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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Re: Crappie Numbers and Trophy Fish [Re: Ken Gaby] #13875902 02/06/21 01:53 AM
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I appreciate the time it took to gather this info for the forum. It’s an interesting subject and I learned some things.

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Re: Crappie Numbers and Trophy Fish [Re: Ken Gaby] #13876002 02/06/21 03:04 AM
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Kudos Ken, thank you for taking the time spent finding out this valued information and sharing that dialog on the matter with this group. As with many other anglers, I am also very interested concerned as to the longevity of our sport with the growing numbers of anglers for the elusive crappie (2 + pounder')
I feel it does need to be monitored and as I have shared in many other posts across social media on the recent subject "TP&W have an understanding and are abreast of the situation" I think the recent dialog among the guides is a great attribute to our future conversation to the subject on conservation. Your sharing of the discusion/s you had with the two fisheries biologist shows this.
I believe it was said best in your story and this has been my way of thinking the whole time I have been a crappie angler.
"if the angler's concerns are solely focused on a potential declining abundance of large fish, they could likely impact that by limiting the number of fish over a given size that they harvest. A management strategy of this nature would have a better chance at producing measurable success"
It is what has been done for many years in the bass field and it has proven to be very successful. Yes, the bass has a longer life, and yes crappie genes are not of bass for its shorter life but I feel this to be a stronger case for a higher rate of bigger fish. The numbers are there and seem not to be an issue over the number of larger fish from what I have read.
Again thank you Ken for your due diligence on this thread...


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Re: Crappie Numbers and Trophy Fish [Re: Ken Gaby] #13876093 02/06/21 05:26 AM
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Outstanding information Ken! Thank you for taking the time to gather that valuable information!

Re: Crappie Numbers and Trophy Fish [Re: Ken Gaby] #13876182 02/06/21 12:47 PM
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In 2018-2019 I had an average of 5 crappie over 3lbs.(both skin and replicas) come into the shop per year. Last year that grew to 15 and only 2 skin mounts. 2021(some of these fish were caught 2020) is crazy!!! I have 10 mounts over 3lbs. in the shop right now. All replicas! I have 2 more ordered and coming in next week. Now I do get orders from Okla., Ms., Mo., Ks. and Texas mostly. But nearly all the fish are caught using LiveScope. Not against keeping, eating, 20 from 25 or anything else......but I like the releasing and having a replica made.

Re: Crappie Numbers and Trophy Fish [Re: Ken Gaby] #13876445 02/06/21 04:12 PM
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Great Thread with some very nice views and ideas for the better of fishing!

Re: Crappie Numbers and Trophy Fish [Re: Ken Gaby] #13876480 02/06/21 04:39 PM
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I'm with the same thought as David and Bill. Not keeping bigger fish may be the best option available absent any specific data to the contrary. I would like to see aging of some of these bigger fish just to know if they may be 7-9 yrs old. If a 2 lb and 3 lb crappie are both 5 yrs old, that is a huge difference in growth rate provided they both came from the same water. I'm very curious about the age of those bigger fish. If in fact they live a couple yrs longer, then releasing them would be a conservation move to help the trophy potential.

Friend of mine and I fished with Jerry last May and my friend caught a 2.34 that morning which his PB. Three pics with the phone and the fish was back in the lake. For eating, I definitely like the 11-12" fish much better than the bigger ones.


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Re: Crappie Numbers and Trophy Fish [Re: Beltonbanger�] #13876638 02/06/21 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Beltonbanger�
In 2018-2019 I had an average of 5 crappie over 3lbs.(both skin and replicas) come into the shop per year. Last year that grew to 15 and only 2 skin mounts. 2021(some of these fish were caught 2020) is crazy!!! I have 10 mounts over 3lbs. in the shop right now. All replicas! I have 2 more ordered and coming in next week. Now I do get orders from Okla., Ms., Mo., Ks. and Texas mostly. But nearly all the fish are caught using LiveScope. Not against keeping, eating, 20 from 25 or anything else......but I like the releasing and having a replica made.

This is exactly why I carry a scale and measuring tape. If I ever (which at my age is no longer likely) catch a 3#er, I will weigh it, tape the length and girth, and take lots of pictures. Then I will send all that to Bill Muntz and have him make me a replica of the fish....and know that big gal is still roaming free.

And a big THANKS to Ken Gaby for all the work to provide this info.

