Pro's and Con's of Pay Lakes

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Mac-b, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,532
    State:
    North Caro
    Let's see if we can have a civic debate about the subject of pay lakes. They are there for the public to use and in most states they are legal. Does it benefit the trophy catfish or potential trophy cats? It is currently legal to transfer cats from a public source to be used for profit and a possible question is, should it be illegal to do so. Do trophy cats continue to grow after they are transferred to a small lake or pay lake? Do you know of any pay lakes that raise their own catfish? The forum is now open to those that want to discuss this issue.
     
  2. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    My honest to goodness opinion is this;

    I have no problems with a paylake. However, I believe that the managers of these paylakes should be required to acquire their fish from catfish farms or from the conservation department. I am strongly opposed to the practice of the commercial fisherman litterally wiping out an overwhelming number of large catfish from the native waters. They are taking these huge fish to a these lakes where they will be caught over and over again and then die a slow and miserable death.

    I've seen first hand the commercial fisherman on the Mississippi take thousands of pounds of catfish from the river. They do it day in and day out! There needs to be some limitations put into place before the catfish become an endangered species. We've done it before, look at the bison population, the wolves, tigers, eagles and many more species that were hunted to near extinction. Why wait till it reaches that point when we could do something now.

    Agree or disagree, that's just my $.02 worth. Thanks to the BOC for allowing me this venue to air out my opinion!
     

  3. janzaldo

    janzaldo New Member

    Messages:
    4,173
    State:
    South Gate, Cal
    I do not know about wild fish taken out of their habitat. The places I fish get their stock from hatcheries. One place I like to fishif you catch a fish over 20 lbs you must return it. That is why lake record is 89 pound Blue catfish.

    Jaime
     
  4. FourWinds

    FourWinds New Member

    Messages:
    332
    State:
    Lawton, Oklahoma
    I've got no problem with pay lakes either... never been to one other than when I was about 12 on vacation with my grandparents. We were somewhere in NE Oklahoma and saw a roadsign about a trout farm. We stopped there and caught some nice tasting trout. Fond memory.
     
  5. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    Pros- People like me(bad back/neck & Disabled) can pull right up and fish and not have far to walk. Usually good even ground and no big rocks or hills to climb up/down. Its still hard to catch a trophy sized fish out of them. Some have clean restrooms and clean eating areas.

    Cons- The ones that rob our rivers/fisheries to fill their own pockets not caring about preserving the sport for our future generations.
    The fish have a higher mortality rate than catfish in the rivers/lakes. Some people mistreat the fish and drop them and such.
    Stocking way too many cats in a small lake is very bad for the fish. Some don't even have aerators.

    I used to fish them a lot several years ago, that i'll admit. The BOC has taught me so much that now that I dislike 99% of them. I'll still occasionally go only if my back/neck are bothering me to where I can't get to my regular river/lake holes. Some people(on here) look down on you if you do it. Its legal, who are they to judge???
     
  6. Tomahawk

    Tomahawk New Member

    Messages:
    1,015
    State:
    NC
    I agree with River-Rat. I heard that the big blues usally die with in a year of been put into a pay lake. I bet it;s because theres no current of any kind and food would be alot different.
     
  7. FourWinds

    FourWinds New Member

    Messages:
    332
    State:
    Lawton, Oklahoma
    Forgot... I'd need to check the Oklahoma regs, but I seem to remember it's illegal to move fish from one body of water to another one in this state.
     
  8. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    Jaime over here in Missouri it's a common practice. That's why I am opposed to it.
     
  9. FourWinds

    FourWinds New Member

    Messages:
    332
    State:
    Lawton, Oklahoma
    That's just the way it was, too! 3 pools I think it was with a 5-6' level pea-graveled path around each one. I caught several trout that day and they told me that my biggest one was the biggest one that'd been caught out of their place in about a year, at that time. They might've been stretching the truth a little... I don't know... but I was BEAMING!!!
     
  10. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,755
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    i my self have no problem with a man.woman.or child fishing in a pond or lake where they pay for the rite to go.its fishing and its their right to do so.i do have a problem with taking big fish or any fish to paylakes thats comes from public lakes.i pay for the right to fish for these fish.i pay by buying fishing lic.and by the taxes that go for the protections of our watersheds.
     
