Here we are, smack dab in the heart of the spring bass fishing season and many are getting ready to face a sometimes highly debated question:
Does bed fishing for bass impact populations and survival?
Ask 100 bass anglers this question and you’ll likely get an equal number of respondents with either a Yes or No viewpoint.
Though many anglers are eager to express their opinion, truth be known, most have no scientific basis to support their position.
Based on a recent study by fisheries researchers at the FWRI, the answer may very well be … no it does not … well at least in Florida anyway. During their study the FWRI research group found no evidence that catching bass during the spawn depleted bass populations. Another group from the University of Florida summarized several recent studies that indicate more mixed results via their report; Bed Fishing for Florida Bass.
Admitting there may be cases in more vulnerable waters where different results may be experienced, the Florida group is teaming with another research group at the Illinois Natural History Survey to expand the study. During the next phase of the study, bass will be caught from two lakes in Florida and four Canadian Shield lakes to assess possible impacts.
If the results are the same on waters in both areas (one where high growth rates exist (Florida) and the other far more sensitive (shorter growing seasons, etc.) this may cause many regulatory officials to rethink their positions on fishing during the spawn …
We may finally have scientific data to answer the question.
Does bed fishing impact bass population?