Monday, September 30, 2013

Catch and Release; The Misconception

We were expecting some rain here this past weekend so I tied up a "game changer" with a purple body and a chartreuse tail section. I figured this color combo would work really good in the stained/muddy water I was expecting to be fishing in Sunday morning. We really needed the rain, surprisingly the weatherman was wrong on the amount of rain he expected we would be getting. the little bit of rain we did get got soaked up by the drought infected ground. There was no run off and no off colored water. The fly still caught some fish, but I think it was to bright for most fish in the clear water. The white "game changer" was the fly of choice.

I think instead of gold eyes on this fly, a darker eye 
will make the fly a little sharper looking. 

First cast with the new color combo landed 
this cookie cutter largemouth.  

So one of the misconceptions with catch and release fishing is that it is good management practices and will result in more fish and bigger fish. This couldn't be further from the truth. In small ponds or lakes were you have a prolific predator like the largemouth bass, it only takes a few years for them to become over populated. Do you have a favorite fishing pond where you can go and catch handfulls of cookie cutter bass up to 2lbs but nothing bigger. Most likely this pond is over populated and the bass have knocked down the baitfish population. The bass have become stunted because they can't get enough to eat to gain weight and grow. On average it takes 10lbs of consumed baitfish for a bass to gain 1 pound in weight. All it takes is a bad winter or bad drought to knock out a lot of your baitfish and then with a strong bass population it is almost impossible for the baitfish to completely recover in small waters. I had some buddies out over the weekend and the 3 of us caught probably close to 75 bass in just a few hours of fishing, 55 of those were culled from the pond and filleted. This is a private pond and in Texas this practice is perfectly legal and must be done if you want to produce trophy caliber bucketmouths. Between now and next spring I'll be trying to take another 75-100 bass out of this particular pond to properly manage this water for big bass. Catch and release practice is all about catching and releasing the correct fish and there is nothing wrong with putting some fish in the skillet. There is a misconception that bass aren't that good to eat, but if you like bluegill you'll love bass.  


  1. Nice looking fly Casey. Hey , what material are you using for the body on that fly , CCT Body Fur? I've tied up a couple white ones using palmer chenille and another one with Puglisi fibers. They caught some fish for sure but I'm looking for a better body material.

  2. Yes CCT body fur. So far i have been very happy with it. The only thing i don't like is the material will soak up mud and scum from the bottom when you strip the fly in. (assuming you are fishing deep enough to drag bottom. Another tip is to apply some super glue to the shank/articulated spine before wrapping the cct body fur. This five the fly added durability and keeps everything held together.