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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Knowing a reliable method to calculate the weight of largemouth bass can be helpful to determine if the basses weight is accurate. The formula that I have used for over 30 years is: length X length X girth divided by 1200 = weight in pounds. Bass do not grow the same every where and this formula takes into consideration most of the factors that affect weight. length is defined by measuring the fish laying flat with it's mouth closed. The length is measured from the closed tip of the basses mouth to the center of the tail along the lateral line. The girth is measured around the widest part of the bass, usually perpendicular to the center of the front dorsal fin, around the bass behind the pectoral fins. I usually lay a wet towell on the bottom of the boat, lay the bass on the towell and use a length of fishing line and cut to length to measure the bass. The girth piece of line I tie an over hand knot in the middle to identify it latter. Weigh the bass on a scale and release it immediately if possible.
A bass that was 24 1/2 inches long with a girth of 19 1/2, 24.5 X 24.5 X 19.5 divided by 1200 = 11.7 lbs. Most LMB have a girth that is 80% of the length, Florida LMB can be 90 to 100%  and spots and smallmouth tend to be 75% girth to length. Girth is the variable that depends of the health of the ecosystem and the bass. This formula is as accurate as your measurements with about 2%.
Tom
Ps; The formula can be helpful to determine if the bass may have swallowed a heavy object, when records are being claimed for example.
 

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:D Yeah, but that scale doesn't deduct a handfull of 1 oz tungsten sinkers, a rock or two, and whatever else can be shoved down a bass throat before weighing. A hand compass might also be good to use to eliminate magnetic objects weighing it down.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
KeithsCatch said:
And to think all these years I just used a digital hand scale for their weight.  ;) ;D
Digital scales rely on good batteries to be accurate, very few low cost scales are accurate and can easily be off a pound or more. It's your catch at the end of the day and you can tell it anyway you want, most fisherman do! You would be surprised to learn what big bass have in them when they arrive at a taxidermist! And yes, bass fisherman still kill their first big bass the majority of the time, usually over handling it and stressing it beyond survival.
Tom
 

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I always risk a heated discussion over this, but I clean hundreds of bass a year for eating, not all for myself of course. I cleaned a white bass for a guy and found a man's wedding ring in the stomach. Pop tops. Baling wire. A chunk of railroad tie wood (creosote treated). Lures of all makes and types, many back in use, only needing hooks, sometimes other hardware. Sinkers. Pebbles. Coins. Bottle caps. A brown pill bottle. Styrofoam galore. Fishing line wadded up. A Micky Mouse kids fishing float.

Add to the list unless you are a C&R angler.

Jim
 
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Before I started C/R all the time, I myself kept a few bass to eat. I'm sure Keith can vouch for that. LOL
Anyway, one day while I was cleaning some bass this is what I pulled out of them.






 

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Newt/salamander. The main point of finding that is knowing to tie on a plastic lizard.

Jim
 

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I thought it looked like a blood worm used in salt water fishing.
I used to find some wild looking stuff while cleaning native brook trout in the winter because they were so hungry at that time of year they'd eat all kinds of things. The neatest was little tiny nymph cacoons made of fine pebbles and stones, at first I thought they were eating rocks, but I broke these small stone fabrications open and sure enough inside was a tiny green bug. I wonder how the fish knew they were eating the right things???? Smell maybe?
Thanks for the info Tom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Shannon said:
I thought it looked like a blood worm used in salt water fishing.
I used to find some wild looking stuff while cleaning native brook trout in the winter because they were so hungry at that time of year they'd eat all kinds of things. The neatest was little tiny nymph cacoons made of fine pebbles and stones, at first I thought they were eating rocks, but I broke these small stone fabrications open and sure enough inside was a tiny green bug. I wonder how the fish knew they were eating the right things???? Smell maybe?
Thanks for the info Tom.
Happy new year Shannon.
Winter trout eat a lot of small snails, that is what turns their meat reddish. Trout have really good close up vision and fish see things differently than we do. Good luck to you.
Tom
Tom
 
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Tom,

Weight formulas are almost never accurate and are more of a guestamate then anything else. They are never meant to be taken seriously. I mean all you have to do is check out the Texas SharLunker program every year. Those reports tell you weight, length, girth. None of them are really ever close to what a weight formula says they should weigh. Some of them are off by 3lbs at times. BTW, those fish are weighed on certified scales that are dead on.

