Invasive species

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RiverBottomOutdoors
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Post by RiverBottomOutdoors »

New River Rat wrote:
RiverBottomOutdoors wrote:The blue catfish is our invasive species here Virginia. I hate them with a passion. Freshwater rats is what they are.
The biologists in Blacksburg (Joe Williams-muskie and John Copeland-smallmouth) both say the flatheads are the real reason the smallie population is declining. I suppose flatties are a convenient scapegoat.
It is my suspicion that the blue cat is what is keeping the flathead population in check here, although we have a substantial population of flatheads. We have a very unique case study here on the Dan river. From the last dam down to Kerr Lake smallies are a rarity and never mature. From that same dam up, very good smallie fishing. Literally, hop over the dam and start catching them. The dam acts as a barrier for catfish (blues and flats) and stops them making the run up from the lake in the Spring.

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onthewater102
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Post by onthewater102 »

Cats are better suited to the warm water riverine conditions during the heat of summer. Smallies, as much as I love them, are just as invasive as the cats in those waters.

https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factshe ... ciesID=396

I bet the blues are able to target the largest smallmouth that stay to the deeper/slow moving sections moreso than the juveniles. Flats and smallies coexist in enough locations I think you're probably right that the blues are the tipping point. Other than the mid section of the Mississippi/main tributaries I can't find anywhere else their range really overlaps significantly. Those Mississippi drainage basins are all afflicted with asian carp, probably relieving any resident smallies of some predation pressure while their young provide a huge food supply for smallmouth.

Left to nature everything eventually will get overrun by catfish and/or bull sharks...have you ever seen one of those destination fishing shows? They encounter bull sharks in just about every estuary in the world and some form of resident apex predator catfish in nearly every river system around the world unless they've been fished out.
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New River Rat
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Post by New River Rat »

LDUBS wrote:In the old days, 50 or more years ago, folks tossed trash fish up on the bank. Not legal to do these days. Might not have been legal back then either, but that was the practice of the times.
Ldubs, legal or not, I know for a fact it is a practice that continues to this day. Don't ask how I know..... :- however, it is akin to moving a beach one grain of sand at a time.
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Mack in N.C.
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Post by Mack in N.C. »

New River Rat wrote:
KMixson wrote:How do you know for sure you didn't hook a smallie and this fish ate your smallie?
According to my friend that is the muskie biologist at the V.D.G.I.F. for our region, that doesn't happen....yeah, piss on my leg and tell me it's raining, Joe Williams. Samples have been collected with their stomachs pumped, and according to his P.R. spiel, only something like 3 smallies in 200 muskies were found. B.S.!!!!!


The V.D.G.I.F. introduced these slime rockets around '70 or '72, and below Claytor Lake, they are naturalized. Supposedly, the stocking program there hasn't been used in 6 or 7 years. Yeah, now we are over loaded with stunted muskies and trophy (20"+) smallmouth are rather scarce.
3 out of 200 maybe a good number maybe not . depends alot on the river forage. I personally have had a Musky take a 10 inch smallie and lure from me as I was reaching to lip smallie. it does happen.

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New River Rat
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Post by New River Rat »

Mack in N.C. wrote: I personally have had a Musky take a 10 inch smallie and lure from me as I was reaching to lip smallie. it does happen.



Yes it does. This cast started with a 10" smallie on the line. BTW, 4# test-47"


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LDUBS
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Post by LDUBS »

New River Rat wrote:
Mack in N.C. wrote: I personally have had a Musky take a 10 inch smallie and lure from me as I was reaching to lip smallie. it does happen.



Yes it does. This cast started with a 10" smallie on the line. BTW, 4# test-47"


Image
So, at this point are you guys happy that fish & game introduced the Musky or would you prefer they were gone? I sure wouldn't want them competing in my lakes.
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New River Rat
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Post by New River Rat »

LDUBS wrote:So, at this point are you guys happy that fish & game introduced the Musky or would you prefer they were gone? I sure wouldn't want them competing in my lakes.
Personally, I'm pissed. I figure honestly, since 2000 or so I have managed about 100 of these stinking beasts.
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onthewater102
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Post by onthewater102 »

At the expense of how many smallie targeting $6+ jerkbaits/chatterbaits/spinnerbaits over that time frame?

