Blues and Fishing Pressure?

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by gweber, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. gweber

    gweber New Member

    Messages:
    39
    I've been fishing for blues on the James in VA for about three years now, still trying to learn as much as I can about how these fish respond to weather/conditions. I read a recent post in the VA rivers section about how one of our members feels fishing has declined in certain sections of the river due to fishing pressure. Keep in mind that most people are practicing catch and release for these fish on the James because of the pollutents in the river (at least I think they are?). Also, I know that the blue fishery on the James has become more popular over the past five years, but it's not like the pressure we've seen for other species like Bass, etc. on lakes (at least I think it's not?).

    Can catch and release fishing pressure make the fishing in a hole or a section of a river decline?
     
  2. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Bedford, Kentucky
    Gweber, I personally wouldn't think that catch and release fishing wouldn't effect the population of any species in a noticable way. Although, who is to say that everyone out there fishing is strictly catch and release. I personally catch and release more often than not, but sometimes I keep a few of the smaller fish to eat. I do release any fish over 10lb. What happens is you get a bunch of fishermen that are new to cats and they catch a 20 plus pounder or so and they get so excited about it's size that they throw it in the vehicle and drive around showing all their friends. I've seen this happen with alot of big fish in my area. A few of the people in your area may actually be eating what they catch. Vern
     

  3. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    I'm not sure how the blues are in VA...but here in Kansas they are a migratory fish in the early spring through the end of June or so. They bite like crazy...and then as soon as they're done spawning, they go to deeper water along with the shad...and then stay there until next spring. In our case the blues head upstream from Grand Lake, Oklahoma into the Neosho River and end up at a low water dam locally. They can't get over it when the water levels are normal...and they stack up. There's plenty of forage...namely Gizzard shad...and as long as they stay...the blues do too. But the shad always migrate back to the lake with the blues and nearly everything else with it in tow in the early summer. Every year like clockwork. Some runs are heavier than others...but they always draw fish.
    Perhaps the blues in your area aren't vacating the area so much because of pressure...but perhaps it's because the baitfish are congregating somewhere else...due to whatever makes them do what they do. The fish will always go there with them. (at least by my obsevation) I can't help but think that if you concentrate more on finding the baitfish that catfish eat...you'll find the fish there if you look hard enough.
     
  4. Cutshad

    Cutshad New Member

    Messages:
    283
    State:
    Newalla, Oklahoma (Shawnee)
    G, I think the fish react to any type of increased activity around them. Sometimes the reaction is positive and sometimes its not. I also think fish, any species, will become aware of certain baits being presented and shy away from them. I know from my own experience if I hear they are biting on cut shad, I will fish with cut shad, if its skipjack then I try skipjack and so on. I would continue to fish a good hole but change my presentation and bait. I have caught fish in areas that were "fished out" by changing the easy things first. I don't think your holes are fished out, but your fish are "getting smarter". Change a few tactics, bait, presentation things like that. I fish a lot in lakes, but I love rivers. I changed to large marshmallows one time and caught several channel cat when nothing else would get them to bite. Be creative and good luck.
     
  5. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    I have definately altered the outcome of a fishing trip by switching baits until I started catching fish. There have been days where they have shunned shad, liver, crawfish, perch, chubs, and nightcrawlers...but were all over gar or spoonbill eggs. Some days it doesn't matter what you use...others days you'd better be willing to switch up baits if you want fish for dinner.
    As far as overfishing an area...it does happen at times. Especially in enclosed bodies of water such as a lake, pond, or strip pit. The smaller the size of the impoundment...the better the chance is that fishing pressure will be a dominant factor if it is overdone. The rivers we have here have a constant influx of fish from either up or downstream of us...(depending on prevailing conditions)... with a large reservoir at both ends of one of the rivers. Perhaps it's not the same everywhere as it is here...but the low water dams we have here are heavily fished for most of the year...and it's still a rare day when the locals...(the ones that know exactly where to go and when to do it)...don't end up with a good stringer of fish.