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#12147383 - 03/18/17 10:16 PM What's Happened to the Really Big Bass
Big Swimbait Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 02/01/14
Posts: 525
Loc: Irving
I read a FB post about the top 25 biggest bass caught. This list has not changed since 2009 with Kurita's catch, and the last US fish on the list is 2006. So I looked at the Texas top 25 & we haven't had a change since 2011. Prior to those dates, the list was fairly fluid with additions. It's like someone thew a switch. So the lack of 16 pound plus fish is not just in Texas.

Our technology & equipment have improved 10 fold. I have no theory as to why, but would love to hear others thoughts.
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#12147407 - 03/18/17 10:29 PM Re: What's Happened to the Really Big Bass [Re: Big Swimbait]
wtf242 Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 10/26/16
Posts: 105
Loc: Austin, TX
There's definitely a lot more pressure these days. We also had a really bad drought from 2010 - 2015 and many lakes were under 50% full. Also it seems TPWD is hell bent on removing hydrilla and other aquatic vegetation from many of the lakes in Texas. I know Lake Austin, one of the best bass fishing lakes in Texas, was ruined by grass carp. I'm sure there's been many others.

With many of the lakes full now, I suspect the fishing is going to be great for the next couple of years with all the new structure that grew. I was out on Travis fishing today and It's amazing how much underwater structure there is now and the fish are clinging to it.

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#12147409 - 03/18/17 10:31 PM Re: What's Happened to the Really Big Bass [Re: Big Swimbait]
TeamTriton13 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 04/27/16
Posts: 26
Loc: Ft. Worth, TX
This topic came up before and I tend to agree with the theory that people don't keep enough small fish. I know it feels wrong to keep a bass heck I always say it's like eating a hunting dog or something lol. The proof is in the pudding though back in the day people kept lots of fish which allowed for large fish to become giant fish. Look at marine creek there are a ton of shall we say coke bottle fisherman that keep everything they catch out there and you see what it has produced this year. The best ranch pond I have ever fished always had a rule if it was under 16 inches you threw it in the other pond a few steps away. After years of this practice you would catch much larger fish much more consistently. Makes the most sense to me I mean look at how great our technology is and how much more realistic baits look. Tournament weights have gone up too but you hardly ever see a 15 plus pound fish caught anymore. That is my opinion.

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#12147507 - 03/19/17 01:53 AM Re: What's Happened to the Really Big Bass [Re: Big Swimbait]
russelltl Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 29
I would guess the drought has something to do with it, Also, I may be way of base but, could it be that the folks catching those giant type bass are just not speaking up in an attempt to protect "their" water? I have never had the opportunity to be out in the situation but I'm. It sure with the rapid spread of information on social media now days that I would put information about that caliber of bass out if I were to catch one. I mean as it is now if a couple of people post about good days on lakes around me then droves of people will be there within the week. I may be way off base with this one, just a thought I had.

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#12147520 - 03/19/17 04:53 AM Re: What's Happened to the Really Big Bass [Re: Big Swimbait]
elm Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 09/10/15
Posts: 13
Loc: Graham
12.24 caught at Hubbard creek last week end. fish

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#12147554 - 03/19/17 06:43 AM Re: What's Happened to the Really Big Bass [Re: Big Swimbait]
Fisherdad58 Offline
Angler

Registered: 10/28/16
Posts: 327
Loc: Ellis County, Texas


I believe the advanced technology has hurt us more than anything. If a guy does his homework with his maps, gps, and social media tips to find the most productive looking spots before a trip, you can bet when he gets there he'll find boats on most of the places he planned to fish. That brings it to the pressure. A lot of those big fish have been hooked several times before they get big and even a dumb fish can be somewhat educated. The ones that haven't been caught may never bite a artificial bait.
Back 30 - 40 years ago a guy could go out with 4 rods and one box of baits and catch more and better fish by just hitting a bank and start fishing. A lot more of those fish went in the frying pan too. There wasn't that much habitat manipulation, scientific genetic tests or a huge tournament following either.
Nature and the environment can only take so much use before its quality goes down. I still believe there are as many 15+ pounders as ever out there somewhere though.
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#12147580 - 03/19/17 07:51 AM Re: What's Happened to the Really Big Bass [Re: Fisherdad58]
PaPa@fork Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 04/25/16
Posts: 513
Loc: Lake Fork
Originally Posted By: Fisherdad58


I believe the advanced technology has hurt us more than anything. If a guy does his homework with his maps, gps, and social media tips to find the most productive looking spots before a trip, you can bet when he gets there he'll find boats on most of the places he planned to fish. That brings it to the pressure. A lot of those big fish have been hooked several times before they get big and even a dumb fish can be somewhat educated. The ones that haven't been caught may never bite a artificial bait.
Back 30 - 40 years ago a guy could go out with 4 rods and one box of baits and catch more and better fish by just hitting a bank and start fishing. A lot more of those fish went in the frying pan too. There wasn't that much habitat manipulation, scientific genetic tests or a huge tournament following either.
Nature and the environment can only take so much use before its quality goes down. I still believe there are as many 15+ pounders as ever out there somewhere though.



