Pros & Cons of Tournament Fishing ...

Discussion in 'LOCAL OHIO TALK' started by RetiredToFish, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. RetiredToFish

    RetiredToFish New Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    State:
    Newark, Ohio
    In starting this post I am probably going to make some people on BOC very angry with me, but I am used to doing that so I am not really concerned about it. My topic is the Pros and Cons of Fishing Tournaments, including Cat fishing tournaments.

    My stand is that I am against them. Although in my younger days I did fish in Bass Tournaments. I began to see where, in my opinion, they were not healthy for the sport of bass fishing or any other type of fishing. I am sure you are all asking how I could draw that conclusion. I saw it grow from a few people fishing tournaments to large numbers. I have seen tournaments where they would field 100 boats or more. These tournaments would usually yield at least 3 fish per boat. That is 300 bass caught from areas as far away as 15 to 20 miles and then all released in one area. I have read that this doesn’t hurt the fish, but I have seen the outcome several days later. I have purposely patrolled within a ½ to ¾ mile area of these release points and saw for the first one to two weeks after many dead and dying bass of all sizes floating on the surface. How many of those fish died and sunk to the bottom that weren’t visible.

    That is my first reason against tournaments. I feel that the only reason that most people fish tournament is not for the sport of it, but for the money or chance to win money. If this be the case then these tournament fishermen are no different than the commercial fisherman that we all condemn. I can almost guarantee that if prizes and money wasn’t awarded at tournaments, the number would dwindle to the point they would no longer be held.

    Ladies and gentlemen we need to decide if we want to catfish for the sport of it, trying to outdo our PB, with a side challenge once in while with our friends and enjoy what we are doing or do we want to jeopardize our sport by unnecessarily traumatizing the fish population so we can be the big man on the hill. It may take a few years for Cat fishing tournaments catch on to the extent that bass fishing has, but it will happen …. Just as soon as bigger sponsor, with deeper pockets find out they have another way of getting into our pockets. It is a money maker for a very few and the end results is frustration and failed competition for many. I don’t really think that bass tournaments has helped the bass fishing anywhere in the country where they are held. If anything they have only produced more regulations on all of us.

    The choice is yours, “Snatch and Drag” fishing or enjoying your sport. Which is better, sitting out under a full moon leisurely waiting for a Flattie to bite or beating yourself up into a frenzy because they are not biting fast enough and you have laid money to be able to do so. Sport or commercial, there are no other choices.

    As an Ex-Game Warden I would enjoy hearing your views on this subject.

    Garry-
     
  2. ryang

    ryang Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,350
    State:
    Blacklick, Ohio
    Name:
    Gary
    Ive never fished a tourny with the exeption of one at the gathering and thats pretty much all for fun anyways. Ive never seen the big fish kills like your talking about but have heard that is what happens. If its going to kill the fish (even Bass) then Im against it.

    I wanted to add that they may do it for the money but alot of the times that will pay for gas in the boat (excluding bass tournies)
     

  3. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    The only thing I've ever seen that could possibly traumatize a decent flathead is a Sea Ark loaded down with Shawn and Jack. All the story tellin noise and Fish Finder broadcasts, Its a wonder they don't beach themselves like the whales in the Pacific, when the Navy is on maneuvers lol.
     
