How big is to big?

4/13/15 @ 7:20 AM
ORIGINAL POST
eyeslayer007
eyeslayer007
USER since 1/27/14
Well last night i was checking out some local bank fisherman on the Wisconsin river. I started talking to this one guy and he told me that he had some nice gills and crappie. He had me take a look in his bucket and there was a 10 1/4 inch gill and a 10 inch gill! I asked him what he was going to do with them and he informed me that he was running a knife through them. I get that he can keep them fish and do whatever with them but is there a point where fish are just to big and old? I always release gills that are 9 plus, but that's just me. Edit= spelling
Edited on 4/14/15 7:06 AM
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Displaying 1 to 10 of 16 Posts
4/15/15 @ 4:44 PM
cds
cds
USER since 9/18/01
There's guys who keep "everything worth putting a knife to" and then there's guys who have learned how to target the biggest panfish in the system. They keep nothing but the pannies other guys would love to catch only occasionally.

Same with walleyes during the run: I know of guys who target the big females because they have most meet per fish or "per limit".

The average fisherman who occasionally stumbles into a big fish or two aren't nearly the problem that knowledgeable,skilled and greedy fishermen are.

Somebody kept a couple big bluegills while shorefishing?...if there's any number of those big 'gills in there,chances are good that someone's figured out how to fill a limit with them. Repeatedly....I know I've stumbled on a patterns over the years where it's nothing but the biggest fish...and I'll tell ya that I didn't share that information...and if I kept any I certainly wouldn't have let a random stranger see them in my bucket or on a stringer or - God forbid - open my livewell to show off.

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4/15/15 @ 7:48 AM
lakeshiner
lakeshiner
USER since 7/20/09
I think that section was over fished more so than it froze out. A lot of those backwaters have dead fish every year because the oxygen levels go down. That happened before the dam repairs. When we hit those high gas prices a few years back people did not want to drive far to go fishing. Then the Big Eau Pleine had a winter kill and those anglers moved to the river system. Can still catch plenty of fish in those places, but I'd be hard pressed to say its exactly like it used to be.

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4/15/15 @ 6:57 AM
eyeslayer007
eyeslayer007
USER since 1/27/14
And the rest of the fish were 2 crappies about 10 inches and one other smaller gill 6 or 7. And if he were keeping 5 inch gills i don't think i would have really cared as much and i wouldn't have had this thread going.

Edited on 4/15/15 7:00 AM
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4/15/15 @ 6:56 AM
eyeslayer007
eyeslayer007
USER since 1/27/14
Wisconsin river by old highway 10 in Stevens point. It was drained because the dam needed to be repaired. And i was told by some local bass fisherman that two years ago during the really cold winter that the bass in the shallows froze out.

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4/14/15 @ 9:01 PM
cds
cds
USER since 9/18/01
What kind of size were the rest of his fish?

And...

Had he been keeping 5" bluegills would you have objected - even if only privately to friends or on Lake-Link. Be honest.

I've seen that complaint on here every year..."I saw a guy keeping a limit of 5" or so 'gills. Nobody NEEDS to keep those little ones. Please guys,let'em grow..."...and now we're seeing more and more "I saw a guy keeping 10" bluegills for FOOD. Geez. Nobody NEEDS to do that..."

Fact is,nobody NEEDS to keep ANY fish. And since there is incidental mortality to C&R fish - especially those caught with natural baits like panfish typically are - it would be best for the species of we didn't molest them at all. Some honestly believe C&R fishing is immoral. It is torturing animals for our own sick enjoyment only to release them to catch again.

Yes,selective harvest is better than "total" harvest of everything we catch...but I've also learned that I really don't have the right to question any particular individual's choices regarding LEGAL harvest.

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4/14/15 @ 1:03 PM
Robbollio
Robbollio
USER since 10/17/04
The wisconsin river drained and froze out? That's news to me. Can you explain that?

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4/14/15 @ 7:05 AM
eyeslayer007
eyeslayer007
USER since 1/27/14
I get that it's he's right to keep that fish and it doesn't bother to much i mean that could be the only food the guys got. But that was a river system that was drained 5 or so years ago and I've been struggling to catch a nice meal of gills. Just amazed me at the time. Still was a cool thing to see that we got big gills even tho the draining and freezing out during our cold winters.

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4/14/15 @ 6:34 AM
ol sarge
ol sarge
USER since 3/8/04
I catch them all the time that size. Its all about where you fish and what "average is" in that body of water. I see nothing wrong with keeping what you catch, no matter the size, espcially when it comes to panfish.

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4/14/15 @ 12:48 AM
amaranthlost
amaranthlost
USER since 5/31/10
The size I keep depends on the waters I'm fishing. Usually anything over 9" goes back but there are some waters that consistently produce large gills. Even then, I only keep enough for a meal or two.

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4/13/15 @ 3:18 PM
SnakeSter
SnakeSter
MEMBER since 7/9/12
Eyeslayer, It's perfectly fine that you want to release a gill over 9 inches. Some people would, and some people won't. So this means not everyone is keeping them. If you caught two 10" gills from that system, it means they have a lot more. Who exactly do you want to hear opinions from? People who eat or mount them, or people who fish just to let them go? I eat or mount what I catch. Gills taste the same whether they are 7" or 10". For the money I've invested in fishing equipment, I want a trophy or a meal. Not everyone will ever agree with the premise of your post. It doesn't mean your wrong though. Everyone has a different opinion on wildlife and fishing. I guess I think however you were raised will have the most influence on what you do today. Some will chime in just to argue, thinking they are correct. You're just as correct as I am. But to answer the real question, Nothing is too big!!!!!! I'll take the World Record if blessed with it!!!!!!!!!!

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