View Full Version : catch and release

03-16-2007, 10:49 PM
just wondering if anyone releases crappie like the bassmasters do bass? seems like there would be more crappie if we release them especially during the spawn.

father of 4
03-16-2007, 11:03 PM
Might be more Crappie but less Fat boys like me. lol

03-17-2007, 07:21 AM
i release the small one in the lake . the large i release in the HOT OIL:D .

03-17-2007, 07:24 AM

I'm with you....I think during the spawn, it should be catch and release....But it doesn't bother me if someone keeps their catch....DemoMan

J White
03-17-2007, 07:48 AM
I'll release some if I've got all I want to clean - nothing against folks
who do, but I don't really like building 'em up in the freezer. I try to
keep 'em et up as I catch them. :D
But if I'm gonna release them, I do it right off the hook, don't think
Crappie are as hardy as Bass about riding all over the lake in a livewell.

03-17-2007, 07:54 AM
Yes I release Crappie, All dinks are let go. I only take home what I want to eat.

03-17-2007, 08:03 AM
We fish allot of different lakes, What ever the lakes length requirement is we increase our keeper length by a couple of inches, throw everything small back. Makes it a little more competitive and the fillets are bigger.
Welcome aboard, From Alabama.

03-17-2007, 08:10 AM
J White,

You said it best....DemoMan

03-17-2007, 08:56 AM
Size limit on my lake is 8". I only keep 10" fish and only as much as I can eat. 10" fish will have at least 5X the meat as an 8".

03-17-2007, 09:03 AM
just wondering if anyone releases crappie like the bassmasters do bass?
If bass tasted as good as crappie...you would see a lot more bass released into lake 'Crisco":D

03-17-2007, 09:19 AM
I'll release some if I've got all I want to clean - nothing against folks
who do, but I don't really like building 'em up in the freezer. I try to
keep 'em et up as I catch them. :D
But if I'm gonna release them, I do it right off the hook, don't think
Crappie are as hardy as Bass about riding all over the lake in a livewell.
Crappie are as hardy as bass. During the spawn, i'll transport a dozen females full of eggs from one end of the lake to an area that doesn't have as good a population, and release them there. I also take some males with their jackets on, and release them in the same area too. Haven't had a floater yet in 2 seasons of trying this. Gonna check this spring to see what kind of results i get. I'll be looking for young of the year fish between 5 and 7 inches.

03-17-2007, 09:33 AM
I don't freeze fish ....only bring home what I can eat.

J White
03-17-2007, 09:40 AM
Oh, wasn't saying it couldn't be done, the ones I brought home to
clean last wkend were still flopping after riding home 70 miles in a
crowded livewell - with recirc on though. Just some of the things
bass guys can get away with, like those big "cull tags" some use in
tournaments, don't think we could get away with - but I have been
wrong before :) One thing that may have a bearing on it is how deep
I'm usually bringing fish up from - later in the year most of 'em will go
belly up on me instantly in a livewell, so I usually put 'em straight on ice.
The water by then is about hot enough to boil them anyway :D

almost forgot - I am basing that on white crappie - my fishing buddies
and I have had several discussions regarding how you can't hardly
kill a black crappie if you try, but the whites seem more delicate.
Just my (our) .02 :D

03-17-2007, 10:03 AM
Keeping fish is an individual decision. I am lucky enough to be able to go fairly often and catch crappie on most occasions so I keep about six of the 11-12 inch size for my wife and I and I try to let most of the larger fish go, hoping they will grow to the 2 pound plus fish (We are talking brush pile fish here).
Texas has a 10 inch minimum. I punch a hole in a fin with a paper punch and have been suprized to find several fish again when I fish and sometimes they show up fairly regularly (For some reason, I get a kick out of experimenting like that). Happens that I catch a repeat fish periodically, but I would like to catch the 3 plus lb. crappie and they are so few are far between where I fish that it is a personal decision and trying to maintain some of the larger fish in the system. Certainly not advocating all people do that as I moved from remote West Texas where at one point when I caught a fish, any fish it was going home with me. So bad I even envisioned carp patties at some points. Yep, heard like many that you could boil them and make patties like salmon, it never happened though.


