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Where do they go


MJR

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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.

Jo


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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
locate.

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.

Jo


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

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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