when is it ok to take a trophy catfish

Discussion in 'NORTH CAROLINA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by bowler man, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. bowler man

    bowler man New Member

    Messages:
    898
    State:
    nc
    the only reason i post this is because of "the great night on badin report".:sad2: i cpr everything i can over 10lb. because in my younger days i put a knife to more 40-70lb fish than most will ever see and more than i care to remember. in those days as a helper to a commercial fisherman on the mississippi if you turned loose a 50lb flatt or blue you just turned loose a 50 dollar bill and this was in the 80's.:crazy: and just like the times i have changed, i respect all life no matter the species. i crappie fish, if i catch a perch i don't put it under my heal and smash it and throw it back in the water. if i don't want to eat it or use it for bait it goes back unharmed. killing it out of malice is no different than a bass fisherman putting a bullet through the head of a 50lb flatt because in most there eyes a flatt head is a trash fish.:crazy: and i am sure there are bass fishermaen who would have a heart attack if they seen the 4 5lb large mouth in my freezer for bait but they were going to die so i will use them and not waste them. now to my ???? when is it ok to take a trophy, when a deer hunter sees a 10 point and drops him there is no cpr there and i know there can't be, but that brings up a interesting point when is it ok , don't use the excuse the small ones are better that really ain't true i have eaten a 60lb+ cat before , again along time ago and it tasted fine. don't think i am saying take the big fish, i won't take one unless i have no choice . i just wanted to hear others opinion on the subject without anger or harsh tones just a good adult discussion :big_smile:

    one last thing , as for juggs i have friends who live upstate and they jugg regularly, they respect the waterway access for other boats they weight there juggs so they don't drift everywhere and they cpr all over 10lb..and stay with them:crazy: so not all juggers are bad people, and i say this with no disrespect to anyone but most cats caught on a jugg don't even know there hooked till there in the boat so i think they fare better than a hook being set in there jaw and dragged 150' to a boat :crazy: not trying to start anything just trying to get some good creative conversation going


    alright let it fly boys :roll_eyes: :smile2::big_smile:
     
  2. FATFLATTIE

    FATFLATTIE New Member

    Messages:
    2,170
    State:
    ILM, NC
    I just really think it's up to the individual. Me personally, the only time I'm gonna keep one is if it's gonna be a state record or world record. If it lives great but if it dies oh well, I've done my part as far as releasing fish and a fish that old isn't reproducing well anyway.

    Some people may look down on me for keeping and possibly killing a big fish for a record but it's something that I would want and have wanted all my life so I don't really care what some may say about it:smile2: If I catch it and I weigh it and it weighs more than the current record....sorry buddy you bit the wrong hook that day.

    Other than that I would never keep a big fish. No need at all for that much fish and if ya ain't gonna eat it let it go.
     

  3. bowler man

    bowler man New Member

    Messages:
    898
    State:
    nc
    FATFLATTIE, you bring up a interesting point , i would love to know the average age of a 40+ fish and the actual stats on reproduction of the bigger older fish and i meen actual stats not just hear say. maybe there is someone on here who knows where to find this info and would like to share.
     
  4. Jeremy Sheffey

    Jeremy Sheffey New Member

    Messages:
    2,388
    State:
    Columbus, Ohio
    im with wes, state/world record or if i am starving. ... i dont eat fish out of any river if i want fish i goto the grocer...
     
  5. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    Great post!! :big_smile:

    If I caught a state or world record fish I would make every attempt to keep it alive. While I would not be happy if it died in the weighing process, I would be happy with knowing that a lot could be learned from a fish of that size and age. Sadly, none of the people that kill these older fish care about that.

    I don't keep bigger fish for food. Not only do I not like killing bigger fish, but I don't like how thick the meat it on the fillets, not to mention the health concerns with an animal that ifs filtering out toxins for that long. There are too many smaller fish out there for me to consume, and that is better for everyone concerned.

    Most people keep big fish because they have never caught anything like it, think they will never catch something like that again, or they just like to brag.
     
  6. shrewboy

    shrewboy New Member

    Messages:
    210
    State:
    North Carolina
    If a large fish was going to die, I would keep it with me until I found someone to take it. Even if I had to fillet it. Luckly this hasn't happen yet. I have kept some smaller fish (under 5 pounds) for myself because they swallowed the hook. Now that the wife doesn't like the meat, I will give them to friends.
     
