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Quick Trip to Big M- day after thanksgiving

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1 hour ago, Mitch f said:

I’ve spoken to Bo about this before....I’m puzzled why I haven’t seen many bigger smallmouth taken out of Table Rock over the last ten years. Has something happened to the fishery in your opinions? You would think a 6 pounder would get weighed in with all of these tournaments all year long. I guess the lake ain’t what it used to be and we are living the new normal? 

I think about that myself, only thing I can think of is genetics.  We have those long, muscular smallmouth compared to those fat football smallmouth they have up north where 5-6 lb. fish are more common than down here.  You'd think we'd have longer growing season than those northern lakes that get ice bound every year for months, so you'd think our fish should get bigger, but they don't.

Or maybe there' more groceries in the northern lakes, and those groceries are easier for the fish to catch. so they eat more.  

Wish 6 lbers were more common here, but I get a kick out of catching the ones we have.

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3 minutes ago, Quillback said:

I think about that myself, only thing I can think of is genetics.  We have those long, muscular smallmouth compared to those fat football smallmouth they have up north where 5-6 lb. fish are more common than down here.  You'd think we'd have longer growing season than those northern lakes that get ice bound every year for months, so you'd think our fish should get bigger, but they don't.

Or maybe there' more groceries in the northern lakes, and those groceries are easier for the fish to catch. so they eat more.  

Wish 6 lbers were more common here, but I get a kick out of catching the ones we have.

I had one over 5 and 3 more over 4 late this summer on Bull.  Before this year, I'd never had a keeper smallmouth over there.  You're right though, they're very long and lean compared to a 5lber in Wisconsin or Minnesota.

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IMG_2290 (2).jpg

April, 2001 caught and released Viney Creek Table Rock Lake  Replica, Wild Life Creations.

Buster and I have spoken about this many times.  We both believe it is mostly due to extreme fishing pressure.  Fish on TR or even some extent on Bull are fished 24-7, 365 days a year.

Smallmouth have an extremely aggresive nature especially when shallow and are subject to repeatedly getting caught.  Even with catch and release these fish are in peril of swallowing hooks and being continually handled.  MDC is saying now that a smallmouth in TR will be 6 yrs. old to be 15".  In that first 5 yrs. the fish will see hundreds of presentations and just the likely hood of staying alive to get to 5 plus pounds at perhaps 10 plus years is just astronomical.

IMG_0107.jpg

May 2011 5# 3 oz. Table Rock Lake  Cow Creek Area caught and released

This past Summer I went up to Northern Wisconsin and was going to fish Chequamegan Bay for SM.  It is a 42,000 acre bay on Lake Superior, it is totally catch and release for SM.   Unfortunately it rained the day I was going to fish but I had a great visit with my guide.  He says there are literally packs of 5 pound SM on the flats in the Spring.  Fishing starts mid-May and ends in October.  He told me most days even on weekends he will see no one fishing for SM.  Most everyone fishes salmon and walleye.

IMG_0104.jpg

May 2011, 5# 3oz  Table Rock Lake caught and released Combs Ferry area

You have a bay the size of TR that is 18' deep that is catch and release and you have maybe he thought a 1000 people a year fish it for SM and that is how you grown them big. He said they live and can be caught in the entire bay as it is full of grass and structure clumps.  There are more fish off shore than on and most never see a lure in their lifetime.

Smallmouth here really occupy in numbers a much smaller area of the lake.  Yes they are lake wide, but the major concentrations are from Point 9 on the White to Long Creek.  This of course is the most fished area of the lake so the continued pressure is just obscene.

Saying that my biggest jaw a 6.1 pound was caught and released near at Big M.  2001.

As we are starting to see the professional fishing tournaments change to a completely catch and release small impact format, we are going to need the conservation departments to take a similar stance as far as limits and fishing pressure on these bodies of water.  Perhaps a season, lower the limits and regulating tournament size and the number of tournaments on any body of water per year.

IMG_0108.jpg

May 2011, 5# Table Rock Lake caught and released Combs Ferry area

What was once thought to be of huge economic impact to resort communities is not so much anymore. 

 The preservation of the fishery is much more important and its time MDC moved in that direction.  Our no stock catch and kill was OK in the 60's and 70's and early 80's but this is a different time.

Knowledge, pressure, and equipment have changed the game. Yes the fish still have to bite, but finding them has become much simpler and catching them has followed suit.

