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Re: Bait fishing on the Little J

Joined:
2006/10/26 23:01
From Ohio
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I was a gear fisherman until about 4 years ago when I became fly rod exclsively. I had fished for trout for many years with artificials. Over time I became bored with this fishing process and transformed from 95% catch and keep to 99% C and R as I came to appreciate the fragility of our wild trout resource. I will say thet I am just approaching catching the number of fish that I did with panther martins. I did catch more big fish with the spinners and spinners shine over fly gear when the water is high and muddy. Fly gear shines when the fish are keyed on bugs. Now mind you, I wore waders, knew how to approach fish, read water, and was not afraid of a hike.

But fly fishing is so much more fun....it makes the days that you don't catch many fish fun. Plus I love the tradition of it all and the fact that I can now fish several FFO sections I couldn't before......this was a particular issue for me as a spin fisherman in the off-season.

Now, I'm not going to argue that bait fishing is equal to spin fishing in terms of mortality but I think Mr. Anderson overstates the differences, or at least compares best practice fly fishing to worst practice bait fishing. I agree bait fishing on a C and R river makes little sense. But I object even more to closing such almost an entire river to a large group of tax-paying/liscence buying fisherman just so the C and R crowd can catch a slightly bigger fish. The little J is anything but "threatend" from the sounds of things......either before or after the change in regs, so the changing of regs to "protect the sustainabilty of the fishery" arguement holds little water.

Another thing that is a bit oxymoronical is that if bait fishing was having the effects that Mr. Anderson states then it would be highly unlikely that he has observed the dramatic improvement in the fishery that he has observed since the change in regs.....either he is overstating the effects of bait fishing or the improvement in the fishery.

Posted on: 2007/6/28 7:23


Re: Bait fishing on the Little J

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2006/9/10 16:07
From Pine Grove
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I, too was a bait fisherman longer than I have been a fly fisherman, and my only question is this. I used to fish the headwaters of Clark's 2-3 days a week in my bait days. This is a little stream, so you can see the fish. I was 95% C&R even back then. I would start a the bottom of my favorite stretch, covering 1-2 miles of stream in a day moving upstream with crawlers. Almost every day was a 20+ fish day, some days were even better. It took me 3 or 4 trips to get back to where I started, so needless to say I'd hit the same holes around once every other week. If I had a 40% mortality rate, you'd think at least close to half of the fish I released would have died. I knew absolutely nothing about heat related mortality back then, but sure enough, every time I'd walk up to the hole thinking "this is where the 10 inch wild brown is" or "this is where the 18 inch stockie is" sure enough, there they were. I knew most of the fish in the creek, yet I cut line with hooks in them, handled them with dry hands, probably dropped a few, fished through the hottest days of summer, and all sorts of dumb crap. There are still fish there. I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one fishing Clark's that summer, yet according to these "studies" I should have single handedly wiped out the entire population. I question the validity of these mortality studies and question the motives for anyone who stands by them. *cough* fly snob *cough*cough* I'm not generally a vocal sceptic of studies that are done by people who are invariably smarter than I, but if I have blatant evidence to the contrary I have to speak up. I'm sure I'll get flamed for this post, but rest assured, I don't fish bait in Clark's, don't keep trout, and generally handle them carefully anymore, I just haven't personally seen the same results that they reported.

Boyer

Posted on: 2007/6/28 7:52


Re: Bait fishing on the Little J

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2006/12/29 10:00
From Harrisburg
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Most of us WERE bait/spinfishermen. That being said repeatedly how many times do we remember seeing only the shank of the hook sticking out of a trouts throat? How many times do we remember trying to get a treble hook from the spinner out of a trouts gills? Same results with a threaded minnow.
The truth be known for me along with what else was said about the spin fishing becoming "one potato-two potato" and flyfishing being more of an art/passion than a hobby, is when I start harming the fish anymore it takes away from the experience. It makes me feel like I'm ungrateful and those fish were put there to DIE for my enjoyment and it just doesnt need to be. A river that gets fingerlings and harvest restrictions but you can have trout swallow your hook all day as long as you put them back in? Not to much sense there. Theres a heck of alot more waters for spin/baitmen than flymen. After they crush their waters they come looking for ours. Year after year.

