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Whitney Pressure on Stripers - Is it an Issue? #13714268 09/28/20 06:45 PM
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Years ago there were a handful of striper guides on Lake Whitney. Now there may be well over 30 guides regularly fishing the lake. The stripers are getting pounded everyday. Decades ago I used to catch 20 pound stripers on Whitney. The drop was not because of fishing pressure, but was instead because of a massive golden algae die off. But now a fish over 10 pounds is a big one and if the 7 to 8 pound fish keep getting removed there is not much of a chance of getting big fish. I do not know the answer, but I an interested in what other anglers think about the pressure on the fish.

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Re: Whitney Pressure on Stripers - Is it an Issue? [Re: Osbornfishing] #13714319 09/28/20 07:22 PM
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Well, I don't think you could ban guides (not that I want to), so that's out. A movement to promote catch and release would possibly work, but would likely take years to see real results. The quickest way to grow larger fish would be either a slot limit or a larger minimum length limit.

I'm a green fish guy, so my input is purely generic based on what I've seen happen with that species. The striper guys might have better and more specific ideas.


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Re: Whitney Pressure on Stripers - Is it an Issue? [Re: Osbornfishing] #13714370 09/28/20 07:58 PM
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There were tons of guides regularly fishing the lake before the last GA bloom and there were 15-20 pound fish.

Unfortunately there will be another GA bloom at some point and the cycle will repeat itself (both average fish size and number of guides).

I only get to fish Whitney a few times a year. This year we target big fish and caught 7 over 10 pounds in two days. The largest went 12.5

There will be plenty trophy survivors (15-20#'s) to be caught. Just give it a few more years. Most guides are focused on limits, and that usually means smaller fish. Targeting big fish requires a different game plan if you want to be consistent.

Re: Whitney Pressure on Stripers - Is it an Issue? [Re: Osbornfishing] #13714441 09/28/20 09:00 PM
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This is something I’ve been thinking quite a bit about, I would love to see more fish in the 15+ range and maybe over 25 In years to come.
This year I ran mainly Striper trips instead of crappie, my customers caught a 17, a few 15’s and Probally 15 fish in between 10-14lbs.
I know of maybe 3 caught bigger than 17lbs this year.

I’ve personally thought of releasing anything over 10lbs just not sure how it would affect my business. But it would be pointless if I was the only guide out of 25 that we’re doing it.

I personally wouldn’t mind a slot of 30” or bigger being released.or something similar.

Looking forward to hearing more opinions.


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Re: Whitney Pressure on Stripers - Is it an Issue? [Re: Osbornfishing] #13714463 09/28/20 09:27 PM
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We, (brother, and our wifes) just started striper fishing a couple years ago. Still learning. We keep 15-20 fish a year, what we eat. I would hate to see length limit go up to drastically. Maybe 20" to start, then maybe 24" in couple more years. I am 68, so unknown how long we will be fishing. Maybe a staggering system, 2 fish over 18", 2 over 20" and 1 over 25". Just a thought.

Re: Whitney Pressure on Stripers - Is it an Issue? [Re: Osbornfishing] #13714534 09/28/20 10:35 PM
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I think it's all lack of respect for the resources, and yes the blooms don't help.
I have fished several areas around the country that are cpr only, and hope we don't have to go that far.
Maybe we can find a balance. With more and more new anglers it may be challenging.
I agree with Davis, personally 10# is my limit also no matter which species, anything larger is returned only a few eater size kept if wanted.


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Re: Whitney Pressure on Stripers - Is it an Issue? [Re: Osbornfishing] #13714877 09/29/20 07:55 AM
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I would be shocked if I ever caught one over 18 inches. I mainly go for Largemouth but I nearly always go prepared to catch a few Stripers. Usually out the 15 to 25 Stripers caught, none will be over about 15 inches. There seems to be a lot of those.


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Re: Whitney Pressure on Stripers - Is it an Issue? [Re: Osbornfishing] #13714950 09/29/20 11:55 AM
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Possibly reduce the number per day per person and no catch and release . One of our surrounding states , Arkansas, has this law in place and is doing fine as far as 30 pound stripes consistently. If this is the law, guides will adjust and the public will as well.The sand bass population will suffer !

Re: Whitney Pressure on Stripers - Is it an Issue? [Re: Osbornfishing] #13714972 09/29/20 12:25 PM
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Great point. I wondered the same thing at Lake Texoma. I have question the fishing pressure that numerous guides can place on the striper population. I have been saying this for years.....Maybe we need to seriously look at limiting the number of guides per Lake. I am just a weekend warrior and most guides are great individual who work very hard. However, they are fishing for a paycheck which will add stress and pressure when other boaters arrive in the same area.