03-17-2007, 12:29 PM
I release almost all of my fish. I fish mainly for the fun of it. I don't condemn people for keeping fish, but I wish crappie anglers would release more fish. Its a habit people get in one way or the other. I know people who are programed to keep everything they catch, and get upset when I'm fishing with them and release fish. I typically offer the fish I catch to others if I'm with them or near someone who isn't getting them and seem like decent folks.

There is one guy I fish with who I have stopped giving fish to because he just doesn't appreciate that he is fishing with a fish catching machine(aren't I humble)and he expects me to give him all my fish because he knows I don't keep them. I figure I have put over 100 meals on his family table over the years, and this last year just to see what he would say I asked him how many meals I have supplied to him, and he said "2 or 3", and he was serious. Well, that was the end of me giving him fish. Now I just release all my fish when I'm with him and I can see the pain on his face with every one that vanishes back in the lake. Funny how we don't fish together much now that the gravy train has stopped. I don't miss fishing with the guy much.

Release more fish!!

03-17-2007, 01:00 PM
I catch and release all Crappie and just keep a total caught each time out!
At the end of the year I get the grand total and try to beat it the next year!

03-17-2007, 03:24 PM
just wondering if anyone releases crappie like the bassmasters do bass? seems like there would be more crappie if we release them especially during the spawn.

I cant disagree with you more. What's needed are FACTS not political correctness, which is a disease in America.

Belief based on so-called ethics, is not good management.

1. Let us remember that a given body of water can only support a certain number of fish.

2. On the other hand, improper handling results in high mortality. Nets can also be damaging to fish, just as unhooking them can as well.

3. Studies have also proved the old adage that a bleeding fish, regardless of where it is hooked, is a dead fish.

Many anglers voluntarily return fish for a number of reasons. One common example is simply because they don't want to eat the fish. Another is that the local state or provincial governments often release guides to eating sport fish which detail various levels of toxins, etc., in various species. Sometimes the larger and older the fish, the higher levels of toxins they contain, making them unsafe to eat.

Toxic pesticides (Kepone) and other contaminants, under-fishing, and disease have all contributed to the depletion of fish. This should be of the utmost concern where Catch and Release is concerned. But where is it's proponents?

Guess it's easier to point the finger at a little angler than to fight the real bullies. Huh?

It's the water. Not the angler. Some day I fear anglers will anti- our own sport out of existence. So-called ethics, Political correctness, Unnecessary Rules, Privatization, One voice, then NO FISHING.:(

Sounds like a plan, but I want no part of it.

Catch & Release has it's benefits but is not the answer for all bodies of water and is being practiced with ignorance based on belief not fact. BAD MANAGEMENT>

03-17-2007, 05:03 PM
If catch and release has it's benifits, then why can't we do it...Whether you catch and release, or keep and eat, that won't solve the toxin problem...Catch and release, IMO, has to do with letting the fish get larger....Maybe one day letting someone break the world record again....The world record "white" crappie was taken back in the early 50's...That's almost 57 years that record has stood....JMO...DemoMan

03-17-2007, 05:18 PM
10" limit here in Texas.... anything less goes back.....

03-17-2007, 05:56 PM
Crappie are much more abundant than bass. You almost have to catch and released on bass. However crappie grow faster, and on a much much larger scale than bass.
You still have to use some common sense and keep what you can use and release the rest.

03-17-2007, 06:07 PM
I don't keep dinks. I keep what I want as long as it's in the limit, year round. I don't worry about keeping them in the spawn, cause what's the difference in me keeping 20-50 fish once a week during the spawn and someone else keeping 300-500 every weekend during the winter? These are the same fish. What difference is it whether they have eggs in them or not? Crappie are prolific breeders and it's hard to exterminate them (not saying it can't be done!) I see lots of 2lb+ fish posted during the winter months and these are all fish that would have eggs in 2 months.

