. The final line in the culling section states, " At no time may the daily limit be exceeded." This is after it talks about the bass tournaments etc. I use to work at Roaring River and I know it is a different world but it use to be that once you put the last fish of a limit in your possition(on the stringer or in the live well) you were done. I would believe that bass fishing would be the same. once the 6th fish is put in the live well you would be done. Most bass tournaments that I fish have a 5 fish limit so if an angler is fishing by themselves they do not exceed the limit and if there are 2 anglers in a boat they have nothing to worry about.

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So why would culling up in size be an issue anyway if you aren't fishing a tournament? Are you culling up to take the largest six fish home to eat? If so, you have no right to criticize derby fishermen.

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I suspect you won't get away with because once you have a limit possessed holding another one is possessing it.

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I suspect you won't get away with because once you have a limit possessed holding another one is possessing it.

Negative!! In order for it to be "released immediately" you would have to hold it, at one point... It's the "released immediately" that can be called into question.. Say, if you were to take a photo or whatever...

Granted, I'd feel pretty stupid standing there with my buzzbait on my medium action rod, explaining to the agent how I'm "targeting crappie"... lol

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I will fess up. I once fished after I had a limit of ten on the stringer. I even culled one off the stringer. Is everyone cringing or vomiting? I was younger, much much younger, and I was meat fishing. I was also very proud of the catch and would post the picture if I had one.

Things change. Rules change. Self imposed expectations change. Would I do the same now? No.

The goal should be to enlighten through example.

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