Texas Fishing Forum

Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think?

Posted By: Stephen M Fatherree

Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/24/19 07:15 PM

Not that this would ever happen due to the large amount of money which Lake Fork Tournaments bring into the marinas as well as other local businesses, but does anyone other than myself think that it would be nice to see a limit on how many new annual tournaments can be held during the prime spawning season?

As we all know Lake Fork is one of the most popular bass fisheries in the country which handles the enormous fishing pressure quite well. In the 10 plus years and I have lived on Fork I have seen a new annual tournament series starting up during the springtime nearly every 2-3 years. The amount of beds which are prop washed and destroyed during the largemouth bass spawn certainly has a negative effect on the overall quality of the lakes bass. Not only does prop washing beds by anglers whom have their trolling motors too deep in shallow water impact the lakes largemouth population, but catching and then bringing male bass that were protecting their beds miles away to be weighed during tournaments also effects the quality of the fishery. Continuing to allow more and more new annual springtime tournament events on Lake Fork will only lead to even more spawning beds being destroyed. At the rate of which these new annual springtime tournaments call Lake Fork home the effects of this added pressure more likely than not will begin to show. When will enough be enough? Perhaps there could be a ban on any new tournaments during a 4 week period during early March to early April. I would love to hear other anglers opinion on this topic.
Posted By: beartrap

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/24/19 07:26 PM

I believe I read that each spawning bass produces an average of 325,000 fry and each spawning season produces far more fry than the lake can sustain...
this would appear to be true inasmuch as some of our best lakes have numerous tournaments throughout the spring and have had for over 40 years....
Posted By: Chris B

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/24/19 07:36 PM

In my opinion, I would be WAY more worried about the damage the spraying of grass is doing to the lake than tournaments.
Posted By: 04champ

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/24/19 07:40 PM

it's public water, you got to allow them all or ban them all
Posted By: ezbassin

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/24/19 08:13 PM

Originally Posted by Chris B
In my opinion, I would be WAY more worried about the damage the spraying of grass is doing to the lake than tournaments.



+1

Chaney creek is dead compared to what it was like before they sprayed the grass.
Posted By: Jarrett Latta

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/24/19 08:46 PM

Tournament pressure has little to no effect if comparing it to just the insane number of people on fork in the springtime. I don't see how the few guys in an event and their propwash would affect beds more than just the general pressure on the lake. If tournament pressure hurt bass population, Rayburn would suck. What does hurt it is when you remove the slot or don't have a slot and the meat hunters show up.
Posted By: Jarrett Latta

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/24/19 08:48 PM

Also, the few males that are big enough to weigh is a fraction of the males that are in the slot spawning with females. If anything, the small female chunks would be most affected.
Posted By: buda13

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/24/19 09:44 PM

I think ole Lake Fork will be just fine... she gets more stockings than any other lake on the planet.


[Linked Image]
Posted By: Stephen M Fatherree

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 10:14 AM

Originally Posted by Jarrett Latta
Tournament pressure has little to no effect if comparing it to just the insane number of people on fork in the springtime. I don't see how the few guys in an event and their propwash would affect beds more than just the general pressure on the lake. If tournament pressure hurt bass population, Rayburn would suck. What does hurt it is when you remove the slot or don't have a slot and the meat hunters show up.


Let's not forget that Sam Rayburn Reservoir is not only over 4 times the size of Lake Fork but also the number of anglers per acre that fish that lake each year is substantially lower per acre since Fork is only 90 miles East from Dallas.
Posted By: Stephen M Fatherree

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 10:22 AM

Originally Posted by Chris B
In my opinion, I would be WAY more worried about the damage the spraying of grass is doing to the lake than tournaments.


Good point sir! Do you and others think spraying to kill the invasive species of grass is the main reason why the hydrilla and milfoil has not yet returned to the lake since the drought nearly 8 years ago dropped water levels below the depth of which the majority of this healthy grass used to be growing in?
Posted By: Chris B

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 11:04 AM

Originally Posted by Stephen M Fatherree
Originally Posted by Chris B
In my opinion, I would be WAY more worried about the damage the spraying of grass is doing to the lake than tournaments.


