View Full Version : What fish do you keep...crappie, bass, bream,catfish etc....?

09-11-2005, 11:16 PM
Someone ask me about catch and release and I was just wondering what others practice with all species caught on a given trip.

I release 90% of my crappie. I only keep the hawg slawbs and hook swallowers. I keep anything over 3 pounds and most over 2 pounds but anything 1 pound or below goes back if it is healthy.
This article (http://www.alabamagameandfish.com/fishing/crappies-panfish-fishing/al_aa040203a/) is about alabama but both of the lakes focused in it are on the border with GA. The power companies hold water to help the spawn on some lakes. Doesn't it seem like during what you think is perfect spawn time is the time they decide to keep the water low or run it up and down each day...I know I've read post about leaving eggs high and dry..

09-12-2005, 12:41 AM
keep what we will eat when crappie fishing - generally save a few cats for some of my neighbors but never more than 4
on saltwater keep within limits again what we will eat - flounder, trout (specs and grays), drum(red and black), will keep a couple of blues for the crab pot bait - will keep a few spots and mullet(whiting) if going to fry up that day

09-12-2005, 03:23 AM
I was always a summer fisherman and we tried to keep enough crappie to freeze for the winter. I'm gonna fish this fall and winter, since I'm going to try and faze down or out my hunting, so I keep everything over about 9-10 inches. Don't freek out over that cause I've not caught alot this summer and we eat 10-12 fish per meal and I catch that many every 2nd or 3rd trip this summer. I'll keep a catfish or bass over 1lb if they hit jigs. Don't keep bream or anything else.

09-12-2005, 04:27 AM
i keep very few of the fish i catch anymore. i usually give em to who is fishing with me or my neighbor. not that i dont like em, cause i do, but i only keep enough for one fry or two in the freezer. we dont have a set standard we use to determing whats kept and whats thrown back. depends on what the catcher wants to do with it. sometimes i like having a mess of small fish to cook, so occasionally ill have a fry of small crappie. green carp, and catfish are usually thrown back. usually ill wanna keep the fish camp sized cats tho. sometimes i whack any green carp i catch with a hatchet and throw em to the cats when i get home. makes great cat food.

09-12-2005, 04:35 AM
If I am fishing for fun, I throw back all crappie over 12". Because I fish a few tournaments, my thought is you cant catch whats in your freezer. If I catch a catfish while fishing I will keep it also. Bass I throw back, unless someone is close by fishing for them. Then I will keep it, just to tell them how good they taste. I only keep what I plan on eating for that week.

J White
09-12-2005, 05:45 AM
I usually only keep crappie, somewhere between five and ten is all I want
at one time. Rango and TAE73, I hear you on messing with the bass guy's
minds - I usually just hold it up and make sure they see it, then say
"trash fish" and throw it back, and try to look disgusted. :) I don't catch
a lot of bream, with the size baits I use and the way I fish, but when I do,
it is usually big enough to filet, so he goes in the cooler too. Cats, I try to
keep them outside the boat most of the time, unless the kids want a picture.

09-12-2005, 06:27 AM
Crappie, Walleye, and flathead cats go to my house. Black and White bass go to the deer camp.

09-12-2005, 06:36 AM
A catfish never comes in the boat. They make a slimy mess in the carpet that I hate!! Normally only keep crappie and some good sized bluegill.

Eager Beaver
09-12-2005, 07:32 AM
I will keep a lot of the Crappie that I catch on the private lake that I fish a lot. The President of the fishing club there told me to keep a lot of the fish that I catch to help manage them. The small mouth bass are catch and release and the walleye and Hybrids they monitor pretty close. When ever I have been checked on this lake they are looking for Walleye mostly. This Spring someone was loading up on Walleye and the sheriff was checking everyone to see if they had over the limit on walleye.
I have a lot of fish fries for different groups of people and friends. By this winter most of the fish in the freezer will be used up and the fish I get this winter will be for our own use.

09-12-2005, 07:50 AM
I don't keep bass very often, but will ever once in a wile. Crappie, catfish (eating size or if Flathead I keep any legal one up to about 25 lbs.) I keep freezer stocked with enough so if I want fish fry with family and friends. Any yellow bass that is reasonable size (not any very little one, but since they are small I keep most). Right now my freezer has plenty (probably enough to get through winter) and I do give some away especially to neighbors. Right now this lake is so low (down 9') I may not get to fish until early spring as it is, unless I go over to Sam Rayburn which is about 25-30 miles.

Don't fish saltwater now, but when I lived near Corpus Christi would keep any legal flounder, smaller legal reds and some speckles trout. Reds for blackened style and others for frying.

09-12-2005, 08:43 AM
I keep most of the +10" Crappie that I catch, but I have yet to catch a limit and I don't do much damage. I keep the catfish and let everything else go unless someone with me wants to keep them. We used to keep a lot of fish to stock ponds with. I later found out that it is illegal to catch fish to put in other ponds/lakes. I know a lot of folks that do that and I don't see anything wrong with it. I guess if they did it on a large scale it could have an impact on the public fishing. To me, if you obey the limits, you should be able to do with the fish what ever you want.

unknown 5
09-12-2005, 11:24 AM
I keep most of what I catch that is large enough to keep but I usually put the big cats back. I usually just catch crappie and cats but I do catch some bass and I want to catch some stripers before winter hits. I live near a very fertile lake and I believe some harvesting is needed to prevent stunted fish. I have provided lots of fish for numerous fish fries.

