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#12615697 - 02/07/18 03:20 PM Legality of Bed Fishing with a Fly Rod
Connor S Offline
Angler

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 422
Loc: TEXAS
With the spawn approaching, I was wondering if there were any record eligibility/ legality issues with bed fishing for bass on the fly. Tight Lines!
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I say we fish 5 days a week and work 2.

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#12615754 - 02/07/18 03:51 PM Re: Legality of Bed Fishing with a Fly Rod [Re: Connor S]
karstopo Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 563
Loc: Brazoria County

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#12620774 - 02/10/18 04:42 PM Re: Legality of Bed Fishing with a Fly Rod [Re: Connor S]
Robert Hunter Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 06/14/10
Posts: 3895
I am not too big on tournaments during this Spawn in taking the fish off of their beds to go get weighed in but it is legal. If you do fish them just definitely donít sit there and catch the same fish over and over!If you are wanting a picture have the camera ready to go to snap a quick shot and release the fish immediately you should be good.
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#12624679 - 02/12/18 08:19 PM Re: Legality of Bed Fishing with a Fly Rod [Re: Connor S]
2dogkayak Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/05/10
Posts: 194
It is legal and everyone does it. I think it is un-sportsman-like, like yanking a pregnant woman around your back yard and then letting her go. Way to go.

I did it about 50 years and afterwards I was so ashamed. But it is no more than shooting a buck wandering around out of his mind during the rut walking down main street of your town.

Is that what will make memories for you?

There are higher roads to take.

Just my opinion and no offense to anyone.

Bill


Edited by 2dogkayak (02/12/18 08:20 PM)

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#12624983 - 02/12/18 10:14 PM Re: Legality of Bed Fishing with a Fly Rod [Re: Connor S]
karstopo Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 563
Loc: Brazoria County
So as long as the bass or wife isnít pregnant itís okay to yank them around the yard?

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#12625237 - 02/13/18 07:49 AM Re: Legality of Bed Fishing with a Fly Rod [Re: Connor S]
2dogkayak Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/05/10
Posts: 194
Yanking a fish off of its bed, to me, is not fair chase.

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#12625276 - 02/13/18 08:14 AM Re: Legality of Bed Fishing with a Fly Rod [Re: Connor S]
karstopo Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 563
Loc: Brazoria County
https://www.thoughtco.com/fishing-for-spawning-bass-1311211

https://www.fieldandstream.com/articles/...h-spawning-bass

Where I fish, the water is too murky typically to see bedded up bass. Thereís a lot written about catching fish guarding a bed and whether or not it hurts the outcome of the spawn. Seems like the consensus is that it is okay if you release the fish right away at least in the south as the bass donít struggle with reproduction in most southern areas.

According to the top article, most of the fish caught guarding a nest are males. The females are much more likely not to bite. Are you worried about hurting the bass numbers by catching a bass on the bed or is it about it being sighted?

I sight cast fish all of the time including bass lurking just below the surface. The outcome is frequently in doubt as to whether the fish will respond with a take or not and a lot depends on the accuracy of the cast and getting the right presentation for the situation. According to the article, female bass are reluctant to take an offering when on the bed.

Iím trying to understand whatís not fair about casting to bass on the bed unless it is your belief that you will likely lose the breeding cycle for that bed if you catch either the male or female on that bed. I can certainly see that if you keep the fish then itís a problem.

Or is it the belief that the fish canít possibly resist whatever is placed in front of them making it ďunfairĒ or not fair chase?

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#12625331 - 02/13/18 08:48 AM Re: Legality of Bed Fishing with a Fly Rod [Re: Connor S]
2dogkayak Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/05/10
Posts: 194
I feel like fish on a bed cannot use their natural instincts to be a gamefish. They are doing their job like a buck in rut and cannot defend themselves in a manner that is a sport. If you drag something through a fish bed, they will try to pick it up and dispose of it outside the bed and go back to their job. You did not fool the bass into trying to bite something good to eat like you have to do at all other times of the year.



Edited by 2dogkayak (02/13/18 08:06 PM)

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#12625569 - 02/13/18 10:36 AM Re: Legality of Bed Fishing with a Fly Rod [Re: Connor S]
karstopo Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 563
Loc: Brazoria County
[censored] was the site, somehow it got censored by TFF.

A little on the spawning behavior of LMB.

Sounds like it's only the males that stay on the nest once the eggs are deposited. The females, if the article is correct, hardly spend any time on the nest or nests. She evidently could spawn at several nests that the different males make and once that is done she leaves the area, again if the article is correct. I guess the biggest a bass will get is during the pre-spawn period when the females are loaded with maturing eggs waiting and feeding while the water warms to hit the right temperatures to release her eggs on the male built nests.

