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Where do they go


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So lets say you are fishing a tournament on Tonka and you catch a bass from West Arm bay on the west end and the weigh in is at Maynards on Excelsior bay on the east end where the fish is released. Does that bass swim back to West Arm bay or does it find a new home?

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I read a article some time ago written by Ralph Manns. I e-mailed Ralph and asked if he could post his information here.

From what I remember, this article contains information about LM and SM.


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The studies show that the majority of the bass will return to where they were caught within a week.

If this was not the case some of the areas that never have weigh ins would suck.

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This is long but worth the read. Below is what Ralph Manns sent me when I requested the released bass information.

The following was posted on the discussion pages, is therefore not protected by copyrite, and can be posted/quoted by you.

Ralph Manns

There have been additional studies since I wrote Article 5 in the BFHP. (sorry guys, no link, you know the rules)

Articles section (please read it), but little has changed. Almost all
healthy bass moved away from a familiar area wander in search of their
home areas.

This can take their entire life if they don’t eventually blunder to an
place where some clue (visual, smell, current, whatever) shows them which way
to go. They are not psychic!

About 50% make it home in most studies. These returns are within days
for nearby captures but may take years over long distances. Given two
direction as options, this suggest about half make the right choice in which way
to start going. Bass have migrated over 20 miles in tagging studies, but
this doesn’t mean they knew where they were going. Unless a water is forked
several times and the distances so great that the bass don’t live long
enough or the migrant finds a river that goes the wrong way, just
following a shoreline will eventually get 50% back home.
From observation of caught and released fish, they do one of two things
immediately after release. If able physically, the move away several
hundred yard, then stop to rest and recover for as long as 2-3 days
before starting to wander (or if they know the way home because home is fairly
close and they’ve been here before, they go home as rapidly as possible.

If badly stressed, bass go to the nearest cover or the open bottom
immediately after release. They usually just sit there until strength
either returns or they die. And many die if modern livewell treatments
and procedures aren’t used. Please read my article 18.

Studies show displaced bass are more vulnerable to anglers than bass in
their home areas. Territorial fish have the upper hand, and literally
can chase away most bass, even much larger ones, from feeding areas that
are worth defending. At the moment I feed a 21.6 inch fish that easily and
repetitively chased away a 19-inch male even though the male is
familiar with the feeding station. Likely, being forced away from better
feeding areas and the instinct to move to find home, combine to create this
increased vulnerability to anglers.

As a result of tournament releases, there is an increase in the number
of vulnerable and catchable bass in and near release areas. Better-run
events use a release boat and move caught fish away for release. But, this is
really only a very minor improvement, as it doesn’t take fish back to
where they were captured and merely makes them harder for other anglers to

Nothing beats the survival of bass that are immediately released at the
point of capture.

If you wish to exploit the advantage created by recent releases, try
both the immediate release area (bass recovering from stress that haven’t
yet moved away will hit as soon as they are able to move freely) and any
clusters of cover and points along nearby shorelines where bass
migrating away may pause and rest are likely targets. However, bass still
recovering from capture stress created by the previous event(s) are even more
likely to suffer post-release mortality if taken through the livewell and handling
of yet another contest.


[This message has been edited by JoJo (edited 05-29-2003).]

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • could that happen???? yea probably, but unlikely.   i've been chopping or helped or watched cutting spearchucking holes since i've been about 8-10 years old, i'm 65 now, and never remotely seen it happen. ''closest i came was cut a spearhouse hole, plopped the house over it and ended up with a deadhead right smack in the middle of it. the top of the log about 4 ft below the ice!!!!!! 
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    • the wife and I took a little drive to Arkansas for one more ride. 
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    • Another reply from the DNR Capt.  Sounds like their a bit afraid to dig in and get what the need to prosecute.   Mr. Beeeped-out  😉 I do want to thank you for your time in researching and sending us the information.  The second video in particular involves the CBoyz near Cormorant Village in Becker County.  If you watch many of their videos they are full of violations.  We have met with the County Attorney’s Office and we have been told that unless we can provide a date/time of the actual event they will decline to prosecute.  We have identified many of the players in these videos but only have a date/time of the video release and not the actual date and time.  We have also made contact with them and taken enforcement action in many of their videos.  They are not afraid to film our officers in action.  In addition the first video was a year or two old if I recall.  I will not disagree that when looking at the video there is areas of concern but unless we can observe the damage and be able to testify in court that the wetland was damaged we would likely not be successful in prosecution.  We will continue to monitor their activity and if observed causing damage we will be taking enforcement action.  We appreciate and share your concerns.  If you have any additional information please forward to us.  Capt. Seefeldt   These Jackwads!    
    • Can't stand the guy and don't watch his craap!  I was watching videos on the Sherp vehicle which is pretty cool and these two popped up.  When I saw them mowing over Wild rice beds it [PoorWordUsage]ed me off and got me to send it in to the DNR.  
    • ahh good old whistlindiesel, your just part of the click bait generating even more revenue for him now   love him or hate him he sure knows how to generate some buzz   Also he was already on the Mn DNR $hitlist for this and ticketed see below:      
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