Catch and Release - When is big too big to keep

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Yellercat, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Yellercat

    Yellercat New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    Texas
    I was wondering what some of your thoughts are regarding catch and release of Yellow, Blue and Channel cats.

    I know the bigger ones usually get the better nesting grounds and will have a better chance of producing more fry.

    I would like to hear what your thoughts are on how you come up with your cut-off sizes or weights and when you decide to release or keep the big ones.

    If you can comment on each one yellow, blue and channel?

    I would like to know...

    :confused2:
     
  2. prostreetS10

    prostreetS10 New Member

    Messages:
    898
    State:
    ohio
    I don't keep any but for someone that eats them I say if it's bigger than 10 let it swim.
     

  3. Plowboy411

    Plowboy411 New Member

    Messages:
    918
    State:
    Georgia
    That would depend on how hungry you are..LOL This past year I caught 100's of cat channel/ flathead /white/and bulls.all summer I kept 20/30 .I don't need much to feed my family.I like the smaller fish to eat,less than a pound.here in the south theres not much to worry about when it comes to population of fish. I release most of my fish because I like catching Big-gins.LOL he'll be bigger next year.just my 2.5% LOL and don't mention a gaff or a trap!!!:smile2: Folks will break out the tar and start plucken chickens.:eek:oooh::roll_eyes::tounge_out::big_smile::smile2: good luck and welcome to the BOC Friend.:big_smile:
     
  4. catfishscotty

    catfishscotty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,388
    State:
    mo
    i am new to catch and release only been doing it a few years now thanks to a fishing guide thats now a friend explained to me how important it was. i was my own worste enemy it was the way i was raised to keep them. not anymore anything 8 lbs and bigger i release on blues, flatheads are so hard to catch i dont want to keep any of them when im by myself i dont ,love to catch them too dam much as far as channels havnt kept a channel in years just dont taste as good to me. i fish alot with my dad and hes old school but hes slowly adjusting and releasing fish now but will keep all the small ones lol. when dads not with me hell i release allmost everytime anymore he supplies me with enough fish to eat. but dont take me wrong i dont want to sound like a hyprocrit i use to keep them but once you understand how important it is for the future of big fish it sinks in that its the right thing to do. i honestly feel u get more meat of of 5 5 lbers then one 30 lber because of all the red meat , fat and waiste .better eating also.
     
  5. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    I cut 'em loose over 10lbs. No scientific evidence, just a good, round number. But I'm usually to lazy to clean fish, so most of mine go back even if they're smaller than that. I eat more channels than anything, they seem to be a lot more plentiful than blues or flatheads and usually the channels I catch are about the size I like - 2-5 pounds. Good Luck!

    Branden
     
  6. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    all depends. the first few trips out when freezor is empty ill keep just about any i casch. no blues in my primary waters and i dont catch lots of flatheads but channels that are full of eggs usually go back. but ive ate 12lbs and fiddlers.
     
  7. tnkatman

    tnkatman New Member

    Messages:
    846
    State:
    Bluff City, TN
    I release all the catfish that I catch because my Dad always taught me to release them so you can come back another day and catch them again if I take one home that's one less I can catch next time and I don't know about you guys but I like "catching" a whole lot more than fishing. But I'm with most of the other guys I think anything over 10#'s should be released.
     
  8. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    I grew up in Montana fly fishing for trout. Up there catch and release is the norm among fisherman, the idea of keeping a trout was crazy! :eek:oooh: Hell, the flies I made/purchased had the barbs filed off so that the hook could be removed without harming the fish.

    When I moved down here to Missouri, I just thought it was the norm here as well. I have never kept and cleaned a catfish!:eek:oooh: I started fishing for the cats because I love to fish, and with catfishing, you don't know if you're going to reel in a fish that weighs 3 pounds or a new state/world record!!
     
  9. Plowboy411

    Plowboy411 New Member

    Messages:
    918
    State:
    Georgia
    We've just recently acquired blue cats in the Altamaha river,,,, catfish commando says let them go so I've released 7 so far.and will continue to do so.:wink:
     
  10. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I turn them all loose, big ones to spawn, and little ones to get big.
     
  11. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    Ohio
    I'm CPR as well. I dont have anything against keeping small ones, but for me, if want fish to eat, I'll go to Kroger.
     
