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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
Good idea Matt. I think the next time I fish Bastrop I'll keep the unders in the live well to give to the people fishing by the boat ramp. I think we have to thin out the small herd of bass ourselves for the betterment of the lake.
Now, if only I could catch more than 4 fish on my trips.
 

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The skinny fish I caught had a piece of a plastic lure sticking out of its gullet. Did you notice any lures in your skinny fish? Is it possible that there isn't enough bait/food for the fish to eat in the lake?
i dont remember which fish it was but i did catch one that had a pumpkin seed lizard on a shaky head in its mouth. i saw plenty of bait fish so i dont think thats it, but i've been wrong before....twice actually. just ask both ex-wives! hahahahahahah!
 

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Plenty of bait and forage in the lake. There's a few reasons for most of the longer fish in Bastrop being skinny. 1) As you observed, catching a fish with a lure in its gullet is fairly common out there. I'm typically removing an old lure (that's not mine) from a fish at least once every time I go out there. This happens either from anglers' lines breaking, anglers cutting the line on a gut-hooked fish, or from swallowing discarded torn-up soft plastics. With the exception of the occasional line break, most of those scenarios can be avoided with some diligence on our part. Don't toss your used plastics over the side of the boat and learn how to safely remove the hook from a gut-hooked fish (several good YouTube tutorials on it). A lure inside a fish is going to cause internal blockage preventing them from properly digesting food. 2) This is purely my theory... Bigger bass (5, 6, 7+ pounders) typically become ambush hunters more than nomadic hunters. They get lazy and like to lie in wait for their prey. However, Bastrop has such a huge population of fish in the 2-4 pound range, that before any sizeable forage comes near them as they lie in wait, the 2-4 pounders are going to get to it before they do. Those big fish in Bastrop I believe are typically forced to compete with the smaller 2-4 pounders for their food. As such, they have to expend more energy to catch their food and burn more calories... especially the fish living in the heavy current near the discharge. It keeps them on the slim side. Just my thoughts...

very good point in the first and excellent hypothesis in the second. my skinny was in the south shore camping slew, however.
 

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Would it be a good idea for TPWD to change the slot size range on Bastrop to something like 16 to 21, so the smaller fish can get thinned out a little. /QUOTE]

back in about 2003/2004 or so they did a poll of anglers over the course of about a month (they polled me several times). we petitioned for a straight 18" limit and thought we had them convinced to change it. alas, they did not. i know i've seen plenty of illegal fish taken from the lake for dinners which annoys me but not to the point of getting into a fist fight over it. not that an 18" limit would stop that, mind you. by the way, i have not seen a ranger on the lake yet this year. i find that odd since a couple years ago you couldn't get past the no wake zone without getting checked.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Ander, Thanks for the video link. I did intend on inserting the pliers from behind the gills as I've seen in a previous diagram. The video does a whole lot better job of showing this process.
I'd like to see a video of when the hook is barely visible. In my case, I guess I should have tried to pull the end of the fluke's tail to see if it was only the lure and no hook included. I thought the hook was behind it's gullet and in the stomach, which would make for a difficult removal.

Do you know if there is a law against giving fish away at the ramp? I'm not aware of way, but just curious.
 

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I'd like to see a video of when the hook is barely visible. In my case, I guess I should have tried to pull the end of the fluke's tail to see if it was only the lure and no hook included. I thought the hook was behind it's gullet and in the stomach, which would make for a difficult removal.

Do you know if there is a law against giving fish away at the ramp? I'm not aware of way, but just curious.

Yes, just grab a pair of pliers and pull on the tail of the bait until you see the hook. The hook almost always shows itself a lot easier than you think it would. The way I see it, you are better of "risking" the hook removal than leaving that hook/lure in that fish. If you leave it in the fish, you can pretty much guarantee that he's a goner anyway. If you butcher the hook removal job and kill the fish, that fish was dead anyway as far as I'm concerned. Better to have a hook-free dead fish floating around for bird/turtle food than to have the fish die with the hook still in it and pass that hook on to whatever eats him. Just my $.02

Also, I don't know of a law regarding giving your legally kept fish to someone else at the ramp. However, don't expect to keep 20 unders in your livewell in order to come back to the ramp and start handing out fish, so that everyone has got their 5 fish limits... or keeping 3 overs in your livewell, for that matter, and expect to come back to the ramp in order to give away two of them.
 

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Would it be a good idea for TPWD to change the slot size range on Bastrop to something like 16 to 21, so the smaller fish can get thinned out a little. /QUOTE]

back in about 2003/2004 or so they did a poll of anglers over the course of about a month (they polled me several times). we petitioned for a straight 18" limit and thought we had them convinced to change it. alas, they did not. i know i've seen plenty of illegal fish taken from the lake for dinners which annoys me but not to the point of getting into a fist fight over it. not that an 18" limit would stop that, mind you. by the way, i have not seen a ranger on the lake yet this year. i find that odd since a couple years ago you couldn't get past the no wake zone without getting checked.
I've seen rangers out there the last two times I've been out - granted that was on a Saturday.
 