Good point sir! Do you and others think spraying to kill the invasive species of grass is the main reason why the hydrilla and milfoil has not yet returned to the lake since the drought nearly 8 years ago dropped water levels below the depth of which the majority of this healthy grass used to be growing in?

Not a doubt in my mind the spraying is what has killed all the subsurface grass. The sad thing is all it takes is one cold winter to kill all the invasive grass. Spraying didn't kill 95% of the sylvinia in Caddo. A freeze did.
Posted By: Stephen M Fatherree

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 01:38 PM

Originally Posted by Chris B
Originally Posted by Stephen M Fatherree
Originally Posted by Chris B
In my opinion, I would be WAY more worried about the damage the spraying of grass is doing to the lake than tournaments.


Good point sir! Do you and others think spraying to kill the invasive species of grass is the main reason why the hydrilla and milfoil has not yet returned to the lake since the drought nearly 8 years ago dropped water levels below the depth of which the majority of this healthy grass used to be growing in?

Not a doubt in my mind the spraying is what has killed all the subsurface grass. The sad thing is all it takes is one cold winter to kill all the invasive grass. Spraying didn't kill 95% of the sylvinia in Caddo. A freeze did.



That sucks, Fork was so fun to fish when we had that healthy grass growing!
Posted By: 206champion

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 02:00 PM

Originally Posted by buda13
I think ole Lake Fork will be just fine... she gets more stockings than any other lake on the planet.


[Linked Image]

I have been saying that for years and I think if the bass didn't spawn on fork you would never know it TPWD stocks it every year , that's fine but they need to share the wealth with other lakes you never know what lakes would be like if they were stocked the same.
Posted By: Sinkey

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 02:14 PM

Originally Posted by Stephen M Fatherree
Originally Posted by Chris B
In my opinion, I would be WAY more worried about the damage the spraying of grass is doing to the lake than tournaments.


Good point sir! Do you and others think spraying to kill the invasive species of grass is the main reason why the hydrilla and milfoil has not yet returned to the lake since the drought nearly 8 years ago dropped water levels below the depth of which the majority of this healthy grass used to be growing in?


I do. When I came to Fork in 89 there was hydrilla everywhere. All the way out to 20+ ft. And hardly NO houses on the lake. Now, there are houses everywhere, and Ive personally seen people spraying [censored] in the water to clean their shoreline. So I think its had a huge affect on the grass in the lake.
As far as prop wash goes on beds, I think everyone needs to be mindful of it. I see joe blows do it, guides do it, tournament guys do it. So really everyone should just be careful about it. Use push poles, which you hardly ever see around the lake.
Posted By: fouzman

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 04:09 PM

Originally Posted by beartrap
I believe I read that each spawning bass produces an average of 325,000 fry and each spawning season produces far more fry than the lake can sustain...
this would appear to be true inasmuch as some of our best lakes have numerous tournaments throughout the spring and have had for over 40 years....


You read wrong. Read all the way to the bottom of the article and see how many bass reach 10 inches. I don't know which would be more beneficial, Stephen. Limiting new tournaments in the Spring or ALL tournaments in the June-August time period.

http://www.bassfishingalabama.com/Reproduction.html
Posted By: Jarrett Latta

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 04:37 PM

Originally Posted by fouzman
Originally Posted by beartrap
I believe I read that each spawning bass produces an average of 325,000 fry and each spawning season produces far more fry than the lake can sustain...
this would appear to be true inasmuch as some of our best lakes have numerous tournaments throughout the spring and have had for over 40 years....


You read wrong. Read all the way to the bottom of the article and see how many bass reach 10 inches. I don't know which would be more beneficial, Stephen. Limiting new tournaments in the Spring or ALL tournaments in the June-August time period.

http://www.bassfishingalabama.com/Reproduction.html



I think if you stopped spring tournaments, you would see no difference due to overall pressure already. Can you even tell there is an event going on on a Saturday in March?
Posted By: slim 285

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 04:40 PM

And make it guides can’t have trips either . Or just close the fishing down all together.
Posted By: bbexotics

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 04:45 PM

I for one, believe that all tournaments should be stopped during the spawn.!!!!
The amount of stocking has fallen almost 250k since 2004. That also has an effect on the lake.
But tournaments during a spawn should be a (no,no) in my book
Posted By: Mark Perry

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 05:11 PM

My own opinion is it ain't broke.
Posted By: Lake Fork Guide Marc Mitchell

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 06:18 PM

I am going chime in just a bit with a little info I have that may shed some light on the stockings.