  4. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Well, I have mixed feelings about this subject. Alot goes back to the specific angler. Alot goes towards those running the tournaments and how they operate procedures. And alot goes towards what Garry said the reasons behind fishing competitively and what means more to the angler, the money or the competition. First of all, let me say... I tourney fish for the competion and the challenge for myself. I don't fish in high dollar tournaments, never have! But, have been involved in high dollar tourneys when it comes to the number of teams. Does this persuade me to fish? NO! I have fished in many tourneys with 6 or 10 teams, and fished in those with close to 60. To me its not about the money, and if you need to spend your weeks pay to try to double your earnings you are in it for the wrong reason! And, if you are gonna be one of those sore losers that want your money back because you got outfished by another, you probably attempted cheating and are disgusted you still got out fished! I have been tournament fishing since I was young enough to ride a mope-head at the age of 12 or 13. We used to ride two one it, with the guy in back holding on with one hand, and the other dragging a red flyer wagon behind at 15 miles/hour with a cooler of fish to weigh-in! We had many spills with that scooter and wagon, but we were doing what we loved..CATFISHING! You all wouldn't understand, and would laugh at rollo and his friends now, but I am proud of where I came from, and how we learned to be good at this sport. Now, back to the tourneys now days. I think there are many improvements in alot of these tourneys due to the latest technology in aerators, bait/live wells etc. However, every time I enter one of these, I still wonder of the affects on larger fish due to the stress of keeping them to weigh in, or the transport time to do so. Adequate water and air does give them an advantage of a strong survival, but, when you take a mature fish and drag him into an enviroment unknown , and then keep him or her there for an extended period? What is the long term efferct? Stress has alot to do with the survival rate! I am an avid CPR guy, and I feel good about how I take care of fish, but... am I doing it the best way? Is it worth it? So likesaid, I have many issues with this topic, and im a tourney guy that will fish in some this year as well. But, im not sure if I can honestly give an opinion on yea, or ney? I only hope that technology and studies will continue to improve to give me the best information on what is the best way for me to continue this sport....rollo
     
  5. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Messages:
    658
    State:
    Willow Woo
    Thats what you said about my SeaArk with you and I in it. Its not the SeaArk's fault.:big_smile: I do enjoy the online tournaments due to the CPR but if a person has to haul a fish around for a day without the proper equipment to do so to get it weighted, I'm against that.
     
  6. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,689
    State:
    North Caro
    Garry, your thread is confusing to me. First off you tell us how you feel about tournament fishing and then in the next breath you state that you would like to know how we feel. First thing that came to my mind, why would you care what we think, you already have your mind made up.

    I have never heard the term "Snatch and Drag"! Almost sounds like you think tournament fishermen are doing something illegal.

    Also, you state that you go back to a tournament site a day or two later and check to see how many dead cats you can find within a 1/2 to 3/4 mile radius. Was that part of your duties as a Wildlife Officers, I doubt it, sounds more like what the DNR people would or should do. Two or the last four tournaments that we have had in the Piedmont section of North Carolina, the cats weighed in were donated to the NC DNR for research purposes. Every day fishermen can not help with the necessary research, thus the tournament fisherman is called upon.

    I live on a lake and I'm on the lake all the time, and I must state that I have never seen a dead catfish floating anywhere near the tournament site, the next day, day after or a week after. I have seen some bass in the past after a big bass tournament, but not for several years now.

    In closing you tell us that as an "Ex Game Warden", you want to hear from us on the subject. What is it with the title thing?

    I think if the truth be known, you are basing your opinion on what happen a long time ago and not what occurs currently or you have a mighty big ax to grind. Mac
     
  7. ryang

    ryang Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,350
    State:
    Blacklick, Ohio
    Name:
    Gary
    Mac I dont think he means to make anyone angry, granted his opinion is set and there nothing wrong with that but why not pick others brains for other opinions.
     
  8. neocats

    neocats New Member

    Messages:
    2,130
    State:
    Steubenvil
    As a tournament director, I would not consider lying and saying that every fish caught was released alive. Last year I know of 2 that died. One before and one after weigh-in. Others might have died, but since we don't weigh them, they weren't brought to the scales. I honestly didn't hear of any others dieing. Most of us are very concerned with the fish being taken care of properly. Aerated livelwells, treated water for fish and bait, and even the oxygen set-ups help us manage the fish.

    Should tournaments be outlawed...or course not. To loose the right to compete in a tournament would be criminal. If you have reasons to consider tournaments bad, then the same reasoning would have to be applied to hunting also, which requires a kill to count. As far as depleting our resources, look at how much is depleted at your average NASCAR event. WOW.