I'd like to get one of those big pre-spawn females this season. This will be the first season I've gone after the pre-spawn females with a fly rod and it's been since I was a teenager that I fished for LMB by any method. I've been saltwater fly fishing for several years, but this freshwater thing is only about 7-8 months old. I've been restricted from getting in a boat due to surgery, but hopefully tomorrow the doctor will let me boat fish once again.

The littler males on the nest don't seem as exciting, anyway. I'd soon not harass them if I know they are on the bed. I can't normally see the beds in the lake I routinely fish with the water clarity being what it is. I do see bass, but they are usually sulking in the shade next to the bank or a log. That's something I see when it is warm. I've heard the Bass spawn on my lake normally sometime in March or Early April depending on the water temperatures. Water is exceptionally cold this year. Going to take a good stretch of warm weather to get them in the spawning mood.


Edited by karstopo (02/13/18 10:39 AM)
Edit Reason: mystery censor explanation

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#12625734 - 02/13/18 12:04 PM Re: Legality of Bed Fishing with a Fly Rod [Re: Connor S]
Meadowlark Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 3126
Loc: East Texas
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks." Of course that lady probably wasn't the pregnant one in this "like yanking a pregnant woman around your back yard and then letting her go. Way to go." LOL.

I wonder how many of those who protest have bass fished in July and August in Texas public waters where most caught bass will die....and the larger they are, the higher the mortality in hot water.


Let your conscious be your guide. I bass fish in ponds which generally have problems with bass overpopulating rather than not. Its my belief that in this circumstance, it is absolutely not a problem. Unsportsman-like? LOL. I've been targeting a single 14 pound pre-spawner for three months now and she is probably going to evade me another year.

So far this season, I have taken 6 pre-spawn females at or just over 8 pounds. They have consistently been caught in 6 to 10 feet of water cruising just off shallow water...presumably checking out spawning beds and suitable males. I figure I've got another 2 weeks or so until they make their move and my chances for that 14 pound babe will be gone for another year.

Will that make memories? You bet it will...regardless of whether I catch her or not. To grow such a fish and then catch it on the fly is probably the highest angling accomplishment of my lifetime. Just trying for her makes memories every time out....and that, my friends, is what its all about.

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#12626031 - 02/13/18 02:56 PM Re: Legality of Bed Fishing with a Fly Rod [Re: 2dogkayak]
crapicat Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/23/13
Posts: 6568
Loc: Grandview, TX
Originally Posted By: 2dogkayak
Yanking a fish off of its bed, to me, is not fair chase.


If any of those spawning bass are stupid enough to take my crappie jig, then I am willing to grill them on the half shell...if they are big enough to get into share a lunker, then I will donate them..Dang bass overpopulate the lakes and eat more crappie than I do...

I do appreciate your moral high ground, but we have a totally different perspective about fish.

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#12626040 - 02/13/18 02:59 PM Re: Legality of Bed Fishing with a Fly Rod [Re: Connor S]
Robert Hunter Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 06/14/10
Posts: 3895
To each his own for sure. Yet even if you donít cruise along looking for bedding Bass. If you fish for bass at all feb-may And you catch a big female chances are very high you caught her off of a bed. Depending on water clarity 75% of beds are not visible. That write up was very true about the big females moving in and out from a staging area to the beds and they may visit several different beds during the course of the spawn. Even catching a big female on that first break staging That is actively visiting beds will still cause some amount of stress. Thatís just why my outlook on it is just taking absolute care of the fish to keep the stress level down and get them quickly back in the water especially that time of year. Catching a fish on a bed is no guarantee I have seen fish in the teens on beds at fork that got every lure in a guys boat yet never ate. Iím sure over the years she got wise to it. Good point Meadow Lark about the summer especially when Fishing deep if more people would carry I fizzing needle a lot less Fish would die during the summer.
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#12626313 - 02/13/18 05:19 PM Re: Legality of Bed Fishing with a Fly Rod [Re: Connor S]
skeeterK Offline
Angler

Registered: 05/11/17
Posts: 359
Loc: Stagecoach, TX
When I first saw this topic I initially wasn't going to post a response because these questions inevitably become a match of who or what method portrays a more "true sportsmen" practice of fishing or hunting. The OP mentioned using a Fly Rod. Being somewhat new to fly casting I immediately thought maybe fishing beds was one of those unwritten laws of the sport of what not to do. You know like throwing canned corn out and using a yellow puff fly for carp or a pink egg fly for trout. I have discovered those are no-no's according to some if you want to be considered a real fly fisherman.

I love to fish period. Some days I use a bait caster and other days I'm fly casting.

Enjoy your time with a rod in hand!




Edited by skeeterK (02/13/18 05:20 PM)

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#12626982 - 02/13/18 11:47 PM Re: Legality of Bed Fishing with a Fly Rod [Re: Connor S]
Robert Hunter Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 06/14/10
Posts: 3895
^^
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