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#12435923 - 09/21/17 03:27 PM TPWD Launches Scale Loaner Program for Bass Tournament Organizers
BThomas Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 02/15/09
Posts: 7676
Loc: Rockwall,Tx
https://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20170921a


AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Inland Fisheries division is launching a scale loaner program to give local tournament organizers the ability to use the catch, weigh and immediate release formats made popular by state and national-level tournaments like the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest (TBTF) and Major League Fishing.

“We are trying to promote new tournament formats that are very conservation minded that remove impacts of delayed mortality,” said Dave Terre, TPWD Chief of Inland Fisheries Management and Research. “They take the extra fish handling, weigh-in and livewell containment process completely out of the tournament.”

Typical bass tournaments involve holding up to five bass in livewells, removing them from their catch locations, and taking them through a weigh-in process onstage – a format that studies have shown results in 15-60 percent fish mortality depending on the water temperature. With the catch, weigh and immediate release formats, each angler has a trained judge onboard who uses the scale to weigh the fish and return it to the water immediately after being caught, which significantly lowers fish mortality to a negligible amount – similar to catch and release fishing.

Pro Am Bass Trails utilized TPWD’s new scale loaner program for the first time during their inaugural fielding event Aug. 19 at Stillhouse Hollow Lake. Of the 80 fish caught, organizers observed no immediate fish mortality on the boat or shortly after release.

Tournament director and competitive angler Linwood Cottner said he decided to organize a tournament of his own after growing concerned with the effects traditional bass tournaments could have on the sustainability of local bass populations. But the biggest barrier to implementing the catch, weigh and immediate release format was the initial cost of the scales, which exceeded $6,000 for a set of 60.

“When I saw that number I thought ‘There’s no way I can do this,” Cottner said. “So when I heard about the scale loaner program I jumped on it – it’s alleviated that upfront cost to help me build up the funds that we need to eventually purchase them.”

The 60 loaner scales were originally donated to TPWD for use during the Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC), a tournament that pioneered the catch, weigh and immediate release format. After a 10 year run, the TTBC was replaced by the TBTF, which uses a different set of scales provided by tournament organizer B.A.S.S.

By using the loaner scales no longer needed for the TTBC, Cottner said Pro Am Bass Trails is one of the first local level organizations in Texas to successfully incorporate a catch, weigh and immediate release format into their tournament.

“This cracked the shell of fear as far as putting on a tournament of this format,” Cottner said. “A lot of people are looking at this and saying ‘This is something that can work in Texas.’ We are laying the foundation and setting the standard as far as how it can be done.”

Pro Am Bass Trails uses the same catch, weigh and immediate release format as Major League Fishing, which allows anglers to see how they rank among their competitors as soon as the judges enter the fish weight into a mobile application. Linwood said the portable, certified scales are a vital component to quickly getting the fish back into the water where it came from to reduce the chance of delayed mortality.

“Unless bass fishing takes a decline, this catch and release type of tournament format is going to help sustain the health of Texas waterways,” Cottner said. “And the loaner program is going to be a key factor in that.”

MLF co-founder and pro angler Gary Klein said that among the professionals, the catch, weigh and release process averages around 20 seconds. Aside for the concern for fish care, he said this speedy process has the added benefit of increasing the intensity of the competition for anglers who compete in this format.

“You take somebody like me that has benefited from public resources and the fisheries, and I’d like to give something back, I’d like to see our fisheries continue to get better,” Klein said. “This format is a win-win for everybody involved… I would like to see our format become the new norm, and become recognized as the way the game is played.”

Pro Am Bass Trails will use the loaner scales again at their Solo Cup Round One tournament Oct. 1 at Lake Belton, an event Cottner expects will draw between 30-60 anglers.

“We’ve already exceeded the people registered than we had at our first event,” Cottner said. “I’m very humbled and excited to be taking care of this fishing trail. I love it to death.”

Terre said if demand for the loaners scales grows, fisheries staff may look into having more scale kits available in regional or district offices for local tournament organizers throughout the state.

For more information about the scale loaner program, contact Dave Terre at dave.terre@tpwd.texas.gov.

2017-09-21



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#12436093 - 09/21/17 06:03 PM Re: TPWD Launches Scale Loaner Program for Bass Tournament Organizers [Re: BThomas]
Bruce Allen Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2080
Loc: Lake Fork, Texas
next year we are going to put on a MLF type tournament but instead of a scale we are going to have the judges measure the bass on a chek it stik and be confirmed by the angler who catches the fish. Record the length and then use the TPWD chart for weight per length.

So if you have the judge you really don't need the expensive scales.
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#12436653 - 09/22/17 07:52 AM Re: TPWD Launches Scale Loaner Program for Bass Tournament Organizers [Re: BThomas]
leethefishking Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 897
Loc: San Marcos, TX
This is the beginning of the end for tournament fishing as we know it. Hide and watch.

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#12436670 - 09/22/17 08:02 AM Re: TPWD Launches Scale Loaner Program for Bass Tournament Organizers [Re: leethefishking]
Fish Killer Offline
Big Sexy

Registered: 12/11/04
Posts: 25689
Loc: Weatherford
Originally Posted By: leethefishking
This is the beginning of the end for tournament fishing as we know it. Hide and watch.