Slimey bastards
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handyandy
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Post by handyandy »

New River Rat wrote:
handyandy wrote:I'd be fishing for muskie if they were so prolific you can't catch a smallie over them. I love some smallies, but also really love some pike/muskie. If you hate them then keep your limit of them to eat, they're decent table fair.
Andy, to me that is akin to going to a restaurant, ordering a rare porterhouse and being served fried Spam. Ain't what I'm after.
haha man I like spam nothing like some slices of spam fried up in the old cast iron pan over the old white gas coleman on an english muffin with a fried egg on a cold morning duck hunting. Even so you outta try a musky or pike sometime pretty darn good eating, I love catching them wish I actually lived closer to pike waters. Our gen sets at work are primarily tested in Minnesota, and occasionally we have a guy from up there. He calls pike the minnesota salmon, he has brought some smoked and canned pike in before never would have thought to do it up like that. But was darn good on some crackers.

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onthewater102
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Post by onthewater102 »

Harvesting them would be an option if the water weren't contaminated by GE dating back to the 70's. Thank you corporate America.
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LDUBS
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Post by LDUBS »

handyandy wrote:
haha man I like spam nothing like some slices of spam fried up in the old cast iron pan over the old white gas coleman on an english muffin with a fried egg on a cold morning duck hunting.
Awww, the good things in life. This past Saturday I had fried eggs, spam, & hot cakes for breakfast. Nothing better.

SPecial All purpose Meat = SPAM
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handyandy
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Post by handyandy »

meh I'd still eat them maybe not all the time, but I'd eat them. I'd no complaints losing a 10" dink to catch a 47" musky. Apparently I'm the only one that doesn't have a shear hatred for the pike/musky.

Catfish do indeed bass, I know because I have used live bass for flattie bait. In a river I primarily smallmouth fish spotted bass(kentucky bass) also inhabit it. Way I see it the spots are the biggest competition of the smallies in terms of forage, so if I keep a bass it tends to be them. Anyways in this particular river bass between 12-15" can't be kept, only two over 15" can be kept a limit of bass is four fish. Most the spots rarely get over 13" in the river. Some of the small spots I have kept may have made they're way on to the end of line for flat heads, and I have gotten some nice catfish on little bass. However I question how bass catfish are actually eating other than weak ones considering in most watersheds that catfish are present there are plenty of small panfish, shad, baby carp, minnow species for them to eat.

The invasive species I hate are the f'ing asian carp those stupids things are the worst, far worse than any pike, musky, or catfish. The things are worthless and over take a water way really fast. Yes they provide a food source for some catfish, but not much of one. Only the largest of catfish are capable of eating ones of any size. When they are little baby fish that could be a good food source for bass and cats, but they grow so fast it doesn't take long before hardly anything can eat them. I have had times I've gotten so many baby ones in a cast net I've use them for bait. They have caught fish for me, but if the bastards jump in my boat they quickly get their head bashed or stomped in. They're ok eat honestly don't taste bad at all, just a pain to clean cause they have a lot of bones. Most the ones I kill end up in my compost pile, which most the time before they even compost racoons or buzzards get to them.

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richg99
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Post by richg99 »

Any new fish, IMHO, that eats plankton most of the time, should be eliminated if possible. They eat the food of our bait fish and cause no end of trouble.

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New River Rat
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Post by New River Rat »

onthewater102 wrote:At the expense of how many smallie targeting $6+ jerkbaits/chatterbaits/spinnerbaits over that time frame?

Slimey bastards
OTW, I was pretty lucky not to lose too many pricey lures to them. Floating a point A to point B trip one day, I did lose three Lucky Craft Pointers. I told my grown son about this. He said if I can't afford to loose them, I have no business throwing them. I let him know pretty quick losing them costs nothing, it's replacing them that kills me.

I suppose a good number of my catches were due to a smallmouth spinner bait I used to build. I had a design that would drop on the downstream side of ledges without being swept away by the current. The slime rockets would blast them. I built them on a .045 chassis and was forced to use a steel leader.
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onthewater102
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Post by onthewater102 »

I like building smallie spinnerbaits on .030" wire but they'll never support more than one or two slime monsters assuming they didn't get bit off immediately. I got into building chatterbaits thanks in part to the toothy devils as well. Speaking of which - do you powder paint the spinnerbaits with an airbrush? If you do, what airbrush do you use because I'm having a hell of a time trying to add detail to baits with thermo-set paints.


My jerkbaits are somewhat safer because for most of the coldwater season the river isn't fishable due to a combination of the season not opening until mid-April here and, once it does, the river is usually dangerously high for another month or more with the snow-melt running off. By the time I get out there I'm usually jerking a zoom superfluke rather than a hardbait, so the slimers don't make off with much money if/when they bite, but they seem to have a taste for more expensive baits for whatever reason. They especially like the new out of the package taste - something about the combination of cardboard, glue and plastic really turns them on...
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