  12. Plowboy411

    Plowboy411 New Member

    Messages:
    918
    State:
    Georgia
    I'm not in disagreement with you at all. but even in recent times if I hadn't brought some fish home ,we would have been eating corn bread for supper that night.so there's that point of view to look at.
    but the man catching his limit + ,and go home and try to find someone to give'm to,thats where you and I come to the same battle and on the same side.
    Things are getting harder in this world,
    and every new law that is pasted is a old freedom that we've lost.

    so I say keep what we need and release the rest.
    I know some of y'all might read this and say that boys cheese done fell off his cracker, yes that happened a long time ago.but are my words true?
    give it a good think-over.and judge me as you wish.
    theres not a man or woman on here that I don't have the up-most respect for,no ones opinions of me will change that at all.
    Its just a family thing.:wink:
     
  13. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,564
    State:
    North Caro
    It is nice that we CPR the big fish that we catch, but lets not throw everything back in. Deer hunters know from experience that you need to thin the herd out to get bigger and better trophies. The same thing applies to our catfish fisheries. If you don't eat wild catfish, there are those that like them that don't or can not go fishing. There are probably some elderly folks or some less fortunate people in your neighborhood that like catfish, so next time you have some three to nine pounders, why don't you dress them out and give them to someone that would enjoy them. You would be helping out your fellowman and also doing your fisheries a favor.
     
  14. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    Good post LakeNormanBlues.

    The truth, science, and fact of the matter is that lakes are like the woods in that they have a carrying capacity based on the amount of forage. Deer managers have learned that certain areas can only hold so many deer before the weights of the deer start to suffer. The same applies to the catfish world. If there is plenty of food and less fish, then the the middle size fish and larger fish thrive.

    I say all this because it is better for the person eating the fish and for the fishery to harvest the smaller fish. There are less contaminants in the smaller fish, so they are better to eat. Taking out the smaller fish reduces the number of mouths feeding and thus provides more food for the middle and large size fish.

    I CPR all fish over six pounds. Personally, I don't want to eat the oldest and biggest of the fish. People that say a thirty pound fish tastes as good as a five pounder are saying that so they feel better about killing one. What is the best and most expensive beef? Veal, of course it comes from calves. Cattle farmers don't let cows grow to ten years old before they slaughter them!! That would be some nasty beef!! Same for catfish; who would want to eat a 8-12 year old fish that has been filtering out all that crap in the water all that time!!!! :roll_eyes:

    The truth of the matter is that at $7.00 per pound for grocery store catfish, or $1.75 per serving, it is cheaper for 90% of us to go buy catfish than it is to catch, keep, and clean them.
     
  15. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    For me it comes down to how many I catch and their weight. If I catch a couple I let them go, and if they weigh too much as in my cutoff weight they go back in.
     
  16. mifit98

    mifit98 New Member

    Messages:
    116
    State:
    Morganton, NC
    Here's an idea for the small cats you do not CPR but clean and take home.

    I talked to the people who run the local soup kitchen and they really need all the fish they can get. So I've started accumulating ziplock bags of filets in the freezer for them. When I get 10-15 pounds more than I can use at home, I take them to the local soup kitchen and they either have a fish fry or make a batch of catfish stew. They can stretch 15 pounds of filets into enough stew to feed a lot of people.

    We all catch more small ones than we can eat (or want to eat, depending on the polution warnings here in NC). As MacB said, look for ways to help others while improving the fishery.
     
  17. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    I never keep larger fish, and what I do keep hinges on what I'm catching. My preference is for fish in the 2-3 pound range...easier to clean, easier to cook, and they have a better texture, imo.
     
  18. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    The rivers out here are polluted with PCB so eating catfish would mean taking a few years off your life.
     
  19. Ol Man

    Ol Man New Member

    Messages:
    3,170
    State:
    Illinois
    Different strokes for different folks... let your conscience be your guide... One size doesn't fit all... and several other purty words...:smile2:
    __________
    I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.
     
  20. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    its a matter of opinion. i hope everyone makes proper decisions, but thats in your hands.. myself, i catch enough 3-5 pound fish a year to keep a few of them. i have never kept a quality fish.. just my opinion and how i fish.. On the river system i fish, a 30 pound flathead is a monster... and a 10 pound channel is huge and not a common catch day to day. i suppose if you were fishing a larger impoundment, or major river system that determining what size or how big may be different. but, i still wouldn't keep anything of quality size if it was me.. and i wouldn't gaft fish that i plan to release either:eek:oooh::wink::smile2::tounge_out: sorry, i will let that one go!!! LMAO!!!:smile2: rollo