I have been in meetings with the TPW now for over 25 years about Lake Fork and 5 meetings in the last 1-1/2 years. We discuss stockings and spraying and tournaments.

Stockings first. the TPW have said .05-1.0 percent of stockings survive. Now that is 3,000-5,000 fish to survive and spread out in a 27,690 acres. Not a good total out come for the lake. IMO

Cover is very important with survival rate. I am not for spraying after learning more of what they have told us and seeing the decline of habitat.

Tournaments are a different issue, but by no means the root of the problem. Although back in the 90's I took video and pictures of over 50 big bass dead after a big tournament on Lake Fork. They died after releasing them and 2 days after the tournament blew into the shoreline. Just cause a fish swims off does not mean it survives.

To create a resource like this and it dies in a day when it took 8 years to grow it you never really recover from that and when it happens several times a year even more hurts the lakes potential. IMO

I have seen records that prove to me the numbers of fish per acre in the Lake are down.

We have more predator threat to our fish now days than ever before. Turtles are insane numbers here. Water Turkeys,White Bass, Gar, and Spraying are all issues that effect to bottom line.

Now to address a post pointed towards guides. I buy a license to be able to make a living by fishing and use the resources of the state. This money goes to the TPW for their use.

Tournaments on the other hand do not buy or pay for any use of the resources of the state. IMO they should at least give a percentage back to the restocking of resources and or buy a permit to use the resources like my guide license.

Tournament anglers do not spend as much money in the area as you would think either. Studies show most are locals driving in and not spending lots of dollars. Some really big tournaments have marinas give them money to come here in hopes to cover their expense or more and that is a close call on breaking even from what I have heard.

Anyhow Lake Fork is like your bank account. You cannot have to much money in IT ! Lake Fork cant have to many fish in IT ! We need more fish per acre.

Thanks for reading my post. Hope it helps.
Posted By: Jeezy

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 06:35 PM

As is almost always the case, I agree with Marc Mitchell.
Posted By: Bass Buster1

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 06:39 PM

I would love to see biologist study popular tournament lakes every year and issue "X" number of tournament permits per year based on overall health of the lake. Ray Roberts just had back to back weekend big HS tournaments here at the end of a long summer with the water still very hot knowing any fish that were caught were stressed to the max. Tournament pressure followed by habitat eradication from the TPWD grass haters IMO are the two biggest contributors to tougher fishing conditions everywhere. Fishing seasons like some of the States up North would probably help too but I am not really a fan of that. Only thing positive there is that I would not have to choose like I do this weekend, deer hunt or fish...
Posted By: SteezMacQueen

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 06:46 PM

Originally Posted by Mark Perry
My own opinion is it ain't broke.

THIS!
Posted By: SteezMacQueen

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 06:53 PM

Originally Posted by Lake Fork Guide Marc Mitchell
I am going chime in just a bit with a little info I have that may shed some light on the stockings.

I have been in meetings with the TPW now for over 25 years about Lake Fork and 5 meetings in the last 1-1/2 years. We discuss stockings and spraying and tournaments.

Stockings first. the TPW have said .05-1.0 percent of stockings survive. Now that is 3,000-5,000 fish to survive and spread out in a 27,690 acres. Not a good total out come for the lake. IMO

Cover is very important with survival rate. I am not for spraying after learning more of what they have told us and seeing the decline of habitat.

Tournaments are a different issue, but by no means the root of the problem. Although back in the 90's I took video and pictures of over 50 big bass dead after a big tournament on Lake Fork. They died after releasing them and 2 days after the tournament blew into the shoreline. Just cause a fish swims off does not mean it survives.

