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World Record Striped Bass - Would you keep it or release it?

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walleyeman Club Member

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Joined: 07/30/2002
Posts: 3716
Location: Bohemia
 posted 01/31/2009 07:00 PM  

This past year I hooked and then lost my biggest striped bass to date - it was an experience I'll remember forever. As I was working that fish in I determined then and there that I was going to release that fish no matter what. My thought process on keeping and releasing fish (especially stripers)has definitely changed over the years and people like "Doc" Muller and others have been a part of shaping how I presently feel about the conservation side of fishing. I still keep fish but not nearly as much as I used to. Please don't hear me as saying that people who keep their legal limits are wrong - their not. On occassion, I still do. It drives me nuts to be around some conservationists that state their case in such a superior, arrogant tone - they only hurt their cause IMHO.

One of the takeaways from my experience with that large striper was to ask myself, what would I do if I caught a 60, or 70 lb bass? That lead me to ask, what would I do if I caught a potential world record striped bass? Dreaming, I know - but hey, you never know! I have come to the conclusion that if I were to catch a potential or definite world record striped bass I would release it. While there are different reasons that have lead me to that decision (ie. reproduction and it's impact on future striper populations, etc.) THE most significant factor was the moment when my eyes first caught a glimpse of that fish - it was majestic and awe-inspiring to witness and be within 2-3 yards of it. My appreciation and respect of a striper that has grown to be that large grew exponentially that day.

Now that's just my opinion and what I would do. What would you do if a potential or definite world record striper was on the end of your line? Would you keep it? Release it? Snap a picture and release it? I would probably do the latter if someone was with me and we had a camera on hand. I just recently talked with someone who had caught a mid-60 lb striper and he said that it took more time to revive and release the fish than it did to catch it. Successul catch and release tactics is also an important subject matter in all of this. I felt under-gunned that morning and having heavier tackle and gear definitely would have minimized the stress that fish experinced. After I lost the fish, I was glad (maybe not glad at the moment) to see it swim away in a healthy looking manner.

Enough rambling...what would you do with a world record striped bass? For many this would be a tough question. The fame and money that could come one's way after catching a world record fish is very tempting. It's probably a good question to think through ahead of time.

LIBBA #1983
MSA #1982

This post edited by walleyeman 10:25 PM 01/31/2009

Joined: 11/21/2004
Posts: 2282
Location: Moses to MTK
 posted 01/31/2009 07:12 PM  

For a moment I thought I was reading Herman Melville's Moby Dick.
In answer to your question, I would CPR. Catch, Picture and release. I couldn't imagine what I would feel like if I kept the fish and then found out it was 2 pounds UNDER the record.
Besides, for eating purposes they are not that great at that age and size.

Bob Eisey,  LIBBA 1002,  MSA 295

Joined: 05/15/2007
Posts: 166
Location: ny bight area
 posted 01/31/2009 07:29 PM  

tough call

I have caught about 10 keepers this year 8 were released, 2 went home for the table. So i guess for the most part Im a catch and reloease guy... If i caught a potential world record? I would try to the best of my ability..(my carry scale only goes up to 50) to measure it and try to figure out if it was big enough. If I felt it was a record breaker..I would keep it to make sure i got the proof. Then again if I found out it was shy 2lbs, I would feel pretty rotten about havng not released it...tough call

Joined: 09/21/2008
Posts: 2575
Location: North Fork
 posted 01/31/2009 09:45 PM  

hmm, thats a good question. If i had hooked a striper and new that it was a world record, i would probably, want to take a picture of it, then release it.Smile,I woululd only want to keep a fish that big, if i was sure, it was way over the current world record, like by 10+ pounds.Shades

Wishing I was Fishing
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Joined: 04/23/2002
Posts: 16210
Location: Moriches
 posted 01/31/2009 10:36 PM  

Tough Call

Hmmmmmm, World Record Size Fish?! If it was That big(79 LBS+), she lived a good long time and I bet didn't have long to go. So, I would have to say I'd keep her.
June 24 2008 Orient we were targeting TROPHY size Bass. Before we even caught one. Capt Bob Rochetta said it's your choice to either keep your cow or let it go. So when I saw the size of this Bass come up to the surface, I knew it was the biggest bass I'd ever caught and now I had to make a choice and do it quick. I held the bass and marveled at the girth. Bob said Pablo, what are you gonna do with it? I looked at her and said put her back. I can't believe I said that? But after I did I got this over whelming feeling to do it. I snaped 3 quick pic's just in case measured her real fast a fat 48.5" and opened the side door.

Bob has a special side door build in his boat for wheel chair access. I held the fish with my thumbs and we began to move the boat. At 1st it didn't seem like it was gonna work. She wasn't responding. I started to get worried.

Oh man come on you can do it. I started to wiggle her a bit and I was feeling the pressure like no, no, no, come on, come on ,come on go!!!