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Ok, here we go. There have been anglers on here in the past that I have told this more times than I can remember, but very good information. They catch skinny fish out of the tanks, ponds, or what ever you prefer to call them during this time of the year. They also tell people that there is no plastic for these fish to eat and get stuck in their gullet. The hotter water causes these fish to burn up more calories, which lead to slimmer fish. And they prefer to stay down in deeper water where it’s cooler in the thermo clines and it has a higher concentration of oxygen. But they really don’t want to move around much. Yes, I agree with the fish that have plastic down in them, but that isn’t the case on all of them. Just keep the fish that you can and fillet them out for the grease.
I remember back in the day when I filled out a survey while renewing my fishing licenses. It asked if you would like to see more slot lakes with catch and release so anglers could catch more quality fish. I answered this with a yes. I bet there are a few more guys on here who took that same survey? I’m glad to see that took anglers views and acted on it. I love these slot lakes.
 

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Ok, here we go. There have been anglers on here in the past that I have told this more times than I can remember, but very good information. They catch skinny fish out of the tanks, ponds, or what ever you prefer to call them during this time of the year. They also tell people that there is no plastic for these fish to eat and get stuck in their gullet. The hotter water causes these fish to burn up more calories, which lead to slimmer fish. And they prefer to stay down in deeper water where it’s cooler in the thermo clines and it has a higher concentration of oxygen. But they really don’t want to move around much. Yes, I agree with the fish that have plastic down in them, but that isn’t the case on all of them. Just keep the fish that you can and fillet them out for the grease.
I remember back in the day when I filled out a survey while renewing my fishing licenses. It asked if you would like to see more slot lakes with catch and release so anglers could catch more quality fish. I answered this with a yes. I bet there are a few more guys on here who took that same survey? I’m glad to see that took anglers views and acted on it. I love these slot lakes.
I think my new PB last night supports this. Not from Bastrop, so I hope folks will forgive me.

This was my previous PB at 7.625# (measured between two 0.25# marks on the Boga). Caught November 28, 2014. Note the 23" length.



I actually caught another 7.625# that day, but didn't get a ruler pic. But it was also a little football.

Fast forward to July 22, 2015. This is the 7.75# from the same spot, measuring a whopping 25.75".



I suspect if I'm lucky enough to catch that same fish in November, it will be a DD.
 

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Also, I don't know of a law regarding giving your legally kept fish to someone else at the ramp. However, don't expect to keep 20 unders in your livewell in order to come back to the ramp and start handing out fish, so that everyone has got their 5 fish limits... or keeping 3 overs in your livewell, for that matter, and expect to come back to the ramp in order to give away two of them.
There is a law on how to give someone your fish. It's a form you are supposed to fill out. It requires their fishing license number, your fishing license number, what body of water your fish were caught on and how many you gave them. Silly I know, but it’s there. It is not league to give fish away. But people do it all day long. I know it doesn’t sound right, but I was told this some years a go, so I looked it up and it is there.
 

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Caught this one for my sister who requested a smoked fish for her birthday, always catch and release for me but had to bring one home. On the bank Caryn Bday Catch.JPG
 

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There is a law on how to give someone your fish. It's a form you are supposed to fill out. It requires their fishing license number, your fishing license number, what body of water your fish were caught on and how many you gave them. Silly I know, but it’s there. It is not league to give fish away. But people do it all day long. I know it doesn’t sound right, but I was told this some years a go, so I looked it up and it is there.
You know, as ridiculous as this sounds, I think this is correct information. This is ringing a bell somewhere back in the cobwebs of my mind... I'm pretty sure I've actually heard about this before.
 

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It appears to be legal to give fish away, with stipulations. For example, you cannot keep your daily bag limit and give it away at the dock, then go back out that day and keep more fish for yourself.

Transfer & Importation of Wildlife

Transfer of Wildlife

A person may give, leave, receive, or possess any species of legally taken wildlife resource, or part of the resource, that is required to have a tag or permit attached or that is protected by a bag or possession limit if the wildlife resource is accompanied by a Wildlife Resource Document (WRD) from the person who killed or caught the wildlife resource.

A person may use the online WRD form or a hand written WRD document that includes the same required information.

Transfer of Other Wildlife, Except Aquatic
For all other wildlife resources except aquatic resources (for aquatic resources, see Possession Limit), a properly executed WRD shall accompany the wildlife resource until it reaches the possessor's permanent residence or a cold storage/processing facility, except:

NO WRD is required if a person receiving the wildlife resource does not exceed the possession limit (exception: see Migratory Game Birds - Documentation).

Transfer & Importation of Wildlife ? Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
 

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Thanks for posting this information. I wasn't gonna look it up again. But I had read this many many years a go due to the fact I had been called out on this subject once when I put a post on a forum about giving away some fish to a guy.
 
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