Skip to main content

Catch And Release, Plus, Bass Growth

Catch And Release, Plus, Bass Growth

Catch and release (C&R) is routine for bass anglers concerned about the quality of their sport. Several studies have shown that most released bass survive, many are recaptured, and that C&R leaves more quality-size bass to support future angling. But few field studies have addressed the effect of releases on the growth of bass in natural waters.

A 27-year mark-recapture study of largemouth bass caught and released in Wisconsin provides insight into how released bass fare.* A total of 1,054 bass averaging about 10 inches in length were landed using barbless hooks and briefly held in livewells prior to weighing, measurement, tagging, and release. Recaptures totaled 1,066 and occurred between one and 98 days after initial release. About 39 percent of all fish captured were never recaught, 20 percent were caught only once again, and 8 percent twice; but the remaining 27 percent were re-landed between 4 and 22 times. Near-adult largemouths weighing about a pound or more had significantly longer recapture intervals than juvenile bass, suggesting that bass learned angling-avoidance with age.

Recaptured bass initially suffered a slight weight loss that lasted about 6 days. Then growth resumed, and there appeared to be a compensatory period of more rapid growth whereby bass regained weight to match bass from the same water that were not caught. The authors conclude that C&R angling had little impact on overall growth patterns of largemouth bass. However, larger bass likely have higher metabolic losses and longer recovery times following capture, so additional studies of C&R effects on larger largemouth bass are needed.

*Cline, T. J., B. C. Weidel, J. F. Kitchell, and J. R. Hodgson. 2012. Growth response of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) to catch-and-release angling: a 27 year mark-recapture study. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 69:224-230.


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Channel Cats on Ice

Channel Cats on Ice

The In-Fisherman staff reveals some of the hottest action of the winter season, as they show how to ice 20-pound channel catfish.

Lake Superior Whitefish on Ice

Lake Superior Whitefish on Ice

Doug Stange joins Capt. Aron Kastern on Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin where they go after whitefish on ice.

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

Drop-Shotting For Smallies

Drop-Shotting For Smallies

The In-Fisherman crew head to Lake Erie to catch smallmouth bass.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Their fighting ability is far superior to the largemouth bass—more par with muskies.The Case for Super Bass (AKA Snakeheads) Other Fish

The Case for Super Bass (AKA Snakeheads)

Steve Ryan - July 06, 2020

Their fighting ability is far superior to the largemouth bass—more par with muskies.

You're going to love this Beer-Battered Fish Fingers Recipe! These deep-fried walleye strips are tasty and dress up nicely when served in a basket or on a plate with fresh fruit such as grapes and strawberries.Beer-Battered Fish Fingers Recipe Fish Recipes

Beer-Battered Fish Fingers Recipe

In-Fisherman

You're going to love this Beer-Battered Fish Fingers Recipe! These deep-fried walleye strips...

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural baits and commercial options.10 Best Carp Baits Available Today Carp

10 Best Carp Baits Available Today

Dan Johnson

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural...

See More Trending Articles

More Bass

Pro bass angler Chris Zaldain talks about how to modify a swimbait for more hookups. Bend The Hook For Improved Swimbait Success Bass

Bend The Hook For Improved Swimbait Success

Alan McGuckin - January 13, 2021

Pro bass angler Chris Zaldain talks about how to modify a swimbait for more hookups.

A stable presentation among winter bass anglers.Umbrella Rigs: A Double Dose of Matching the Hatch Bass

Umbrella Rigs: A Double Dose of Matching the Hatch

Dr. Hal Schramm - December 09, 2020

A stable presentation among winter bass anglers.

What makes spotted bass different also makes them special, and a lot of fun to catchWhy Southern Spotted Bass Are So Special Bass

Why Southern Spotted Bass Are So Special

David A. Brown - December 28, 2020

What makes spotted bass different also makes them special, and a lot of fun to catch

Here are VanDam's three favorite color patterns on a lipless crankbait.3 Lipless Crankbait Colors That Made KVD A Million Bucks Bass

3 Lipless Crankbait Colors That Made KVD A Million Bucks

Alan McGuckin - February 18, 2021

Here are VanDam's three favorite color patterns on a lipless crankbait.

See More Bass

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the In-Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now