Christopher Smith

Indiana Smallmouth Catch and Release

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In Indiana, smallmouth catch and release rules have just changed.

With increasing frequency, state game commissions are aggressively pursuing catch and release and size restrictions on keeping bass for harvest. This is in response to, in many states, increased fishing pressure and the thought that fishermen are having negative effects on smallmouth bass populations. In Indiana, here are the new rules:

Indiana smallmouth catch and release

Rule changes adopted earlier this year to provide increased protection for black bass in certain rivers and streams will become effective on Friday (May 25).

With a few exceptions, a person catching black bass (smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass) from a river or stream may keep only those fish that are under 12 inches or over 15 inches long. The daily bag limit for black bass is five fish singly or in aggregate, which means the catch limit may include any combination of the three bass species. No more than two can be over 15 inches.

The exceptions are:

-Rivers and streams in counties bordering the Ohio River still have a 12-inch minimum size limit, with an aggregate bag limit of five black bass. Those counties are Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Floyd, Harrison, Jefferson, Ohio, Perry, Posey, Spencer, Switzerland, Vanderburgh and Warrick.

–The Blue River in Crawford, Harrison and Washington counties still has a 12- to 15-inch slot limit and an aggregate bag limit of five black bass, with no more than two being more than 15 inches.

–The minimum size limit on the Ohio River main stem (not bays and tributaries) remains at 12 inches for black bass, with a daily bag limit of six. Source

Do you think these new rules for Indiana smallmouth catch and release are helpful or do you think they are bogus? What has more of an effect on the fish, environmental contamination or fishermen?

Discuss it here!


2 Responses to Indiana Smallmouth Catch and Release

  1. Donnie M brown May 26, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I live in wayne co. we have 7 streams that run so. I have fished them for over 55 yrs.Iknow where they start and where they jion togeather. No till farming has droped the water level and alowed more chem. run off. Years ago it was 100 smallies every trip and that was with under par fishing gear! Now with the best of gear new baits its realy down about at least 75 percent, and god help us if the Amish find them! We need to find some way to restore our water leavels. We pay the farmers not to grow crops, why not set aside bottom land as habatat and let mother nature take it back to apoint.Ispent my life not in school but in the streams.What you school boys learned in school Ilearned it in the out doors.Ibeleave I could be an asset to the water, wildlife,people of Indiana if you would only ask. Let me ask you this ? What is the best bait for smallies ? softcraws or pealers.Softcraws shed and wash all there sent away, lik being saved! pealer stinks and is ready for the taken. Ilove to teach and the DNR is no differet than anybody else. I was a conservation pres. for years and turned in the DANA corp. in hagerstown many times untill they closed and there on a 500 year clean up plan. So please use me to help all of us. Just got this compurter , trying hard to understand it ant got that e-mail thing down yet so it would be better if you would call me. 1-765-489-1315. 590 w. main st. lot n hagerstown ind. 47346

    • Christopher Smith May 27, 2012 at 8:42 am

      Thank you for your comments. It seems that the smallmouth numbers are down in a number of rivers and streams. I would encourage people that have a lifetime of fishing experience to keep sounding the alarms and making everyone aware what you are seeing.


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