41 views and not a single opinion?
OK it's time for my yearly rant and food for thought.
KDFWR has the fishing forecast rating as follows
Cumberland smallmouth rating Good
Good numbers of 14-18 inch fish present with moderate density of 18 inch plus fish.
Hmmm, I think that's kinda pitaful. The smalljaw fishing on the Big C continues to decline year after year in my opinion. Are they still there...sure they are but it is not like they use to be and I'm not the only one that shares that opinion.
Here is what I would love to see done.
Slot limit set up exactly like Dale Hollow. Why won't KDFW even talk about it or consider it. When I have talked to fishery biologist at Frankfort they get almost testy about it and say the same thing almost everytime.....NOBODY wants that! Who's NOBODY?
I've talked to alot of dedicated fisherman that would love to see the slot.
Tell me WHY.....NOBODY would consider this and tell me how it would not make Cumberland a better fishery. Dale has EXPODED with the slot, not got better... EXPLODED. They are both Highland reservoirs aren't they? Alright enough, tell me why I'm all wet.....
41 views and not a single opinion?
Don't fish there enough to have any opinions specific to Cumberland, but I do however favor having a slot at all lakes.
Simple answer to this question. KDFWR is not interested in making C-land a smallie lake. It is considered or attempting to be a trophy striper lake and most effort are put forth to make sure it stays that way. Look at the annual income from guide outfitters on C-land as well as the tourist attraction alone. I like the slot idea, but I highly doubt anyone will consider for this fact alone. JMHO
My fishing partner and I have fished Cumberland for many years. We are both teachers and in past years, we would make the hour drive to Cumberland at least once or twice a week. Fished Beaver/Otter and the main lake from the dam to Jamestown. The past two summers, we have made one or two trips to Cumberland and then haven't gone back. Our numbers were way down and our size was down. We still come back for some spring time fishing and some fall/winter fishing, but you'll rarely see us out there on a summer night. At least until it improves.
I don't get to fish it very often either but I think when they lowered the water it has effected everything. That lake doesn't have a lot of structure and most of what was there is now about out of water. Hopefully it will get better once the water comes back up.
I agree. I think the water has effected everything down the food chain. I am just guessing but maybe the shad haven't reproduced as well in the past. Dropping that much water out of there at once has to throw everything out of wack. Plus, I know I have a hard time adjusting and getting out of old habits. I think the fish adjust to the changes a lot faster than the fisherman. I fish a lake close to home that used to be full of grass and now it's gone. I used to always be able to catch fish but not much anymore but there are some other guys that have figured it out and made the right adjustments. I really think if they bring the water back up fishing will begin to improve over time.
As for the slot limit, I would agree with whatever makes fishing better numbers wise. I think the slot would help and make the average fish you catch a little more enjoyable. I really hate the general 12in size for largemouth on most lakes. I would soon not catch anything as to keep catching fish a little over 11 inches but just under 12.
mhall I do not see how a slot limit could hurt and it might have the same effect on c-land however do that many fishermen keep smallmouth to eat? There are so many catch and release fisherman today I don't know if the slot will help that much. Now with all that said I fish Bull Shoals every year and the small mouth fishery had gotten better with a 15" limit so I might be wrong. One other thought the pressure for smallmouth should be down because of the explosion at Dale. I would have to travel five hours to fish Dale or Cumberland I can assure you I would go to Dale.
Smallmouth are especially supect to live bait anyway. Now if the slot is in place and more of the common sized adult fish make it back into the lake after being caught the better the spawns due to good fish being returned and now the numbers game is flipped in the lakes favor...