    We also report everything to the ODNR, which they claim helps them. I report sizes, numbers, and weights. I don't know how they use the information, but they keep saying thanks.

    But everyone has a right to voice their opinion without being stoned. Hell, that group of weirdos named Peta are against us fishing at all.

    What's next? Take away our toilet paper for using up the trees?
     
  9. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    I agree. I didn't think he came off that strong. And I can understand his point as a Game Warden, he probably seen alot more than the average joe. However, I do think times have changed. But, I have also always heard a cat under distress will go to the bottom of the river and stay there in distress until its final moments. Probably because thats a natural place? And then they die. So, you wouldn't see the fatality rate in an secuded area, esp. if it was on a river system like the tourney I fish with a strong current. this is a good subject either way, but one that isn't gonna please all...rollo
     
  10. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    I can see where you might have a problem with those...(what I like to call) "Redneck Catfish'n Sideshows"...You know the ones...Immagine if you will:
    I have seen these things first hand and it was disgusting to me.
    Fish brought in on stringers laying in the bottom of the boat or being drug beside the boat to the weigh-in!
    Fish being drug on the pavement to the scales during the weigh-in!
    This should never be allowed to happen and, if you are reading this and it offends you....It Should!!!
    It is tournaments like these that give the good ones a bad name.

    Our tournaments are ran by two basic rules;
    Saftey of the fishermen comes first.
    Saftey of our fish comes second.

    In an Ohio Valley Trophy Cat Hunters Tournament, we have stiff penalties for bringing in dead or dying fish(10lbs off your score for each infraction, and we don't weigh the dead ones). This makes the fishermen pay very close attention to the livelyhood of their catch. All of the guys and Ladies that fish our trail are avid C&R fishermen. They also have some very illabarate systems in place to help keep these fish alive.
    So, in closing I will say this; You need to go to a lagitamate tournament and see how things are ran. Until then, you can't judge us all by one or two tournaments that you saw 10 or 20 years ago.
     
  11. RetiredToFish

    RetiredToFish New Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    State:
    Newark, Ohio
    Thank you everyone so far for your views ... as Gary and Rollo said, I am interested in other's opinions on this site. Afterall, I think that is basically what this site is for.

    For Mac ... first in Ohio Games Warden are a part of DNR and unlike some other states Game Wardens are responsible for working not only Law Enforcement, but both Game and fish Management. So we did everything from checking wood duck boxes, to creel limit checks, helping with shocking rivers & lakes you name it. The term "Snatch & Drag" comes from what the tournament Bass fisherman and some other tournamnet fisherman do .... they Santch (hook) the fish and Drag out of the water as quick as possible so they can catch another one.

    I am not one that is going to take anyones right to tournament fish away from them. I just want some that don't know that others are watching to be aware !!

    I was at the weigh-in at a BASS tournament in Florida a couple of years ago and there about 100 people standing around watching. Throughout this 100 were about 10 members of PETA ... taking pictures, handing out their hate information and making disgusting noises with their verbal BS. DON'T give these people another reason to spread their hate. We do a lot of joking and kidding on here and it is all in clean fun, but how many others are lurking in the backround taking notes?

    I hope that we will all still be friends when this thread finally closes and my main purpose here ... DO NOT TAKE YOUR SPORT LIGHTLY AND ALWAYS BE VIGILLANT AS TO WHO IS AROUND WHEN YOU ARE TELLING YOUR TALES. We will lose are rights quicker through our inactions than through someone elses actions.