Posted on: 2007/6/28 8:49
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Re: Bait fishing on the Little J

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2007/5/10 14:53
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As a bait/spin fisherman I shared a lot of the same experiences as Matt Boyer did. There was one stream as a kid I would fish every chance I could and I would usually catch the same fish over and over again from mid June til October and I hardly ever noticed a decrease in the fish population. However I've always(since I knew what I was doing) been pretty careful with how I handled fish, making sure my hands are wet first and that I keep them in the water and release them quickly. As a bait fisherman I always fished fast and never really slowed down, I rarely gut hooked fish because of my fast pace. I think I've gut hooked as many per year with the fly as I had with bait. The only time I really ever noticed the gut hook at kind of a high rate was when I used powerbait. Normally if a fish had it in its gills or if it bled at all I would keep it so it wouldn't go to waste.

I switched over to the fly 99% for trout in '02 during my senior year of high school and Ive gone full throttle on it ever since. I have spin fished a few times since them but it was normally just because I was fishing with a friend that didnt fish much and I was trying to show them some methods. However for most all other fish I still spin fish and it doesn't bother me one bit. I even bait fish still for panfish and catfish, to me its the enjoyment level that matters. I fly fish more than anything because of its requirement to think more and to analyze a water more and to try and key in on the exact food the fish are feeding on. As I continue to grow as an all out fly fisherman I've turned to a 90% smallmouth fly fisherman and recently I've started fly fishing more for largemouths. To me as long as I'm enjoying myself with what I'm doing then that is all that matters, because I'm not out to impress someone because I fly fish more then anything. I like to be diverse as a fisherman because then I can relate to everyone and it reminds me that we are all fishermen and we should never be looking down on each other because in the end we are all there to enjoy the same passions regardless of what rod we're carrying.

Posted on: 2007/6/28 9:32


Re: Bait fishing on the Little J

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2006/10/26 23:01
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A few years ago, my best friend and I compared fly fishing with spin fishing and we found that when fishing in the method I describe above you cover abour 2-3 times as much water and cast 2-3 times as much over a given time period when when fishing with underspin baitcasting gear. This is why spinfishing is sucessful....you cover lots of water and focus on larger actively hunting fish.

I think a reasonable comprimise would be to change to single hooks fished either by a tight line (spinners/spoons) or bait on a bobber. Most fish get gut hooked when they are caught buy a worm on a limp weighted line (dropper rig).

Its also imprtant to us an appropiatly sized hook.....too small a few more gut hooks and too large or treble hooks a lot more gill/eye injuries.

I also think that if you've obviously injured a fish to a dgree that it will almost surely die - belly up or bleeding gills - that its extremely wasteful not to eat it. C and R regs take away that option.

Posted on: 2007/6/28 9:47


Re: Bait fishing on the Little J

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2006/12/13 9:28
From Other side of the tracks
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Hey Fly-N-Ice,

I am an all tackle angler too, but I prefer to use only split cane rods. Top that!!!

Well, I don't have a bamboo ice fishing rod, but give me time ...

Posted on: 2007/6/28 10:38
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Re: Bait fishing on the Little J

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13629
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Quote:

fly_N_ice wrote:
What do I think? I think Mr. Anderson and the majority of these posts are from fly fishing snobs. Might as well join DB.

My preferred method of fishing is fly or ice, hence, “fly_N_ice,” but I also bait fish, and thanks to the annual “Nale Brothers” bashing threads, I also spin fish.

I’ll bet a paycheck to anyone who can show me how to bow fish - and release it without harming it.

Bottom line – it’s legal…

Hank


I don't think you can compare a method that is only legal for carp. Hey, fish however it turns you on. I know some hunters that will shoot anything that moves and others who are looking for a specific age and size of deer. if you apply for the right tags you could take 5 or more deer every year. Does that mean you should? Ethics and legality aren't necessarily related. Should they be?...maybe...

Posted on: 2007/6/28 10:53


Re: Bait fishing on the Little J

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2006/12/13 9:28
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Quote:

Squaretail wrote:
Most of us WERE bait/spinfishermen. That being said repeatedly how many times do we remember seeing only the shank of the hook sticking out of a trouts throat? How many times do we remember trying to get a treble hook from the spinner out of a trouts gills?


Well, I'll admit I have had many deep hooked trout on bait in the past, and they tasted great. But I rarely have a problem with spinners. When I did have a problem, it was almost always when casting downstream. Fish hit from downstream in faster water and it goes strait to the gut. I've even had this happen with streamers. One can significantly reduce their trout mortality by changing their tactics, regardless of the gear.

I guess I should add that I haven't used bait on a wild trout stream in about 30 years, but I will still use it on early season stocked trout if I intend on keeping some. This is when freakin freshly stocked trout don't know they are trout and will choose a cigarette butt over a caddis. Once they start acting like trout, I go with flies almost exclusively.

