Posted by Jeremyfisher, Tue Jan-06-04 12:27 PM
Fish, you brought up an interesting point, and maybe your interested in hearing a little bit of a different point of view, or maybe not, but I'll say it anyway.
First of all, i've fished live bait before, and i've also bed fished. I have caught some really big bass bed fishing. I very rarely live bait fish and I only bed fish when im not in tournaments. That is my choice and each angler has a right to his/her own choice as long as they are staying within the law. But there is one scenario where I am really dissapointed live bait fishing is legal. We have guys that say hey i want to catch some big bass, and they go buy a bunch of shiners and with a little luck just start waxing some big bass. In the cooler they go. These fish would have never been caught by these guys on artificial lures. No skill involved whatsoever and we're damaging a big bass population because of live bait. I guess it all depends on how good you want your fisheries to be in the future. This kind of stuff obviously puts a big dent in the fisheries future. Plus, how do people attain satisfaction by throwing out live bait and reeling the fish in? Oh trust me, i've tried live bait and caught big fish, I have no satisfaction from it either. But ya know what? If fishing gets tough, I will probably still fish live bait this summer when I just need to put a big fish in the boat for a quick photo shoot and back to her home she goes. But back to artificials i'll go, because it is so much more rewarding to catch em' on something that is imitating the real thing. Go right ahead and fish live bait all you want, if it floats your boat. As long as you practice catch and release on the big fish, I'm not going to bash anyone if that's what they like to do.
As far as bed fishing. I won't go to far into bed fishing, but I'll say this: It is a thrill and a very fun thing to do. I do it, but I promise myself that after a photo shoot, she is going straight back. The reason I am such a diehard bass fishermen is because bass present a never ending challenge. Even when you think it is like shooting a fish in a barrel when they are on beds, it's not as easy as you would think most of the time.
I also LOVE sight fishing for fish all summer long for fish that are not on beds. This is probably one of the hardest but most rewarding techniques. These fish are simply either cruising or feeding and your having to convince them to eat. They will eat not because they are protecting the nest, but you fooled them into thinking they were getting a meal. That's one of the best feelings.
So with all this said, the bottom line to me is as long as you release the bigger bass, I believe it's fine to catch them however you want to (besides snagging).