Anyway, according to IGFA spring scales are the most accurate handheld scales around. They are also the cheapest go figure ;D

And yes, bass fisherman still kill their first big bass the majority of the time, usually over handling it and stressing it beyond survival.
I hope this statement is not true. I can never understand why someone would want to keep a trophy bass. I am sorry it just makes no sense to me whatsoever. Replica mounts today are so superior to skin mounts. At worst they are equal but in reality they are better and sure as heck last longer. Certainly a monster bass is not good to eat. But here in Florida it is still common to hear of people keeping big bass. I cringe when I hear 10's, 12's and higher weight bass being removed. I wish folks would let them go so they could potentially turn into high teen bass or maybe even a 20lb bass. But if we keep removing the 10's 12's and 13's how can we expect to catch 18's or 20's?
 
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When I first heard of the formula, I heard; girth x girth x length / 800. That always seemed innacurate to me. I think the length x length x girth / 1200 is a lot more accurate.
I only clean crappie and fillet them so I have no idea what is in their stomachs. As for bass, I'll have to trust Arkie on that....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
FMMADDEN said:
When I first heard of the formula, I heard; girth x girth x length / 800. That always seemed innacurate to me. I think the length x length x girth / 1200 is a lot more accurate.
I only clean crappie and fillet them so I have no idea what is in their stomachs. As for bass, I'll have to trust Arkie on that....
Thats the IGFA formula for tuna, doesn't work for bass. It's not the natural things bass eat like the blood worms posted that I was referring to, it's things like frozen fish fillets, lead shot or sand bags, ice, a verity of lead sinkers, stones, etc. People take their big bass to a taxidermist and leave all types of objects in the bass, they don't realizes that the taxidermist may examine the fish.
Tom
 

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Keith, it depends on what region you are in whether C&R or harvest is more common except during tournaments. Arkansas has a bunch of fine bass fisheries, and many lakes have at least one fish cleaning station complete with grinder, flush water, outlets for electric knives, 2-4 40 gal garbage cans each site, septic sewer. Lake Ouachita has 6 on the south side and we're getting another one compliments of the state. During active fishing times our contract maintenance folks haul off at least one load from each, containing heads & backbones. A bunch of the harvesters are retirees barely retired, depending on fishing. They would ever put a monster bass back in the water.

As for taste, they are sort of a cross between bald eagle, spotted owl and whooping crane.....
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Actually, they are often steaked out like a catfish, then soaked in whole milk an hour before frying. Done right they taste about like a Channel cat, much better than striper. When I was growing up on that lake, particularly in 1960-63 when I spent the whole summers there while family hand built a houseboat there, we consumed a lot of bass. My job was to keep an eye on tools, materials, and a supply trailer where I slept the first two summers. I was also responsible for feeding 4 weekend carpenters and whatever family they brought along 50# of largemouth fillets each weekend, plus whatever I got off trotlines (cats). Telling about catching a bass under 9# got no listeners in those days.

Since the virus days I've quit keeping bass over 3-4# unless it looks like they will die. A belly up bass stays in the livewell no matter how big. I've had a few recover by the time I loaded the boat up. My wife and I prefer bass less than about 15" long.

Well, the lake is way past it's prime now, but coming back after the 1999 LMBV attack. Before then finding aquatic vegetation was very difficult, but after the virus came hydrilla, coontail, elodea, and other exotics. The lake is coming close to where it was in the good ole days. Divers and biologists say the lake is full of beastly bass now, but few anglers go after them, sticking to the same old shoreline tricks.

Point? If the fishery is capable of producing monster bass, it will produce them if managed well. Too small and too many keeping fish...sure, forget about trophy bass. Here? We have about 200 known tournaments a year on this lake, so the bass are pressured, and the boat traffic is incredible in good weather. Plenty of anglers keep their fish, including bass, the proof in the garbage cans. Not enough boats can be launched per day to threaten this lake as long as folks don't exceed the daily limit. VERY few compared to the whole know how to locate good bass anyway, by far most visiting occasionally, not following the bass like guides do.

In Florida? I know some fisheries are heavily pressured. But I had a guide take me to a small private lake near Orlando where monster bass are common, but anglers are few. They charge a fee to guides to bring a client. He showed me a map of the area pointing out many more like that one with the same deal, and even some public fisheries few anglers even know about, places you need a jonboat and a lot of elbow grease to get into, teeming with monster bass that will die of old age before ever seeing a lure.

Jim
 
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