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Old 06-30-2018, 04:25 PM   #1
mhtranger
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Default Largemouth bass

Just wondering if anyone knows where they have gone? I have been fishing in the Moultonborough area for a few years now and usually have a good day catching them. Albeit small ones but still catching them. Same locations as before with none! Yes the rock bass as discussed have been in some spots but are the really able to drive the LM away? Also catching a bunch of smallies in the area
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Old 06-30-2018, 05:14 PM   #2
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Excessive bass tournaments over the past years have taken a toll on the bass fishery on Winni IMO.
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:25 AM   #3
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Default Agreed

Use to fish for SMB but gave up years ago. Still plenty of SMB around but they run very small. I agree that the tournaments have taken a heavy toll.

LMB I never found Winni a great spot for them...maybe down in Lee's Mill and that area.
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:37 AM   #4
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I surprisingly caught one while salmon fishing a week or two before the derby. I caught it in a very unlikely location for largemouths to be. It did not appear to be in good health with a lot of miscoloring on the outside and not very fat. Probably caught and released a dozen times....

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Old 07-01-2018, 08:13 AM   #5
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Largemouth prefer different bottom structure than smallies. Largemouth like muddy, weedy, woody structure...smallmouth like rocky/sandy structure and tend to be deeper in summer. Both like docks and other man made structure.

I don't target largemouth on Winni but catch a few each year where their preferred habitat crosses to preferred smallie habitat. There are many areas of the lake the match the description of muddy/weedy/woody...look for those and find largemouth (and pickerel).

As for smallies being small. A few years back we would catch many 1 pounders and few 2+ pounders. That has shifted as those 1 pounders grew up. I now see 2 pounders at standard and 3-4 pounders not uncommon. 1 pounders are the exception.

Like everyone I am not liking the increase of rock bass and am sure they will continue to impact the bass fishery.

On a side not to Dans comment...a few years back a friend caught a 5+ pound largemouth while trolling salmon over 100 feet of water a long way from shore so you never know. I have also caught smallmouth while trolling over 80 feet of water that puked up still-live crayfish on my deck (that fish came a long way from bottom to find my lure). Point being there are general guidelines but that fish of a life time can be caught anywhere.
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Old 07-01-2018, 10:13 AM   #6
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It's interesting that some believe bass tournaments are detrimental to the bass fisheries considering they release the fish alive, Kind of reminds me how the state solved the catch and release of salmon and lake trout by not allowing the trolling of bait with more than a single hook! Seems many fish were being caught showing wounds from those previous catches... makes one wonder if it should be mandatory to kill the fish as soon as it's caught and not be legal to release them! It's one of the most stupid law they've come up with in a few years and they've been successful at coming up with stupid!
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Old 07-01-2018, 11:17 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by swnoel View Post
It's interesting that some believe bass tournaments are detrimental to the bass fisheries considering they release the fish alive,
Unfortunately delayed mortality, whatever it is and we can debate that until the cows come home has taken a toll over the past few decades IMO is the key reason bass tournaments are the single most cause for the decline.
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Old 07-01-2018, 01:56 PM   #8
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Default Not so fast....

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Originally Posted by swnoel View Post
It's interesting that some believe bass tournaments are detrimental to the bass fisheries considering they release the fish alive, Kind of reminds me how the state solved the catch and release of salmon and lake trout by not allowing the trolling of bait with more than a single hook! Seems many fish were being caught showing wounds from those previous catches... makes one wonder if it should be mandatory to kill the fish as soon as it's caught and not be legal to release them! It's one of the most stupid law they've come up with in a few years and they've been successful at coming up with stupid!
They release fish MILES from where they were caught after spending some HOURS sloshing around in a livewell before being handled at the weigh in. There is no way that doesnt cause mortality and displacement. Ive fished long enough to see fish a number of fish handled gently & released live and apparently unharmed, still float to the top, after a few minutes of "handling".
Released live? After being punctured, "arrested", held in an overcrowded jail cell, transported to a "foreign" location, man-handled, litterally, to the scales & back, then all dumped in a random location. Sure sounds healthy to me....
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:24 PM   #9
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It is the cause, There is no other. Some of these people really believe they're pro's......I should amend this to say that rock bass are probably starting to take it's toll as well. It's rarely 1 thing that causes collapse, But it can happen super fast with a couple of stresses at the same time, I fear that's what we have here. I can say unequivocally that there are less small mouth all ready.