To create a resource like this and it dies in a day when it took 8 years to grow it you never really recover from that and when it happens several times a year even more hurts the lakes potential. IMO

I have seen records that prove to me the numbers of fish per acre in the Lake are down.

We have more predator threat to our fish now days than ever before. Turtles are insane numbers here. Water Turkeys,White Bass, Gar, and Spraying are all issues that effect to bottom line.

Now to address a post pointed towards guides. I buy a license to be able to make a living by fishing and use the resources of the state. This money goes to the TPW for their use.

Tournaments on the other hand do not buy or pay for any use of the resources of the state. IMO they should at least give a percentage back to the restocking of resources and or buy a permit to use the resources like my guide license.

Tournament anglers do not spend as much money in the area as you would think either. Studies show most are locals driving in and not spending lots of dollars. Some really big tournaments have marinas give them money to come here in hopes to cover their expense or more and that is a close call on breaking even from what I have heard.

Anyhow Lake Fork is like your bank account. You cannot have to much money in IT ! Lake Fork cant have to many fish in IT ! We need more fish per acre.

Thanks for reading my post. Hope it helps.


Says someone that makes money off of Lake Fork, and whose success is based upon putting clients on those big fish. I am sure your opinion is completely unbiased.



cheers
Posted By: Txduckhunter

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 07:13 PM

Originally Posted by bbexotics
I for one, believe that all tournaments should be stopped during the spawn.!!!!
The amount of stocking has fallen almost 250k since 2004. That also has an effect on the lake.
But tournaments during a spawn should be a (no,no) in my book



I think what you meant was that the lake should be closed to everyone during the spawn.
Which is insane.
I know the Yanks close during the spawn but when I decide I want to live in a sub-par state for dining and hunting, I will move up there.
Posted By: JIM SR.

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 07:22 PM

so stephen, youre ok with the current amount of tournaments, you want to regulate annually how many more can be added..?

how many more would you think would be the right number..? For the marina's and hotel/motel, gas, grocery, beer, and restaurants
I'm sure they would like to have tournaments every week end, all year. For me, has a residence on Fork, and dont fish tournaments
I would prefer that there not be any tournaments...cant please all of the people all the time,.. fish

welcome back i guess,..???
Posted By: Jarrett Latta

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/25/19 08:19 PM

I think "most" anglers would be ok giving back to the lake in the form of money to restock it. Larger entries, permits, however you do it. But... I think the money should go to more adult size fish, atleast larger than fingerlings, versus what they stock now. The larger fish aren't cheap but they have a much better chance at survival
Posted By: David Burton

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 12:22 AM

Originally Posted by Stephen M Fatherree
Not that this would ever happen due to the large amount of money which Lake Fork Tournaments bring into the marinas as well as other local businesses, but does anyone other than myself think that it would be nice to see a limit on how many new annual tournaments can be held during the prime spawning season?

As we all know Lake Fork is one of the most popular bass fisheries in the country which handles the enormous fishing pressure quite well. In the 10 plus years and I have lived on Fork I have seen a new annual tournament series starting up during the springtime nearly every 2-3 years. The amount of beds which are prop washed and destroyed during the largemouth bass spawn certainly has a negative effect on the overall quality of the lakes bass. Not only does prop washing beds by anglers whom have their trolling motors too deep in shallow water impact the lakes largemouth population, but catching and then bringing male bass that were protecting their beds miles away to be weighed during tournaments also effects the quality of the fishery. Continuing to allow more and more new annual springtime tournament events on Lake Fork will only lead to even more spawning beds being destroyed. At the rate of which these new annual springtime tournaments call Lake Fork home the effects of this added pressure more likely than not will begin to show. When will enough be enough? Perhaps there could be a ban on any new tournaments during a 4 week period during early March to early April. I would love to hear other anglers opinion on this topic.


Nah, the guides do more damage sight fishing
stir roflmao

She'll be fine! The slot is fine at controlling for now!
Posted By: Fast Lane

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 01:13 AM

Originally Posted by Lake Fork Guide Marc Mitchell
I am going chime in just a bit with a little info I have that may shed some light on the stockings.

