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size limit in the basin

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I agree that the 14' size limit is not working. Why is it that those huge fish are being caught south of Hwy 90 where there are no size limit? I agree the deal is that there are too many small fish that are competeing for the bait and the fish aren't growing. Another thing is that it is not going to take but one big storm in the right location and we are back to square 1.
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Years ago I stocked a large pond with 125 bass fingerlings in January and 1250 brem in around March if I remember right, I'm old so leave me alone. The state gave me a booklet with info on how to keep a healthy fish stock and one thing they said was that any fish that was caught to never put it back in because fish over produce so much. This sounds like what is going on down in the spillway, may need to leave Mother Nature alone and let her fix the problem. Take them fish home and eat them, that's what they are there for.
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I was talking to a few people at work today about the 14' size limit and all of them say that they would like to see it go away. I don't know who they are talking to that say most fishermen would like to see the 14' size limit to stay???? Most everone I talk to would like to see it go a way! Only a few peope that i know would like to see it stay 14'.
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Since my last trip, Aug 3 into the spillway, I have only caught 84 keepers in 14 trips and only one over 6 pounds. I agree, the 14' size limit sucks. I could have 300 to 400 fish in the freezer if there was no size or creel limit. It takes alot of french fries now to fill my 300 pound plus azz. Also, when did the spillway become a pond????? Just wondering!!!!
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luvdoutdoors, how many of these huge fish have you caught south of hwy 90? What area are these fish coming from? Are they being caught now this summer? How do you know they are not being caught out of the spillway. Do you fish other areas besides the spillway? Just wondering.
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   JB
Can't compare the marshes south of 90 to the spillway. WAY more bait and area to get away from people. Plus the diversion pumps are bringing in nutrients and that fishery is a lot healthier.
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   CaptJS
If you are fishing bass to fill your freezer I can't and will not aruge with anyone only say Louisiana the Sportsman paradise.
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Lazy people crack me up. Of course you want everythng to be easy. Yall are a joke. Imagine gow many people would be in the basin if they removed the 14' rule. Imagine how many fish would be taken out of there the fimrst week it was removed. Then the sad thing is that yall would start bitching whenever it gets fished out because if the 14' removed is removed it will become fished out. Imagine how much culling a tournament fishermen would have to do during the day. Think about someone other than yourselves please. They have keeper fish in the spillway. Go find them instead of posting on this site asking for other people spots of where they caught fish. I know if the 14' rule is removed i could have my limit of 10 fish in about 10-12 cast. Its really not that hard. Go find them.
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   sparky38
If you recall there was no 14'' size limit before hurricane andrew.........who cares if you are a tournament fisherman thats the only reason it seems you want the 14'' limit..You are so good at catchin big fish you shouldnt be the one bitchin about anyone...point is 14'' limit isn't workin.thin the herd a little.
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   JB
Could be wrong but, maybe some people just don't like to be told they CAN'T do something??? Just speculation.
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   sparky38
Fishdoctor I,I,I mean Bill Dance dont kid yourself....For 20 yrs 14'' size limit has been enforced in the basin.I fish all over the basin from top to bottom,yes I do catch and have caught several fish over 14'' but they are few and far between compared to 20 yrs ago.Dont sling crap fishman and ya wont get none on ya!!!!!
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I tried conveying this in the last thread, but people still dont seem to understand. No fish over 14 are not smarter, no we will not decimate the fish population. Having a background in wildlife ecology and fisheries managment, trust me I have some background in this matter. Fish have genetic make up, just like us. You have some with genes to stay smaller, some to grow larger. Not every fish is destined to become a fish over 14. You continue to take out the ones with the genetic make up to grow large (over 14) and you start to have more fish under 14. Yes you have fish over 14, but not nearly as many. Because those fish have the genetic make up to be small, they will always be small and will continue to pass on the small genes. Its called natural selection, favorable genes get passed on. Being a smaller fish is favorable, you live longer. We catch them, but cant weed them out the population because of the size limit. Being able to keep a few under 14, maybe 5. This will help to allow the fish with smaller genes to be removed and allow fish with larger genes to compete more successfully. The reason the 14 limit was put in because the basin was restocked and all the fish were small at the beginning, but that was 20 years ago. The fish have grown, its time to change the rule. All you guys saying its being lazy wanting this, you obviously have no clue what you are talking about. In 10 years, you'll catch even fewer keepers. Its basic environmental science. Now thats the simplest way I can put this, if you still cant undestand this then oh well. So go ahead, lets see the comments saying that I cant catch fish and Im lazy and the basin will not have good fishing if fish under 14 are allowed to be caught, because I just laid out something that you havent, facts.
