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Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by fishnfwl, Nov 18, 2007.
On National Geographic Channel right now!:wink:
Was just going to comment on this show as well. I honestly was kinda disturbed by the comments of the noodlers. I have no problem with people if they want to keep fish, don't pass judgement. Some people think if they don't have enough fish frozen to feed half a town they are somehow "missing" something in their lives and again, if they obey the law that is there right. But something about noodling does not seem right to me, and for a few undeniably brave, crazy or both people to have the opportunity to take hundreds of huge fish does not seem quite right. One guy from Missouri said "These fish belong the the people of Missouri, we have a right to catch them" he is basically saying "These fish belong to the very few people (almost entirely male) who are willing to stick their arms into places few would even consider to pull out huge fish that are 5-30 years old." Oh well, my little rant for this evening. You have to see the mounds of flatheads thrown around on the ground to truly appreciate how many fish these "sportsmen" are taking from Oklahoma waters.
I agree, but noodlers are killing both large fish and the small ones at the same time. See the idea is that you find these fish in the holes that they in set up to spawn. Most are protecting eggs and once the large ones are pulled out there is nothing to protect the eggs or little fry from being ate by anything that wonders by.
I agree guys, for some reason people automatically seem to think that you couldn't CPR by noodling, trotlining or jugging but why not? I love the feel of a fish on the end of a line but I would not pass up a chance to jug fish and catch a 70 plus pound blue and bring it in the boat. I'm with Malichi though the noodling also has other ramifications. Keeping the large fish is where the problem lies.
I can see how a couple tournaments like that a year can decimate the population of large flatheads. These fish are picked on thier most vulnerable time. Plus like others said, when you remove the protecting parent, the eggs or fry are now vulnerable to predators.
At least they are taking out the the females. It could be worse, they could be noodling large reproducing females and that would really hurt the population.
I'm lucky enough to fish for flatheads are polluted river. Since the river is polluted, no one ever attempts to eat a flathead. All are released back into the river.
I give those noodlers credit, they are brave/crazy.
There's a fine line between those two terms...lol.
I have noodled in the past with my cousins... when we were 10 or 12 year old kids back in the 70's.
It's quite a sensation to blindly stick your arm up under a car sized boulder up to the shoulder...or feeling around for a hole in a gnarly root ball.
But thats merely the idea of the unknown...it's a whole other thing when something latches onto your hand hard enough to draw blood. oooh:
Mostly we got channel cats out from under the rocks in the riffles during really low water periods when you'd have isolated pools of water.
We also probed the mudbanks for flathead...but we never did hurt the population too bad. Ironically...we had enough "sense" to not tary around in the REAllY nasty spots too much. Lol. (We were silly enough to stick our hand in there in the first place...if you can find any wisdom in that, good luck!!)
Once we got a boat after I turned 14...we were all about rod and reel fishing for the yellers and the channel up by the dam...and then further downstream... up some of the feeder creeks and other various honeyholes on the Neosho river in Kansas and sometimes further south across the border into Oklahoma.
I sure have saw a select group of a few individuals put a hurtin' on big flats in the past by noodling...but the real damage came from the telephoners.
There were a couple local guys who would wipe out a particular stretch of the river every year with their old style crank phone...until they finally got caught by the game warden thanks to a tip from a guy who saw them in action.
Snagging is another drain on the resource...especially during cold weather when the flats "hibernate" in deep holes...stacked up like rows of dominos.
It's possible to get into a den of hibernating flats and wipe out a whole regions flatty supply due to their tendecy to migrate to wintering holes and concentrating there in unnaturally large numbers.
I'm all for a guy getting his fair share of catfish fillets if he wants them as long as its done legally.
But there's no sense in keeping a large number of big cats even if you are legally entitled to....and NOTHING incenses me more than wanton waste.
If you're gonna keep the damn thing...clean it!! Take a picture and get busy Don't let it spoil by parading around showing it off...and then later toss it into the ditch for the possums and coons to eat.
Although...I gotta admit...as many catfish that are caught out of Grand Lake, Ok and the Neosho River up into Kansas...EVERY SINGLE YEAR there is ample supply of blues, flats, and channel to go around.
And every year around here you hear of a bigger fish being caught than last year produced.