09-12-2005, 12:39 PM
Well lets start with my favorites...

I will keep any Gou fish (freshwater drum) I catch, man they are tasty! That dense rubber ball type texture just makes the flavor experience last longer. Then to the gars I love me some gar meat. MMmm MMMmm good! Gotta keep any gar I get to the boat. Now don't get me started on bowfin... Just take a bowfin drop him in a pot of boiling water whole. Everything that rises to the surface just spread it over a cracker and eat! Then there are the carps... I just eat those sushi style. A good carp Sashimi on white rice with some soy sauce.... pure heaven. But I would have to say my all time favorite fish to eat is a nice gizzard shad 12" or bigger. Their dense fishy meat filled with bones is perfect for any recipe, really hard to mess it up.

Well I think I listed all my favorite fish for the table!.... give some a try they do not disaapoint!

~Fishin' Magician~

In Reality: I keep crappie (legal size), young catfish, bass if I am feeling it, big bream, yellow bass, white bass, and stripers.

09-12-2005, 01:28 PM
I keep Crappie over !0", Ky. Bass [that are big enough],and handsize bream! I"ve got 4 grown kids-3 love fish so I have to take a cooler full back to ohio each time!! I"ve even shipped Crappie to my middle daughter!!My 13 year old [here with me] will eat fish 3 times a week,so none get wasted.I release alot more then I keep though.

09-12-2005, 03:29 PM
I usally just keep what I can eat at a meal. I'm the only in the family that eats fish so maybe about 8 if there big enough.
Crappie the's only fish I keep. I have tried Bass but don't really care for it on the table. same with Catfish.

09-12-2005, 04:07 PM
Bass taste like Chit.

09-12-2005, 04:28 PM
Bass taste like Chit.

I know, thats why I give mine away!

J White
09-12-2005, 04:44 PM
I used to give the bass to my father-in-law, but he has finally got
wise to it and said he doesn't like them as well as the crappie.
He has a pond full of catfish, but ever since I started bringing him
crappie, he has about stopped feeding them. :D
Fishing Magician, you would not be trying to "bait" someone into
making some remark about Cajuns eating everything that don't eat them
first, now would you? :D

09-12-2005, 04:52 PM
I release almost everything. Not because I have a problem with keeping fish or just don't like eating them. I just don't like cleaning too many fish at once. I like cleaning just one or two that will make a good meal.

I'll occassionally keep big bullhead and some channel cats. I'll also keep blue cats in the 7-12 lb range. I'll keep a few striped bass, as well.

Darryl Morris
09-12-2005, 06:15 PM
I generally release crappie under 10" and any other species that is small and young. Everything else I keep, certainly if it is with clients, but for myself too. I fillet everything and mark the packages according to species. I am often asked for fish, so I give away all the catfish, white bass, etc.

09-12-2005, 07:19 PM
Well since i don't fish hardly from about the first week of June till Mid or late Sept., Depending on when it starts getting cool. I keep most all the crappie over 10'' unless their poor. up to the limit. Bass i keep a few. Dad likes them, Bream we try to go once in june, once in july and only keep the 3/4 to 1lb fillet size, I keep the crappie cause we eat them about 3 times a week plus we have church fishfries and family fishfries
so we consume a lot of crappie per year I'm down to about 25pds of fillet in the frezzer
now. So just one church fishfry would knock that out. I usally keep 75 to 100pds of fillet in the frezzer at the peak spawn. But belive me it goes to good use.

09-13-2005, 05:17 AM
Sometimes we'll keep a dozen if we want to put some fish in the freezer.

Crappie over 9.5", Sunfish over 7" (decent size here); no bass; channel cats between 14"-18".
Now that our lake has saugeye, as soon as they hit a decent enough size to filet we'll keep a few of those. The state also releases rainbow trout twice a year and we try to take a limit (5), but rarely succeed. - Roberta

David Waters
09-13-2005, 05:48 AM
to be honest, I keep a lot of crappie, but none ever go to waste. I eat them a good bit, anad we have family get togethers quite often and cook crappie. It is our favorite times together as a family. Do not keep any bass, really. Nor do I keep any catfish. After eating crappie, all other fish are just, .....fishy. :)

09-13-2005, 02:06 PM
Bass taste like Chit.
Ky. Bass[spots] dont--I dont eat largemouth or smallies But Kys. are actually pretty good!!Alot of folks here would rather have them then Crappie[not me]!!

J White
09-13-2005, 02:30 PM
Maybe it's just me, or what the spots eat here, but to me they have
a stronger fishy taste than largemouths - but then I don't like to eat
either ;)

09-14-2005, 10:18 PM
Just showing my smarts here but are Kentucky bass the same as the spots we have in the Chattahoochee river. Or is it a shoal bass. World record shoal was caught 6 miles from here.

09-14-2005, 11:32 PM
Ky Spotted Bass - http://www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/fish/bassblack/spotted/

Shoal Bass - http://www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/fish/bassblack/shoal/

Does that help clarify the difference ? Here's some other info to help distinguish the various "basses" - http://floridafisheries.com/Fishes/bass.html

.........cp :cool:

09-15-2005, 03:48 AM
We have the Pearl river about 30 miles north of me and before I got too old a friend and I would use a small jon and a troll motor and float it for spots, it is fast water. They were the best bass I ever ate. My list, flathead, Pearl spots, brim and then crappie. Saltwater would be trigger, red snapper, flounder.