Bass Tournament Fish Mortality

Fishing rod choice can make or break your day!

We are looking at bass tournament fish mortality today because we are strong advocates of catch, photo and immediate release fishing.  To preserve the sport of smallmouth bass fishing, we encourage anglers to immmediately release fish and not take them home or even ride around with them in the live well for the day.  As can be see from this excerpt from, the mortality rate is quite high when the water temperatures increase in the summertime.

Bass Tournament Fish Mortality

Researchers studied death rates for smallmouth and largemouth bass before and after tournament weigh-ins. “Initial mortality” included fish that died in the anglers’ live wells or weigh-in bags. “Delayed mortality” covered fish that died after competitors and tournament organizers went home.

In all six tournaments, initial mortality was minor, ranging from 0 to 1.2 percent for largemouths and 0 to 3.3 percent for smallmouths. Meanwhile, delayed mortality varied from 0 to 75 percent for largemouths and 0 to 52 percent for smallmouths.

When water temperatures were low, 58 to 62 degrees, total mortality was less than 1 percent for all six tourneys. But when water temperatures exceeded 80 degrees at three events (two in La Crosse and one in Winneconne), delayed mortality was 75 percent, 27 percent and 68 percent for largemouths; and 40 percent, 37.5 percent and 52 percent for smallmouths.  Source

If you are really hard up for a fish meal, go get a Filet O Fish at McDonald’s and let the bass go.  Bass tournament fishing mortality can be quite high, even under the best conditions if the fish are carried around in a live well all day. Preserve our resource for the future!

For more information, check out our page all about catch, photo, release by clicking here: click

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.