I would also agree with the pressure we have today , back 30-40 years ago you had less people fishing and less tackle to choose from than today, every time I go to the tackle shop I see more and more of the new and improved lures, the big fish are still here but I think they are confused, do I bite that or run from it, just like the state record was caught by a crappie fisherman on a minnow. Maybe it's more like deer hunting, right place at the right time. Don't give up they're still around just keep trying.
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#12147592 - 03/19/17 08:07 AM Re: What's Happened to the Really Big Bass [Re: Big Swimbait]
JCBfromTHF Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 02/09/07
Posts: 5952
I blame it on lack of Hydrilla now. When Fork was cranking out the big ones it was full of Hydrilla. I fish Ray Hubbard a lot and when it was cranking out lake records on dang near a weekly basis it was during the Hydrilla boom we had for several years. Hubbard even yielded two SAL's during that period of time. Now days Hubbard has maybe 1% of the Hydrilla it use to have. I haven't been on Fork in years but last time I was there the Hydrilla was almost non existant there as well. I know a lot of other lakes are the same way.

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#12147607 - 03/19/17 08:32 AM Re: What's Happened to the Really Big Bass [Re: Big Swimbait]
RayBob Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 11/18/02
Posts: 34198
Loc: Pineywoods
I concur with the hydrilla theory. Habitat grows big fish. Hydrilla is the best habitat IMO. It also makes the fish feel more at ease and these hydrilla beds are nurseries for aquatic life.. It's like having protein filled feeders and planted food plots for deer. Feed 'em more of the good stuff and make it plentiful and give 'em a good place to hide and they grow big.

Fishing pressure and improved technology is a factor but not to the extent having a lake with 25%-30% of its acreage covered with hydrilla or not covered.

I remember back in the 90's when Rayburn was MORE of a fish factory than now we would run on plane thru a hydrilla flat (especially on Needmore) and give it 15-20 minutes and go fish the track cut thru the hydrilla and the fish would be there. My theory was the prop wash/disturbance knocked all these invertebrates off the grass and also displaced smaller fish and the predators would move in. This just illustrates how much life the grass supported.
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Advice? Wise men don't need it. Fools won't heed it.


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#12147611 - 03/19/17 08:41 AM Re: What's Happened to the Really Big Bass [Re: Big Swimbait]
RayBob Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 11/18/02
Posts: 34198
Loc: Pineywoods
I want to say this too. The disappearance of grass coincided with the outbreak of LMBV ... draw your own conclusions.
_________________________
Advice? Wise men don't need it. Fools won't heed it.


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#12147613 - 03/19/17 08:42 AM Re: What's Happened to the Really Big Bass [Re: Big Swimbait]
361V Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/21/08
Posts: 4467
Loc: somervell county
Lakes like Caddo surprise everyone and crank out a complete surprise like the 15 pounder last week. I remember years ago when it surprised everyone with a 16 pounder. Heck, even Possum Kingdom cranked out a freak 16 pounder. They can definatly surprise everyone and show up out of seemingly nowhere. Got to agree however that Fork is on the decline for really big bass. Good news: lakes go through cycles. With the really high water during the spawn last year who knows? Few years from now might be glory years again like Falcon experienced after their sudden rise in the lake levels 5-6 years ago. Maybe.......
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#12147614 - 03/19/17 08:43 AM Re: What's Happened to the Really Big Bass [Re: Big Swimbait]
march16.12 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/12/12
Posts: 30
Loc: texas
Too many tournaments . My 16.12 lb. was caught in 2002 . After fishing Fork
for many years I finally quit going because of the crowds and PITA tournament
fishermen.

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#12147627 - 03/19/17 08:56 AM Re: What's Happened to the Really Big Bass [Re: march16.12]
RayBob Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 11/18/02
Posts: 34198
Loc: Pineywoods
Originally Posted By: march16.12
Too many tournaments . My 16.12 lb. was caught in 2002 . After fishing Fork
for many years I finally quit going because of the crowds and PITA tournament
fishermen.


You should deal with Rayburn. At least Fork doesn't have the 5 fish limits of prime fish ... only overs and unders which keeps many T's away.
_________________________
Advice? Wise men don't need it. Fools won't heed it.


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#12147631 - 03/19/17 08:57 AM Re: What's Happened to the Really Big Bass [Re: Big Swimbait]
Jobie99 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 10/14/03
Posts: 687
Loc: San Antonio, TX
I agree with a lot of what I've read above. I'd also throw in the Internet, because every hot lake in Texas gets covered up with boats. Social Media has also played a part. Everyone wants to show off a big fish or a big sack which often comes at th expense of poor fish care. Hold your breath when you catch a big fish, if
you need to take a breath the fish needs to get dunked. If you want to drive your fish around all day to take a picture of your big sack, use a live well additive and have some flip clips handy.


Edited by Jobie99 (03/19/17 08:57 AM)

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#12147980 - 03/19/17 02:28 PM Re: What's Happened to the Really Big Bass [Re: Big Swimbait]
Dr JL Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 1517
Loc: Aledo, Texas
I also agree with all above.
Who knows, maybe things will turn around for the better.
Somebody somewhere may catch a record this spring, but odds seem less these days.

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