I have been in meetings with the TPW now for over 25 years about Lake Fork and 5 meetings in the last 1-1/2 years. We discuss stockings and spraying and tournaments.

Stockings first. the TPW have said .05-1.0 percent of stockings survive. Now that is 3,000-5,000 fish to survive and spread out in a 27,690 acres. Not a good total out come for the lake. IMO

Cover is very important with survival rate. I am not for spraying after learning more of what they have told us and seeing the decline of habitat.

Tournaments are a different issue, but by no means the root of the problem. Although back in the 90's I took video and pictures of over 50 big bass dead after a big tournament on Lake Fork. They died after releasing them and 2 days after the tournament blew into the shoreline. Just cause a fish swims off does not mean it survives.

To create a resource like this and it dies in a day when it took 8 years to grow it you never really recover from that and when it happens several times a year even more hurts the lakes potential. IMO

I have seen records that prove to me the numbers of fish per acre in the Lake are down.

We have more predator threat to our fish now days than ever before. Turtles are insane numbers here. Water Turkeys,White Bass, Gar, and Spraying are all issues that effect to bottom line.

Now to address a post pointed towards guides. I buy a license to be able to make a living by fishing and use the resources of the state. This money goes to the TPW for their use.

Tournaments on the other hand do not buy or pay for any use of the resources of the state. IMO they should at least give a percentage back to the restocking of resources and or buy a permit to use the resources like my guide license.

Tournament anglers do not spend as much money in the area as you would think either. Studies show most are locals driving in and not spending lots of dollars. Some really big tournaments have marinas give them money to come here in hopes to cover their expense or more and that is a close call on breaking even from what I have heard.

Anyhow Lake Fork is like your bank account. You cannot have to much money in IT ! Lake Fork cant have to many fish in IT ! We need more fish per acre.

Thanks for reading my post. Hope it helps.




Tournament Fisherman have a Fishing license too. This money goes to the TPW for their use...…………….
Posted By: SkeeterRonnie

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 02:07 AM

End tournaments and end guiding on it. Why is it ok for one and not the other? Seems the guides want it to themselves. Doesnt work that way. This same topic comes up about every 2-3 years. No tournaments for Jan- May, and no licensed guides on the water for business at the same time. I would vote for that rule!! Catch and release only on all bass greater than 16”
Posted By: Jarrett Latta

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 03:29 AM

So a local could fish it everyday up and down the bank but a guide couldn't go 2-3 times a week. Makes sense
Posted By: RandyD

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 04:10 AM

I've been fishing this lake since about '87, I have a place on the lake since '93... so forget about the 80's, 90's, 2000's, ….those were the history making years (don't forget about the huge fish kill that happened) ... the last 10 years I've seen an incredible drop-off of quantity and size... I don't know what the problem is, or the issue, and I don't have an answer... but there is absolutely a problem building with our favorite big Bass lake (I am asking right now, TP&W show us the history of sampling data for the last 10 years, I know you have it...).. If the data proves me wrong, then "GOOD!" ... We have multiple stakeholders,... TP&W, and unfortunately the city of Dallas owns the water, the local economy that spreads for miles, Guides that make a living "guiding"... The slot has been in place for years (thankfully)... spraying is taking place in isolated areas,... BIG BASS tournaments are out the frickn wazoo... and every other weekend club, regional, big name or BIG BASS tournament circuit coming through, ….and then you have the local club tournaments... Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night, …and now we're back to the weekend... Who owns protecting the fishery?!................................. WE do!
Posted By: bbexotics

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 11:55 AM

Wrong, no tournaments during spawn, more yearlings stocked, after spawn have as many as you want.
Posted By: Lake Fork Guide Marc Mitchell

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 01:17 PM

Yes the tournament fisherman do. I was not talking about them. Tournament trails who make a living using Texas resources do not have to purchase anything to make a living off of the resources. I or guides do ! Some of the trails make more in one tournament that most guides can make all year. The big tournaments. Do the math it might shock you.

A lot of things pointed at guides on here and not sure I understanding why,but we are on the water 200 plus days a year and we see things weekend fisherman dont see.