Won't ever happen


Too costly to have judges and too and too much a pain in the arse to borrow scales

And then you still have the whole trust issue
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#12436700 - 09/22/17 08:22 AM Re: TPWD Launches Scale Loaner Program for Bass Tournament Organizers [Re: Fish Killer]
texasbassdude Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/31/08
Posts: 139
Loc: San Antonio, TX
I think it's a step in the right direction. I'm convinced that one contributing factor to lakes going in cycles of fishing good and bad are tournaments. There was a club tournament at Falcon in June that killed 18% of the fish weighed in.

Originally Posted By: Fish Killer

And then you still have the whole trust issue


The trust issue can be dealt with like paper tournaments, where another competitor in the boat weighs the fish. A solution for people fishing by themselves would be that they bring fish back to the ramp and they're weighed there. Yes, it's against the spirit of catch-weigh-release, but you do have to address the trust issue.

I will now turn around and let people shoot arrows in my direction.

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#12436807 - 09/22/17 09:33 AM Re: TPWD Launches Scale Loaner Program for Bass Tournament Organizers [Re: BThomas]
Fishingking Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 12/11/13
Posts: 1011
I like the two angler in the boat format. The fish is weighed, verified by each angler and released. You would keep the five highest weights. Each angler gets to control the boat 1/2 of the day. This is the way B.A.S.S. use to do it.

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#12436837 - 09/22/17 09:46 AM Re: TPWD Launches Scale Loaner Program for Bass Tournament Organizers [Re: texasbassdude]
squib Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/03/03
Posts: 1199
Loc: Lubbock, TX
Originally Posted By: texasbassdude
There was a club tournament at Falcon in June that killed 18% of the fish weighed in.


That was likely just the number that died the day of the weighin. I bet a much higher percentage of the released fish died over the next couple of days.

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#12436852 - 09/22/17 09:55 AM Re: TPWD Launches Scale Loaner Program for Bass Tournament Organizers [Re: BThomas]
Fishinfellow Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 2896
Loc: North Richland Hills, TX
I'll never understand paper tournaments that take a weight based only on length.

"I caught 25 lbs today!!!" and if you were to actually weigh it, mayyyyyybe 20. Maybe.
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#12436883 - 09/22/17 10:08 AM Re: TPWD Launches Scale Loaner Program for Bass Tournament Organizers [Re: BThomas]
the skipper Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/04/11
Posts: 2680
Loc: nederland, TX
The trust deal can be addressed with code words and stuff. Swimbait underground does this for their online tournaments. The morning of the event you give out a code word that has to be in a pic along with the scale and the whole fish. The date also has to be in the pic. Now, this won't stop someone from shoving weights in a fish but it would deter some stuff. A marshal is the only sure way and who wants to marshal instead of fish? Maybe the 1/2day deal could work or an angler/co-angler format would be good. This DEFINITELY won't be the end of traditional tournaments

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#12437318 - 09/22/17 02:08 PM Re: TPWD Launches Scale Loaner Program for Bass Tournament Organizers [Re: BThomas]
bogey♂ Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 15355
Loc: plano
Spring, how many people are going to catch that 7lb fish on a bed?
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#12437469 - 09/22/17 03:14 PM Re: TPWD Launches Scale Loaner Program for Bass Tournament Organizers [Re: bogey♂]
texasbassdude Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/31/08
Posts: 139
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Originally Posted By: bogey♂
Spring, how many people are going to catch that 7lb fish on a bed?


Better for her to be yanked out of the spawning process, taken to a different part of the lake, only to be release to maybe get in another spawn for that year?

I'd personally be fine with several people catching her, so long as she gets to do her thing and make more 7 lbers.

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#12437952 - 09/22/17 08:51 PM Re: TPWD Launches Scale Loaner Program for Bass Tournament Organizers [Re: BThomas]
Bossbowman Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/14/05
Posts: 2834
Loc: Hill county
huh so are they trying to kill traditional tournament fishing? Hope this is not a precurser to regulations down the road like they did with antler restrictions...
Originally Posted By: texasbassdude
I think it's a step in the right direction. I'm convinced that one contributing factor to lakes going in cycles of fishing good and bad are tournaments.
So explain slot lakes like fork also going through cycles, its a natural process that would happen whether a lake is fished or not.


Edited by Bossbowman (09/22/17 08:55 PM)

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#12440059 - 09/24/17 07:31 PM Re: TPWD Launches Scale Loaner Program for Bass Tournament Organizers [Re: Bossbowman]
texasbassdude Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/31/08
Posts: 139
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Originally Posted By: Bossbowman
huh so are they trying to kill traditional tournament fishing? Hope this is not a precurser to regulations down the road like they did with antler restrictions...
Originally Posted By: texasbassdude
I think it's a step in the right direction. I'm convinced that one contributing factor to lakes going in cycles of fishing good and bad are tournaments.
So explain slot lakes like fork also going through cycles, its a natural process that would happen whether a lake is fished or not.


My response is for you to please revisit the word in my post that is bold, italicized, and underlined.

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