We have a healthy resource...and it is apparently properly managed because the fishing now is tenfold better than it was when we were kids.
well I must admit I put the post up, at the beginning of this show and had I waited I may have changed the title quite a bit, I agree with MOST of above but a couple things that I have no idea on,
how could you possible consider that as lucky? oooh:
anyway, I think them toury leaders need a revamping on the rules a bit, I mean did they really have t just drag the fish across the parking lot like it was, and what type of a tournament lets you come in and see what is in the lead and go back out for a bigger one? and if I am not mistaken did they at one point say it was a catch and release tourney, then they show a boat with big fish in it flopping all around in the bottom, was still an interesting show.
As I've stated before, I really think that every state should have a law similar to the one in Tennessee allowing only one catfish a day over 34". I would even support a tag system that gives a fisherman a certain number of tags with his fishing license. The number & type of tags could be set each year by the Fish & Game to insure no more than a reasonable harvest. Depending on the need, the tags could be general (applying to all cats), or could be specific (allowing say, 1 channel, 3 blues, and 2 flatheads). Any time you wanted to keep a fish over the specified size (34" for instance), you'd have to put a tag on it, just like tagging a deer during hunting season. Please bear in mind that I feel that these regs would apply to all methods of fishing. The same rule would apply to rod & reel fishing, trotlining, limblining, juglining, snagging, noodling, or whatever. An added benefit of such regs just might be to allow methods of fishing that are currently not legal in certain states.
I like your idea Jerry. One thing that I have always wondered about is the fines that are given for breaking length or numbers limits. Can't say that I am familiar with what they are in any state, even my home state of Missouri. I do know that human nature is such that if you can't drop a big hammer on the cheats then the laws are pretty much worthless. Also having agents to enforce codes is always an issue. I know in Missouri an inordianate amount of agents are dispatched to the Lake Ozark area during the summer to deal with the whole Party Cove scene and most guys, especially river fishermen, never see the game wardens. I sure hope they replay that show again so that those who didn't get a chance to see it can make their own judgements. I did not hear that the tourney was catch and release and even if they claimed it was those fish were abused with line through the gills and laying on the boat floor for hours, and eventually throwing the fish on the blacktop. BTW, the segment on the asian carp roundup was incredible.
I agree with Michael's post and I don't support noodling or noodling tournaments in my own home state or other states. Yes I'm sure it's very exciting to all the thrill seekers out there but if you take as many large flathead catfish off the nest that was taken for that show and tournament, then you can't tell me that it doesn't damage or harm the catfish population tremendously, when this is done you're killing the breeders and the babies.
I don't know that noodlers' are hurting the population any more then regular fishers that keep flats during the spawning. In fact they are probably hurting the population less. But I do know that if everyone released the "big" fish then there wouldn't be any fish. Now don't get me wrong I'm a believer in CPR but I do know that a 40lb flathead will eat dang near everything it can get in its mouth and that includes catfish. A lot of big fish in the water is just as devastating any thing else. I'm against noodling tournaments, but I feel that as a whole noodling in general is not bad. One reason is that is not widely practiced. Is there any fact to back up the claim that noodling hurts the populations? Is there less catfish in states that don't allow it? Somebody look up this information and post it because I can't find any. If you can show me some good information then you can possibly change my mind.
ill second that,brother. thats the whole problem with noodling. if they would treat the fish better photo and release them swiftly i wouldnt have a problem with it at all! takeing as many trophy fish you can get your hands on is plain irresponcible!
I agree with the whole if you are going to eat it you should be able to keep it part of catfishing. If you are catching some of the largest specimens in the river with lines and nets just to sell to a resturant, or a pay pond. That burns my hide. My argument is how many more regular folks, rod&reel fishermen, could connect with a 50,60,70,or 80 lb fish, if the 40 or 50 guys with comercial licenses had to get real jobs? Just imagine the money coming into a community from fishermen and women willing to travel to an area where they could have a legitimate shot at a 40lb flathead, or a 60lb blue. We have a river like that now in Virginia, its called the James. As far as I know they have no commercial fishing there. But if you look on the web you can find quite a few "guides" that will stop just short of a gaurantee, but can put you on fish. Now just think what your stretch of river could support if only the dedicated rod&reel people were catching your fish. In ten years you could be catching 100 pounders instead of 70 pounders. Maybe I'm wrong, let the commercial guys keep going, It's not like there were actually 400+ pound catfish caught before they started to destroy the populations. If you don't believe me, search the web for catfish before 1850. They caught blues that would boggle the mind of any fisherman today. lol
Great post Skip, I could not have said it better myself but we need to have someone step up and lead the charge of like minded individuals. Every time they try to change any law the commercial guys and set liners are there in full force with their side of the arguement and the other side is not nearly as well represented. I think the passion is there but maybe not the execution. Hope that changes soon.