  11. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    i used to go to one in peoria when i was younger. its closed. and there is one not to far from town. its actually in the campground but if ya want to fish there just to fish its $7. so i guess you could consider it a paylake.

    there are public parks now i go to to take the kids. i just wont pay to fish anymore. no need to. they are not hurting me as an individule. im just not gonna worry about it.

    i am a member of a sportsmans club. i wont say names but a $50 fee yearly make me a part owner. i can fish camp shooting range, sunday trap shoots kids fishing derbys and all kinds of other events. had a chili cookoff this fall. they get thier fish from the illinois river via means i dont know about. some sort of commercial fishing deal i guess. but im not really paying to fish. im a member of a club much like this, full of sportsman who have gotton togather and built a place for us to get away from the crowded public campgrounds to feel safer with our children to fish shoot and have fun. its more for the kids. so i guess i dont have a big problem.

    i asked about sportmans clubs one other time and it was pulled so i wouldnt be supprized to see this gone soon to.

    i would say i dont like the idea of them buying trophies like 20+lb fish. they should maybe be made to have regs on the size. but i just am argued out for feb lol. but its a bit easier now. some i just dont see anymore.:cool2:
     
  12. bwhupp

    bwhupp New Member

    Messages:
    1,680
    State:
    Belleville
    Well... surely not all pay lakes do such practice as stealing fish from public areas and popping them in their own lake to make a penny. Probably best thing to do if it ruffles your feathers is find those individual lakes around you that do that kind of nonsense and work at shutting them down locally?
     
  13. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    I have never been to a paylake. From what I have read on this forum I think that they should be regulated. I think that as a licensed fisherman I should have the right to do what ever I want with a legally caught fish and that includes selling it for profit. I just had a thought though, what if our river systems were poisoned and all of the fish died? The only ones we would have left would be in privately owned water such as farm ponds and paylakes that were fed by springs. Wouldn't it be ironic if the catfish were saved by them.lol :wink:
     
  14. neocats

    neocats New Member

    Messages:
    2,130
    State:
    Steubenvil
    I want to add I think there is a difference in what is referred to as a "pay lake" and a pay-to-fish lake. I fish a local pay-to-fish lake quite often. They have an on-site fishery where they raise channel cats, trout, and bluegill for resale. The stock their pay-to-fish lake from their own supply. Not all pay lakes are "bad" in the sense implied. Some practices I disagree with of course, but not all pay lakes follow those practices. I think it should be evaluted on a case-by-case basis. If the pay lake is taking from our public waters for their own gain, then it has to be handled on a local or state level.

    All this problem would easily go away if catfish were added to the state game fish list. This is where we need to state before any regulations will be effective.
     
  15. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    Well ive never seen a trophy catfish pulled out of a paylake myself.If you go to the right ones you can catch plenty of fish but to me its not the same.I dont know about you but im not paying to fish anywhere when there are plenty of places i can go and catch fish for free.My brother in law only goes to pay lakes cause he knows he will catch something everytime but they are nothing to right home about.I guess if your just out to get some for the table that would be ok but i dont fish pay lakes myself.
     
  16. ryang

    ryang Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,328
    State:
    Blacklick, Ohio
    Name:
    Gary
    I'm not for or against them for me if I'm spending 20 bucks to get a regular license and not catch fish I'm sure as h3ll not going to spend more money to go to a pay lake and not catch them :big_smile:.

    If they operate legally then I have no issues with them.
     
  17. Ghost River

    Ghost River New Member

    Messages:
    466
    State:
    Carolina
    From my previous arguments with other members on this board regarding regulations you fellows may be surprised to know that I am personally against them. It's the regulations with out the scientific data to back them up that I fall out with so many of you on. But I don't like tha pay lakes anymore than the rest of you. I've personally sold a few thousand pounds of blues to the catfish lakes and a couple hundred pounds of flatheads to the carp lakes. Carp lakes like the flatheads to eat all the small carp. I don't know what the current market is but we got 90 cent per pound for live fish and it allowed me to go to the SC low country quite a bit and learn how to fish, really fish. Mac and some of these other guys can tell you there is a difference in fishing and hard fishing when your getting paid to produce. But as you get a little older you're values change somewhat and I don't sell fish anymore. I will tell you this though, in 1999 I put a 38 pound flathead in a local pay lake. Since then he's been caught several times a year by the carp fisherman and his weight varies from 35 to 43 pounds depending on the season. For a fish that is dieing a slow miserable death he sure gets his picture taken a lot with smiling fishermen.