This is just my thoughts and I don't fault anyone for keeping what they want as long as it's legal or for releasing them.....Year round.

03-17-2007, 07:08 PM
On most southern lakes crappie can overpopulate. As long as you are keeping 10" or above, I don't think you are hurting the population & very well may be helping. On the other hand, I have been on some lakes which were yo-yoed heavily that got decimated.

Ken Kinser
03-17-2007, 07:24 PM
i keep 6-8 crappie per trip and release the rest do stock the freezer in the fall with 25 qt baggies for the winter, and release the rest.

Bass gut hooked a legal bass the other day and put it in the cooler and u would have thought i murdered someone by the reaction i got from people around me. but that bass tasted GOODDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

03-17-2007, 08:01 PM
[QUOTE=DemolitionMan]If catch and release has it's benifits, then why can't we do it...

Catch & Release has it's benefits but is not the answer for all bodies of water. The sentence was clear and understood by most.;)

You can and should practice C&R, where it is needed, but it's not needed in all waters. When it comes to crappie, there are bodies of water that the crappie have overpopulated, C&R is not necessary there, and H&C Hook & Cook should be practiced if you don't want to catch DINKS ALL DAY.:p


03-17-2007, 08:16 PM
I appreciate all the well thought out replys. I'll do some research on catch and release see what scientific facts we can come up with.

03-17-2007, 08:50 PM
I appreciate all the well thought out replys. I'll do some research on catch and release see what scientific facts we can come up with.

When you do that keep in mind. Those FACTS may be generalized. Not to specific species (Crappie), in a specific body of water. And when said FACTS are species and location specific they DO NOT APPLY TO ALL BODIES OF WATER.

Catch and Release or Hook & Cook it's all good by me ~ CAN'T WE ALL JUST FISH, the way we want, without being judged?

Don't know about you but I'm goin fishin. MY WAY.

03-17-2007, 10:30 PM
I'll buy the overpopulation deal...No problems there.....We should do it only if it needs to be done....Editors at In-Fisherman seem to think more crappie fisherman should pratice catch and release....It's an individual thing....DemoMan

03-18-2007, 04:50 AM
I practice C.P.R. Crisco, Plate, Repete. I keep every fish that I can legally keep.

03-18-2007, 06:06 AM
I'm not judging anyone Luna just want what is best for all crappie fishermen/fisherwomen.

03-18-2007, 07:19 AM
I use to beleive in catch and release when I was younger but let me give an exaple of how wrong it can go with catch and release compared to hook and eat if taken to an extreme. My parent built an 10 acre lake on their farm. The state of Illinois was kind enought to stock the lake very cheap with one of their state programs. We put bass cats and bluegill in this thing plus we had another pond on the property and transplanted several 1-3 pound bass to the lake. In a few years it was nothing to go out catch 5-9 pound bass in the lake and no bass were ever kept. everything was release with the thought process that the bass would get huge and hence better fishing yet. Well over the years we started to notice the bass population was going to h**l. you could catch a bass that should have been 8-9 pounds but were lucky if it weight 2-3 lbs. In other words huge head long body and no girth thin as a paperclip. progress forward a little more you can get on the water and catch 100 bass a day now and not one over 2 lbs. So in hindsight was the catch and release process good. No not taken to an extreme. now we are starting to fish it for bass and keep everything that hits a hook to try and thin things out. Catch and release may be a good thing in some place but if not careful and if it for a species that breeds prolificly then I truly beleive all you are doing is harming the water in the long run. Sure it may be good for a few years but eventually it will get to where all you catch is dinks.