We most always talk with TPW about these issues to help the lake for all fisherman. Yet the weekend angler cares about nothing but himself. I dont see any of you meeting with the TPW about issues at the Lake.

Nor them contacting you and asking you what is happening at the lake. Guides take better care of the fish and fisheries IMO. Just by not putting them in the well alone. I know some run 10 plus fish in all the time for EGO as much as anything but you can buy good scales now days and have a catch and release with in minutes.

Not here to start a argument but a understand. We may agree to disagree but outside looking in approach is not understanding the issues at hand.

(Skeeter Ronnie ) your commit needs a response or maybe you did not read mine very good. TPW requires a license for a guide who uses the resources of Texas. Although it is his or her expertise they are being hired for,their boat,equipment and other stuff.Helps if the lake was famous at one time.

I can choose to guide anywhere just like tournaments can go anywhere. They still are using the resources and not giving anything back. Ever noticed how tournaments go to lakes with plenty of fish or draw good attendance, then when they use up the resources they move to another lake.

Yet a Tournament trail handles more fish in one day that guides do in a year. Lop sided numbers most of the time. Studies show 28 % die after weigh in . Studies have been done multiple times on this. I have nothing against tournaments. I do think if I have to by a license to use the resources then it is only fair they should to.Agree or disagree.
Posted By: Sinkey

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 02:02 PM

Guys....Fork is just fine, and does not get hurt by the spawn or tournaments. The loss of grass and LMBV was what I think caused the 14+ lbs fish to lower in numbers years back. But I fish the lake all the time, and I promise you, its fine. The mass numbers of fish in that lake between 7 to 10 lbs. is crazy. And still hold a lot of 10 lbs. +.
When I can fish a lake and average anywhere from 20 to 100 fish a day on it. And 10 to 20 on tough days. Ill take that all day and every day.

She is still one of the best bass lakes in the US, hands down. Just be blessed and thankful the lake is as close to us as it is. A lot of people don't even get to fish lakes like Fork or a Rayburn.
Posted By: Bass Buster1

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 02:09 PM

Resident Alwater guide license is $210, no offense intended, not a huge contribution. It is however, definitely more than zero which is what tournament trails contribute. I agree tournament trails should contribute something to the lakes they fish. I also take that a step further and think that the number of tournaments on a given water body should be restricted. I am thinking out of both sides of my head because I hate Govt. intervention in just about anything. I fish a few tournaments each year but I do believe that tournament pressure is out of control and is messing with fun fishing success for the average angler.
Posted By: Lake Fork Guide Marc Mitchell

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 02:16 PM

Sinkey you should be a GUIDE with those numbers.

Course GUIDES dont get to do that in front of customers.


We do have a good amount of upper class fish but when they die off in 1-3 years I would like to see your numbers then.

16 inch fish do not count for a big portion of spawn with very low numbers of fry.

Huge gap right now in 4-6 pound fish. They are not there nor are they shocking them up.

Glad you are catching them and I know you are a good fisherman.
Posted By: Sinkey

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 03:11 PM

Originally Posted by Lake Fork Guide Marc Mitchell
Sinkey you should be a GUIDE with those numbers.

Course GUIDES dont get to do that in front of customers.


No thanks. Ive taken work customers out plenty of times, and even helped other guides out there before. I hold a high respect for what you guys do......its hard work.
Posted By: David Burton

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 04:28 PM

IMO, the reason for the guide comments is because a guide came here and again started a thread about banning toirnamanents on a lake that has a slot limit that discourages most of the normal 5-stringer tournaments.

What I find hilarious is the finger-wagging and pointing when talking about one of the arguably best managed bass lakes in the country.

The number of overs is on the up-swing, something must be right about the management with the stable water levels!
Posted By: criglizard

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 04:46 PM

I'm not saying that they should change anything but if you don't think that the tournaments have a negative impact on the fishing, you are ignoring facts that tell a different story. It's not necessarily the tournaments, it's the huge amount of pressure and in many cases, more skilled anglers than the average "weekender".