  7. Bowyer

    Bowyer New Member

    Messages:
    62
    State:
    NC
    Jeff check this link out on age. You have to scroll down. Its based on lenth not weight. From the study Santee cats grow at a faster rate than most other bodies of water in the Blue cats region. If I remember a Blue cat around 33 inches will be around 10 years.


    http://www.fisheries.org/afs/docs/pub_sympsample.pdf
     
  8. bowler man

    bowler man New Member

    Messages:
    898
    State:
    nc
    thanks alot
     
  9. Bryan8552

    Bryan8552 New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    nc
    We don't target any fish that we don't intend to eat. We don't fish for big fish. When we accidently catch big fish, say, over 15 # or so, we let them go, for several reasons. I don't care to slaughter my own hogs and cattle and I feel the same way about big fish, too much blood and guts for me. Also, nearly all of the good info we've ever received concerning fishing, came from other fishermen. Such as all the fine folks on the BOC. Those other fishermen routinely fish for big fish and enjoy doing so, we release them to be caught by someone else in the future. Also, as Dieter said, big fish have higher concentrations of heavy metals and toxins. It's our choice.... It's what we choose to do.

    I don't particularly like flatheads (as food). I've eaten blues up to 79# and they were just as good as the smaller ones. I had a chef to teach me how to filet them. Take the normal filet and lay it on a board. Slice it crosswise, perpendicular to the length of the fish. But, while doing this, tilt your knife at a 45* angle, beveling the meat also. Repeat over and over again cutting the meat into the thickness you desire. When you're finished, the filets are no thicker than they would be if they were from a three pound fish. This is how huge tuna are prepared by chefs all over the world. If you've ever ordered a catfish sandwich at any of the fish camps at Santee, chances are you've eaten a 40# blue. They delicious.

    Happy fishin to all. Even though my above description made me hongry, we will continue to release the bigguns for yall to enjoy.
     
  10. Bryan8552

    Bryan8552 New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    nc
    P.S

    I was catfishing when catfishing wasn't cool. We were eating those big rascals when nobody gave a flip about 'em and the majority of older fishermen didn't even know they were in our rivers. Since the new wave of sport catfishing, and everybody falling in love them, we try to respect everybody's desires and passions. I am not at all convinced that releasing a lot of big fish helps the "Big Fish" fishery. Many biologists say otherwise.
     
  11. bowler man

    bowler man New Member

    Messages:
    898
    State:
    nc
    now this is what i was wanting to hear, good talk and honest opinions and good sources of info keep it coming:big_smile: maybe we might all learn something , i know i have learned alot from the boc and the carolina catfish club members. :big_smile:
     
  12. Buckedup

    Buckedup New Member

    Messages:
    72
    State:
    NC
    There are 5 stages a hunter or fisherman goes thru.

    1) Shooter - How many shots or oppurtunities did we get.
    2) Limiting Out - Pretty much explains itself
    3) Trophy - Looking for that big fish, buck, a specific duck or animal.
    4) Method - Rod and Reel only, Primitive Weapons getting specific on method of harvest.
    5) Sportsman - More concerned about getting in the woods/water with family and friends, you enjoy others enjoying your sport.

    Everyone goes thru these stages at different rates and order and some dont make thru all 5. If you catch a trophy and you are in stage 1 its in the cooler on the way to the house. Likewise a trophy fisherman is likely to release the fish (for the slow ones a trophy hunter cant release a dead animal).

    My name is David Roser, I operate Bucks Fishing Charters, my policy is anything over 10# goes back. I have lost business because of this and I have customers appreciate what I am trying to promote. I also take my 10 yr old son and his friends jugging and sometimes we will wear them out. But they too are moving thru these stages. They are now starting to take pics and let the big ones go.

    To get back on subject, "when is it ok to take a trophy", is subjective. A 20# is fun to catch but not a trophy to me, but to my neighbor it is a freakin monster, he caught it off his pier and made it into stew. It was good.
     
  13. brian88b

    brian88b Member

    Messages:
    593
    State:
    Fairdale, KY
    Whens it ok to take a trophy ??? In my opinion, When you win the bowling Tournament, when your drunkin softball team wins the season, lol :wink::smile2: just joking. Seriously I agree with fattflatty I'm only gonna if I know it's a record breaker. And as far as older fish and reproduction I'm not sure but we could all just start crushing a little viagra in with our chum, lol. Maybe that'll get their numbers up, it's bound to get something up, lmao. I'm going to bed I'm gettin tired and stupid, lol, and work comes early. Night all and Happy Fishing.
     