03-18-2007, 08:56 AM
I'm pretty much along the same line of thinking as Mud and Grizz who posted earlier in the thread. I catch them because I love to, and most everything goes back. I don't eat them because it's just my wife and I and she don't like them, or their smell after being cooked up in the house. So I go for the fun, the challenge and the comraderie. :D

Don't hold anything against anyone who does keep them as long as you're within your legal limits and not meat hawgin'. If I happen to come across a lake though with a good population of big ones, I'll keep it to a select few buddies that I share that type info with. Plenty of other lakes with plenty of smaller crappie to fill a persons plate with :cool:


03-18-2007, 09:35 AM
You can have population problems with over or under harvesting. Your state has probably done studies on fish harvest and populations to come up with a size, creel limit to help keep the population in check. CF

Seth G.
03-18-2007, 06:56 PM
I release all my crappie.................. after I hit the limit. hehehe.

No I only keep about 10-14 usually, just enough for a meal. I have kept more than normal this spring a few times but I ran out in my freezer. I like to keep 3-4 bags for a rainy day when the fish are not biting.


03-18-2007, 10:48 PM
Personally, I think that after following the law, then common sense should rule. If your on a lake with an abundance of crappies then keep em, but if your on a smaller body of water that isn't overstocked or a trophy fishery put more back, especially large ones unless your going to mount it, but even then you can document the fish properly and get a fiberglass mount.

An interesting example is the monster largemouth that was caught from Dixon lake in S Cali last spring. It was probably a world record bass, and from the pictures its been documented that the fish was caught several times before by trophy bass anglers and returned. Now, I wasn't too impressed with their documentation of the fish, but they did release it so it could grow a little more and some smart guy can catch it, document it properly and get a world record on the books. Personally, I would have weighed it properly and if it was the world record I would have kept it, but alive. Alive it would be worth a fortune.

03-19-2007, 12:59 PM
During the spawn when the fish are easily caught by the bunches I will be more selective. I try not to rip every male off the beds so he can protect the nest from those darn gills. And I'll sometimes let some nice females go. That being said I usually take home 15 - 20 crappie during the spawn. If you get that many every trip it's pretty east to stock the fridge. Other times of the year when I'm fishing secluded brush I will also be selective and not try to keep every crappie I get and fish out my holes.

Crappie are very prolific spawners and if they were not being harvested the lake could become overpopulated and stunt the growth, and we all know small paper thin crappie are not that fun.

DC Crappie Kid
03-19-2007, 02:27 PM
I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who gets more selective when the spawn is on. Those fish I would normally eat, I tend to throw back if they're full of eggs. Similar w/males; if they're on the beds, they go back; if they're pre/post spawn, they go to the dinner table. And, for those who have mentioned, you're right; it is relative to the body of water you're fishing. I have a friend w/a very small pond (<1/2 acre) who asks me to throw everything back EXCEPT crappie! He says if I don't want to take it home, I should throw it up on the bank. Consequently, I have NEVER caught a crappie from his pond under 10". Coincidence?

03-19-2007, 07:39 PM
I fished on Lake Brownwood, TX a cpl of weekends ago...in a day and a half of fishing I caught well over 100 crappie but only 3 were keepers... Length had to be 10"... the 9 1/2"- 9 3/4" crappies mouths were so torn out they literally only had lips left... this is definatley a lake that is over stocked and the demand for food is so great that it would benefiet from removing the limit size for a cpl. of years to improve the size of the fish.

03-20-2007, 09:42 AM
I am not one to throw back anything big enough to fillet. Once a limit is caught, different story. When I am hammering them pretty good, like over the past three weeks or so, we just eat more fish. I think we've fried crappie about twice a week lately...and that's feeding several people.
If I was gonna throw back any, it would be the big crappie. Of course, we all like catching the big ones, but give me a thin, crispy fillet all day long over one big, thick one that I have to slice up (they're good too, though). Personal preference I guess.

03-20-2007, 03:09 PM
What about a slot limit, keep 8-10 with a limit, 10-12 must go back, you will see more fish over 12 and you can keep them.

03-20-2007, 10:04 PM
Crappie are prolific breeders and will readily overpopulate. More lakes are ruined from underharvest than overharvest. Don't keep them and you will end up with 100 pounds per acre in 300 fish rather than 50.

03-20-2007, 10:49 PM
If we don't keep some to eat then we all will be catching 9 inch fish