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You have to remember the spillway changes year to year. There are plenty enough fish over 14', you have to change where and what you fish. What worked last year likely will not this year. The majority of the fish in grass/weed areas are under the vegetation. Odds are if you aren't punching grass, you ain't catching keeper fish. Plenty of fish in the Wax, your back yard. Your freezer should be full by now.
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Everyone needs to read hookedonQWACK's comment on this matter. Can't argue with science! If the DWLF would use scientific facts when making regulations there would be no 14' minimum.

There are really only two possibilities I see about this. And this is just coming from a regular Joe, I'm no expert. Either remove the 14' minimum or do a slot limit and only keep under and/or over the slot.
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So the 14' size limit doesn't work, except for like Toledo Bend, Sam Rayburn, Ross Barnett, on and on, etc. The spillway and Verret are the only place where it doesn't work. I have not noticed how all the fish under 14' are not healthy, fat. If the size limit were 13' how long would it be before the 13' size limit doesn't work. Likely 2 years then the same old song, the 13' size limit doesn't work. Then 12',,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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The basin nightmare post in the freshwatersection and just imagine that times 1000. Yall will get what yall ask for but dont say we didnt warn you. Greedy is all i got to say.
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   sparky38
Thanks for the reminder fishdoctor.......I fish the basin, both recreational and commercially every year,I see changes that alot of you dont see till it's way too late....My whole point to all this was maybe dwlf needs to regroup and spend some more of our hard earned tax dollars and come up with a better program on fish size limit and/or creel limit.......thanks again..Oh yeah I do punch the grass and 'WAX' the fish south of Hwy-90 and very nice fish at that...
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   mudmotor
I dont feel there is anything wrong with the 14 inch size limit. I fished the basin and catch alot of nice bass. Throw the small ones back and they will grow. Most bass fisherman dont want small bass anyway. Just my thoughts.
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I fished bayou pigeon this past friday, bass fished for a few hours then sacalait a few hours. We caught 30-40 bass during the trip, not one over 14' long. Seems there are just way too many for them to get any bigger. I think the daily limit should be reduced and there should be no size limit. Or keep the limit the same and put in a slot limit. Either way its time for a change and something needs to be done. Its just like managing a private pond, if you never take fish out the fish will never get big, same thing in the spillway just on a much larger scale. Like i said this is just my 2 cents.
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I love bass fishing. Way more than eating bass. I would like someone from the LDWF to comment on the current discussion. Maybe they can shed a little light on what's behind their decision to keep the 14' limit in place. I like to keep a few when I can but my main reason for getting out on the water is the fun of catching them ole largemouth. Being able to keep is a bonus. I would much rather see rules in place that would allow us to be able to catch fish in the future. And bigger sized fish would be even better. I love being able to catch 20 or 30 13' fish. Some of them fight hard. But I would rather go out and set the hook on 2 to 10 four or five pounders. Even if they are slot fish. I dont know what the answer is. Maybe we will never have that kind of fishery in the spillway. But it would be nice. Even if it stays the way it is, the spillway is MUCH better that other places we fish in the area. You can go to false river and not catch any fish or maybe luck up and catch one. Or go to the spillway and catch 30 to 100 bass with a few keepers. What would you rather?? I'll go with the spillway situation. And hopefully we will hear something from our WLF people.
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Fished Sunday out of Sorrel landing. 9 keepers, all on plastics, tight on bank with the slight rise of the river.
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Bass fished for a few hours didnt catch any keepers so you think the size limit needs to be changed? Lmao wow once again lazy people crack me up
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   rocknet
I went to the Basin Sunday for a club tournament. I do not get to fish the Basin much anymore, still a great place. I live just a couple miles from Lake Cataouatche. We had 23 people fishing, and all caught lots of bass. Top stringer was 19.5 lbs, then 16.4 lbs, then 15.3 lbs....they were a lot of 3 lb. bass caught, and those stringer weights would be excellent anywhere in the summer. My partner and me caught over 45 bass, with a total of 16 over 14 inches. All the bass were extremely healthy with bot bellied stomachs. The ones that were right at 14 inches were good 2 lb. bass. Yes, there are a lot of bass out there, but they are not suffering from a lack of food. When Hurricane Andrew decimated the Basin, the LWL&F went to a 14 inch size limit to try and get a couple spawns out of a bass before it was taken out the water to increase the population. This has worked. I believe the big issue in the Basin is siltation. The areas I fished 30 years ago no longer produce any bass due to very different water flow throughout. I have had to learn the better areas for the time of the year, especially summer. If the State could dredge out some of the thru- canals and pipelines, I think this would help with dead water issuess and overall water quality over larger areas in the Basin. Better water quality means more and bigger bass, just like Cataouacthe.