  14. mintaka

    mintaka Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,470
    State:
    Charlotte , N.C
    I have yet to catch a fish over 10 pounds. When I do , it will be set free. I use treble hooks in the hopes of obtaining eater size fish , and if a monster happens to bite , then I'll bring it in and let it go , provided it doesn't swallow the hooks. Targeting larger fish , I use circles. As far as numbers , 5 to 8 is the most I'll keep due to distance to the car and weight. When the hooks are swallowed , I try to assess injury based upon location of hooks and tissue damage. Push comes to shove , I'll take the fish to a nature center or museum for a more experienced prognosis. In summary , only under extenuating circumstances will I keep a monster , and even then , looking at the fish swimming in the sink or bathtub plucks heavily on my heartstrings. There was 1 time I was fishing at night and caught a 3" bullhead. Apparently , someone was using it for bait on a limbline. I removed the hook and line from it and tossed it back. Oddly enough , instead of swimming away , it came back and sat there staring at me as if in gratitude!! It remained there until I left. When I walked away , it swam away. So yeah , I feel bad for the fish and endeavour to release when possible.
     
  15. Bowyer

    Bowyer New Member

    Messages:
    62
    State:
    NC
    Don’t loose sight of the fact that Trophies whether Cats or Deer is an individual thing. It also depends on the body of water or region you are in. Your personal Trophies will change as you grow in the sport. There will always be the argument on what a Trophy is and what is not and what’s the best way to manage the resources. There is a lot to learn from Deer hunting and Bass fishing and how it has evolved as a sport since the Trophy talk and Tournaments began. I don’t know if it’s really better over the last twenty years for the lower to middle income sportsman. I think the only people who benefited from the last 20 years are Johnny Morris, Ray Scott, Earl Bentz, Bill Jordan and Toxey Haas. Most new fisherman think you have to have a $20K Bass boat to Bass fish. Land leases for Deer hunting have got so high that industry is crashing. And now you wonder why people are turning to catfishing which has traditionally been a poor mans sport. I hope we don’t ruin catfishing for the common man. Trot lining and jugging is about the only sport and tradition that has not been taken from him. We can make it work for all of us if we take everyone in consideration when we make decisions.
     
  16. Bowyer

    Bowyer New Member

    Messages:
    62
    State:
    NC
    Making the comparison that somehow you are acting as a better conservationist as a fisherman because you can release a fish but you can’t bring a deer back to life is not legitimate. Fishing is more like shoot first then ask questions later because you can’t control what you hook or catch. Only after the fish is caught can you make the decision to release it or not. This is not the case with hunting. You see the animal first, identify it and then make that “release” decision before you ever pull the trigger.
     
  17. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    1. when your state regulations allow you to do so.
    2. when the fish is mortally wounded and you are real sure he/she is going to die anyway.
    3. After that let your conscious be your guide :wink:.
     
  18. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    Bowyer, good post on the hunting/fishing comparison.

    The biggest difference between trophy catfish and any other trophy animal, including deer, is how long it takes a trophy fish to reach maturity. A buck is a wallhanger at 4 1/2+ years old. A catfish might take 12-18 years to reach trophy class.

    As for "what is a trophy class animal"????

    Great question.

    Trophy class animals are the rarest of the species in a particular region. They are the top 5% of the species.

    A spike to a nine year-old might be great to him, but it is not trophy class by any means, anywhere in the country. If your personal best blue catfish on Lake Texoma is 18 pounds you caught a nice fish, but not a trophy by Lake Texoma standards.

    Nothing wrong with keeping A big fish, but lets not load the bed of the truck up with them. Respect the resource and pass it on down.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
  19. Bowyer

    Bowyer New Member

    Messages:
    62
    State:
    NC
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
  20. FATFLATTIE

    FATFLATTIE New Member

    Messages:
    2,170
    State:
    ILM, NC
    I agree with that completely. I'm sure a lot of people who keep a big fish probably don't catch that many of them and keeping one here and there isn't going to hurt a thing but taking hundreds of pounds at a time isn't good for a fishery. When I hear about somebody keeping 200lbs of catfish I think "Man that'll feed 200 people!?!?!? How much does a guy need?"