But the number of tournaments, boats blowing through beds, catching males and females (in and out of slot) during the spawn....that stuff is more controllable and while we do better than most states/lakes, we aren't doing our best. Sealy tournament with 85-90 degree water....sure, go ahead and pretend all those fish lived. Like Marc said, 25% are dying afterwards (or is TPWD wrong?). Some of those 15" fish ARE the future 10lb fish. They simply never make it to that point because they were caught in September, 88 degree water, put in a livewell, and hauled around all day.

All you guys saying "it aint broke"....are you implying that the lake is as good as it can be? Surely not, so why aren't we open to logical changes to make it even better and less likely to "break" in the future. It's not what it was in the 90s (right Sinky? heard you say that a lot on here), so what guarantees it stays "not broke".

Last thing I'll say....I remember my buddies that live on Amistad in 2006 telling me that its the best lake in the world and always will be. I remember my friends and half this forum saying Falcon was the best ever. What happened there? Low water? Ok....what prevents Fork from going 10' low? Nothing. So why aren't we more proactive to plan for the inevitable problems that every single water body in the world faces throughout its history?
Posted By: fouzman

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 04:47 PM

Originally Posted by David Burton
I

The number of overs is on the up-swing, something must be right about the management with the stable water levels!


You're right but stable water levels have nothing to do with management of the fishery. That's mother nature.
Posted By: fouzman

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 04:51 PM

The last time the TTBC was at Fork, not the TTBF, I bet I heard twenty or more pros say where did all the schools of big fish go? IKE told me he had found one school of fish in practice. One. I won't name any more names, but these were all guys who had been to Fork before and what they were seeing on their graphs was nothing compared to what they had seen in TTBC's in past years. Yes, there were five or six guys who really caught them in that event, but the weights dropped significantly after those guys.
Posted By: David Burton

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 04:56 PM

Originally Posted by fouzman
Originally Posted by David Burton
I

The number of overs is on the up-swing, something must be right about the management with the stable water levels!


You're right but stable water levels have nothing to do with management of the fishery. That's mother nature.

Understood, please insert the word "along" where it belongs in that sentence. noidea
Posted By: Chris B

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 05:42 PM

Biggest difference I see is lack of hydrilla. When the lake was fishing better there was hydrilla everywhere. Ten years ago when Amistad was so good there was hydrilla everywhere. Five years ago when Toledo Bend was so good there was hydrilla everywhere. Up until this year Sam Rayburn had hydrilla everywhere. I can clearly see a pattern of what causes the upswings on our lakes.
Posted By: Bass Buster1

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 05:48 PM

Originally Posted by Chris B
Biggest difference I see is lack of hydrilla. When the lake was fishing better there was hydrilla everywhere. Ten years ago when Amistad was so good there was hydrilla everywhere. Five years ago when Toledo Bend was so good there was hydrilla everywhere. Up until this year Sam Rayburn had hydrilla everywhere. I can clearly see a pattern of what causes the upswings on our lakes.


AMEN!!! Why spray especially on a lake like Fork or the top half of Roberts where pleasure boating/skiing/wake boats etc.are not really a thing anyway?
Posted By: Lake Fork Guide Marc Mitchell

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 06:14 PM

We all know Hydrilla is great but if you have low numbers of fish it means almost nothing.

TPW planted Hydrilla in Lake Fork this year after we discussed how important it is for the fishing population.Never thought this would happen in my lifetime.They took info from the guides and planted it. Now the problem seems to be something is eating it. They think it is turtles. Grows to the edge of the cages and not beyond.

Overs being weighed in tournaments are carrying lower weights due to a influence of native strain. When 5-7 pound fish are over 24 inches. I remember when most all fish close to 24 were pushing 10 pounds. So dont be fooled by numbers of overs being weighed in to be a healthy lake. Try figuring / averaging the weights of all those overs.

I have a chart that shows we have males 16 inches long that are 6-7 years old. I remember TPW shocking up big males in the good ole days of the 90's.