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No thats not the case at all. About 90% of the time when i fish the spillway i only bass fish, it just so happens that this past friday my friend with me only wanted to sacalait fish. Over the past few years when the water was right and i went bass fishing in the spillway the ratio of undersized bass to keeper fish was about 10 or 15 to 1. This last trip was just told as a 'for example' kind of story. Like i said its just my opinion, and last i checked this is america,and im intitled to that opinion. So yes in my OPINION a change needs to be made. Maybe right now things are still ok, but its my belief that if the 14' rule stays in place we will eventually if not very soon have a serious problem with overpopulation of undersized largemouth bass. By the way i probably average 3 to 4 fishing trips a month in the spillway throughout the year so no this isnt based off of one recent trip its based off of many many trips.
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Best idea I've heard yet is to keep the 10 fish limit but you can have 5 over 14' and 5 under. Just lowering the size limit will cause a fish kill because we some that are just plain greedy and have little sportsman sense. But I agree with most that something different needs to be done.
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   JB
Not that they will ask or even want my opinion but...I'm gonna give it anyway. 5 under 14 inches and 5 over 14 inches. Of those 5 over 14 inches, only 2 can be over 19 inches. This allows the meat haulers to bring meat home, the tournament guys to keep bigger fish and if someone is lucky enough to catch several truly 'big' fish, they can only kill 2.
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i would say that would be nice but you could never get the ones that make the rules to go for that. I wish it could go to something like 5 under 14' and 5 over 14'. and yes, if you are going to bring fish home to eat the ones over 19' or so is not the ones you would want.
I would rather see a slot than 14' and over... if someone is looking to have bigger fish than we should let the ones that have the most eggs go and that is the ones that are between 18' and 22' or so. as of now we are taking the most productive fish out, and that is the TRUTH. I say 5 under 14' and 5 over 14' or a slot 18' to 22' and only one over 22'
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   JB
I will start by saying I will support anything BUT no size limit or just a 12 inch minimum. The only thing I don't like about a slot limit is I can remember when False River and Concordia had slot limits. All everyone did was complain that the only fish you could catch were slot fish. Year after year that was the only thing being said. 'I don't want to go there and spend all day catching slot fish.'
I think 5 under and 5 over with a restriction relating to the big fish would be the only way to make the vast majority...content (impossible to make everyone happy).
After a few years of protecting a certain size fish, that fish will be the predominant one and everyone will go back to complaining, except then it will be that all everyone can catch is slot fish instead of short fish.
I fish for fun only and do not keep bass but once or twice a year. When I fish Verret or the Spillway, I don't even pull out my Golden Rule unless it's a tournament. I can spend all day catching short fish or slot fish and will NEVER complain. I'm just sick of hearing all the complaining.
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   jls
Yep the 14' Limit is Killin Spill Way there way too Many Fish 13 1/2-13 3/4 inched need No Limit for one Year see if can Wing some thoses Out give Bass Cahnce to GROW
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Fished out of Pigeon landing today. Must have been the hottest day of the year. And it was hard work today, catching fish, releasing fish. Again and again and again. Must have caught 100 throwback. All them throwbacks and only 9 keepers. Doesn't hardly seem worth all that effort for just 9 keepers. Threw'em all back. Freezer full. Maybe someone else will catch a few. PS, I don't know if I have ever caught as many healthy fish under 14' in my life. Where else but the spillway would one have to work so hard. Again, just doesn't seem worth it.
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   JB
Doc - couldn't agree with you more. Everyone is saying the fish are stunted or there are too many fish. That is total BS. Everyone at one point or another has been to a pond and caught bass that were long and paper thin with a huge head. THAT is a place that has too many fish. The 13 3/4 inch fish in the spillway are fat and healthy, that is not a sign of over population. A lot of the fish I have caught this year have been so fat that if you squeeze them too hard, you will get crapped on!
I will say it again, all of the complaining, IMO, is because people don't like being told they can't do something (especially South Louisianians) and too many people think bringing mass quantities of filets constitutes a good trip.
