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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I released a smallmouth years ago & it haunts me to this day. I caught it on 17# test line & a 9' surf rod while fishing for stripers locally. took me nearly 15 minutes to land her. yes, a big sow about to spawn, belly swollen to point of bursting. I measured her length & eased her back into the water hoping she would survive & spawn. I just now looked up a length to weight conversion chart on the 'net, & at that length, it said "LIAR!". I reckon that not many 26" smallmouth get hooked, much less landed. on a similar note, my paper today told of a 70 year old local that caught & released a 12 lb largemouth last week, & caught & released another the other day that was 30" long & weighed 15 lb even on certified scales at a grocery store used to weigh meat. he even went to the TWRA office to try & get it official, but no one was there, so he took her back over to the river & turned her loose. what a sportsman...:cheers:
 

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Well, big fish certainly confer 'braggin' rights' but sportsmanship trumps all. I've killed and eaten a few good ones, but Lee Wulff was right when he said that some fish were too good to catch just once (Or something to that effect.) If you sleep well, you did okay. ;-)
 

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there used to be a lot of big browns in a creek that goes through my land. they are total cannibals when they get around two feet long. used to catch one once in a while but never wanted to keep them. always turned them loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You can see where he was caught before by me(this is deep into "no-mans-land")... Thats florocarbon leader, size 12 march Brown emerger...
(Fujifilm XP water-proof camera)
I caught the same good rainbow 5 times one spring/summer between the same two rocks, my "go-to" fish. told an old boy about him; a week later he called me up & said "he was delicious..." :sbrug: some folks don't understand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I looked up the world record smallmouth a little while ago, & it was 27 1/2" log with a 21 1/2" girth, I think. that fish was caught in July, AFTER spawning, so she would have been well over 12# before she spawned. as an aside, there is a picture of one on the 'net that an electroshock team in Kentucky rolled up a while back. it weighed over 12# on the hand scales they had in the boat with them. gorgeous fish, I love smallies! :cheers:
 

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I've never really caught a lot of big fish, so anything I keep is of the small to medium size. I try to let the big ones go since they are probably females.

Speaking of smallmouth bass...are they good to eat? My parents live on a lake in northern Minnesota that used to be dynamite for walleyes, my favorite fish to catch and especially to eat. Due to an "unauthorized stocking" (according the the DNR) we now have smallies in the lake, and few walleyes. Even the crappies have disappeared. We regularly catch smallies up to 5-6 lbs. where we used to catch walleyes; they are fun but not at the expense of the walleye population. People on the lake are pretty angry about it.

Anybody eat smallmouth bass? We never used to keep the largemouth bass we caught and I don't know if smallies are any better eating. We are spoiled since we got as many walleyes and crappies as we wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
yes, smallmouth are good to eat, just as largemouth are. most folks fillet them, skin the fillets & cut the reddish "mud stripe" out of fillet. never heard of ANY body of water that had walleyes & NO smallmouth. best lakes here in Tennessee for walleye also have smallmouth - Dale Hollow, South Holston, & Cherokee to name a few. bass are, however, a bit "fishier" tasting than walleye or crappies to most folks...
 

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Good to know on the edibility of smallies. I will say nothing seems to fight like them. Fun to catch and a beautiful fish.

Most lakes around in this part of Minnesota don't have any smallmouth bass but plenty of walleyes and largemouth bass.
 
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