Back in the old days vs now

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Mac-b, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    North Caro
    Mark Twain and others have written about big catfish coming out of southern rivers and some of the cats mentioned were way over 100 pounds and it appears that it was common place. Move forward to the now time, we occassionally hear of a few 100 pounders being caught, but it is rare. Why, why, why?

    There are several reasons for the decline in large catfish, some are enviormental, some are technical, some are from harvesting by those earning a living from fishing and the largest impact might be from the everyday fisherman.

    How to measure the enviormental impact I don't know, but the runoff from farming operations (agri. and hog farms) has to have an impact on the fisheries. Also, the power plants that are located on rivers have done some damage, due to flyash and by changing the water temps of the rivers, above what would be consider normal. Residential developments along the water supply has been affected by runoff. The equipment, nets, traps, limb lines, jugs, sonar, rods and reels, high strength fishing lines, etc. has made everyone more efficient in harvesting the catfish. Those harvesting catfish for the market place have a much broader market for their fish, such as resturants, pay lakes and stores. The sport fisherperson and the weekend fisherperson takes their fair share, if not more than all the rest. Just several years ago, catfishing was on the bottom of the list in popularity and now it is second or third behind bass fishing. It takes a lot of fisherperson to move catfishing up to second or third in the ratings from last place in such a short time period.

    Thus, it looks like to me the answer to why, why, why is simple and that is FISHING PRESSURE and ENVIORMENTAL FACTORS.

    Will fishing regulations help improve this situation, maybe. But what the regulations will do is put the spot light on the Ark. Blue catfish and that in return will assist the different state DNR folks an opportunity to study the Ark. Blues to a greater extend, thus benefiting all concerned.

    The purpose of this thread was to show that we are all in this together and that no one group is responsible for the demise of the large cats that once roamed our rivers and lakes. One group can point a finger at another, but the ones that they are pointing a finger at can point it right back at the other. Will we ever get back the large cats (those over 100+ pounds), maybe and maybe not, factors are a whole lot different today than they were in the days of Mark Twain.
  2. catfishcrazy256

    catfishcrazy256 New Member

    good post Mac, thanx p.s. as thre song says its a different world !

  3. Reel_Blues

    Reel_Blues New Member

    Be nice if we could get those big cats back though huh.
  4. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Mac. I hear ya Mac. The list is endless about what once was. Huge walleye, huge catfish, passenger pigeons, ivory billed woodpeckers, freshwater clams and oysters, beaver, forests for endless miles, buffalo by the millions, elk in Iowa, and on and on. Take your fingers Mac., and act like they were a computer, adding, adding, adding. All the numbers represent people and what they remove from the face of the earth to have more people. Even if conservation in its most pristine abilities were to become the law of the land, the peoples needs will supersede. all else will go by the wayside. We are doomed, or I should say everything around us is doomed because we must be on top.
  5. jim

    jim New Member

    Jacksonville NC
    Someone once said that ;"Humans are the only animal that will foul its own nest".I have never seen anything that irrevocably contradicts that statement.True we have despoiled our inheritance of wildlife,by over harvest,greed and just plain stupidity.Yet I have grown leery of apocryphal stories of the good old days.The key here is "Common".100lb fish were common.Perhaps but maybe they werent any more common than today.There has been a steady progression of 100lb cats reported since the record went above 100lbs.The best news is that no particular body of water has a monopoly.SC,ALA,Texas,and the MISS river have all given up world record cats in recent years.Im sure Vir will be jumping in soon.That bodes well for the future because I really believe that if you ask local experts or guides most would say their local waters have 100 + potential.The good news is that although we are perfectly capable of screwing something up ,we also in our better moments, can fix things.One only has to look at deer ,turkey,elk management programs to see the good that can be done.Best yet, our own community has begun to answer the bell all over this country,in trying to get catfish named gamefish or supporting managemnt plans.The Santee rule is a good example of what can be done by concerned individuals,particularly when they unite in the common cause.:smile2:Finally I would say dont yearn for the good old days.Your good old days are right now!!!!! :eek:oooh:Become active to support or initiate conservation programs,start the fight on your own if need be.We cant change the past but we can ensure that there is a future!!!:smile2:

    DANZIG New Member

    West Virginia
    "Finally I would say dont yearn for the good old days.Your good old days are right now!!!!!"

    Not sure I would go that far but, Around these parts, in my life time, things have much improved.

    I would say the difference is "Night and Day", yet things are still far from hunky-doory.
  7. jdstraka

    jdstraka Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Great Post Mac,and Postbeetles response,Thats why CPR is so important to Our sport.Now with that said last year in the Missouri River below Bellviue Nebraska there was a New state record Blue taken on a trotline it weighed #101 pounds it was cought on the Nebr.side and it coulden't be registered as a state record in it was taken on a trotline and not rod and reel,not the case in Iowa,Which needs to be Changed I Believe. The Good thing was that it was returned to the River to Fight again another day I think thats what the article said.I wonder how many Zebco 202s that big Boy put the Smoke on in it's life time? LOL!!. One thing that that has helped here in Iowa and Nebraska on the Missouri River is that several years ago commercial fishing was banned and them Blues and Flats are gettin Huge!!! So here is My Perdiction,The Next World Record Blue will come from Iowa and This Old Bohunk is gonna catch it,and the reason is cause I'm SO PERTY,Check My Picture out on My Aviator for comfermation,Sorry Ladies I'm Already taken.LOL Later J.D.:wink:
  8. baptistpreach

    baptistpreach New Member

    I do know there were huge catfish, I don't know how "common" they were, but I don't doubt that they were probably bigger on average than now. Reasons aren't that complicated, there weren't as many people "back then" fishing with as nice equipment and as was stated, catfishing is getting more and more popular. Now commercial fishing... Well, that's another story!