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Old 07-05-2018, 06:23 PM   #10
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Unfortunately delayed mortality, whatever it is and we can debate that until the cows come home has taken a toll over the past few decades IMO is the key reason bass tournaments are the single most cause for the decline.
I find your statement very interesting. Are you a fisheries biologist? There are many reasons why the fishing on Winni has changed. Blaming tournaments is a knee jek reaction. There are no big tounaments up this way, so there are probably no more than 40-50 bass fisherman out on 50,000 acres plus on a Sunday. Hardly impactful for a healthy lake.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:37 PM   #11
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I find your statement very interesting. Are you a fisheries biologist? There are many reasons why the fishing on Winni has changed. Blaming tournaments is a knee jek reaction. There are no big tounaments up this way, so there are probably no more than 40-50 bass fisherman out on 50,000 acres plus on a Sunday. Hardly impactful for a healthy lake.
So about 175 fish, each week, say 25 weekends, is 4,375 fish, no not just fish but the largest & healtiest fish, all dislocated to a location a long way away. And the other say 4,375 fish that do a round trip into & out of the livewell due to culling. Thats not nothing and your out of hand dismissal of this is also "interesting". And saying the lake is 50k acres is disingeunous, at best. Its 44k acres and maybe half the lake never holds any appreciable numbers of bass. And, who said Winni is a healthy lake?
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:21 PM   #12
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Original question = Largemouth bass

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Originally Posted by mhtranger View Post
Just wondering if anyone knows where they have gone? I have been fishing in the >**Moultonborough**< area for a few years now and usually have a good day catching them. Albeit small ones but still catching them. Same locations as before with none! Yes the rock bass as discussed have been in some spots but are the really able to drive the LM away? Also catching a bunch of smallies in the area
Exotic weed control in the exact same locations that both the weeds and largemouth thrive in. Eliminate the weeds that helps make up food supply and the fish will disappear. Watch any nature show like "Blue Planet" that has a story about the death of a coral reef that somewhat represents the same thing as killing off aquatic weeds in a fresh water environment.

Good to hear your still catching smallies.

Lakes and fishing go in cycles, when I was a kid on lake winnisquam you could not buy a sport fish of any kind caught from the lake, not a single one. When the state tried to "clean" the lake they unknowingly ended up killing everything except white perch. Not on purpose but that's what happened. It's a long story that took place over many years.

Interesting true tournament fact from the 90's, that many folks don't know about. I'm not sure if Fish and Game still does it anymore or when the last time they did it at Winni was.

At some of the tournaments fish and game would keep many of the larger breeding fish and transport them to lakes that they were trying to restock. If you see the tanker at a tournament the bigger better fish are not going back into the lake Fish and Game is keeping them.

So I guess you can't just blame it on one thing.

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Like everyone I am not liking the increase of rock bass and am sure they will continue to impact the bass fishery.
Agreee, probably the single biggest problem. It devastated Lake Sunapee for a number of years until the fish adapted to them and some help from catch and kill rock bass tournament, similar to the catch and kill white perch tournaments on Winnisquam in the 70's

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Old 07-06-2018, 07:36 AM   #13
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Blaming tournaments is a knee jerk reaction.
How do you explain the outstanding bass fisheries the State of Maine has? IMO the reason is the State of Maine only allows less than a handful of bass tournaments on each water body a year which virtually eliminates the effects of delayed mortality due to bass tournaments.
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Old 07-07-2018, 08:29 AM   #14
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Every spring several smallmouth bass clear their nests for spawning right around my dock.They don't last more than a few days because of the large number of bass boats cruising the shore.I'm not a fish biologist but it doesn't take one to figure out that fish that are not allowed time to spawn are not going to increase in numbers.
I enjoy fishing and have had many wonderful meals from my catch...mostly salmon, lakers and love yellow perch when I can find some but sometimes 8 to 10 bass boats will pass our dock in a single day.
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Old 07-09-2018, 01:45 PM   #15
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Default Bass tournament results 7/8/18

From the NH BASS Nation tournament on winni 7/8/18. Total Fish Weighed: 348 Total Fish Released: 326. 22 dead fish at weighin, wonder what delayed mortality will be.
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Old 07-30-2018, 07:58 AM   #16
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Thumbs up "Bob's Burgers" Immediately Needs Your Rock Bass...

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It is the cause, There is no other. Some of these people really believe they're pro's......I should amend this to say that rock bass are probably starting to take it's toll as well. It's rarely 1 thing that causes collapse, But it can happen super fast with a couple of stresses at the same time, I fear that's what we have here. I can say unequivocally that there are less small mouth all ready.
This weekend, served-up with delicious steak-cheeseburgers, potato salad, spicy hot dogs, corn, and coleslaw were some fried Rock Bass filets. (Too few, as it turned outóas there were no "seconds" on Rock Bass. )

I've had a few servings from the Bass family of fish in my time, but "Bob's Burgers" did a super-excellent job with their Rock Bass. They disappeared like they were addictive or something!