    I do want to address a couple of the arguments I hear frequently on the board and that is that we need to save these fish before they are gone like the wolves and buffalo. That argument doesn't exactly hold water. For one thing, those animals were purposefully hunted to the brink of extinction in the name of politics. Politics has no place in wildlife management. And neither does emotion. Just because catfish are your favorite sport doesn't make them any more or less important than any other species. another is that our fisheries are being wiped out by the commercial fishermen. Some maybe, but every year new state records and recently national records are being caught. Just something to keep in mind before you get all tied up in the emotional aspect of this. It is very seldom a good thing when government steps jsut a little further into you life.
     
  18. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,171
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    I myself dont fish pay-lakes, but have no problem with anglers fishing them. I do have a problem with poorly managed so called pay-lakes that are nothing more than a big pond. The first problem is most of these ponds are too small to hold a sufficient amount of big fish to survive naturally. Its a fact that poorly managed pay-lakes that are not big enough have a huge winter-kill ratio. This forces the owners to re-stock as quick as possible to keep their business thriving. So, they turn to the commercial fishermen as a supplier to take trophy fish from natural waters to stock their lakes on a regular bases. These fish do not survive long enough to reach their full potential and a lot of them dont even make it to the pay-lake alive. I believe there should be regulations on where and how many fish that the owners can stock.

    With that being said, I do see a few advantages where pay-lakes can be beneficial to the public. Take some areas of Pennsylvania for example where flatheads are considered to be a nuisence and the conservation department want you to kill the flatheads if caught out of some rivers. Why not have a properly operated pay-lake or 2 in these areas to take these flatheads to rather than kill them.

    If you would have offered me penny for my thoughts and I gave you my two cents worth...I got ripped off. LOL::confused2:
     
  19. tomflatcat

    tomflatcat New Member

    Messages:
    384
    State:
    Hampstead, NC
    I think pay lakes are OK as long they raise there own fish or purchase fish from a hatchery. I don't think it's right to take fish from public waters and put them into a paid lake.
     
  20. jason454ci

    jason454ci Active Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohi
    Ok heres my take on the subject. You can agree with it you can disagree with it or you can tell me to go take a leak up a rope it doesn't matter to me. If the owner of the paylake is running things by the book I see no problem with it at all. Now some of you may say that he is making a profit off of your natural resource and it ain't right. Well then why don't ya bash all the fishing guides out there? Are they not doing the same, making a profit off of your natural resource. Is it not the same resource the paylake owner is profiting from? Ok now let's go to the theory that they are dieing a slow miserable death in a paylake. Where is the proof of this? You saw or heard about a couple fish floating down at the local paylake. What does this prove? Have you never seen a dead fish in a public waterway? Can you actually say with out a shadow of a doubt that every single fish you released back into the water lived. I know we hate paylakes because the commercial fishermen supplying them are raping our waterways of trophy fish that you paid to catch. Well didn't the commercial fisherman pay to catch them also? So you say the commercial fisherman should not be allowed to take the trophy sized fish and sell them to the paylakes. Well he still has to make a living so now he just catches the smaller market sized fish, problem solved. But wait a minute wasn't all them big fish small fish at one time? Well that didn't fix the problem did it.

    Now if the paylake owner is buying his fish from an individual illegally I have a problem there. There should be strict penalties for owners caught doing this. Also the person selling them the fish should have the book thrown at them.

    I think alot of people have formed opinions on this subject that have no clue what they are talking about. You say that you have never fished a paylake and you never will but at the same time you know everything there is to know about the subject. Just because someones uncles brothers aunt went to one a posted something about it on the internet does not make it a fact. So unless you have first hand experience with a paylake ya really should be bashing on someone that has fished at one.