We have a new group of guys at TPW leading the way of the future for Lake Fork and they are great at listening and trying to make it better for all fisherman.
Posted By: Jarrett Latta

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 07:21 PM

Hard to compare these lakes to what they once were. Most are getting very silted in and without big water fluctuations, they wouldn't make it. The only thing that saves Rayburn was the timely high water literally every spring and early summer for the past 7 years. Hydrilla had very little impact on how good the fishery has gotten. It was the new growth after low water in 2011 combined with high water until now. The fish had brush, haygrass and trees out to 6-10ft protecting them during the spawn and the fry had endless growth to live in year round.

Tpw also has been spraying Rayburn for 20+ years. Often during the best years. Same as Toledo
Posted By: criglizard

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 07:32 PM

Originally Posted by Jarrett Latta
Hard to compare these lakes to what they once were. Most are getting very silted in and without big water fluctuations, they wouldn't make it.


Jarrett.....exactly! If the natural progression of a lake typically leads to lower fish populations and worse fishing, then why aren't we all trying to counteract that by doing some "new" things. Otherwise, we are just letting nature (and population growth) take its course. Seems crazy.

Also....grass doesn't explain everything. What about Falcon? Alan Henry? Ivie? Good lakes that god popular and fishing went down....a lot.
Posted By: Bobby Milam

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 07:58 PM

I think that if a tournament wants to make money off of a public resource, they should pay a fee for it's use that goes straight back into that lake. Yes, we buy fishing licenses that go to TPWD but the owner of the tournament gets to bring in people from all over the country, make their money, basically using the lake temporarily as their business and never pay rent that would be associated for almost any other kind of business then move on to the next. Tournament fishermen are a small number of all licensed fishermen yet everyone has to support the tournaments use of the resource as they make their money.

Marc is correct about the mortality effect from tournaments, regardless on their claims on how well they handle the fish and their low mortality claims. There have been studies and they clearly show the numbers of fish that die within several days after the tournament
Posted By: Jarrett Latta

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 08:23 PM

Originally Posted by criglizard
Originally Posted by Jarrett Latta
Hard to compare these lakes to what they once were. Most are getting very silted in and without big water fluctuations, they wouldn't make it.


Jarrett.....exactly! If the natural progression of a lake typically leads to lower fish populations and worse fishing, then why aren't we all trying to counteract that by doing some "new" things. Otherwise, we are just letting nature (and population growth) take its course. Seems crazy.

Also....grass doesn't explain everything. What about Falcon? Alan Henry? Ivie? Good lakes that god popular and fishing went down....a lot.


Our lakes are busier every year. You can't keep people from moving to the lake, building property, or just enjoying the lake. Tpw does the best job they can balancing our lakes. Most lakes fishing is a by product. Let's be thankful we have so many options to fish in Texas, they all cycle.
Posted By: Moose364

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 09:01 PM

https://www.bassresource.com/fishing/catch_and_release_bass.html

Somewhere this has to kick in also.
Bass Guides don't really bother me I would say most are putting the bass back after a Pic,
Now Crappie guides that is a whole other thing,
Posted By: Cameron

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 09:25 PM

One thing I have noticed since having livescope that is super concerning is there are some "dead sea" areas that were super populated in years past that are basically void of fish and bait. Back of Penson, all 3 "arms" of White Oak, Chaney, area past Trout Cove in Birch Creek, Northwest Bay, back of Ray Branch, back half of Dale, back half of Williams, No Name...I am sure I am missing other spots. I have been checking these areas since the spring and something has definitely changed. I don't now how to explain it, it isn't just that the fish aren't there when I am checking...

On the other hand, I see big bass roll through my livescope screen while crappie fishing all the time...and in some really odd ball areas.
Posted By: GIG'EM AGGIES

Re: Lake Fork Spring Spawning Season New Tournament Limits - What do you think? - 09/26/19 09:47 PM

I've noticed the same thing Cameron. Those spots you mentioned were spots I frequented back in the day but haven't been in them in quite awhile for the reasons you mentioned. Something has changed. I know the habitat has changed and maybe the quality of the water has too. Fishing around hot crappie spots can be real productive for bass. Can't tell you how many times I've been reeling in a crappie under the 514 bridge and have a big mouthed bass come up and take it. The 14 pounder I caught had a 9" crappie in her mouth. Yep they love'm.
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