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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Making lakes better for fishing #13790178 12/01/20 12:49 AM
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I've been thinking a LOT about fishing lately. Thinking on the various lakes around me, how they are managed (or not managed) and especially what could be done to make them even better. TPWD for the most part does actually listen to those who use their parks and lakes.

I miss the days when Bastrop was a rally good lake. You could catch numbers as well as decent fish and by numbers I mean 25-30 and by decent I mean the norm would be 2-3#, 4-5# was not uncommon and the occasional 6#er was a welcome surprise, but not unheard of.

Many moons ago TPWD actually polled the boaters on the lake about what could be done to make the lake better. I was stopped more than once for my opinion. I heard all sorts of answers, but honestly back then the fishing was really good. These days, the fish are abundant, but there is zero size.

So what can be done about it?

I have a crazy idea, but changing the rules from time to time seems to work well for deer hunting so why not fishing? Until recently does in Milam county were not allowed to be harvested AT ALL without a permit, but recently that changed and does are now allowed during a special two week period at the beginning of the season because the doe population has grown so much.

Why can't something similar be done on lakes? Why couldn't rules be changed on a lake by lake basis? Why couldn't there be a two week period where slot limits are lifted? Any LMB over 12" can be taken with only one over 21" allowed? This could drastically improve the lake and quickly over the course of only a few years. There could be wardens or TPWD employees stationed at the lakes to take a count on how many fish are being taken, what size, etc. Seriously, when's the last time you heard a fish count being taken on ANY lake? This would drop the population of fish in the lake allowing the remaining fish to grow larger and stronger. The limit on big fish remaining in place would protect the larger fish already there so they can produce more big fish.

I'm betting if we get enough momentum for this we could put together a petition and force the powers that be to at least discuss it.

This is my starting point, though.

Hairbrained wacky idea from a goober or not a bad idea to discuss?


I didn't lose him at the boat. I shook him off cause I didn't want my hands to get "fishy"
Moritz Chevrolet - 9101 Camp Bowie W Blvd, Fort Worth, TX - Monte Coon (817) 696-2003
Re: Making lakes better for fishing [Re: Liebers Dad] #13790269 12/01/20 02:10 AM
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Problem is you are comparing a resource that is killed and one that is caught and released by the majority of anglers.

Apples to cumquats


A better idea, if you or your parents we not born in Texas you aren't allowed to fish or hunt LOL


“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

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Re: Making lakes better for fishing [Re: Liebers Dad] #13790285 12/01/20 02:22 AM
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You could already reduce the number of fish in most lakes but nobody wants to keep bass to eat.

Edit: didn't think about a slot lake.

Re: Making lakes better for fishing [Re: Douglas J] #13790292 12/01/20 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Douglas J
Problem is you are comparing a resource that is killed and one that is caught and released by the majority of anglers.


Decent point, but why is that? Because it is illegal to keep them. Anyone who has fished a slot lake like Bastrop knows that there are very few fish between 12-14" and even fewer over 21" and even IF you're lucky enough to catch a keeper you can only take 5 of them.

The latest survey taken in 2018 "Largemouth Bass were abundant. Growth rate to 14 inches remained good. Individuals within the slot limit were abundant and healthy, while individuals above the slot length limit (≥21 inches) remained rare."
It's the exact same verbiage as 2014, 2010, and 2006.
https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/lake_survey/pwd_rp_t3200_1245/

The lake record of 9# will never even be close to broken when you can't even catch a 21" fish.


I didn't lose him at the boat. I shook him off cause I didn't want my hands to get "fishy"
Re: Making lakes better for fishing [Re: Douglas J] #13790384 12/01/20 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Douglas J
Problem is you are comparing a resource that is killed and one that is caught and released by the majority of anglers.



Apparently you're not that familiar with bass catch and release rates on Toledo Bend.


Advice? Wise men don't need it. Fools won't heed it.

Re: Making lakes better for fishing [Re: RayBob] #13790394 12/01/20 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by RayBob
Originally Posted by Douglas J
Problem is you are comparing a resource that is killed and one that is caught and released by the majority of anglers.