If you can get a bait angler to use spinners, just once, more often than not he won't go back to using bait exclusively (IMHO). Heck, in the long run, using spinners is cheaper, and easier. It is often just fear of trying something new, or "why fix what isn't broken." Once they have caught that first one on a spinner, he will be hooked. Then ... Once they have caught that first one on a fly, he will be re-hooked. This has been my experience and my opinion. However, I am against special tackle restrictions in most cases.

Posted on: 2007/6/28 10:56
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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--


Re: Bait fishing on the Little J

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2006/12/13 9:28
From Other side of the tracks
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Quote:

tomgamber wrote:
Quote:

fly_N_ice wrote:
What do I think? I think Mr. Anderson and the majority of these posts are from fly fishing snobs. Might as well join DB.

My preferred method of fishing is fly or ice, hence, “fly_N_ice,” but I also bait fish, and thanks to the annual “Nale Brothers” bashing threads, I also spin fish.

I’ll bet a paycheck to anyone who can show me how to bow fish - and release it without harming it.

Bottom line – it’s legal…

Hank


I don't think you can compare a method that is only legal for carp. Hey, fish however it turns you on. I know some hunters that will shoot anything that moves and others who are looking for a specific age and size of deer. if you apply for the right tags you could take 5 or more deer every year. Does that mean you should? Ethics and legality aren't necessarily related. Should they be?...maybe...


If it is legal, and what you kill is consumed, then ethics is not an issue. OK, there is also nothing unethical about killing varmints either (without eating them), and that includes groundhogs, and carp.

Posted on: 2007/6/28 11:06
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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--


Re: Bait fishing on the Little J
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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I started this post to see others opinion on the subject. It’s a tough call to make.

Like many others, I started fishing with bait / lures. I don’t need a survey, or an estimate from experts to know from my experience, deep hooking fish using bait happens quite frequently with most bait fisherman. This is fairly rare with a fly. The mortality rate is definitely higher using bait. The exact percentage of mortality is dependent on many factors, and is just a guess. Although on the Little J, logic would tell you that if mortality rate was 50% as claimed, and there were bait fisherman on the water every day, you would see dozens if not hundreds of dead fish in the Little J on a daily basis.

I would say to the posters that said they use methods to not hook fish deeply and handled the fish properly are more the exception than the rule for bait fisherman. I always try to teach and inform others about proper handling of fish and ways of preventing deep hooking to limit mortality. Why more bait fisherman, especially those who C&R, don’t use circle hooks is beyond me. They work well and significantly cut down on deeply hooked fish.

With the Little J, C&R bait fishing was permitted in order to appease the bait fisherman and allow them to fish the River using their preferred method. Would there be more fish in the Little J without bait fisherman? Yes. How many is anyone’s guess. Is the little J a quality fishery right now allowing C&R bait fishing? Sure it is. I think this falls under the “half a loaf is better than none” category.

Think about this, if bait fishing were not allowed, the water would not likely be C&R at all. In addition, I guarantee that the bait fisherman that allegedly caught 100 fish each in one day, or any other successful bait fisherman will be a lot more likely to be concerned about protecting the fishery than if they were excluded.

One other thing, my $.02 about success bait fishing vs fly fishing for trout. IMO, given equal abilities of both fisherman, in the early season, with high water – bait fisherman usually wins. Later in the season with lower clear water and hatches – fly fisherman usually wins. For smallmouths in rivers – bait fishing usually wins (with numbers and size) as a general rule.

I fly fish because I love the challenge and the fact that there is so much to the sport of fly fishing and tying flies that mastering it completely is nearly impossible. We all learn new thing every day.

Ohio – I agree that spin fisherman can usually cover more water, but in a top water / shallow water situation from a boat, a fly rod can shine. A fly fisherman can cast and recast to 3-4 prime spots to 1 prime spot for the spin fisherman that has to cast, reel in, and recast. In deep water, spin fishing has a big advantage over fly-fishing.

Posted on: 2007/6/28 11:33


Re: Bait fishing on the Little J

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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Quote:

FarmerDave wrote:
If it is legal, and what you kill is consumed, then ethics is not an issue. OK, there is also nothing unethical about killing varmints either (without eating them), and that includes groundhogs, and carp.


