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Quick Trip to Big M- day after thanksgiving

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38 minutes ago, Devan S. said:

So it seems to some degree its not a localized trend. It appears fishing as a sport(or the economy) has grown to the point that most have access and desire to part take in the sport fairly often. Doesn't that absolutely lend itself to protecting the resource in a way that allows it to attempt to sustain itself instead of stocking? If it cant or wont then maybe stocking is the answer?

Should we begin to stock all fish in all bodies of water that they have a reasonable chance of survival?

Well, I guess my issue is with the MDC and their refusal to stock bass.  The hypocrisy of stocking other species but not bass is a tough pill to swallow when other states are very successful in their efforts.  It's hard to compare any of the lakes that you listed above to any lakes in Missouri just based on the fact that ALL OF THEM are stocked with LMB.  I'll never understand stocking paddlefish or trout when the biggest economical impact is the bass.  Just from a business standpoint, it makes very little sense.

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On ‎11‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 9:13 AM, 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 have been wondering the same thing. We catch bigger Smallmouth out of rivers with very little depth of water or forage compared to Table Rock. The White River strain Smallies may be closely related or actually are Neosho strain??....which if they are just don't get as big but, are a very cool and unique strain of Smallmouth.

There should be more bigger bass in that lake IMO..... fishing pressure or not. I had one on across from the State park on a topwater bait and lost it at the boat that was an extremely long Smallie that I would guess in the 5lb class no doubt.....other than that just a bunch of 3lbers never any in the 4lb class.

I would like to and often dream that the next state record will come from Table rock but, it just hasn't happened?? 

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1 hour ago, Royal Blue said:

Well, I guess my issue is with the MDC and their refusal to stock bass.  The hypocrisy of stocking other species but not bass is a tough pill to swallow when other states are very successful in their efforts.  It's hard to compare any of the lakes that you listed above to any lakes in Missouri just based on the fact that ALL OF THEM are stocked with LMB.  I'll never understand stocking paddlefish or trout when the biggest economical impact is the bass.  Just from a business standpoint, it makes very little sense.

AGREED 100%

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3 hours ago, DavidB said:

Our group from Louisiana (Toledo Bend) has come to Table Rock in April for 35 years.  We primarily fish Long Creek, from the Arkansas line to the dam area.  We love Table rock and look forward to coming back again this coming April.  Several of us are avid readers of this forum which, in my opinion, is the best of its kind.  The discussion about fishing pressure has caught my attention.  We have never felt crowded on Table Rock, although the wakes from the pleasure boats are a major annoyance.  In our view, the pressure on Toledo Bend far exceeds that which we've seen on Table Rock.  Major thanks to Bill for moderating this forum, and to all of you who contribute to it.

And Toledo Bend is a big lake.  I have never fished Lake Fork but I hear it is crazy at times.  2 hours outside of Dallas so it is understandable.  

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Gents,  there may be some truth in the fishery changes and it’s lost in comparison, complaints and whining. 

How to catch them has certainly changed over the last 20 years. For big brownies, I catch more quantity and quality than ever before. Stringer wise, the winter bite sure seems to show lots of good ones and weights that are as good or better than ever. 

100 fish days still happen every year. The pleasure boats suck worse than ever but I can’t agree the fishing is faltering. Sorry, just a different view. 

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4 hours ago, Royal Blue said:

Well, I guess my issue is with the MDC and their refusal to stock bass.  The hypocrisy of stocking other species but not bass is a tough pill to swallow when other states are very successful in their efforts.  It's hard to compare any of the lakes that you listed above to any lakes in Missouri just based on the fact that ALL OF THEM are stocked with LMB.  I'll never understand stocking paddlefish or trout when the biggest economical impact is the bass.  Just from a business standpoint, it makes very little sense.

Absolutely,  the MDC stocks elk, worries about bear population, etc...all while bass fishing probably has the biggest economic impact to our state of any of our sports.

Some may argue this, but the other sports (including all hunting) can't produce the shear tax impact of bass fishing. 

I know some people are anti-tournaments, but just look at the economic impact and people it involves.  If the MDC would wake up and we as sportsmen support our cause, maybe real changes can be made.  Also, tournament timing, culling rules, weight and release etc, would help as well. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Quillback said:

And Toledo Bend is a big lake.  I have never fished Lake Fork but I hear it is crazy at times.  2 hours outside of Dallas so it is understandable.  

Not only is Toledo Bend big, 180,000 acres, it has massive shallow areas(called flats) that are shallower than 20 feet which makes for a tremendous amount of habitat for largemouth.  

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2 hours ago, fozzype said:

Absolutely,  the MDC stocks elk, worries about bear population, etc...all while bass fishing probably has the biggest economic impact to our state of any of our sports.

Some may argue this, but the other sports (including all hunting) can't produce the shear tax impact of bass fishing. 

I know some people are anti-tournaments, but just look at the economic impact and people it involves.  If the MDC would wake up and we as sportsmen support our cause, maybe real changes can be made.  Also, tournament timing, culling rules, weight and release etc, would help as well. 

