Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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I guess by now you are wondering what my defination of " Free Range " is all about . To me it is the sporting chase of free roaming wild fish in a natural enviroment, that have the ability to escape being caught . They are wild fish that have not been raised or Aquacultured. Its far more satisfying knowing that you caught those large fish in the wild rather than them just answering a dinner bell, these are my true trophy fish.

This also leads to respect for your quarry because you want to encourage their success in the wild to perpetuate the sport. When offered the opportunity to shoot a bear tied to a tree, Teddy Roosevelt knew it was wrong and unsporting and did'nt do it. He gave us a fine example of good sportsmanship and respect for our prey. If you ever wonder if what you are doing is wrong just ask yourself WWTRD- WHAT WOULD TEDDY ROOSEVELT DO.

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Comment by Jeremy R. Mayo on February 20, 2010 at 7:42pm
I agree with the free range fish! Ive caught several fish in ponds and small lakes that could push the 2lb mark. I ate em. To catch a 10" or better gill in the delta is a monster. I am insanely tickled to catch big fish in the creek. Thats what the hunt is about. Granite them some good eatin when you catch the big boys in the ponds and there a ton of fun but to me im just helpin clean it out for somebody and gettin ready for a fish fry. My trophy's are smaller but still huge to there surroundings FREE RANGE GILLS!
Comment by Magnolia Rick on February 18, 2010 at 12:41pm
In the most part I agree to the different rate of fishing. Catching a 2lb bass in my backyard pond does not rate the same as those caught running up and down the lake fishing your heart out and finally catching the ”Big one”
Most lake down here in Texas is stock non-stop. Big bass in you lake means more revenue to your area. Now it comes down to your fishing goal. If you looking to land the state record on a game fish, I think you need to be out chunking that lure 150 times an hour up and down the river till you finally get it in your live will. At that time you can push your chest out and say “I did this”.
Free Range fish for most sport fisherman need to be the ultimate goal.
A 3yr old with a 5” sunfish on the end of her Barbie Doll “with the flashing light” pole
Yell pawpaw “I got one” is my utmost fishing reward a man could have.
To think that I made this happen, that all the alga removal, the fish feeding the pumps repairs work that I have done. Have given her the chance to catch a fish out of this great big ¾ acre pond by herself, is great. Free Ranger fish is really base on you ability verses you condition. Grown man don’t beat your chest if you catch a big fish in the local pond.
Hiddi do you want Pawpaw to mouth that one in the den?
Comment by jim cosgrove on February 18, 2010 at 9:46am
i agree.a club i belong to stocks hybred gills every spring.they come from a fish farm in mo.they are big and fat.well over a pound and easy to catch.they dont act right.dont look right.a lot of people fish here so they dont last long.they do put a smile on a lot of peoples faces when they catch a "trophy".when i do find those isolated populations of wild gills i am thrilled.a 10 incher is huge in my area.have to keep it top secret.big gills usually means big bass crappie etc.i rarely keep fish from these places .
Comment by Lord of the Fly , Rods on February 18, 2010 at 7:21am
Boogieman, No I dont have a problem with stocking fish from a hatchery to improve a waters population. Smallmouth Bass were introduced all over the United States in the 1800's by the Railroad. I dont have a problem with improvements to the enviroment , such as man made lakes. I guess what I don't like is the idea of the 'CANNED HUNT' for example where is THE CHASE when you buy a trophy deer that has been raised to be shot in a pen. I guess " The Chase" is looking up the number in the phone book to book a hunt.
Comment by bluegillboogieman on February 18, 2010 at 4:03am
Yer Lordship. Thanks for your attempt to clarify exactly what free range fish are to you. You words are clear. I just need a little more 'splainin'. I understand the dinner bell thing about raised "Pavlov fish". My mouth is waterin' right now. Being a dirt farmer myself, my idea of aquacultured is channel cat in a farm pond raised to sell to restaraunts. I don't think that's a natural environment but they ain't raised for trophies anyway. Are you OK with fish from a hatchery stocked in a pond or man-made lake? Even if they ain't trained to eat in this or that spot at 5:30 AM & PM, neither got there naturally. I guess this is splittin' hairs but I want to be sure if stocked is even fair?

Mt. Rushmore used to be all natural, but look at it now. I wouldn't throw it back!

WWBMD? That sounds nasty.
WWLOFRD? Hmm? Fish on a lazy river I suppose.


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