Bo and I are catching the same fish during the year that we were 20 plus years ago.  How many of you are now catching those fish?   I'm gong to say a bunch if you have been reading.

Fish that were never available to you are now just a sonar shot away.   Education and equipment have given everyone the chance to catch those fish that but a very few were catching.  Now everyone has a screen shot of schools of deep fish that once were pretty much unmolested from November to March.

Indeed times have changed and yes we can keep up with them but the same old same old needs to not only change but move into a more forward thinking wise use of mentality.

Good Luck

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23 minutes ago, Bill Babler said:

IMG_2290 (2).jpg

April, 2001 caught and released Viney Creek Table Rock Lake  Replica, Wild Life Creations.

Buster and I have spoken about this many times.  We both believe it is mostly due to extreme fishing pressure.  Fish on TR or even some extent on Bull are fished 24-7, 365 days a year.

Smallmouth have an extremely aggresive nature especially when shallow and are subject to repeatedly getting caught.  Even with catch and release these fish are in peril of swallowing hooks and being continually handled.  MDC is saying now that a smallmouth in TR will be 6 yrs. old to be 15".  In that first 5 yrs. the fish will see hundreds of presentations and just the likely hood of staying alive to get to 5 plus pounds at perhaps 10 plus years is just astronomical.

IMG_0107.jpg

May 2011 5# 3 oz. Table Rock Lake  Cow Creek Area caught and released

This past Summer I went up to Northern Wisconsin and was going to fish Chequamegan Bay for SM.  It is a 42,000 acre bay on Lake Superior, it is totally catch and release for SM.   Unfortunately it rained the day I was going to fish but I had a great visit with my guide.  He says there are literally packs of 5 pound SM on the flats in the Spring.  Fishing starts mid-May and ends in October.  He told me most days even on weekends he will see no one fishing for SM.  Most everyone fishes salmon and walleye.

IMG_0104.jpg

May 2011, 5# 3oz  Table Rock Lake caught and released Combs Ferry area

You have a bay the size of TR that is 18' deep that is catch and release and you have maybe he thought a 1000 people a year fish it for SM and that is how you grown them big. He said they live and can be caught in the entire bay as it is full of grass and structure clumps.  There are more fish off shore than on and most never see a lure in their lifetime.

Smallmouth here really occupy in numbers a much smaller area of the lake.  Yes they are lake wide, but the major concentrations are from Point 9 on the White to Long Creek.  This of course is the most fished area of the lake so the continued pressure is just obscene.

Saying that my biggest jaw a 6.1 pound was caught and released near at Big M.  2001.

As we are starting to see the professional fishing tournaments change to a completely catch and release small impact format, we are going to need the conservation departments to take a similar stance as far as limits and fishing pressure on these bodies of water.  Perhaps a season, lower the limits and regulating tournament size and the number of tournaments on any body of water per year.

IMG_0108.jpg

May 2011, 5# Table Rock Lake caught and released Combs Ferry area

What was once thought to be of huge economic impact to resort communities is not so much anymore. 

 The preservation of the fishery is much more important and its time MDC moved in that direction.  Our no stock catch and kill was OK in the 60's and 70's and early 80's but this is a different time.

Knowledge, pressure, and equipment have changed the game. Yes the fish still have to bite, but finding them has become much simpler and catching them has followed suit.

Bo and I are catching the same fish during the year that we were 20 plus years ago.  How many of you are now catching those fish?   I'm gong to say a bunch if you have been reading.

Fish that were never available to you are now just a sonar shot away.   Education and equipment have given everyone the chance to catch those fish that but a very few were catching.  Now everyone has a screen shot of schools of deep fish that once were pretty much unmolested from November to March.

Indeed times have changed and yes we can keep up with them but the same old same old needs to not only change but move into a more forward thinking wise use of mentality.