Last edited by The Crappie Guy; 02/06/21 07:15 PM.

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Re: Crappie Numbers and Trophy Fish [Re: Ken Gaby] #13877337 02/07/21 02:09 PM
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Thank you Ken for all the valuable information you gathered. Great read!thumb

Re: Crappie Numbers and Trophy Fish [Re: Ken Gaby] #13877451 02/07/21 04:02 PM
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Ken, thanks for the enlightened comments.

I was a teenager when Lake Belton filled and we spent many nights on a barge tied up to standing timber at Rogers Park. We would catch lots of small crappie, few large ones, under gas lanterns using minnows that we bought at Hill bait house at the top of the hill. I can remember also when the first sand bass were caught in Lake Belton and the introduction of hybrids. It seems to me that the hybrids have had a significant impact to crappie populations. It seems that now we catch fewer but larger crappie than we did back in 1957 or so. Fishing techniques and equipment have changed so much, I doubt that a valid comparison can be made from then to now.

Re: Crappie Numbers and Trophy Fish [Re: Ken Gaby] #13878517 02/08/21 02:11 PM
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Thanks for all the detailed info! Nice to see the TPWD are keeping a close eye on everything.


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Re: Crappie Numbers and Trophy Fish [Re: ThaDudeAbides] #13878579 02/08/21 02:56 PM
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As for myself.......
100% Of the Female fish I catch over 2# (Digital Scale) are released to spawn more baby crappie’s.
99% Of all Crappie less than 11” are released to grow up.
75% of ALL Crappie caught are released to be caught another day. (Only keep what we can consume in one meal. If we already have Crappie in the freezer then they all are released.)

Just my 2

Re: Crappie Numbers and Trophy Fish [Re: Ken Gaby] #13878749 02/08/21 05:07 PM
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I find it hard to believe that harvesting less crappie does not play a role in the the overall crappie population. Let’s say you caught 25 female crappies and released 5-10 of those female crappies. Those released fish are allowed to spawn in future years and produce more babies versus going straight to the skillet/freezer. Multiply that number by all the fisherman that have limited out. This is just common sense. That’s why other states have a limit of 15 crappies. If hatches only have a 1-2 % survival rate then the numbers will be a whole lot better if you have 500 swimming spawning crappies that season versus 250. Livescope does play a role because it’s putting more fish in the boat. You know exactly where the fish are located.

Last edited by barndoor; 02/10/21 01:02 AM.
Re: Crappie Numbers and Trophy Fish [Re: THarris22] #13882926 02/11/21 02:28 PM
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Put my name under the heading of 11" fish. A 10" crappie doesn't make much of a filet. Hardly worth the effort. Several of the guys I frequently see on the water have started culling the 10 inchers as well. And then there are those guys who believe "if it's big enough to hit the bait, it's big enough to keep". Those are usually the ones tossing beer cans and potato chip bags into the lake. . .

Re: Crappie Numbers and Trophy Fish [Re: Ken Gaby] #13886771 02/14/21 01:01 PM
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Good topic, I have had several guest on my show every Monday night 8 PM CST talking about this. Last week was a Game Warden and if all goes well, I will have a biologist on the next show. I agree that we are not going to harvest all the big fish and ruin the population, BUT at the same time with as many people using livescope it is possible that the "big" fish will not have the opportunity to get big in my opinion. If you keep that 14 incher what is to say he will not be a 16 incher in 8 months. With Livescope you are targeting large fish, not just fish, well, not many people are targeting just fish. Either way, the point is if you do not need them, do not keep them. I catch fish all year long, but I release them. I may keep 50 fish a year. If you are interested in the show follow me on facebook or check out the channel as I will have a biologist on soon and that is a great time to ask questions. Thanks Ken for the post and for everyone else that made a comment. I know this is something that we are ALL concerned about. I think the biggest issues is the guy that goes out, catches his limit every time, keeps the fish, then at the end of the year throws fish away because they have not been eaten and he needs more room in the freezer.

Check my channel out on YouTube by searching Asleep At The Reel.


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Re: Crappie Numbers and Trophy Fish [Re: Ken Gaby] #13887443 02/14/21 08:18 PM
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Okey Doke. . . With all that said, and with all the educated words by the Biologists. I say they need to up the limit to 30! ! !

OK, OK, OK. . . I’m just kidding’ roflmao roflmao roflmao

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