Last edited by Top_Water_Man; 09/29/20 12:29 PM.

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Re: Whitney Pressure on Stripers - Is it an Issue? [Re: Osbornfishing] #13714980 09/29/20 12:38 PM
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What fish are produced is a bigger factor than guides . Numbers of non guide fisherman have a larger effect. It is a numbers game. The average fisherman don't catch as many as a guide . On Texoma 250 guides as opposed to say 10,000 fisherman or more.


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Re: Whitney Pressure on Stripers - Is it an Issue? [Re: Osbornfishing] #13715370 09/29/20 06:50 PM
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i personally think whitney could be over populated right now

Re: Whitney Pressure on Stripers - Is it an Issue? [Re: Osbornfishing] #13715463 09/29/20 08:09 PM
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They have been only stocking Whitney for the last 7 years since the big GA kill. On average those first fish stocked would be close to 14lbs. Some people aslo wanna believe that a good many went down stream during the floods, maybe maybe not. Just a little patience and luck that we don't get another massive GA bloom it will return to the 80's and 90's level once again.

A projected size chart for age of stripers

https://stripers247.com/striped-bass-length-to-weight-chart.php

Last edited by 44 Diesel; 09/29/20 08:11 PM.
Re: Whitney Pressure on Stripers - Is it an Issue? [Re: Osbornfishing] #13716191 09/30/20 01:58 PM
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I believe Whitney has more fish than we think in the 17# - 20# range. A good point was mentioned that the larger fish normally require different techniques. That's primarily much larger baits. The Striper population on Whitney is extremely healthy. Targeting fish 15 plus pounds that are lying beneath 1000 smaller fish is pretty hard to do. We caught many fish over 10 lbs this year with the largest being 13#. We had lots of bigger fish come unpinned near the boat. Several, I believe, would have topped 15#. When you consider that it takes roughly 10 plus years for a Striper to reach 20#, and the time since the last GA Bloom, the lake is pretty much in line where it should be. The lack of larger fish has more to do with the die off, and the time time since, than anything else. For the really big fish to show up in large numbers the lake would need to go at least another 5 years without any GA Bloom or other devastating kills. Striped bass replenish very well under good conditions. Whitney has seen great conditions for many years. I'm extremely happy with its current condition. It has gotten noticeably better each year over the last 5. Most guides are fishing live bait and no treble hooks. I said most, not all. They arent causing major damage to smaller fish.They keep what they catch and don't over fish the resource once they limit. Guides don't hurt the lakes. I travel all over Texas chasing Striped fish. Whitney locked me down this year. I fished Texoma, Tawakoni, Richland Chambers, Cedar Creek, Belton, and Canyon. Caught many fish on all of those lakes. I'll take Whitney right now...hands down..no questions asked.

Re: Whitney Pressure on Stripers - Is it an Issue? [Re: Osbornfishing] #13716951 10/01/20 12:00 PM
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I figure TPWD is monitoring Whitney and will impose limits if needed to manage the lake.

Re: Whitney Pressure on Stripers - Is it an Issue? [Re: Osbornfishing] #13717052 10/01/20 01:54 PM
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I just don't understand why a lot of folks reaction to good fishing is "we need more regulation"!

Historical stocking numbers are more than enough to sustain Texas hybrid/striper fisheries. My concern is lack of funding and reduced or eliminated stocking. The effort seems to be underfunded and disorganized as compared to historical data (lake stocking history).

After spending a great part of my life chasing these fish all over state of Texas I can assure you that natural phenomenon have a greater impact on white bass, hybrid, and striper populations than fishing pressure. Assuming the stocking rate is consistent.

Drought- Has a great impact on white bass recruitment. Especially on lakes without a major river feeding it. Even an exceptional lake like Richland Chambers saw extremely reduced numbers in 2014 after years of drought.

Golden Algae- It takes 10 years in my estimation to establish a healthy population of 15# fish

Flooding- Not sure just how many fish get washed downstream, but I know it happens. Lake Livingston and below the Livingston dam has a decent population of hybrids because of the heavy spring rains 2017 and 2018. I think most people assume more wash down stream than what actually do. Reality is that the fishing pattern typically changes for 3 months to a year. Folks think the fish are gone and then they magically re-appear.

Mysterious Kills- The white bass kill on Lake Palestine a couple years ago is a good example.

Last edited by Chris Richardson; 10/07/20 07:19 PM.
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