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Old 07-30-2018, 09:18 AM   #17
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I'm confused... from July1 - Dec 31 you can kill 5 bass per day. So why are people upset when they get released and only a few die? Sounds to me that these fisherman do care. Let's not start the hysterical issue of them being released in another location creating stress on them! They're still alive ... or would you rather see them released into a beer batter and frying pan?
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Old 07-30-2018, 09:27 AM   #18
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Default Yes, you are...

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I'm confused... from July1 - Dec 31 you can kill 5 bass per day. So why are people upset when they get released and only a few die? Sounds to me that these fisherman do care. Let's not start the hysterical issue of them being released in another location creating stress on them! They're still alive ... or would you rather see them released into a beer batteryou and frying pan?
...confused. And grossly ignorant on this issue You might wanna move on before you embarrass yourself further.
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Old 07-30-2018, 01:45 PM   #19
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...confused. And grossly ignorant on this issue You might wanna move on before you embarrass yourself further.
LOL... . Your being a genius must make it difficult with so many deplorables around you
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:08 PM   #20
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Wondering I there are catfish or bullheads in the lake. Recently thee was a dead fish in the docks that had small whiskers (one on each side of the mouth) and rather flatish head.
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:21 PM   #21
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Wondering I there are catfish or bullheads in the lake. Recently thee was a dead fish in the docks that had small whiskers (one on each side of the mouth) and rather flatish head.
It was a hornpout.
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:21 PM   #22
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Wondering I there are catfish or bullheads in the lake. Recently thee was a dead fish in the docks that had small whiskers (one on each side of the mouth) and rather flatish head.
I caught a bullhead/catfish last early spring, right off my dock. It was small. I believe it was a black bullhead, but definitely had whiskers.
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Old 07-30-2018, 06:05 PM   #23
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I caught a bullhead/catfish last early spring, right off my dock. It was small. I believe it was a black bullhead, but definitely had whiskers.
Caught some nice ones off the dock in Moultonboro.
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Old 07-30-2018, 06:11 PM   #24
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Default Hornpout...

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It was a hornpout.
Is "hornpout" used anywhere outside of New England? Most anywhere, they're called catfish but when I find someone who knows the term hornpout, they've spent time fishing in New England.
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Old 07-30-2018, 07:24 PM   #25
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I ran into my first bass tournament this week. A bunch of friends of ours were all anchored in a small cove on Squam and we were surprised when 30 bass boats came cruising in. Turns out the beach we had all pulled into was the weigh-in area.

Anyway, our first reaction was very positive. The participants were very nice and great to the kids. The kids loved seeing all the bass get weighed in and then released into the beach. Although we fish, none of us are terribly serious about fishing so it was great to see folks using the lake in a different way then we normally experience.

As the day progressed more and more of the fish became floaters in the cove and that was pretty sucky. According to the kids, one of the dead fish was the 5.5lb winner.

Not saying itís good or bad. A significant number of the sunfish my kids catch donít survive their efforts to get them off the hook so Iíd be a hypocrite if I criticized others. It was interesting though.
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:06 PM   #26
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Obviously showing my ignorance since I have not done any fishing for several decades. My youth, however was different as I was know to fish day and night down at the creek with a fire to keep warm on cool nights to wee hours of morning.

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Old 07-31-2018, 07:16 AM   #27
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Default Hornpout

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Is "hornpout" used anywhere outside of New England? Most anywhere, they're called catfish but when I find someone who knows the term hornpout, they've spent time fishing in New England.
I grew up calling this type of fish a hornpout. I learned at an early age that you have to be careful handling them, less you get stung by the horns protruding from the sides near the gills. When we moved to St. Louis in the early '90s, we were introduced to catfish.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:56 PM   #28
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I ran into my first bass tournament this week. A bunch of friends of ours were all anchored in a small cove on Squam and we were surprised when 30 bass boats came cruising in. Turns out the beach we had all pulled into was the weigh-in area.

Anyway, our first reaction was very positive. The participants were very nice and great to the kids. The kids loved seeing all the bass get weighed in and then released into the beach. Although we fish, none of us are terribly serious about fishing so it was great to see folks using the lake in a different way then we normally experience.

As the day progressed more and more of the fish became floaters in the cove and that was pretty sucky. According to the kids, one of the dead fish was the 5.5lb winner.

Not saying it’s good or bad. A significant number of the sunfish my kids catch don’t survive their efforts to get them off the hook so I’d be a hypocrite if I criticized others. It was interesting though.
There was only 2 tournaments on Squam this past weekend according to NH F&G website. Sat was Squam Lake Assoc tournament but it couldn't be theirs because they only use Kayaks and canoes. The 2nd was "Happy Hookers Bass club " and they only had a permit for 10 boats. Curious which day it was. They were on sunday.

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Old 08-05-2018, 04:52 PM   #29
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It was the happy hookers. Definitely way more than 10boats. My wife says 20 to 25. And as I rule she is right and Iím wrong.
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