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Why throw back the big ones?

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Why throw back the big ones?
I am curious on why it is proper to throw back the big ones and keep the small ones? I have seen this in particular with catfish. My thought process makes me think you would want to keep the small ones out there to get bigger, any advice?
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Re: [CitySlicker] Why throw back the big ones? In reply to
Big ones are breeders and small ones are eaters.
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Re: [CitySlicker] Why throw back the big ones? In reply to
Welcome to BFT cityslicker. As mentioned the larger fish are better for breeding. The smaller fish will have a tendency to over populate a water then all fish will remain stunted. It is better to keep the smaller fish and let the larger go. Also I have heard that the smaller fish are better tasting any way.

Albinotrout
Fishing and trains...what else is there? BASEBALL.......
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Re: [albinotrout] Why throw back the big ones? In reply to
Awesome, Thanks for the responses! Before I was following this rule, just because that is what I was told to do, now I understand why!
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Re: [CitySlicker] Why throw back the big ones? In reply to
Glad to help!

Albinotrout
Fishing and trains...what else is there? BASEBALL.......
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Re: [CitySlicker] Why throw back the big ones? In reply to
There is another side to this also, that in many instances, is the more applicable reasoning; taste.

Since you mentioned catfish specifically, I'll go this way first. With cats, and I catch a lot of catfish, the larger cats (over 20 pounds) tend to have strong taste. I don't keep any type of catfish over 15 to 20 pounds. With that said, I don't keep channel catfish either, as I will only eat medium sized blue and flatheads. A 40 pound flathead taste like river mud. YUK!

This same rule actually applies in most other species of fish as well, salt and freshwater. King Mackerel are a perfect example. Large king Mackerel taste like ball sack. However, smaller kings in the 12-15 lb range are great table fare.

The breeder concept is more applicable with fish like LMB, striped bass, redfish (ocean), etc.... Typically, there will be regulations protecting breeder fish in these instances, and there will be a slot incorporated with a small catch limit.



Bryan Draper

Your Saltwater and South Carolina Moderator




http://www.catchemcreekoutfitters.com


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Re: [Tarpon4me] Why throw back the big ones? In reply to
Tarpon4me wrote:
King Mackerel are a perfect example. Large king Mackerel taste like ball sack..

Haaaaaahahahahahahaha! Laugh Dude you have to put a humor disclaimer on something like that. Damn near had a crotch coffee accident.

On a serious note I gut hooked a large holdover Rainbow in the past and knew it wasn't going to make it, so on the campfire he went. Flesh was horrible! Don't know if he was just an old fish, but the flesh was mushy and had a very different flavor than slimer stockers I've caught in the past. Have to agree with you on catfish, especially mud cats.....bleh!

I've always wondered if water temperature that the fish lives in has any effect on the flesh of a fish.
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Re: [AFFamily] Why throw back the big ones? In reply to
It's funny you ask that. I think it does, at least with catfish specifically. If you google the big pee dee river in SC, you see it's a dirty muddy body of water. Lots of clay and mud. They do as much scavenging as live prey hunting. The meat isn't great, and it historically has a darker tint to it.

Now, google Winyah Bay in Georgetown, SC. The main bridges there are centralized in brackish water, and the blue cats in that area have adapted. The water is always fresh and clear being tidal, and their diet consists almost exclusively of fresh shrimp or live fish. The color of the cats is a bright baby blue, and the flesh is clean and bright white. Even the larger catfish out of the bay are delicious to eat.

This is all based off of personal experience over a series of years. So it's factual that the water quality and diet preferences of the target species impact how good of table fare they are. Is that the case for all fish? I can't answer that. For catfish it most certainly is.



Bryan Draper

Your Saltwater and South Carolina Moderator




http://www.catchemcreekoutfitters.com


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Re: [Tarpon4me] Why throw back the big ones? In reply to
Just a note, throwing back the big ones doesn't always apply. Certain fish that spawn and then die like salmon aren't affected much from keeping big ones.
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Re: [CitySlicker] Why throw back the big ones? In reply to

As far as I am concerned there is two biggest reasons for letting big ones go:

1) Essentially you are giving a other angler a change to battle with that beast.

2) If they have survived so long then it is most likely bigger ones have even more years ahead to breed.

One additional came to mind too, smaller ones are easier to cook/fry and taste better too.


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Re: [jekern1015] Why throw back the big ones? In reply to
jekern1015 wrote:
Big ones are breeders and small ones are eaters.

I was also thinking the same thing. That is why I always make sure the throw back the bigger ones, and keep the same ones.

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(This post was edited by wiperhunter2 on Jan 28, 2016, 6:49 AM)
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Re: [CitySlicker] Why throw back the big ones? In reply to
Glad you asked... I wasn't sure either!