I have no problem believing that most of the deer killed s consumed in one form or another. But the deer populations in the forests are not what they used to be and in the suburbs they are out of control. I think they could be managed better. I don't really care what varmints you kill. But I could eat a lot of 7 inch native brookies throughout the year but ethically I think its wrong...I've also seen guys with their deer hanging out on opening day and more than one of them look like something Paris Hilton would carry under her skanky little arms.

Posted on: 2007/6/28 11:53


Re: Bait fishing on the Little J

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2006/12/13 9:28
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I never said it was all eaten. all I said is if it is, then there is nothing unethical about it. there are certainly unethical hunters out there.

Don't get me wrong, I hear you Tom. I rarely keep wild trout, too. But is it an ethical thing? Maybe, but that is still a personal opinion. I certainly don't feel guilty when I eat stocked trout. And on the rare occasion I eat wild trout, I don't feel guilty. and if I did it more often, i wouldn't feel guilty. I just enjoy catching them more than eating them, and then there is that do onto other thing (let others enjoy).

As far as the deer population goes... I used to see 50 or more deer on opening day 30 some years ago. Now if I hunt the same spots, I'd be lucky to see 10 or 12. On the other hand, of those 50 plus, maybe 1 or 2 would be a scrawny buck. Of the 10 or 12 I might see now, 3 to 5 might be buck and a whole lot nicer ones at that. No, numbers wise the population isn't what it once was. But it is a whole lot healthier in my opinion and i don't have trouble finding any. The suburbs are another story though. Politics override good management in the suburbs.

As far as the ethics of shooting a yearling go... Which would you rather eat, lamb or mutton? Yearling deer taste a whole lot better than the 6 or 7 year old bucks. I may even specifically try to harvest one of those yearlings this year. TASTEY!!! But then, you won't see it hanging in my front yard. I'd get laughed out of the neighborhood.

For the record, you won't see any deer hanging in my front yard. That is just plain stupid.

P.S. I didn't use veal as an example because I don't eat it. I never really cared for it or the way so called "good veal" is raised (speaking of ethics).

Posted on: 2007/6/28 12:50
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Re: Bait fishing on the Little J

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2006/9/9 17:18
From lancaster county
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well siad squaretail, though i belive they shouldnt be excluded from the little j, they do have TONS more water. i dont belive spin fishing has a BIG advantage of flyfishing. there are disadvantages and advantages for both ways of fishing. they can cast faster and cover more water, i can throw mayflys and lightly present a dryfly to the surface film of the water without spooking a trout. panther martins tend to SPLASH!

Posted on: 2007/6/28 16:44
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Re: Bait fishing on the Little J

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Theres a reason spec-reg waters were created in the first place and its NOT because flyfishermen are self centered snob elitists.
Well.........not all.

Posted on: 2007/6/28 22:27
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Re: Bait fishing on the Little J

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2007/3/16 23:24
From Wilkes-Barre
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Farmer Dave:

Nope, can’t beat that. I haven’t caught the bamboo bug yet. Actually, I swapped a bamboo rod at this year’s Jam with the sole condition that it be refinished and fished; I have no doubt it’s in good hands.

Tom:

My intent with the bow fishing analogy was just that – “intent.” It is not my intent to gut hook any fish while bait fishing, it happens, but it is not my “intent.” It is, however, the “intent” of the bow fisher to pierce a fish with an arrow. Mortality???

Sal:

You’re right, you never said ban bait fishers. But you did suggest I read an article on hooks. I use circle hooks (Gamakatsu Octopus Circle #10), but I prefer Daiichi Wide Gap Bait Hooks #10.

Squaretail:

“Theres a heck of alot more waters for spin/baitmen than flymen.”

You’ve got to be kidding. I’ve seen FFO and ALO sections, but I’ve never seen a “Bait Fishing Only” section. Assuming the water is open to fish, a fly rodder can fish anytime, anywhere. It’s the bait fishers who are denied water.

afishinado:

I still feel Mr. Anderson has an agenda. Is his problem with bait fishers, mortality, or invasive species? If he “lectured” me on the errors of my legal fishing methods, I, too, would make him sick with body gestures.

Page 26 of the 2007 PA Fishing Laws and Regulations Summary Book states:

“#8 Cut the line.

When it is not possible to remove the hook without harming the fish, cut the line. Only a small piece of line should be left on the hook to ease passage through the digestive system. Research has documented that cutting the line can greatly increase the survival of deeply hooked fish.

These baiters were using worms, where does the “dumping of buckets” enter this picture?

Hank

Posted on: 2007/6/28 23:26



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