Good Luck

yes sir bill, you said a mouthful.  what took me many years of searching with a flasher and a topo map can now be found in minutes with the new age electronics.  and, there are more and more folks fishing for those same bass that were untouched for decades except for a few of us.  lack of timber has done away with some of that though.  for those that believe they have a secret fishing spot, all they need to do is to sit across the lake and watch and see how many times a day it gets fished.  as far as the mdc, now is the time to continue to voice your opinions and observations to shane bush.  i've kind of opened his eyes just a crack and everyone needs to pitch in to keep prying.  one of the things i's suggested they need to institute on tournament fishing is the mlf format of taking a photo of the bass on a scale and release the bass right where it was caught.  this will help those areas that struggle with spawning success.  i need to take time out and write him a dissertation on his last response to me, but have had a lot of things going on, and i want to be sure to get all in that needs to be.

it would be nice to get them into a public forum, where we could voice our experiences to them in open public for all to hear.  that way, there could be no dispute on what the public says.  shane sent me some shocking surveys and they are bogus info about the health of the lake.  we have plenty of areas of the lake that hardly have any bass or crappie, but they never shock those areas.  anyway, sure wish everyone would keep shane's phone and e-mail busy.

bo

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Nice write up Mr. Babler...

 

Bo is right there is no secret spot on table rock.

Fished a tournament back in October and found a spot in the afternoon and caught a couple 3 pounders, figured hit that spot first thing the next morning and there was 6 boats fishing in that spot and area. So we ran up the White to couple spots we have fished before and had some success and guess what boats sitting in those spots as well..I don't fish where others are fishing so we went on.

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22 minutes ago, 176champion said:

Bo is right there is no secret spot on table rock.

I don't fish Tablerock (I fish Taney) but I go down several times a year at least.  We go out on the lake every time we are down to pleasure ride.  The increase is fishing is just unbelievable the past few years.  As is the amount of boats in general.  We always head out real early and some mornings there are literally hundreds of bass boats out fishing.  We stay between 86 and KC so I realize it's the main lake area but holy cow!!!  I've seen several boats lined up fishing from shallow to deep on the same run out point.   

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I think there is a saturation point, if were not at it we are getting close to it.  From our deck we can see a fantastic amount of Table Rock.  We can see from Old 86 to Long Creek Bridge and all of Clevenger Branch and Emerald and Paradise Point along with Big Cedar Hollow and Persimmon Hollow. and part of Jakes Creek.  Not uncommon to see between 15 and 30 boats actively fishing, not running but fishing. It's a rotation from location to location on a continuing basis.

Of course people are fishing the shore, but in the last 10 yrs. they are also fishing the offshore ridges, humps and channel swings that hold concentrations of fish year round and  had previously been untouched.

This is pretty much knowledge  and technology have exceeded the natural reproduction and life cycle of the fish.   Have the fish adapted to more being in deep water and off shore or are we just exploiting a resource that was for the most part untapped?  Maybe a little of both, but evolution and I know some folks don't like the word, cannot at this juncture keep pace with the technology

Climate change and slow subtle environmental changes can be adapted to by nature,  but we have seen in the past 20 yrs. a revolution in mind numbing electronic innovation that has really changed the course of evolution as far as our fisheries are concerned.

It is time for the forces that be to be pro-active instead of re-active.  This lake has a fantastic forage base and can hold an nurture a larger predator population.  For that population to grow and sustain with out added recruitment "ie stocking" it needs to have the ability without constant pressure and handling to be allowed to do so

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Bill Babler said:

I think there is a saturation point, if were not at it we are getting close to it.  From our deck we can see a fantastic amount of Table Rock.  We can see from Old 86 to Long Creek Bridge and all of Clevenger Branch and Emerald and Paradise Point along with Big Cedar Hollow and Persimmon Hollow. and part of Jakes Creek.  Not uncommon to see between 15 and 30 boats actively fishing, not running but fishing. It's a rotation from location to location on a continuing basis.

Of course people are fishing the shore, but in the last 10 yrs. they are also fishing the offshore ridges, humps and channel swings that hold concentrations of fish year round and  had previously been untouched.

This is pretty much knowledge  and technology have exceeded the natural reproduction and life cycle of the fish.   Have the fish adapted to more being in deep water and off shore or are we just exploiting a resource that was for the most part untapped?  Maybe a little of both, but evolution and I know some folks don't like the word, cannot at this juncture keep pace with the technology

Climate change and slow subtle environmental changes can be adapted to by nature,  but we have seen in the past 20 yrs. a revolution in mind numbing electronic innovation that has really changed the course of evolution as far as our fisheries are concerned.

It is time for the forces that be to be pro-active instead of re-active.  This lake has a fantastic forage base and can hold an nurture a larger predator population.  For that population to grow and sustain with out added recruitment "ie stocking" it needs to have the ability without constant pressure and handling to be allowed to do so

 

 

 

The simple answer is to raise license prices and supplement the population on these lakes with largemouth, period.

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