Bob said I don't think so Pablo, Just then her eyes locked on to me. No wait it's working, a little more, go faster! We sped up she chomped down on my thumb and her dorsal fin stuck straight up. A big smile came over my face, I knew she was gonna make it and then she clamped down really hard and shock off my thumb and swam down into the abyiss.

It was more exciting to see her swim away than it was to catch her. I can't explain the feeling execpt to say when I look at the pictures today I still feel good inside that she lived. Guess-ta-maytion from size chart 45 to 50 Lbs.


Joined: 11/18/2001
Posts: 1957
Location: Shirley, NY
 posted 01/31/2009 11:26 PM  


Pablo, that is AWESOME!!! Sweet pics to boot!!!!

When I get a "79" I can only hope for the same situation of having a witness with camera since there is no doubt in my mind she would be going back.

I have always run this scenario through my mind and it always ends the same way.

The first bass I ever caught over 30lbs was a 34 which I kept. I got caught up in the excitement and potential braggin' rights and could not wait to show folks what a "master" I was. I was young and naive. Bottom line was folks I know who don't fish could NOT have cared less, the OOOHs and AHHHs were severely lacking, and to top if off, the big fishes filet's were very grainy and texured. I hated the way it tasted!!! FrownFrown I much rather have smaller fish for the table.

Since that first 30, I have had not had the fortune to break 50 or 40 for that matter but have been lucky enough to have turned loose enough fish over 30 to know that it will be EASY to let even larger ones go. It is a tough decision the first time you are confronted with it but it DOES get easier. up The feeling of watching her swim away sticks with me SOOOOO much longer, and the OOOOOHs and AHHHHHs definately last longer, who cares if they are mine !!!!! ShadesShadesShadesShadesShades


Joined: 03/17/2003
Posts: 27998
Location: levittown, N.Y.
 posted 02/01/2009 12:41 AM  

I have not caught a bass over 30 lbs. yet.Roll But if I were to land a record bass, I would definetly release it after a couple snapshots and quick measurements.up
The only way it would come home is if I couldn't revive it.down To the best of my knowledge all my released bass survived, or at least swam away looking healthy and strong.Shades
and teen sized bass do taste better than the larger ones.upup

Keeping it for the record books really is not a factor, my mmemory and a picture are all the coo-doohs I needSmile

I drive a jeep, but CHEVY is in my blood. libba # 1742, Striped Bass Coop.
Take more garbage than you brought with you-every time!

Joined: 02/17/2001
Posts: 1764
Location: In God's country, protected by the Dongan Patent
 posted 02/01/2009 01:29 PM  

boat caught= release
surf caught= coming home


Joined: 07/22/2003
Posts: 501
 posted 02/01/2009 01:39 PM  

i know im gonna catch flak for this , but u would have to be INSANE to release a potential world record bass , do u know how much money u would be losing by doing so , the next world record is worth a ton of money im with pablo on this one , that fish lived its life its not reproducing anymore i think people are alot of talk hear until they are staring at an 80lb bass i gurantee nobodys letting it go u would probably clear 250k in endorsment deals for that i get an 80 lb right to the weigh station it goes
PaddleOn Club Member

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Joined: 09/28/2002
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Location: Merrick
 posted 02/01/2009 01:47 PM  

Released without a second thought on my part.
I have my wealth ( it aint $$ )...and I certainly don't need fame.

If you wanna to get to Heaven
You've got to raise a little hell

Joined: 10/24/2002
Posts: 2073
Location: Deer Park
 posted 02/01/2009 03:33 PM  

Tom101284 wrote:

i know im gonna catch flak for this , but u would have to be INSANE to release a potential world record bass , do u know how much money u would be losing by doing so , the next world record is worth a ton of money im with pablo on this one , that fish lived its life its not reproducing anymore i think people are alot of talk hear until they are staring at an 80lb bass i gurantee nobodys letting it go u would probably clear 250k in endorsment deals for that i get an 80 lb right to the weigh station it goes

I hear ya.I could only dream about a fish like that but IF I knew for sure it was a record breaker you bet I'm gona keep her.up

I don't look busy because I did it right the first time.

Joined: 12/04/2005
Posts: 1328
 posted 02/01/2009 03:45 PM  

I've never broken 40 but I imagine the fish would not make it under most circumstances.

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 posted 02/01/2009 04:12 PM  

I release almost all the bass I catch, worlds record?? It's goin home for sure.

Joined: 11/21/2004
Posts: 2282
Location: Moses to MTK
 posted 02/01/2009 04:36 PM  

My summation of the cows caught in this post shows 3 great joyous experiences.

1. The "satisfaction" of a "catch" result from the hunt.

2. The "thrill" of the fight of man vs monster.

3. The "great pleasure" of releasing her, as you feel you have gotten to know her after the long, challenging fight that felt like it created a bond.

The memories in my mind, that is my bragging rights.

Bob Eisey,  LIBBA 1002,  MSA 295

Joined: 09/29/2007
Posts: 842
Location: I'm over here now!
 posted 02/01/2009 04:40 PM  

I would keep it. I would eat it.

"You can observe a lot just by watching."  Yogi Berra
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