    Garry-
     
  12. Pirate Jerry

    Pirate Jerry New Member

    Messages:
    613
    State:
    Yulee Florida
    I too have mixed feelings about tournaments. A few years back I used to live very near Lake Allatoona in Ga and fished it 3 or 4 days a week. The ramps I used to launch my boat were often used as weigh in site for bass and crappie tournaments. The bass were always released at the weigh-in site. After every event, for the next 2 or 3 days, dead bass were washed on shore or seen floating around the area. I counted 14 one day after an event. Crappie did not seem to be as big a problem, maybe they were taken home for dinner. Never saw a catfish contest so I can't comment on that.
    I don't have the answer but I do have a suggestion.
    The kayak fishing club I belong to has various contests almost every month but they are CPR events (Catch, Photo, Release). When the contest starts a special "Token" which is normally a 6 diget number ( I.E. 123-456 ) is issued to each entry the day before the event starts. That "Token" must be in the picture with the fish for it to be counted in the take. Also a standard measuring device must used and included in the photo. This way the fish can be caught, measured and released (where it was caught) in a matter of 3 or 4 minutes. Granted, it's a little more trouble than dumping the fish in a "live well" and weight isn't documented but we go by length only. Less stress for the fish and they get to go home after release. There are computer programs used that scan the photos to see if they have been tampered with to prevent cheating tho that hasn't been a problem to date.
    The following picture is an example of a 32 inch channel cat I caught (16 lbs by the way) which was also accepted by the state of Florida and issued a "Big Catch certificate". The photo shows the "Token" and the measuring device is a folding 36 inch device know as a "Florida Law Stick" .
     

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  13. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    I never fish tournaments as I don't feel the need for the stress of trying to winn. I have enough of that every day.

    While I'd love to see the fatality statistics I would bet the WELL run tourney's don't have a huge negative impact on the ecosystem, at least no more than a weekend of jetskiers, boaters and litterbugs, etc....

    BTW, on the SEAARK crack about me and Jack, you must be mistaken cause we never catch anything together.... kinda like Skippy on the James River....

    I actually think that the damage a touney might cause is far outweighed by the money a large tournament brings to the sport with its ripple effect both economically AND ecologically. I would have to say that after nearly 25 years of BIG Bass tournies that the Bass population and health is not failing.

    That said, I don't like tournies because of what it turns people into.
    I want to enjoy myself and my outdoor church.
     
  14. RetiredToFish

    RetiredToFish New Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    State:
    Newark, Ohio
    Can I here an "Amen" to that? ...... Garry- :cool2:
     
  15. katkiller77

    katkiller77 New Member

    Messages:
    1,549
    State:
    dayton ohio
    i might fish one to try it but it would take the fun out of fishing rick
     
  16. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I will never fish a catfish tourny, I dont have anything aginst them when they are run right however.
     
  17. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    Ohio
    I've got nothing against them and will continue to fish many! I guess I'm missing the whole point. In my experiences the tourneys I've been in, they have very dedicated catfishermen, who go above and beyond to make sure that the cats are released alive and well.

    It's the slobs out there that handle the fish poorly that I think are the problems. I have no doubt in my mind that the average April-September catfisherman takes less care of their fish than the tourney guys I know.

    I think we should concentrate on "anti" views on things like Pay Puddles versus things like cat tourneys becasue we all know they kind fo thigns those poor cats go through, no matter how "well" the Pay Puddle may be ran.
     
  18. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    Ohio
    Speaking of Church, look at how religion discussions go. I'd MUCH rather get into a debate about Cat Tourneys vs Religion. :big_smile: (Just using that as an example, I thing a tourney is just like any other sport or lesuire activity: It Is What You Make Of It.)
     
  19. ohiocattin15

    ohiocattin15 New Member

    Messages:
    302
    State:
    Ohio
    Some people like the competition, if there weren't any tournaments our great sport would lose alot of great participants that just prefer a night of fierce competiton over a night of quiet relaxing away from the world fishing. Unless you enter the high dollar tournaments like the cabelas king cat, your not going to actually make money, any tournament catfisherman knows that. Its not about the money, its about the competition.
     
  20. tufffish

    tufffish New Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    State:
    Texas
    instead of saying anything to make anyone mad i will just say i very strongly disagree with you... i am from the mold that you are either with me or against me. i do agree that you have every right to believe however you wish, as this is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and you and i are free to do whatever is legal.