They had this show on last night again, I do think they were releasing the fish afterwords however after sitting out of the water for so long and having your gills ripped wide open I doubt many of them survived. There was a guy there that was studying them and I think all he did was CPR after tagging. Those carp were horrendous I would love to see what a stick of dynomite could do in that area.
Now we just had a bruhaha here this year over the 30 guys that have permits to net perch in lake erie. A bill went thru the house and senate to "buy out" those netters, it failed because those 30 operations put their money into the right hands. The whole thing started with a poaching sting by the ODNR. They caught like 30 or 40 individuals and numerous resturants and fishing companies, captains ...etc. That were taking waay more than the quotas they had or the size of catches they were reporting. If those guys can put up enough money to stave off the elimination of 30 liscenses, We catfishermen should start creating wildlife preservation funds to pay our legislators the neccessary bribes in order to protect the rescources we hold dear, right?
I think that the act of jerking a large, pissed of fish out of a nest is so disruptive that, even if the fish is released immediately, the damage is done. Moreover, nothing says that the fish, when released, will even return to the nest.
It wouldn't bother me at all to have closed seasons while all of our gamefish are spawning.
Just my $.02, and probably not worth even that.
I don't know about the closing of fishing season during the entire spawn. Here in texas we have flatheads spawning thru late june. Some folks even claim that they have a second spawn in the fall. I do not know for sure if that is true but i do know i have caught flats with eggs in june and have seen the "old timers" pulling them outta holes in the creeks at that time. I do not think that noodling for cats is always a bad thing. i think if it is properly managed, slot size limits, then it could be benefitial to alot of fisheries. I also think that catching the flats on R&R probably disrupts their breeding and protection of fry just as much as noodling.
I have personally seen where introducing a Flathead to a body of water has eliminated all the fish in that water but the flathead. We do this intentionally when the birds get bullheads into our stocktanks. We drop a flat in there in the spring and let him do all the eating he wants. In the fall we will put a live gill on a line and catch him in the first hr since he has so little to eat.
There's alot of people that rod and reel fish that have not embraced the catch/release theory. Probably the majority are like this.
As far as noodlers...there's just not that many out there that are capable of actually inflicting damage on big flathead.
Don't get me wrong...there are those out there who are talented noodlers.
But just because a guy or gal noodles...doesn't mean they're successful at it. It's definately a skill, and has little to do with luck.
I tend to believe that indiscriminate rod/reel fishermen do far more damage than the noodlers do collectively...at least here in these parts.
We are fortunate enough not to have commercial netters operating in Se Kansas.
THAT would be a sizable drain on the fishery here.
I tend to agree with Brian, There is no ban on Noodling here in Ohio. I have seen no Regs one way or the other, I tend to think that would be prominent in the laws guide if it was a issue here. If I'm wrong please correct me lol. Back to what Brian was saying, I don't think noodling is the greater evil out of the big three of Trot lines, Bank-lines, and Netting. Up here you can hang 75 seperate lines from tree limbs per person if you have a fishing liscense. If you set Trot lines you can have 3 lines no more than 50 hooks per line, for a total of 150 baits in the water 24 hours a day. Yet I am only allowed to fish with 2 (two) rods. I really don't think rod and reel fishermen, even the ones who keep their catch, are the bigger problem. I can fish any 8 to 12 mile stretch of this river and 75% of the time I may see two other boats all night or none. But I see the limb lines hanging from every branch that reaches over the water. Who has the better chance of catching a flathead? The guy with 4 baits or the guy with 75 or 150?