Apparently you're not that familiar with bass catch and release rates on Toledo Bend.


more fish on our lakes today are released than retained


“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

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Re: Making lakes better for fishing [Re: Liebers Dad] #13790424 12/01/20 05:06 AM
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Increasing harvest of smaller fish is logical. Could be several variables suppressing growth to larger sizes though, I'm not familiar with that lake. Reservoir aging takes its toll on all of them eventually.


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Re: Making lakes better for fishing [Re: Liebers Dad] #13790467 12/01/20 11:41 AM
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With the slot currently in place you can keep 5 fish under 14” per person, no minimum length. No need to try and get special regulations put in place, start keeping 5 unders now. Maybe get with a local bass club and have an “Under the slot” tournament where you keep all the fish brought to the scales, could then turn around and have a fish fry to raise money for the club.




Re: Making lakes better for fishing [Re: Liebers Dad] #13790497 12/01/20 12:37 PM
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Allow double gilling of 12” and under to be released back in deeper water.
Reduces the abundant smaller fish population and feeds the larger ones.


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Re: Making lakes better for fishing [Re: Liebers Dad] #13790500 12/01/20 12:40 PM
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I know how to make lakes better.... stop killing all the dang grass problem solved

Re: Making lakes better for fishing [Re: Liebers Dad] #13790523 12/01/20 01:03 PM
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TP&W has put all the tools and regulations in place to manage the fisheries. The number one problem today is catch and release. Too many fishermen believe ALL bass must be released. If you study the fish surveys on the lakes it is pretty evident that catch and release works too good on some lakes. Look at Fayette. The bass size has gone down while the population has gone up. Catfish size has gone up while the population has decreased dramatically. The biologist say the catfish have successful spawns but survival of the fry is non existent due to the fry staying in a tight ball and then are attacked by the bass and the fry are all eaten. TP&W changed the slot minimum to encourage more bass being harvested, but due to the stigma of eating bass is evil, it has not helped.


The United States used to be "One Nation Under God". What happened?
Re: Making lakes better for fishing [Re: buda13] #13790559 12/01/20 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by buda13
With the slot currently in place you can keep 5 fish under 14” per person, no minimum length. No need to try and get special regulations put in place, start keeping 5 unders now. Maybe get with a local bass club and have an “Under the slot” tournament where you keep all the fish brought to the scales, could then turn around and have a fish fry to raise money for the club.



When did that change? It use to be that the fish had to be between 12-14 and over 21. I love the idea of a fish fry for clubs to raise money!


I didn't lose him at the boat. I shook him off cause I didn't want my hands to get "fishy"
Re: Making lakes better for fishing [Re: Finesse Master/ Dropshot king] #13790560 12/01/20 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Finesse Master/ Dropshot king
I know how to make lakes better.... stop killing all the dang grass problem solved


Some lakes, yes, but Bastrop has plenty of grass I assure you. The issue isn't habitat


I didn't lose him at the boat. I shook him off cause I didn't want my hands to get "fishy"
Re: Making lakes better for fishing [Re: BillS2006] #13790561 12/01/20 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by BillS2006
TP&W has put all the tools and regulations in place to manage the fisheries. The number one problem today is catch and release. Too many fishermen believe ALL bass must be released. If you study the fish surveys on the lakes it is pretty evident that catch and release works too good on some lakes. Look at Fayette. The bass size has gone down while the population has gone up. Catfish size has gone up while the population has decreased dramatically. The biologist say the catfish have successful spawns but survival of the fry is non existent due to the fry staying in a tight ball and then are attacked by the bass and the fry are all eaten. TP&W changed the slot minimum to encourage more bass being harvested, but due to the stigma of eating bass is evil, it has not helped.


I definitely noticed that on Fayette as well.
The problem may be education. I never knew the minimum size was lifted and I'm certain I'm not alone.


I didn't lose him at the boat. I shook him off cause I didn't want my hands to get "fishy"
Re: Making lakes better for fishing [Re: buda13] #13790617 12/01/20 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by buda13
With the slot currently in place you can keep 5 fish under 14” per person, no minimum length. No need to try and get special regulations put in place, start keeping 5 unders now. Maybe get with a local bass club and have an “Under the slot” tournament where you keep all the fish brought to the scales, could then turn around and have a fish fry to raise money for the club.


Austin Bass Fishing Forum (when it was really active a few years back) used to hold one of these during August/September.


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