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Just as I said in the previous post. Those fish under 14 are very healthy, and thats good because that means we have a healthy population. But...a bunch of those fish have the genetics to stay under 14. Just like deer have different genetics to grow antlers. The ones that are over 14 are getting taken out of the population, the ones under 14 are being released and hence passing on there genes. You think people are crying now, in 10 years you'll be lucky to catch 1 out of 50 that is over 14. I dont understand why some people dont want a change, it doesn't have to be permanent. Implement like JB said, a 14 under 14 over. If you start to see a problem try something else. There is no reason to have a plan that is failing and just keep it because thats what were used to. There are other ways to see growth in a population.
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What percentage of the bass population in the Atchafalaya Basin are these fish that will never become 14'? What site/research do you have to back this up? Is this research recent or 10, 20, 30 years old? Just wondering.
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Not trying to be a smarta-- here. But it's common sense. If you trying to say that information is false. Go rent a renewable natural resources book and read. Past research has shown in different areas all over the country that this happens when a size limit is implemented. If you really want a book and reference source email me. Maybe I can find an old rnr book from college and find the biologist and research performed.
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Fished out of Bayou Pigeon this afternoon (Sunday). 3 keepers, 25 to 30 throwbacks. Slow bite.
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where in the world do they come up with... most all of the louisiana fishermen like the 14' size limit. i only know a few that like the 14' size limit and when i say a few that is pushing it. something needs to change. don't know what? but something needs to change. SLOT? maybe that would be nice?? maybe so many uner 14' and so many over 14'?? i don't know but something else for sure. anyway something needs to change.
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   JB
Larry - you are right, something needs to change. People need to realize that strictly catch and release is not necessarily a good thing. On the same hand, neither is keeping every single solitary fish you can because 'the law says I can.' C&R is just as harmfull as every Jimmy Joe Bob going every Saturday and Sunday and keeping every fish they can and then when they get home, they give them away because they don't feel like messing with them or they have a full freezer. It also means if it's early spring and someone hits that magic day and several 4 lb+ fish are caught, let them go. Don't come on a public site with a picture of 4 or 5 4 lb fish and brag about how you are about to put a knife to them.
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The size limit is 14' and a lot of fisherman are complaining they are catchin 13 1/2' fish and must release them.

If the size were 12', these sample people would complain about releasing 11 1/2' fish.

Me personally, I'd rather catch and release 13 1/2' fish all day long rather than catch and release 11 1/2' fish all day long.

I fished for white bass and stripers on Possum Kingdom this weekend. Every striper we caught was 1' under the size limit. If the size limit were 2-3' shorter, would we have caught these fish? or would the average size have been 2-3' shorter??

Oh well, I'm a chemist, not a biologist.
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yes, i wish something would change but don't think it will. i'm not a fishing expert but something needs to change. don't seem right that we are keeping the most egg producing fish and putting back all of the smaller fish... i would like to see something change but as i know it's not going to happen.. i fish local tournaments every chance i get. on average i fish maybe one every two weeks during the summer, but i even know that if we all take all of the big egg producing fish that is out there that is just less big egg producing fish to have a good spawn. if they would go to 5 under 14' and 5 over 14' it would make veryone happy???......... BUT I KNOW THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!! SOMEONE NEEDS TO LESSEN TO THE AVERAGE FISHERMAN......
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Fished out of Sorrel today, 5 keepers, 20 plus throwbacks. Would have thought with the wind, cloud cover and rain, it would have been a great bite today. Keeper bite between noon and 2pm, tight on bank. Did have one over 20'. Was a comfortable day to fish compared to most days this time of year.
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Fished out of Bayou Sorrel Thursday afternoon. 8 keepers, 40 plus throwbacks. Spinnerbait/buzzbait top producers.
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Fished out of Bayou Pigeon landing Sunday afternoon, 1:30 till dark. Caught 7 keepers, 30 plus throwbacks. Spinnerbait and worm top producers.
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Fished out of Bayou Sorrel landing this morning. Caught 8 keepers, 3 of them 18' plus. 40 plus throwbacks. Spinnerbait, crankbait and worm.
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Fished out of Bayou Sorrel today, caught 6 keepers, spinnerbait and crankbait. 50 plus throwbacks.
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Fished out of Bayou Sorrel yesterday (Monday). Caught 10 keepers on a variety of lures, top to bottom.
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   T-Mon
Good Luck with this one !!!!!!!
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