Poppers and Beds

Mike22

Active Member
Two quick questions:

Clinch knot or loop knot to your popper?

Is targeting bass on beds any different than targeting trout on redds? Curious about the ethics around this, I've heard arguments on both sides.
 

troutpocket

Active Member
I’d say it’s all about context and location. Since WA is well outside the natural range of bass and WDFW has removed take limits in areas that overlap with wild salmonids, I wouldn’t feel any guilt about targeting bass on their beds.

Is anybody aware of bass populations that have crashed because of fishing during the spawn? Seems like places like Potholes continue to grow lots of bass in the face of intense fishing pressure.
 

MGTom

Active Member
WFF Supporter
I believe it is both location based and personal ethics based. I fish the Columbia, Snake and river tribs for smallmouth bass. Personally I target them anytime and anywhere, but I don't keep 'em as I prefer to eat stocker trout, salmon or steelhead.
That being said, at WWCC we have a water center co-op area with the tribes, wdfw and ecology folks. I've also had several coe GIS students in my classes. To a person they encourage me to keep every bass I can from the rivers that feed the Columbia. They say this would help smolt migration and we would end up with more nice ones instead of a plethora of medium sized fish. When I say I won't eat them they quietly said to bury them in the garden or compost pile like any other fish carcus. Some days we easily get 50+ fish, they say no problem. Haven't been able to bring myself to do it yet, we grew up with the rule you kill it you eat it.
Don't know if that helps your situation.
 

Josh

dead in the water
WFF Moderator
Is targeting bass on beds any different than targeting trout on redds? Curious about the ethics around this, I've heard arguments on both sides.
I've actually been thinking about this a lot since I'm likely to try and find some smallies once things open up next week.

I admit that I'm more experienced in the trout/salmon/steel/etc world where you never target spawning pairs. But as I understand it, doing it with bass isn't viewed the same way and isn't particularly harmful to the fish or the redd? At least that's the vibe I've gotten from more experienced bass fishermen who's ethics I respect in other fishing situations.

But it also sounds like something that each person has to decide about for themselves. A little like taking a fish out of the water for a glory shot? Not the best for the fish, but is it worth it overall for you? I suspect I'm going to follow the lead of the other bass fishers in my life and not get too spun up over it. But like I say, it is something that I've been thinking about and so I'm going to leave my mind open to being changed on the subject.
 

dflett68

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Steelhead are pretty tough too as well as King salmon.....
tough on the end of your line is not the same as tough in the face of change. salmonids are frail. they evolved a way of reproducing and thriving that's just too specific and narrow for them to survive in a world like the one we have now. they need too much oxygen, too pristine conditions, and they need themselves and their environment to be left alone. meanwhile i have a green sunfish in the tank next to me in the garage that i caught on the side of the road 3 springs ago from a ditch that just about dries up every summer. it no doubt got there via a flood from an adjacent farm pond, with all of the toxic shit the floods pick up and carry with them. i dropped him in a tank of untreated chlorinated/floridated/etc. tapwater and he thrives. when i change the water over the temp swing for him is huge and there's a fresh influx of chlorine, etc, he's nonplussed. all of that would kill a trout of the same size. they are evolutionary snowflakes - beautiful, glorious, and frail. lmb, i think, are still the most popular gamefish in america yet with all of that pressure they flourish pretty much everywhere.
 

bgfly

New Member
I have targeted bass on beds before, and honestly, in my opinion, even if it's not that harmful to the fishery, it's just not as fun and not worth it. They aren't eating and will ignore a lot if they don't think it's a threat. It can be a lot of just sitting there trying to piss off a fish enough to bite. The fish I did catch went right back to the bed and seemed to stay, for what it's worth.

I wouldn't and don't target them on the beds, but if you happen to catch a fish from a bed, I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it.
 

JamesRPL+

Active Member
tough on the end of your line is not the same as tough in the face of change. salmonids are frail. they evolved a way of reproducing and thriving that's just too specific and narrow for them to survive in a world like the one we have now. they need too much oxygen, too pristine conditions, and they need themselves and their environment to be left alone. meanwhile i have a green sunfish in the tank next to me in the garage that i caught on the side of the road 3 springs ago from a ditch that just about dries up every summer. it no doubt got there via a flood from an adjacent farm pond, with all of the toxic shit the floods pick up and carry with them. i dropped him in a tank of untreated chlorinated/floridated/etc. tapwater and he thrives. when i change the water over the temp swing for him is huge and there's a fresh influx of chlorine, etc, he's nonplussed. all of that would kill a trout of the same size. they are evolutionary snowflakes - beautiful, glorious, and frail. lmb, i think, are still the most popular gamefish in america yet with all of that pressure they flourish pretty much everywhere.
My statement was mean as sarcasm, sorry
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
WFF Supporter
Loop.

Once the bait crowd gets tired of catching hatchery fish at the put n take lakes I’ll be all over the wild bass that are in them. I don’t worry to much if they are on their spawning beds. The spawn will likely be over by the time the crowds thin out enough for me anyway.
 

kamishak steve

Active Member
Loop 90% of the time.

Bed fishing can be really cool. It's a completely different technique than trying to get them to eat, and while the novelty is worth it, it's probably not something i would care to do a ton of.
If i were fishing in the bass's native range, in a place where the population in unstable, i would certainly not fish beds. I can't think of a single lake in washington where bass exist where they are in jeopardy of overfishing or population decline. Their populations wax and wane in certain lakes, but never at risk for collapse like salmon and steelhead populations are in nearly every part of their range.
You could try bed fishing and see what you think. It has it's own unique challenges but it's certainly not my favorite way to fish bass, and feels a bit slimy, honestly.
 

Big K1

Large Member
I have targeted bass on beds before, and honestly, in my opinion, even if it's not that harmful to the fishery, it's just not as fun and not worth it. They aren't eating and will ignore a lot if they don't think it's a threat. It can be a lot of just sitting there trying to piss off a fish enough to bite. The fish I did catch went right back to the bed and seemed to stay, for what it's worth.

I wouldn't and don't target them on the beds, but if you happen to catch a fish from a bed, I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it.
Largemouth can be a pain and take a lot of pestering when on beds, but smallies are vicious!
I like a loop knot.
 

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