 

 

It's the Missouri Department of Conservation not the department of revenue or the collectors office. The concept that it should be run as a business is about the worst possible outcome for the average joe. The concept that bass tournaments and bass fishing is the biggest tax impact so they should get what they want is basically saying MDC should focus 100% of their efforts on deer hunting and bass fishing and to heck with everything else regardless.

The fact that other states see a positive result from stocking doesn't mean its the best method. It also isn't a good reason to say we need to stock here. Its the exact same logic MoCarp uses for why we need trophy carp regulations.....Well CT does it and they are successful. 

Its not anti-tournament at all. There is a 2 month period when what I would guess millions(or more) of opportunities for bass eggs to be laid naturally. This amounts to a free opportunity for the resource to sustain itself instead of relying on outside help or intervention. The fact is those opportunities don't happen with fish being carted all over the lake for those time periods. What do you think will happen when 600+ anglers fish for the Big Bass in early April? If half of the entrants only move 1 fish each how does that correlate to the opportunity lost for those larger fish to have a successful spawn? Is it a years worth of stocked fry? Multiply that by how many tournaments in March through May and how many bass moved all over? Those numbers are astronomical when you consider a bass is going to lay more than 2,000 eggs. Sure they wont all live but neither do stocked fry. Why spend the money when you already have the free opportunity?

Imagine if the Crappie fishermen wanted Crappie stocked. What a ruckus...why would we spend money stocking Crappie instead of Bass when Crappie fishermen are generally catch and keep and they spawn prolifically? The shoe literally fits on both feet the only difference is the opportunity cost is blatantly obvious under catch and keep. It's a little more hidden when you catch, contain, and release later. 

At the end of the day the economic impact point is mute, most of those business can make enough off the pleasure crowd to sustain. The ones that are primarily focused on fisherman won't exist if TRL is as bad its often laid out to be on here because there wont be tournaments/destination fisherman to sustain them when they go to better locations. 

I realize there is a group of individuals on here that see that opportunity cost and have personally changed their ways but the fact of the matter is as a collective group those individuals are the minority. Unfortunately MDC is resource limited, so why not implement some free measures that may help? Instead we want to spend a bunch of money collecting, hatching, raising fish that already naturally spawn in TRL. I understand it would ruffle some feather but cutting budget in other areas to raise bass is going to ruffle feathers too.

It isn't about profit, taxes, or economic impacts. It should be about conservation and there is absolutely no reason to not attempt to let bass try and sustain themselves and restrict your own actions before you claim they need help and throw money at it. If the response is well business wont make it, or cheaters will cheat, or you can't stop people from fishing the spawn, or what happens if you cancel Johnny's Big Bass Bash then for its not actually about the bass its about personal satisfaction. Those people that are only concerned about personal satisfaction are going to find something that torques them whether MDC stocks a billion fish or they stock zero. 

I agree with Basfis....It cant be that bad....Heck Bo literally catches 10+ keepers every time his boat gets wet whether they bite for anyone else or not. 

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, Devan S. said:

You know whats hard? Telling people no tournaments during the spawn(or closed seasons completely during the spawn), limiting tournaments throughout the year, holding tournaments accountable for dead fish, and stopping summertime tournaments where delayed fish kills can and do happen, and forcing smaller tournaments which outnumber the big names by 100's to 1 to adopt different scoring systems.. Then when all the surrounding small business owners crow about a loss in business not caving in.

Stocking likely has its place in times of poor recruitment and after an event like the LMBV but don't think for a second that dumping fish into TRL like they do Taney isn't going to create a bunch of other problems. 

This is a mouthful right here and is something that, if addressed, would likely have a much bigger impact than supplemental stocking. Everyone wants to hold tournament after tournament in the spring months, when the fish are most vulnerable, and we've all seen the results of poor fish care during some summer events. Delayed mortality takes even more fish and is far less visible. 

It would be nice to see MDC take a hard look through eyes unclouded by money (economic impact) and/or politics, and fearlessly address the fact that hundreds upon hundreds of tournaments simply cannot be healthy for our fishery. Yes, by all means, tournament anglers have a right to enjoy their sport. But that right ends where harm to the fishery begins. 

I'd still like to see an exhaustive study done --- far more than springtime electrofishing --- where MDC collected true data on the lake's carrying capacity for black basses (LM, SM and spots) and took action to try and get us to that point. Heck, maybe we are there now. But we will never know by simply shocking up a few fish while they are up shallow during spawn/immediate postspawn months. 

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43 minutes ago, Champ188 said:

I'd still like to see an exhaustive study done --- far more than springtime electrofishing --- where MDC collected true data on the lake's carrying capacity for black basses (LM, SM and spots) and took action to try and get us to that point. Heck, maybe we are there now. But we will never know by simply shocking up a few fish while they are up shallow during spawn/immediate postspawn months. 

BINGO! That's what needs to be flooded into the MDC's email box. Ask the questions, shoot holes in their science and methods, and make measurable suggestions. Don't just spam them with Fishing sucks compared to years ago, we want stocking because this is the biggest tax base and every other state does it. That's all anecdotal evidence and the equivalent argument is there is more tournaments than ever, more people out fishing then ever, more people at the boat ramps then ever on Table Rock so fishing must not be that bad. Would it really be that crowded with fishermen if it was completely devoid of fish?

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